Elephant Man This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

May 26, 2010
By , Springfield, VA
The thirty yard walk from the bus stop to my house was never enjoyable, because it always seemed too quiet, too eerie for a 13 year-old girl to be walking home alone. It was a long concrete pathway that seemed to never end. It was a perfect place to host a marathon, I suppose, but also an ideal place to abuse a minor.
The blazing hot sun emitted its long rays as I walked to my house from the bus stop. I was wearing my blue denim shorts with a hot pink tee and matching clogs. It was a perfect summer day, with a not-so perfect summer outcome.
As I walked sluggishly to my house, a massive Cadillac Escalade was lingering behind me. The wheels were custom-made with red- hot spinners and a matching interior. It must have cost a fortune. I glanced back to see an overweight Hispanic man and his “amigos.” They looked like a herd of elephants, with the protruding fat of their stomachs and necks bulging out. They were smiling at me, seductively. I didn’t like it one bit.
I quickened my pace, but my clogs slowed me down. As I struggled to accelerate my speed, the car continued to increase its pace with ease. Suddenly, the overweight man did something so obscene, it made me unprepared for what to expect next.
He yelled, “Yeah, you go girl, I’m likin’ this view, work it, work it. Arriba! Arriba!” The echoing laughter of his friends punctured my ears.
What? Am I some kind of show girl now? The fear in me intensified. I felt helpless. My face drained all color. I was not angry, I was furious. I hated when men addressed me this way.
“Come on suga, we just want to play, we just want to have a lil’ fun,” he yelled.
The knobs of my knees were wobbling furiously. My heart was pumping out of my chest. The anxiety was killing me. I did not look in his direction; I maintained my course, no stopping here. I could hear the wheels of his car screeching to a halt. I was almost at my house. Just a few more yards, I thought.
I heard a car door slam shut. The elephant man was walking out of his car. I made a run for it. I sprinted all the way home. I ran faster than a serial killer on the loose. My legs worked like a treadmill machine going 100 mph. He was the cheetah and I was his prey that did all it could to survive. I jostled for my keys in my purse and unlocked my door. I sealed all of the doors in my house, shut all of the curtains, and dialed the phone. I was calling my parents. Suddenly, I heard the tampering of my door. The elephant man strikes again.
“Come on, I ain’t gonna hurt you sweetie,” he barked from outside.
I dashed upstairs to my parent’s master bedroom. There, I saw from the large open window, the Hispanic man attempting to break into my house with a knife and screwdriver. He used his hands as if he was working on an extensive project. His fingers performed meticulously, operating to expose my home. I tolerated 20 agonizing minutes patiently awaiting his departure. He finally deserted my home, surrendering completely.
It was the most terrifying moment of my life. And, I will never forget it. I am very cautious of my surroundings, and I was especially cautious that day. I think I did all that I could to save my life. I learned to never underestimate your surroundings, even if it’s in a residential neighborhood.

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