If you have met me, you would say that I’m anti-social. If you are an acquaintance of mine, you would say that I am paranoid. If you know me, you would say that I am very careful and aware of my surroundings.
It’s all about perception versus knowledge of one person.
Now, I actually was always this anti-social, paranoid, careful person. It all began when I was a kid just minding my own business and being…a kid! Now, when I watch crime television shows or movies, I am usually pretty good at figuring out who the guilty party is, usually, right away. Now before I became Inspector Gadget I should start from the beginning.
I lived in Santa Ana, CA from the age of baby until about 10. The neighborhood was pretty decent, especially compared to the way things are now and days in that part of town. The neighborhood was a fairly decent mix of races. I remember my dad having a friend across the street that he actually winded up working with for years to come. We had a neighbor to the right of us who was super quiet, but truly kind. Every time you’d walk by his house, he or his wife would be outside watering the grass or plants and even watching their dogs play around while they enjoy the fresh air. Our neighbors to the left were actually my aunt and uncle from my mom’s side. Let me back up a bit and tell you that the house we lived in was my father’s parent’s home. The neighbors next to my aunts were also pretty friendly. They were a bit older and I can still remember playing in the garage of this neighbor’s house with cousins and the day that we went over and his wife informed us that he had passed away. I am trying to paint this picture that we lived in a pretty safe, family oriented neighborhood. Back during this time, I had a friend from school whose mom and my mom, were friends. Our home was two houses away from the corner. If you go around that corner, about 4 or 5 houses down, was my friend from schools house. I went there a few times before it was apparent that I would have to be going over to her place to play and she wouldn’t be able to come over to mine. Again, I lived in my grandparents’ home, and my grandfather was pretty strict with who came over.
It was a summer afternoon on a Sunday and I went over to my friend’s house per usual. It was maybe late afternoon- I remember it being warm out still but it had to be between 3pm- 5pm. It was time to go home and she and her mom walked me out. Our parents were both guilty of not walking us to and from each other’s houses. Quite honestly, it wasn’t something really needed. Well, until this one day in particular. For some reason, I already knew that something was going to happen. I cannot be honest and say that I had a feeling that someone was watching me but, I definitely had an overall weird feeling.
I start to walk and get past a couple of houses and turn back and notice that they are already inside their home. I continue to walk towards the corner, knowing that once I hit around that corner, I am basically, home.
“Priscilla, run!” That is all I heard from my aunts voice. I remember crying and seeing my aunt Mona walking towards me and my grandpa out in the front yard area. He was hard to see due to the way the fence in their front was built, but I saw him. I panicked, I froze at first- but hearing her voice, snapped me into reality and I ran towards home. I remember my grandpa yelling at me and telling me this is why I shouldn’t go to other people’s house and to stay in the backyard playing from now on. I remember my aunt telling my dad what had happened and how she saw this man and then me and she could only yell as loud as she could.
I remember looking forward and seeing the corner being so close. I looked to my right and noticed a man driving really slow and staring at me. I turned my head quickly forward towards the corner and towards my house. Just like any nightmare, my legs became stiff and it felt like I was walking in molasses. I remember looking again to my right and seeing this man start to get out of his car that is now parked in the middle of the street. What can I do? Run? What if he runs faster than me? Do I scream? For some reason I don’t think I could if my body doesn’t fully comprehend what is going on at this point….. And then I hear it, I hear my name being yelled out loud. I don’t recall much after this as far as what she said to him, if anything or what he did next. I am pretty sure he got back into his car and sped off.
Thank God for my aunt. If she wasn’t walking to the nearby 7 eleven at that exact moment, I may have not been okay.