Why did you stop by the curb, roll down your window and stare at my ten year old daughter while she was collecting some pine cones? To scare her? Well, it worked. Her instincts told her that you were dangerous and she ran all the way to her friend’s house. You were in her thoughts last night when she was in bed. She was to afraid to sleep. She thought you were going to DO SOMETHING to her, though I don’t think she knows enough to imagine what that something might be.
Today, she showed me where she was when you stopped. She is sure of the color of your vehicle, her favorite bright blue. But now she pictures you in an SUV with a roof rack. You have dark hair and are about 20 years old and you might have tattoos. She calls you “the creepy guy.”
But maybe you were just waiting to check your mail. Though not next to the mailboxes, you were in the same general vicinity of them. Perhaps it was something innocent like that. But we walked the neighborhood looking for your car and didn’t see it. Maybe you park in a garage. You are just a neighbor who had a reason to be there that had nothing to do with stalking young girls.
I can’t forget that the world is a scary place. Not too long ago, Jessica Ridgeway, a ten year old girl who loved butterflies and the color purple was abducted north of here. She was walking to school when he saw her and decided to grab her and kill her. You must have heard of Jessica. She was in the news for months. First, while they searched, and then when they found and tried her killer. And you have brought a reminder onto our street.
Perhaps I should thank you for making my daughter more vigilant. She usually groans when I review stranger protocol with her. “What if he says he has a puppy? What if he says your dad told me to look for you? What if…….?”
But I’m not grateful. I’m angry and scared and confused. I want to think she misunderstood the interaction, and I want to honor her intuition.
Thanks for listening.