At first, I wasn’t going to share this story but now I’m more over the situation, I am doing it. Before we start, judge me all you want but I know I can be a bit stupid. It’s only because I don’t like to force myself to live on the edge because of the sick people in this world. I live my live as freely and fearlessly as I possibly can. At the time of the story, I was 23. My birthday just passed the 29th of November, making me 24 now. I’m only 5’2 and about 170 to 180 pounds. I’m strong enough to help move furniture but not strong enough defend myself the way I would like to. You would think, as someone who survived an attempted sexual assault, I would learn some self-defence but I’ve lost a lot of motivation and self-worth since. The abusive relationship really made it worse. That’s beside the point.
So, to start. I won’t get into major details but I had just moved to Jackson, Tennessee from Miami, Florida because I had just gotten out of an extremely physically, emotionally, and mentally abusive relationship that lasted for 3 years. About sometime in June my current boyfriend and I had been doing a trip pretty much every weekend- We would visit new hiking areas. Although there isn’t a night life, Tennessee is amazingly beautiful. we went to this place called “Narrows of the Harpeth”. This was one of the underwhelming places we’ve been but still relaxing. After discovering a cool place to sit and swim, we smoked a blunt and drank a few shots. Later it was time to make trip back to Jackson. I put my shoes on and slipped my dress back on which is a little bit above the knee length, like if I bend too far forward my li’l bum would be on display. I own my body and sexuality so showing some skin never really bothers me and I don’t really think about it because I just expect people to respect me as I respect them and the way they dress. Anyways, on the way back to the car, I, being the tipsy dumb as I am, managed to trip and fall and scrape my leg pretty badly. It’s actually scarred now. Anyways, I told my boyfriend we need to go to Walmart once back in Jackson so I could thoroughly clean my wound with hydrogen peroxide and Neosporin. My boyfriend didn’t refuse.
An hour later, we are at the Walmart. Mind you it is only about 9PM, going on 10PM. Not late by any means. We got what I needed but since I am still tipsy and pretty high from the blunt I finished in the car ride home back, I get distracted so easily and remembered that my boyfriend got me the wrong size case for my iPhone 11 PRO, he got the MAX instead of just the PRO. I wanted an idea of what I could trade it for and he wanted to look at some of the games as well as a gaming pc for me.
So, I am happily tipsy and excited to find a new case which if you have ever been to Walmart the cases and are never in order and often causes you to bend down to look at things. There was a man looking at the cases and I just said “excuse me sorry can I look at those cases you're standing in front of” he just looked at me with a blank yet dirty look nodded and stepped over. as I am happily looking through the shelf about 5 minutes in & this lady and what I assume are her two children approaches me. mind you we are in the middle of a pandemic and I am thrown off by how close she is to me especially with her baby that looks no older than 9 months. I step back and she just grabs my arm and says “OMG!! wow I haven't seen you in forever. look at that hair wow.” & her grip tightens. at this point my heart is racing my face gets so hot and I am visibly scared. that’s when my boyfriend says “everything ok babe?” he looks at me equally concerned. I am thinking to myself “does this lady know my mom?? who is she?? is she an old family friend I don't remember?” mind you I’m originally from Ohio & we have family here but I don’t know any of my family that lives in Tennessee. my mom loves to brag about her kids so I'm trying to shake this weird feeling but her daughter keeps looking behind me so I go to turn around and she goes “no don’t turn around walk with me please trust me” idk why but I felt she was being genuine and I just followed her. we step over to the side by the baby clothes which is still in front of the electronics and she says,“Baby, I am so sorry to scare you but there are three men surrounding you. they went by the laptops talked and then I noticed the guy taking photos & videos of you while you were bent over looking at the cases. the other man was the tall guy next you and I don’t know where the third man went.”
All I can remember is this high pitch ringing in my ears, my stomach flipped and I felt like I was going to be sick. I never knew what people meant when they say “everything slowed down” but at that moment everything moved so slow and I was freaking out to a point that I had no clue what she said after. It was as if blacked out for a moment and then it came to my realization quickly that the family & my boyfriend was looking at me visibly panicked. I turned around and there he was. He is Hispanic shorter than me maybe about 5’1 but he was very much built also looked to be about 40. The other man who was white about maybe in his 40s, was about 5’11. I’ll never forget the dead blank rage in that Hispanic man’s eyes. Like his first meal in 5 days had been stolen from him and he was ready to kill in order to have it back. that's when I saw the white man walk over to him. They said something both looked at me, looked back at each other said something else and started to walk slowly towards us. At that point, we all turned and headed for the registers and that’s when I thanked my lucky stars because there were about three cops at the front of the store.
By the time I rudely pushed past people to get to self-checkout, with tears in my eyes and franticly repeating excuse me to anyone who got in front me of, I looked back and saw them just standing there with the third guy this time. my heart sank and I wanted to pass out at that moment. I guess it looked like I was going up to the cops because they high tailed it once they saw me get close to the cops. me being high as shit and being a black woman, I wasn't going to chance the cops turning this around on me bc I was simply stoned and tipsy. my only thought was “get to the car. get to the gun. don’t stop. run.” My boyfriend said he could barely keep up with me and at one point I had grabbed his hand so tight he had to force the grip off because it felt like I was “going to crush his hands” and before anyone bashes my boyfriend. I don’t expect a man to be my saviour. Also, he isn’t the angry confrontational type. He is very calm and level headed. He wouldn’t even hurt a fly unless I asked him to get rid of it for whatever reason. I just knew I was the target and I am putting him at risk. I knew they could easily jump him & one of them could over power me after taking him out. I probably looked crazed half walking and running past everyone but I didn't care. I wasn't going to become another missing sister.
We made it to the car safely and peel out of there. I’ve never seen him drive so fast as he is beyond careful and would never speed. We sat at a sonic for about an hour to make sure we weren't being followed. We recounted everything that happened. I just couldn't believe we both were too tipsy to notice that I had become prey in somewhere as simple as a Walmart. I’ve never felt so stupid and irresponsible in my life.
I never want to experience that fear and panic in my life agin. I didn’t even get the chance to thank the lady who pretty much saved us. sometimes we talk about it. What if the lady didn’t see what that guy was doing? Even if we caught on, there were three and we only saw two at first... I think of the horrors...
That night, I had a nightmare that the men attacked us in the parking lot, creepiest part of the dream was the third man shoved me in the trunk and as I went to look at his face all I could see was a featureless face. I woke up in tears that night realizing I didn’t get a clear look at the third guys face. it took me nearly a month to enter a Walmart again. Since, I have moved states and have only been to Walmart once since moving here. So, to the creepy men that stalked me, up skirted me, and basically followed me even when they knew I was around other people. I genuinely hope we never meet again because the gun I carry on my person now has three beautiful hallows that would enjoy meeting you all.