Friday, September 6, 2013

That one time I was afraid

Though I haven't been participating fully in Story of My Life's Blogtember challenge, I decided to jump in today for this prompt:

A story about a time you were very afraid.

I feel like the moment I'm about to describe should have made me more afraid than it did. All the factors were there. It was late at night, I was alone on a dark street with my boyfriend and a stranger was pointing a gun at us. 

But the reality is, sometimes I forget it even happened.

Everyone says there are moments in our lives when we remember every detail. Where we can reconstruct the seconds piece by piece.

I can't even remember what the man holding a gun at us looked like.

But to say I wasn't scared in that moment would be a lie.

My boyfriend and I had been walking home from a night out at the bars, celebrating my birthday with friends. The incident (as a former crime reporter, I'm so used to describing these moments as "incidents" as if that even slightly captures it) happened near an area in town where there is a large congregation of bars and my boyfriend lived probably five or so blocks away, so not wanting to be total lazy pieces of shit, we walked. Also, it had been a nice, warm day.

The night itself, though fun, was unremarkable. We drank at a few bars, my friends presented me with random gifts (including a Rick Astley CD) and then my boyfriend and I headed back to his place at about 2 a.m.

So I guess when I said the man pulled a gun on us late at night I was lying. It was very early in the morning. But it was dark, so I'm not a total liar. 

We had passed several groups of people walking home but they had kind of dissipated by the time we got close to my boyfriend's street. 

Now, the lamplight situation in this town was pretty bad in areas and this street was one of those areas. Still I didn't think anything of the man who was walking toward us on that dark street. It's not in my nature to be suspicious of every person I come across, especially random young people at night in a college town.

And he had almost walked passed us when suddenly he turned, pulled out a gun and demanded our money.
Now, let's get some things straight. I do not carry cash around. EVER. I just don't. And neither does my boyfriend.

So this SOB was shit-out-of-luck.

But still he had a gun, and I had my purse and he could easily have demanded it. And because I didn't have anything on me that was worth much and I knew if he took my debit card, I could just easily cancel it, you know what I was worried about?

MY PURSE. My Banana Republic purse that's probably not even worth $50 now. I love that purse. It's just a little black, faux snake-skin purse with a chain-link strap, but I've had it for three years now and it's like a child. 

And let me tell you, if he had grabbed it and started running. Well, I would've done nothing. But I would've wanted to go straight Buffy on his ass. But he didn't grab it.

I know you'd think in moments like that, you'd just gladly give them whatever they wanted (and by the way, you should), but your brain is still functioning and capable of having irrational thoughts and one of my irrational thoughts had to do with my stupid purse.

During the whole confrontation, the man had been standing closer to my boyfriend than me, so I was just kind of standing off to the side clutching that purse and my bag of presents. (That's right, don't you dare take my Rick Astley CD!) 

After he demanded our money, my boyfriend had told him that we weren't carrying any cash, and then without thinking made the remark, "We're as broke as you are."

Well the would-be robber wasn't a fan of that (because clearly he's got his shit together) and did that bullshit thing guys do where they get up in each other's faces, but he never actually swung at my boyfriend or shot off the gun.

He didn't demand our phones or take anything and eventually just continued down the street. There was something about his approach that made me think he wasn't a particularly seasoned robber.

I assume he just let us go because he was looking for a quick cash-grab and when we didn't give him that, he wasn't actually prepared to get violent or make a scene, so he left. 

My boyfriend called the cops as soon as we got back to his place, but all those tips the police give about what to do in situations like that? (i.e. like stare at their face and try to memorize features). Yeah right. I know that he wasn't particularly tall, I know the color of his skin and I know he had some stubble.

I also know that information doesn't help the police in the slightest. So of course the case went nowhere.

But I'm at peace with that. I mean, of course, I hope he gets caught while trying the same thing on someone else.

But it's just not a moment that has resonated with me. 

When I first read Jenni's prompt for today, it wasn't even the first thing that popped into my head. 

Sure, I don't make a habit of walking by myself on dark streets, but I also rarely think about it.

It's scary how much worse that moment could have gone, but it didn't, and I'm not going to dwell on it. 

I, do, however, appreciate this opportunity to write about it for the very first time.



  1. Ahhh, CRAZY!! So glad it all turned out OK.

  2. Omg at least both of you weren't harmed in any ways!

  3. That's crazy! It's funny how our brains categorize events in our heads. I tell people things and they're like "ermagerd how did you get through it?" and I'm just like "idk, its fine now"... I'm glad all ended well in this situation and that you don't let fear run you because it happened!

  4. This seriously freaks me out for you. Crazy what we think about in those pivotal moments eh? Like your purse. Who woulda thunk? I kinda think it's a mercy thing. It's better than thinking "I'm gonna die I'm gonna die" - Love the blog! Found you thru our beloved Jenni :)

  5. Yeah, I feel totally silly that my purse even ran through my mind, but I definitely had the thought! I'm sure if he had been more threatening with the gun (as opposed to, hah, just casually pointing it at us), my thoughts might have been a little different. So glad you could find my blog through Jenni, Candace! I'll definitely need to do more Blogtember posts!

  6. It's interesting, isn't it? I honestly sometimes forget this even happened. I mean it could have been soooo much more traumatic. One of the hardest parts was having to call my parents about it the next day, because I knew they'd be super freaked out by it.

  7. Yeah, thank goodness! It could've been way worse!

  8. Thanks, Jenni! It definitely could've turned out way differently, so I'm thankful for that.

  9. Omg this is so crazy! But I'm glad you and your boyfriend ended up alright (and your purse too!) I'm sad that this happens to people all the time, but again I'm happy that there are so many cases where nobody is hurt.

    Your boyfriend's line - "We're as broke as you are" = gold. I feel like that's something I would say if someone tried to rob me. Like, uhhh you picked the COMPLETELY wrong person for this haha.

  10. Thanks, Zauni! I've never looked at the stats on attempted robberies but I'm sure it happens to more people than you'd think. And I have to laugh now at what my boyfriend said. Good thing this guy was just all talk!

  11. Oh goodness, this is one of the scariest posts I found in the linkup! It's a stroke of luck the robber wasn't seasoned and wasn't looking for big trouble. It Is rather irritating, the way the mind focuses on small mundane things during such intense times! Your boyfriend's line was hilarious ;)

  12. I know, we were SO lucky! I'm very thankful for that! And, you know, maybe the purse thing was just my way of handling it so I wasn't standing there obsessing over the whole, "oh my god I could get shot!" aspect. Thanks for the comment--I'm glad you were able to find my post through the link-up!

  13. I found this post through the link-up, but had already been snooping around your blog after Crystal from The Happy Type mentioned you ^_^