I am driving down a country road with no street lights. It is extremely dark and there are no other cars on the road and no houses in sight. All of a sudden, I see a tree down in the road. I stop the car so as not to hit it, when I notice three men coming out of the woods in my rearview mirror, approaching my car from behind. I'm scared. I can't move forward due to the downed tree. They're closer now. I reach for the door to lock it, but I'm too slow. One of the men has entered my car and is holding a gun to me. I'm terrified....shaking....... A million thoughts enter my mind. Do I fight? Do I run? Do I comply? Am I going to die? Before I can sort through all my thoughts, he pulls the trigger.
Only a very few people know about my history with crime. My sophomore year in college I had dislocated my knee and was on crutches. I was making my way from my dorm to my boyfriend's dorm next door to mine. It was a two minute walk from door to door that went terribly wrong.
It was chilly and my hair was still wet from taking a shower when I walked out the door. Two steps down the sidewalk, a man approached me. He was wearing a green jacket and dark jeans. I remember him being short (for a man-he was still much taller than me at 5'3"). He spoke only broken English, but he was pointing at my knee brace and I figured out that he was asking what had happened to my leg. I started to respond, thinking he was a well wisher who felt bad for the girl on crutches. I didn't look to much into it as similar situations had been happening all day. That was my mistake.
He started mumbling something about "it all being ok" and "not to worry." I began to be concerned that this man was not stable and started to turn away from him to continue walking. That's when he grabbed me. He pulled me in towards him and caused me to lose my balance. He tried to kiss me and pulled me off my feet. I pushed my crutches out in front of me and managed to regain my balance. I took off towards my boyfriend's dorm, going as fast as I could on crutches. He chased after me. There was no one there to help me. I was running and he was right behind me. I got to the door of the other dorm. You need to swipe your student ID for access to the building. I couldn't get to it fast enough. I couldn't stop. I was panicked. God was watching over me because the door swung open just as I reached it and I was able to get inside. I didn't dare look behind me and see if he was still behind me. I picked up my crutches and ran (on my bad knee) up the 3 flights of stairs to my boyfriend's room and locked myself inside.
The good news is that he was caught. The campus police were able to locate him within a half hour. I thought that was the end of it.
The justice system failed me. They let him out on bail and he took off. I moved on and tried not to think about it, but I was changed. No one could understand my paranoia because they hadn't lived through what I had.
Two years later, just weeks before my wedding to the boyfriend who helped me get through all of this, I received a phone call that would bring it all back up. They had caught him. He was going to be held in jail until the trial, but there was more news. The victim's advocate explained to me that while my attacker was in jail for the charges against me, a witness in an unrelated case had claimed that my attacker was the assailant in an unsolved rape and murder. They were able to test his DNA and discovered that he had , in fact, raped an murdered a woman a mere six months prior to attacking me. He left her body on the train tracks. The phone dropped from my hand....
I can't even begin to understand my feelings about all this. I feel so unsafe no matter where I am. He wanted to do more than he did to me. He wanted to rape me. He wanted to murder me. I survived, yes, but I feel as though I haven't. Every dark corner, even my own house scares me. The whole world is dangerous and I won't be so lucky next time. He has left a bigger mark on my life than I would even like to give him credit for, but I can't deny it. It's evident even in my dreams.
The nightmares are more prevalent when Mr. S is not here. All week, I've been lacking sleep due to them. I wake up sweating, my heart beating, sometimes in tears. I need to get through this on my own because he isn't here, but my first instinct is to look to him. I need help. I need sleep.
Edwin Masarieo began this hell, but I need to finish it.