Against all concerns of my over protective parents I moved to the big city. The dream is the same as hundreds and thousands who have done the same before me; To make it big and to be somebody. Being from a small town I grew up with a picture in my head that a city is place full of muggers, murderers and plunderers. I knew it’s all fake, just like everyone else, but when you hear something enough times it kinda gets stuck in your head even if you don’t want it to.
Well, it’s been a month now and I’m still living and breathing! And all I’ve lost over the last month are a set of keys and a pair of earrings which are just part of my long history of carelessness. That’s all the reassurance I need to make it through another day of work.
Eight hours of work and then I’m free. All I want to do is get home, take a nice shower and relax but before that I get my usual cup of coffee from the shop across the street from my office. One cup of coffee and a few delicious cookies and I’m on my way home. Two blocks later I notice that a guy has been following me. He’s been walking some distance behind me since I left the coffee-shop.
I don’t panic right away. Its strange but its a big place and I reckon there are definitely more than one person going in the same direction. I walk down couple more blocks and now panic starts to set in. This guys been keeping the same pace. All the dire warnings from my parents start run through my mind like an annoying ticker tape with special highlights on the nasty words – muggers, murderers, plunderers.
I increase my pace. The fact that there are not much people around and I have to walk 5 mins more to get to my apartment do nothing to calm me down. I notice that the guy has increased his pace too. I have the apartment in sight know and I choose to leave all dignity behind and break out into a run. I turn around to find that the guy is right behind and just as I reach for the door he catches up. before I can go in he gets hold of my hand and turns me around.
I start running all the action sequences from TV and movies through my head ignoring he fact that i don’t know the first thing about fighting. Then the guy says” Hey, Sorry if i scared you. I’m new to town and forgot the way back to the apartment. I knew you lived here and thought I’ll follow you home”.
All I could do is just stand there and say “Oh!”. It took my mind a couple of minutes to come out the fight or flight mode. Then reality of what happened seeps in and he’s already gone inside the building and I’m still standing there dumbstruck. I want to yell and scream at this guy! “Seriously! Dude couldn’t you just ask the damn way instead of going all stalker mode and scaring the shit out of me!!” All that I could have said to this guy and all I said was a damn “oh”.
© Sunita Menon,2012