Scary Story

by baldilocks

Originally posted in 2003. Edited.

Around 1998, I was driving home to LA from my reserve unit on a late Sunday afternoon. The seventy-mile trip was normally uneventful outside of the usual crazy California drivers. But this one was different.

One of my close friends/co-workers also lived in LA at the time and, on this day, we left about the same time. This was unusual in itself, given both of our unpredictable workloads: one or both of us often stayed late.

So we drove close to each other, with me in front. At the time, I had a cell phone, so we yakked on the phone a bit, then we hung up and drove.

The van looked just like this.

About ten minutes after we hung up, a van cuts me off. I swore a bit, then slowed down to get off of its rear. The van slows down too. So I change lanes and slow down to avoid what I think is just another of the myriad California idiots. The van, light blue with no side or back windows, changes lanes to get in front of me again. It slows down.

My friend calls me back: “What is this mf’s problem?

Me: (shaken) I don’t know. Did I cut him off?

Friend: No. I’ve been watching the whole time. (pauses) Pull over. And whatever you do, stay in the car!

I pull over to the shoulder and, sure enough, the van pulls over some 100 feet in front of me. My friend pulls over behind me. I’m nervous as a cat as I watch the scenario unfold.

I see the driver’s side door of the van open. A man with dark hair–maybe Latino, maybe not–starts to get out. Then his eyes widen; he jumps back in and speeds off. The van goes over on two wheels, nearly turning over getting out of there. Dust is flying up all over the place. I look in my left mirror and see my friend approaching my window.

I guess a tall, imposing black man wearing BDUs (my friend) was a bit more than the van-driver bargained for.

I still wonder to this day what that guy was going to do and who else was in the van. I was obviously military–wearing ‘blues,’–blouse and skirt. Was it an attempted pervert hit or an attempted military hit? Or was it racial? Or some combination thereof? I don’t know and I’m very happy not to have found out.

For this reason–and many others–I believe in God’s right hand of protection.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. (Her older blog is located here.) Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was published in 2012. Her second novel will be done in 2016. Follow her on Twitter.

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