Between the ages of 13 and 18, this 30-year-old woman lived in a tiny neighborhood, and she had a scary experience with a neighbor when she was about 15-years-old. When she wasn’t busy with school, she took walks through her neighborhood while listening to music on her MP3 player.
A boy who was about her age lived a few houses down. She heard through the grapevine that he was homeschooled and spent time off and on in a juvenile detention center because he had problems with aggression.
Whenever she went on walks, she always saw the boy out in his yard. Every time she’d walk past his home, he would follow several feet behind her. Safety was a priority for her, even as a young girl, so she was careful to turn her music down and ensure she could hear anything around her. Upon reflection, she should have been more careful to avoid him.
But at the time, she made the false assumption that he was just going on walks, too, coincidentally at the same time she was.
“As time passed, he got closer and closer to me when following, until he eventually decided to come up right behind me. He said some truly heinous things that I will not repeat. I mean, he was right in my ear when he was talking,” she said.
Terrified, she raced home to inform her sister, who took care of her and was a parental figure to her. Unfortunately, her sister didn’t believe her and called her a liar, scolding her for inventing a story that didn’t really happen.
After that, she didn’t feel comfortable going on walks anymore. Two months after the incident with her neighbor, she was desperately in need of a walk outside to stretch her legs, so she decided to try taking a walk again.
Just like before, her neighbor followed her when she walked by his house, and he taunted her with horrible things like he’d done before. She blasted the music in her headphones and did her best to pay him no mind, and this scenario played out each day for a while.
“He got tired of me ignoring him, I guess, because one day, he grabbed my arm, and I couldn’t get away. Then, he grabbed the back of my neck and told me that I should ‘know better’ than to ignore him,” she explained.