You hear about it all the time; on the news, in the papers, in magazines. “Girl missing.” “Child abducted at shopping mall.” “14 Year Old Girl Raped and Killed.” But you never think it’s going to happen to you. Until it does.
It was raining. I remember thinking that it would be fun to walk home. I took off my flip flops so the water wouldn’t splash the back of my legs. I put my headphones in and took my time walking through the puddles. I was almost home when I turned around to check to see if it was safe to cross the road and I noticed a blue car going really slow behind me. I didn’t think anything of it, I figured that he was just slowing down to let me cross the road, so that’s what I did and the car disappeared. I continued walking when suddenly the car pulled up really fast in front of me with his trunk open. I thought that maybe the driver was going to offer me a ride home, but then the door opened and a Hispanic man got out. He walked towards his trunk and he didn’t even look at me. I figured he was going to shut his trunk. He wiped his nose and tugged on his shirt. He had a cigarette in his mouth. I maneuvered my way around him and suddenly he turned and grabbed me and tried to pull me into his trunk.
Somehow I ended up on the ground. I’m still not sure if that was his doing or if it was my reflexes kicking in, since my strength has always been in my legs. It all happened so fast. I screamed as loud as I could and he let me go. As he stepped over me to run back to his car, I kicked up between his legs. I could feel him in between my toes. He got back in his car and swerved away, maybe so I wouldn’t see his license plate. He never said a word. I screamed after him and then I just stood there, all alone in the rain. Then I started to walk home again as if nothing had happened. Then is hit me. I started crying hysterically and I ran into the nearest backyard. First I hid in the bushes, but I realized that he could still see me if he drove by, which he ended up doing. He sped down the road again, the road that had changed my life in a heartbeat. He didn’t see me and that was the last time that I saw his car. I ran farther back into the yard and ended up hiding behind an above ground pool.
I called my landlord and he didn’t answer his phone, so I left him a hysterical voicemail. Then I called his wife, who also didn’t answer. Then I called my mom who picked up after only a couple of rings. I was crying so hard that I couldn’t talk and my mom actually thought that I was in the back of the man’s car. She calmed me down and I told her what had happened and she asked me where I was and if anyone was around. I looked up to see a man approaching me. I went hysterical all over again and I told him to get away and that I didn’t trust him. I felt terrible but I had this strange idea that him and my kidnapper were working together. My mom convinced me to give the man the phone and I inched my way towards him. I must have looked ridiculous because I had my arm outstretched but I was trying to keep my body as far away from him as possible. He put his hands up as if to surrender and then he took the phone. He told my mom his address and I started to gain trust for him. My mom told me to go into his house but I was scared and I demanded to see a woman. The man brought me in and I saw his sister, who stayed by my side while the man called the police.
My mom and the police showed up at the same time. Soon after, my landlord came. The police asked me questions and my mom and I went to the police station, where we met with my dad. The police brought me in for questioning and I soon realized that I couldn’t remember my kidnapper’s face. I could barely describe him and I didn’t have enough information for a sketch artist. The only evidence was my stretched out tank top, which the man had twisted and pulled. There were no marks on the backpack that I was carrying, I didn’t have a single scrape on my body from when I fell down. He didn’t hurt me at all, so there weren’t any bruises. The police were skeptical and they started accusing me of being a liar. They told me it didn’t happen. They said that they had video footage from a street light camera of me walking and there wasn’t a blue car. There wasn’t a Hispanic man. Just me. They told me that I made it all up for attention. They came up with all of these reasons, as if trying to prove to me that I was lying. They told me that I could get in a lot of trouble if I was lying and to tell the truth now, before it was too late. But I was telling the truth! They had me so worked up that I started to think that maybe I was crazy and that I had some mental disability. I started crying all over again and I told the police all about my future plans to go to college and to work in the FBI and that now it was all ruined because I’m crazy.
I left the police station feeling completely unsatisfied. I knew they weren’t going to find my kidnapper. Not only could I not describe him very well, but the police didn’t even believe me. I told my mom that I thought I was crazy and that the police didn’t believe me. She was enraged and she called the police station. She told them that my experience there was almost worse than my experience of almost getting kidnapped. The police then revealed that there was no video camera and that they only said that to see if I was lying. They had used it as an interrogation method, as well as the accusing me of trying to get attention. We kind of gave up on the police after that and accepted that my kidnapper would probably not be found unless he attempted to kidnap someone else.
Later that night, it was announced on the local news that an 18 year old girl was involved in an attempted abduction. They didn’t use my name and I was grateful for that because I didn’t want anyone to know it was me. I didn’t want to go to school the next day but my mom made me. I was miserable and on the verge of tears the entire day and I couldn’t focus. I heard people talking about it and I saw people tweeting about it on Twitter. Then I saw a tweet that said, “So who is this 18 year old girl that almost got abducted? #Emilywho?” That was it. People were starting to find out and my anxiety went through the roof. I excused myself from class and went to find my best friend Olivia, one of the only three people that I had told. Within the next ten minutes, I was being confronted, people were texting me and staring at me. The rumor began to transform from me almost getting abducted to me getting raped. I called my mom and begged her to pull me out of school. She couldn’t come and get me until after lunch and I felt as if the entire cafeteria was staring at me as I walked to my table. I sat in silence, shaking. I couldn’t handle all of the attention and I kept thinking how could the police possibly think that this was what I wanted?
My mom picked me up and we went back to the police station because they had a list of local sex offenders and their mug shots that somewhat matched my description. None of them were him. For the next couple of weeks, I would go back to the place where he grabbed me, hoping to remember more about what he looked like, but I never did. We stopped going to the police station and just went on with our lives like before. I couldn’t focus in school for a couple of weeks but after that, it was as if nothing had happened.
Whenever I see a blue car, I look into the windows to see if it’s him. I have anxiety attacks when I’m alone in a public place or sometimes even just when a man I don’t know looks at me. I’ve become protective of everyone around me, never letting anyone go anywhere alone. I wasn’t even kidnapped, but just thinking about what could have happened to me is scary. I’m not sure why the man gave up so easily, why he let go so fast. Maybe it was my scream, maybe I fought back more than he thought I would or maybe he just wasn’t strong enough. Whatever the reason, I am unbelievably thankful that it didn’t go farther than it did and that I got away safely. You can never be too careful. I was so naïve and oblivious to the idea of ever getting kidnapped. I live in a safe town and nothing like that really happens around here, but I guess you never really know.