Her eyes catch a different movement on the other side of the street. A bicycle rolls slowly a stop. A man, hidden behind sunglasses and black leather gloves, carefully avoids looking at her.
She crosses. Right past him.
He rolls to the opposite side and follows, keeping barely ten feet back. She can feel his presence. The tires creep over the pavement. Loose gravel crunches and sets her spine on edge.
She’s always known this walk would kill her. Why midnight? Why not a day job? The nice, bright, sunlit day.
He grows bolder, staying beside her now. She slows her walk, praying for him to speed up. To move on.
Damn it. Now she’s angry.
Her grip tightens around her keys. She laces them between her fingers like she’s been taught. She keeps walking, merely turning her head. But her eyes never leave him, memorizing his features. Every atom of her being projects his doom if he should dare cross that street. Holding her plastic thermos like a club, she tenses to swing.
Another corner. Headlights distract her and she stops to let the car pass.
In the corner of her eye, she sees him turn and ride away. A new bounce in her step, she continues home. Safe and sound in bed, she sleeps. She has an early day tomorrow.
Worst part is, this actually happened to me tonight. I didn’t make this up and it was so creepy! Sometimes, the strangest things happen in college towns. And I know, this should warn me against walking home from work at midnight. But seriously, it’s only a couple of blocks. It’s one of the most well-lit streets in town. And, because most the residents on that street are college students, the cops patrol it ALL THE TIME.
Creeped, yes. Worried, no.
‘Night now, sleep tight!