Updated: Aug 10
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My family relocated to a new home when I was around 11 years old. I began going to a new school, which was conveniently located right behind my home. The folding rear doors in our kitchen opened directly onto the school. Our fence was entirely transparent. From my front door to the school's entrance, including one minute if we hopped the fence, took around two minutes. My older brother was 13 years old at the time. Back then, he and I frequently clashed because we didn't get along. He was required to constantly walk me to and from school, which was a rather strict requirement when it came to me.
My family was prone to paranoia at the time, and daily news reports on kidnappings—including those involving Patty Hearst, John Paul Getty III, and the Chowchilla school bus—inundated the news media. However, because my parents saw my brother as my guardian, he was frequently responsible for keeping an eye on me.
I shared a home with my parents and grandparents. My parents left the house during the day to work, leaving us in the care of my grandparents. My brother and I would return home for lunch because we lived so near the school. One day, my brother and I started the brief trek back to our house. My brother and I decided to race, and he practically left me. When he came around the corner to our house, I realized I had lost. Since I was directly behind the house, I chose to simply walk.
At the crossroads where my house is located, I turned the corner and noticed a tall man standing a few steps in front of me. The man was dressed in all black, including his trench coat, gloves, dress shoes, hat, and sunglasses. It was July, right in the middle of the summer, I recall it being very hot outside, so, this was already weird. He stood taller than six feet and was quite muscularly built. Under the hat, he seemed to be bald. A black, rickety-looking Chevrolet Stingray was parked a few feet on the curb. I remember it quite well because my uncle had the same ride. The neighborhood crossing guard, who kept an eye on the intersection during lunch, sat several steps away from him. My stomach plummeted the moment I got in contact this man. I simply said to myself, "It's fine, push past him and you'll be safe". The man, however, dashed in my way and stopped in front of me as I tried to pass. At me, he cast a downward glance. Through his dark sunglasses, I was unable to see his eyes, but I could feel his frigid glare. As soon as he opened his mouth, a strong stench of old leaker permeated his breath.
"Hey baby girl. You lost?" He said, in a loud, deep voice, he said.
"No." I whispered. I was paralyzed. While rapidly looking around him for my brother, I noticed that he had already inside.
He went closer and put his big hands on my shoulder as I tried to leave "Are you trying to find your brother? He's already left. I guess he abandoned you."
He was aware that my brother was meant to be with me. I felt my stomach sink even more. I began to breathe deeply. This time, he touched my back, as if to calm my anxiety.
"Hey, no need to freak out. I can direct you to him. He was heading in this direction when I saw him!" The man gestured in the direction I had just left, behind me. I stepped back and kept quiet. "C'mon! I swear I saw him go in this direction. I'll help you look; come along for the ride!"
He placed a hand on my back and started turning me round to face his car. He had a firm hold on me, and I struggled with what little strength I had to get free.
“Don’t be shy, I’ll take care of you.” Speaking with a slight slang, he motioned his other arm, pointing towards his car, “keep it steppin’”. In his car sat a young girl, she was as young as I was. Long, straight hair, pale skinned, and a reddish looking scare on her right cheek. She began pleading with me to get in the car as she stretched out her bony arms from the passenger back seat. Her face scared me. The intimidating large man was now shoving me toward his car and yelling at the female to open the door. I let out a loud scream.
The crossing guard spoke out abruptly using a megaphone.
"Ruby, hey! Come over, right now! Your parents are eagerly awaiting you!" The man turned to face the guard in shock. I rushed over to her without giving it a second thought. She clutched my hand and mumbled, "Do not fret. You can follow me to your door." She led me to my door from a distance of several feet. My grandmother yelled at me for being late as soon as she opened the door. When I rushed inside, I immediately told her everything. My grandmother immediately hurried back to the front to see if she could see the man, but he wasn't there,I started crying. She returned to the kitchen and gave me food to eat. She scolded my brother for not walking me and tried to ease fear.
I peeked out our sliding doors to the backyard, searching for our cat-Tom, and through the fence, to my surprise stood the same man. He was squared off and fully facing our kitchen this time. He kept an eye on me. I screamed, "Grandma! He is here! That is the person!" When my grandmother approached the window, the man immediately turned and fled. My grandmother gave him the death gaze till he gotten into his car and drove off.
My grandma called the police, severall men in uniform arrived. Detective Brisko asked me many questions, especially on the young girl in the car. They brought with them a photobook on missing girls and asked me to look for the missing girl. I saw her and picked her photo out. In the photo she was smilling with a scar on her cheek. The interview ended whem mom breezed in and held me like never before.
Come to find out he got into an altercation with the crossing guard, beat her mercilessly and proceeded to try to gain entry into our home using the back entrance. The crossing guard that day deserves a big thank you, she saved me.
I would always move around with someone after that, even now. I move in crowded, well-lit areas if no one is available to accompany me. That was a terrible event, and the thought of what may have happened makes me nervous.
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