The man looked at her for a long time – beginning at her face and traveling down her body to her feet.  His grin was salacious, and she visibly shuddered.

“Whatsa matter, darling?  I’m just admiring you.  Don’t be cruel.”

Glenna did her best to ignore him, but his slurred words and unsteady gate indicated an excess of alcohol that wasn’t about to be deterred. 

Photo by Nicola Fioravanti on Unsplash

“Aw, c’mon.  Smile for me.  You’d be much prettier if you would smile.”

“I have no obligation to be pretty for you or for anyone else,” she erupted.  She knew better than to respond but she was tired of men who behaved as if she owed them something.  And coming from one she didn’t know at all just punched all of her buttons.

“Now sweetheart, I meant no offense.  You are just a fine example of womanhood and I’m just an admirer.”

“Go away.  Now.”

“I can tell when I’m not wanted.”  To her surprise and his credit, he did turn around and begin walking in the opposite direction. He raised his right hand, middle finger extended, without turning around.  Relief surged through her body.  Now that he was gone, she took out her phone and pulled up Maps.  She was well and truly lost.  Thank God for GPS.  Her phone would know where she was even if she didn’t.  She began walking a few steps in one direction and then another to get her bearings on the map.  It looked like she needed to turn left at the next corner to get to her car. 

She began walking, purse tight to her body and determined steps.  Part of not being a victim is not looking like one.  She can’t remember who said that and, normally, she would have plenty of arguments against that sentiment, but it seemed true in this situation.  She strode down the street looking like she owned it.  Finally, things began to look familiar.  As she crested a small hill, she was able to see the parking lot that held her car.  Relief flooded her body.

So much adrenaline in such a short amount of time.  It was exhausting.  Bad enough to be lost in a not so good section of town and bad enough to be accosted by a drunk dirty old man, but both at the same time had her heart thumping.

She slid behind the steering wheel of her with visible relief and locked the doors.  For the first time in an hour, she felt safe and had her bearings.  It was times like this that she was truly cognizant of all of her advantages.  It must be awful to live in this neighborhood.  It must be awful to run such a gauntlet every day.  It must be awful to live without the choices she had.  She said a silent prayer of thanksgiving as she pulled the car out of the lot headed home.

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