My family had been on a vacation trip and stayed in a pretty big hotel room together. When we had packed up and left, we all got into an SUV to go home. My father drove, my mother was in the passenger seat and I was in the middle in the back, between my brother and sister.
I remember bumpy and twisting roads. I remember feeling scared a few times during the drive thinking we were going too fast. I remember my knees up against the back of the front seats and feeling very squeezed and uncomfortable.
At one point during the long drive home, I shifted and pushed on the back of the front seats. My father turned his head a little and I quickly said, “I know you don’t like that, but it’s a tight fit back here, can you pull your seat up a little so I have more room.”
Next, I was going to ask my mother too, but for some reason my thought was, “One at a time.”
My father agreed but continued to drive. There was a silent understanding that he’d have to wait until we stopped at a traffic light or stop sign for him to do this. The barreling drive continued.
As we drove, I thought back to packing up my stuff and realized that I had no memory of placing any of my beauty care back into that compartment of my overnight bag. When we got home, I also couldn’t find my tiny little cell phone.
Once home, I went to the kitchen and cleaned up. For some reason it was somewhat of a mess and I tried to make it perfect before I left again to go see Chip. But I had just come from there too. I was thinking, “Wait, how can I go there before calling first?” And as I was wiping this powdered spice from a counter top that just wouldn’t cooperate, I realized, “Oh yeah, his wife left.”
I was excited to get back over there to Chip before he changed his mind, and as I walked through the living room with my jacket on, I mentioned not being able to find my cell phone to my father. I had it in mind, from the time I was cleaning up the kitchen, to call the hotel to see if they could mail out everything I had forgotten to pack. But at the moment, getting back to Chip’s was the most important thing to me.
Just as I was about to walk out the door, I put my hand in my jacket pocket and found my phone. BUT…it was dead. Oh well. I didn’t care. I really wanted to get over to see Chip.
It was dark out by now. I walked out to the street where the van I would drive was parked. Just as I was getting in, I turned to see Steve, one of my friend’s brothers had followed me to the van and asked me to go out with him.
I hesitated for two reasons. I didn’t want to hurt him but I also didn’t get a good vibe and didn’t feel safe. He kept insisting that we do something together now. And I said ‘how ’bout we go out next week sometime’ to hopefully settle him so I could get away.
He wasn’t having that either and so I jumped in and locked the door. But it was an old school van and so I wasn’t sure that the whole van was locked. I stretched over to lock the passenger side and then quickly put the car in drive. I lunged forward with the hope of two things: that it would knock him off if he’d managed to get on and grab hold somehow on the outside and that he had not gotten in without me knowing.
I stopped long enough at a stop sign to crawl over the seats to see if he’d hidden himself on the floor boards back there.
He hadn’t. But I could see from the side window as I was sprawled over the tops of the seats that he had found a way to hang onto the outside of the van as I drove. I noticed he’d gotten down off the van while I was in this position.
I screamed, got back into the driver’s seat and attempted to peel out before he got back on…without success. He simply reached out and stepped up as if this was a thing he did all the time.
I was still only a few blocks away from where I’d started and driving toward the center of town, I said to myself, “My phone’s not working so I can’t even call 911.” The thought continued in the vain of picturing myself going to the police station and just laying on the horn in the parking lot.
As I drove, I kept turning around to see if he was inside the van. I also tried to think of ways I could get him off the outside of the van but before I could implement any of my ideas, he was indeed inside the van. Right behind me, all of a sudden.
I screamed so loud, I woke myself up.