I always ignored the stories I was told because in my mind that’s what they were.They were just stories, nothing would ever happen to me. I was wrong, so wrong. I was an experienced hitchhiker by the time I was fifteen.
Of course, I had the occasional run in with weirdos, but my experiences were nothing compared to the tales I was told.
That was until the day that changed my mindset forever. It was Christmas Eve and I had spent the day with my best friend at her house in the next town over. Since she lives a fair distance away, I usually take the bus home.
This day, however, I stayed later than usual and ended up missing the last bus back home.
Not wanting to intrude on my friends family, I decided to leave anyway.
I started walking in the direction of my town. I knew I couldn’t make it all the way home, so I held my thumb out to every car that passed. Most of the drivers passed me without even a second glance, but after about twenty minutes of walking, I finally caught someone’s attention.
A black car slowed to a stop beside me, I couldn’t tell you the make or model.
The passenger window rolled down as I approached it. I peered through the now open window to see a nice looking elderly man. Since he appeared non-threatening I climbed into the passenger side of the car. He greeted me with a sweet smile and asked me where I was headed.
As I had some experience with hitchhiking I knew not to give him my exact address so I gave him an address on a neighboring street. He started off in the direction of the town I live in.
The ride was going pretty normal for the most part. He told me about his life growing up, serving in the war, and some other tidbits. He genuinely seemed like a nice guy, he was just a little lonely. He then began telling me about his wife, how she had recently passed. He was telling me how much I reminded him of her.
At first, I thought it was nice that he was able to see some reminiscence of his late wife in me and I liked the joy it brought him. However, after a few moments, he began telling me how young and sexy I looked. I was a bit put off by those statements, but decided to just let it go.
That was until I felt his hand caress my thigh, I was completely mortified. I heard him whispering to himself, it sounded like he was saying a prayer. He was thanking God for leaving me on the side of the road where he could find me.
I pushed his hand off of me which caused him to get pretty mad.
He squeezed my thigh hard making me yelp in pain. He then told me to shut up and be a good little girl. I was scared beyond belief, what had I gotten myself into. At this point, I was mentally freaking out and trying to think of some way to get out of this situation.
I looked out the window trying to figure out where we were.
I then recognized the area and realized we weren’t far from the school I attend. We were still a fair distance from my house, so I decided it was my best option.
Bracing myself, I threw open my door and rolled out of the car crashing into the ground. The impact knocked the breath out of me, but with a rush of adrenaline I took off down a narrow alleyway toward the school.
I could hear the man slam on the brakes and yell but I didn’t dare look back. I ran the two blocks to get to the school praying that he wouldn’t see me. No one in this town really drives late so whenever I would hear a car engine, I assumed it was him and dove into the nearest bushes gasping for air as quietly as i could.
I’ve never been so scared in my life and all I could think was if I had just listened, I wouldn’t be in this situation.
When I reached the school, I ran around the back. I knew there was a little closet that was always unlocked that held some of the janitor’s supplies. I hid inside, paralyzed with fear. I knew my mother would be worried if I didn’t return but I was too scared to try and make it home.
I ended up falling asleep in that janitor’s closet only to be found the next morning by one of the custodians.
When he found me he immediately took me inside the school to the guidance office. Both my mother and the authorities were called. I told them everything that had happened the previous night.
The police had me come into the station and file a report.
I gave them every detail I could remember about both the man and the car.
After a while, they told my mother to take me home. As we were leaving I overheard a conversation between two of the officers on break. Apparently, the house at the address I had given the man was broken into. The woman who lived there and her three kids were all hospitalized.
I don’t know for sure that it was the same man, but that doesn’t help with the guilt I felt and still feel. Luckily, the woman and her kids all recovered with no serious injuries, we all needed a bit of therapy though.
To this day, I don’t think the man was caught but no one seems to know who he was or where he went.