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What scares me

Updated: Sep 6, 2023

Today, it's that big black lizard that crawled out of my sofa cushions on the back porch and then disappeared. I do not want to meet him after the sun goes down. I think he could take on my cat and do some damage. But I suspect my sense of being scared might be a tad out of the ordinary.

Case in point, and this fits into the novel. My college dorm was not on campus. It was an antebellum hotel across from the State House in Columbia, SC, destined to be blown up after students had sucked the last bit of hospitality out of it.

I had a night class and no one to take me home, so despite the rapes and assaults in the area, I set out alone to reach my dorm. About halfway there, I heard footsteps behind me. Footsteps that slowed when I did and sped up when I walked faster. I have this theory that if a victim doesn't show fear to a predator, the predator loses interest. Take the fear out of the equation, and it's no fun. So, on a street corner in the area where the assaults had been, I suddenly turned around and said, "Oh, thank goodness, it's you!" I had no idea who my perceived stalker was, and he didn't look like a coed. I explained that I had to walk home alone because my boyfriend wouldn't drive me, and he said, "If I was your boyfriend, I woulda told you to carry a bat and a broken bottle." He now walked beside me, and I can't remember what we talked about after that. I'm pretty good at BS when my life depends on it. He walked me all the way home where I thanked him. I entered the dorm, wondering if I'd just met the stalker or if he was just some random guy, pleased because I'd considered him a good guy. To this day, I don't know.

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