I’ve had a few scary experiences involving strangers, mostly older men. This is the most recent story, which happened in early November of 2016.
I have a huge fear of walking anywhere alone at night. It makes me extremely anxious and paranoid. I’m a tiny human and it would be pretty easy for someone to do whatever they wanted to me so I try my best to avoid going outside alone at night but this night was one of those times that I couldn’t.
My boyfriend at the time decided he wanted to have dinner with me at Wendy’s after he was done work. I was at home when he suggested we eat somewhere. My boyfriend’s initial plan was that we would meet at Wendy’s but I refused because it was way too spooky for me to walk that far alone at night. I suggested we meet at the mall because it was closer to home and was in between the restaurant and our apartment. My boyfriend understood and agreed, though he wasn’t too thrilled about it since the restaurant is on his walk home from work. This meant he would have to pass Wendy’s to get to the mall and then walk back to Wendy’s. So the new plan was we would meet at the mall and then walk to the restaurant together. So I got ready and once he texted me to tell me to head out, I left the house and started walking to the mall.
There’s 2 paths I could take to get to the mall. The first one is through a neighbourhood, with houses lining both sides of the street. The other is through a schoolyard. Both ways probably take the same amount of time. I decided to go through the schoolyard because I thought I could just run through and it would be quicker. This schoolyard has 0 lights anywhere so I turned on the flashlight on my phone, the light wasn’t very bright but it helped me feel a little more safe and calmed my anxiety. Halfway through the schoolyard, this man started walking towards me. The man was coming from the direction of the mall and at this point, he was probably 50-60ft from me. He proceeded to whistle at me like I was a dog. It was a very distinct whistle, one many people use for calling their dog. I know he wasn’t whistling for a dog because there was no dog anywhere in the schoolyard. I was very familiar with this schoolyard and the people living around it as I frequently took my dog to run around there when it was empty so I knew this guy wasn’t looking for a dog. No one else was anywhere to be seen either. It was just this strange man and I. After he whistled at me, I started feeling uncomfortable. I couldn’t see his face due to there being 0 lights. Something in me just said “GET THE F*** OUT OF HERE. NOW. DANGER ALERT. DANGER ALERT.” But I knew better than to run so I decided to stay a good 10-15ft away from him and I picked up my pace. I felt more and more anxious as we were getting closer to each other. My heart started pounding. As soon as we were parallel to each other, he stopped and just stared at me. At this point, I thought I was about to be killed or be sexually abused. Whatever this guy was planning wasn’t going to be good. I called my boyfriend. The process of calling him felt like an eternity. The whole time, this man was just standing on the path staring at me. I was really worried my boyfriend wouldn’t answer because he was on the phone with one of his friends. Thankfully, he picked up and was fine with talking to me until I got to the back of the mall. I could feel the man’s stare burning into my back as I quickly walked away.
I made it to the mall safe and unharmed. But now my fear of the night is worse than it was before. Before this happened, I had been making progress in conquering that fear by taking Koda to that schoolyard alone late at night. That progress has been completely destroyed and I will never walk around late at night ever again.