Is the one between your ears. Laura shares a harrowing tale of this morning’s events. No one came to her rescue. She was on her own. But she used her head, and she’s here to tell the story.
It’s been a few years, but I had a similar situation happen to me at the grocery store near my office. My office is located in a rough neighborhood, and this happened before I had even considered gun ownership. There was an office potluck, and I, as usual, had forgotten to bring anything. No problem, there is a grocery store just across the street. It’s not a place I would go after dark, but it was after 8 on a weekday morning, so I ran over to pick something up to contribute.
As I made my way up the outside aisle of the store, I got that twist in my gut. I looked down the perpendicular aisle and noticed a large man watching me. By large, I mean over 6 feet tall and easily more than twice my weight. And he wasn’t fat. He tracked me as I passed the next three. I doubled back in hopes of losing him. It worked for a minute, but he found me again before I made my way to the cash register.
So I squared off my stance and made solid eye contact with him. Me, the five foot four size four female dressed in business casual attire complete with high heels carrying nothing more dangerous than a package of cupcakes. He could’ve over powered me easily, but my actions let him know that I wasn’t going down without a fight. Apparently dude wasn’t comfortable with a stare that could later identify him in a line-up and decided to exit the store. I tracked him all the way out and accepted the bag boy’s offer to carry my single sack of groceries to the car. He was not waiting for me in the parking lot, but I was not willing to take any chances.
I don’t know what the man’s intentions were*, but I do know that he did not purchase any groceries there. Nor did he browse anything other than me. When I presented myself as a harder target than he had assumed, he exited empty handed. I was lucky that he didn’t call my bluff because I was armed with nothing more than a hard stare**.
That will never happen again. That was one of the markers on the road to gun ownership for me. It could have played out very differently. I now carry tools that really do make me a hard target for someone over twice my size. If I square off today, I’m not bluffing. And I don’t go to that grocery store anymore.
*I also know that a woman of similar build to mine was abducted from that very same store later in the week. She was brutally raped by a man fitting the description of the guy that followed me.
**Exactly how the Brady Bunch would like me to be.