“The sight of you walking in the rain just made my night”

His voice came as a surprise. On my left. Where was it coming from?
I looked.
White sedan. A man in sunglasses leaning over the steering wheel looking out his rolled down window at me. Mouth open. White teeth.
“You are so beautiful. Let me give you a ride.”
It took a minute for all this to register through the cozy blanket of Maker’s Mark I was wrapped in.
I’d just walked out of Wonderland a few minutes ago. I had been enjoying the light drizzle, the memory of pleasant conversation, the smell of the city and the rain, the streetlights, the sound of faint laughter from someone’s porch. I looked at my watch. It wasn’t even midnight.
The car drove alongside me.
It was dark. No one else was on the sidewalk.
“Thank you,” I said, “I like the rain.” And that was true. I do like the rain.
The car drove ahead, then pulled over. Waited for me to walk by again.
Inside, I let out a long sigh & pulled myself out of the cozy relaxed place I was in to play defense.
“It’s raining, I’d be happy to take you home.” His voice was syrupy sweet.
I gauged… Chose my weapon. This one could best be handled with polite refusal.
“Ah, thank you. I’ll walk.”
He continued to drive alongside me. Pacing my steps.
I’d already straightened, walking more surely, exuding power with every step.
I hoped.
Mentally, I surveyed the landscape: fucked. Dark, quiet.
I supposed if I screamed, there were people in these row houses who might care. Might. This was DC, not Kansas or Indiana. People kept to themselves here.
My personal phone was dead. Useless.
I was strong, but he was bigger than me. They all are.
My work phone was good, but he was close. Too close. I wouldn’t have much time if he made a move. And who knows how long 911 takes in the district?
I wondered if men ever had to put up with this nonsense. Or if they know what kind of menace they could be.
“I’d love to take you home, gorgeous,” He crooned again.
I looked over.
“Are you going to follow me home?” I asked.
“I’d be happy to walk you home, sugar.” He said.
He was pulling over the car again, acting like he might actually get out.
“Thank you, hun. I appreciate it, but I’ll walk myself home.” I stopped walking, I looked at him directly.
He took the hint. I hoped he would.
He turned left and off of my street calling out, “Goodnight beautiful!”
I walked on, and didn’t look back.
Another night in the city. I finished my journey. I noted how I never had to worry about the women I passed. I thanked God for each and every one of their beautiful souls.
I turned my corner and a man crossed over into the street to give me space. I thanked God for all of the thoughtful men in the world too.
I was happy to climb the steps to my apartment. Happy no one was following me. I greeted my kitty cat, and locked the door behind me, alone and peaceful.

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