There’s a black SUV parked a couple spaces away to my right, but I don’t pay it any attention, aside from the fact that it was backed into the spot.
In a split second, I compute in my mind that, “Hey, wait a second, that doesn’t even make sense, because wouldn’t they want to park at a pump instead, to at least look the part?”
I turn towards the SUV as I’m almost fully inside my car, and look over at the woman in the driver seat right as she lets off another “Hey, hi…”.
She’s wearing a beanie, and was either Hispanic or had a dark bronzer on. She seemed pretty, but with the crap lighting in the lot, it was hard to see details.
I look at her for a second, and then look at the rest of the vehicle, which could have been a newer Jeep Cherokee or an Escalade – I wasn’t interested in the model at that moment – and notice through the dark tinted window the silhouette of a shape or two moving around inside. Big shapes.
As I was looking at the windows, I asked purely out of instinct “Hey, you okay?”
I regretted asking immediately.
The girl put her hands up to her face as she faced forward, covering it, and when she brought her hands down, she had a furrowed brow and a smile, which I couldn’t tell was an attempt to be endearing, or a smile trying to hold back tears.
She continues, “This just isn’t fair…”
At that point, I see the figure(s) in the back of the car move again.
I immediately think to myself, “I’m about to get rolled.”
I sit back into the car, and pull my Benchmade folding knife out of my pocket, and place it under my leg.
I look back to the girl before she continues, seeing her hands go back up to her face again for a moment, as I reach for the door handle.
As she looks back at me with that confusing smile, and just as she is about to say something else, I say a quiet, “I’m sorry.” and close the door.
I turn the car on, reverse out of the spot slowly, and pass by her car as I leave.
I turn down the road to head home, which is all of a minute’s drive down the road, about a quarter mile.
About a hundred feet down the road, I see headlights pull out of the gas station, remembering that there were no other cars in the lot, nor any getting gas.
At the first light I come to, instead of going straight through the light to go home, I turn down a different road. I drive just under the speed limit, figuring if it’s anyone else headed home, they’ll just pass me by.
And then the lights in my rear view mirror get bigger.
And they continue getting bigger, quickly.
I realize quite quickly exactly how long and dark this road is at night.
I hold my speed, get my gun out, and place it on the seat next to me. It’s an M&P Shield loaded with .40 caliber rounds. I am a very good shot in most cases, and scored perfect on my CHL test.
At the end of the road, there is another light.
There is a gas station here, but a quick glance shows that nobody is there.
I stay in the left lane all the way to the light until I’m about 50 feet away, and then quickly throw my blinker on and cut across the lanes to the far right.
I see the vehicle behind me slow to a crawl in the far left lane in my rear view.
I’m sitting here waiting to see what they do, trying to weigh my options.
My radio is off, and my window is slightly cracked open.
All I hear right now is the blowing of my heater, the idling of my engine…
…the running of the vehicle stopped a good 15 feet before the crosswalk of the light in front of us…
…my heartbeat pounding in my ears, and the repeating ticking of my blinker, as I move my head to look like I’m looking back and forth for traffic on this quiet road…
…keeping my eye on my door mirror to watch the doors of the SUV at my 8 o’clock.
I slowly grab the extra magazine from my center console, place it between my legs, and rest my hand on top of the pistol beside me, for some reason expecting to get rammed from my left side and not wanting the gun to slide off the seat.
The vehicle on my left is slowly inching forward, despite the fact that their light turned green, what seemed like minutes ago.
Just as their passenger window is about to line up with mine, I decide to pull out and drive off to the right.
As I slowly pick up speed, I’m watching the vehicle in my rear view, and see the passenger window of the black SUV rolling up, with a man large enough to fully block the female driver from view sitting in the passenger seat, facing my direction.
I took the long way home, driving slowly to make sure there weren’t any unexpected U-turns going on behind me.
I pulled into my parking spot at home, and grabbed the pack of cigarettes I had purchased just a few minutes ago, but felt more like hours.
The adrenaline that had been brewing up in my body released itself, as I sat in my car, packing the cigarettes, slapping them into my palm.
As I unwrapped the cigarette pack, and withdrew one of the cancer sticks from it’s light blue package, I looked over at the gun on the seat next to me.
I reached over, picked it up, and tucked it back into it’s holster.
As I took a deep drag from the cigarette, I pulled my phone out, and began typing this entire night’s excitement out, struggling more often than usual to type the letters out on my phone. Shaky fingers are a pain, but I knew the adrenaline would soon leave my system, leaving me tired – I didn’t want to chance forgetting anything or leaving out any details, as I’m sure I would if I were to fall asleep soon.
I am not the type of person to incite violence, nor do I boast about being a gun owner. I do not believe the world is a better place with guns in all hands, but then again, I also believe that evil is inherent in all people, and we must work and strive to be good, and to put more good out in the world than we expect to receive ourselves. And I am well aware that some people tend to take advantage of those who fall into the latter realm.
And so, at four in the morning on a long dark road, being followed very closely by a big vehicle filled with an unknown amount of people whose intentions are unknown, well, that is just not the right time to worry about being nice.