Red Flags. 4/4

- Gut. I will be the first to admit I don’t always trust it. Sometimes I dismiss it to hyper vigilance and paranoia. It’s completely counter to what I believe and preach in sound mind. That prepared does not mean scared.

- The first vehicle was parked far away from the entrance, angled towards the store. I immediately felt him look at me too long. Again, gut.

- There were plenty of parking spaces for the 2nd vehicle to turn into; well before my vehicle, which was far out in the lot. I like to park far out without cars next to me because I feel I can more easily walk the perimeter of my before getting in. This is actually counter to safety advice, which is to park as close as possible.

- Vehicles tend to give pedestrians space, not take it up

- He wasn’t rolling down his window, catcalling. It felt like stalking. I wouldn’t give a second thought to a douchebag rolling down his window to whistle. That doesn’t make me feel threatened at all. But following me and narrowing my exits, screams “threat”. Again, gut.

- Feeling of dry drowning.

I have trouble putting this feeling to words, but I will try. When I exited the store I was making note of incoming pedestrians. Just like I would anywhere. My only spidey senses to this point was the original vehicle, that I knew was still across from my car. I remember specifically thinking, “this is a high traffic place during the daytime. This isn’t where and how malicious shit would go; It’s not reasonable”

However, I also made note of how no one seemed aware of their surroundings. No one was looking at me or looking out for me. When the second vehicle got on my back, I immediately noticed I had zero eyesight to other folks walking into the store, because the van was between me and them. As he forced me closer to the right side, almost 270 degrees of me could not be seen unless directly behind me.

That was when I felt like I was dry drowning. There were people “around” but no one noticed something was wrong but me.

- Nothing about it was normal, and yet thankfully, I won’t be able to confirm what their intentions were. Again, gut.