A fear that I had never known before swept over me. My heart pounded wildly as panic swirled inside me, leaving me unable to think or move. All rationale left me as the horror of what was now happening ripped through my mind.
The stench of his breath almost smothered me as he spoke in a low deep hoarse whisper in my ear. "Don't move", he ordered me as his grip tightened around my throat. He smelled a combination of stale tobacco and musty perspiration. His hands felt calloused and hard. I clawed at his enormous fingers, desperately trying to pry them away. He held me tight, quickly shoving me toward the wall as though I was weightless. His huge body blocked my view to the street and formed a wall in front of me, almost keeping me from being visible. It did not help that the dark corner of the shelter where he had now backed me into, created a shield from the traffic that I could hear off in the distance to the side of me.
His thumb pressed harder into my slender throat as I tried frantically to fight his grip. Quickly he shuffled me even more into the corner of the semi enclosed cement bus shelter. My eyes darted at an open spot past him, hoping and searching for anyone to help me. It was only half past 9 and yet the street in front of me seemed void of any night life. I had waited so many nights before at this exact bus stop, that usually bustled with other riders. This highly used bus stop was alive with human life on most any given night with the frequent stop of buses. How could this place, with out so much as a moment of any kind of threat before, now be a place that posed harm to me. I could see the slight shadows of human movement not to far from where I was imprisoned. Why was it that no one was seeing him, or entering the shelter, I thought in my panic.
A smile slowly crossed over his face as he looked in my eyes, almost as if the terror he could now see building in me pleased him. I tried to raise my knee towards any vulnerable parts of him, in a failed attempt, to help free myself. I had not even been aware of his prescience moving toward me, and with in seconds, before I knew what was happening, he was holding me captive. He was unaffected by my pleading to let me go and seemed determined to hold me at his will. I felt helpless and overwhelmed with terror.
My heart raced as I became aware of the faint sounds of voices not to far off. I spotted a figure moving across the street as I lowered my eyes to peer under his raised arm . Some where from deep with in me I released a shrill loud desperate cry for help. Hoping and praying some how I would be heard by someone not to afraid to help me. I fought to hold back the choking sensation from the pressure of his hand against my wind pipe, knowing that this may possibly be my one and only chance to free myself of the danger he presented.
His grip lessened momentarily as I screamed. He seemed somewhat startled by the sound of a voice answering back that appeared to now be moving towards us. A strong male voice, loudly calling out to me " are you okay"? With a force so determined at that exact moment I began pushing against my attacker, making enough headway to move slightly into the dim light that the shelter offered, while still screaming for help. My only thought was to get away from him. As the voice came nearer my captor slowly dropped his hand from my neck, but just before he freed me he whispered softly in my ear "Next time be more careful honey, it might not be me stalking you". With in seconds just like that he vanished.
The kind man who came to my rescue asked if I was fine. As I assured him even though I was rather shaken up and my neck ached I had not been harmed. He kindly insisted he wait with me till I was safely put on my bus. Still in shock and only vaguely aware of my emotions, we waited together in silence. As my bus pulled up I thanked him. He gently touched my shoulder and told me to feel proud, I had did exactly what I was suppose to do.
I sat near the front of the bus blankly looking out the window. Trying to collectively calm myself and work through all that had just happened. As we pulled to the next stop, I held my breath as I began to feel myself tremble. Looking out the window silent tears slowly rolled down my cheeks as I noticed a large tall figure standing almost in front of me, just blocks away from where I had been. With the same slight smile, he raised his hand to wave to me as the bus began to pass him, then he turned as though he was waiting for someone coming towards him down the street.
Later that night as I laid in my bed I could not help but hear the words over and over in my head from both men "I did exactly what I was suppose to do" and "next time be more careful honey". As I anxiously waited for the rescue of sleep I struggled with one continuous thought. I could surrender to my fear or walk away with something more useful.