The driveway in front of my house only has room for one car, so I usually park my car on the drive and my mum parks her car in front of mine on the street, a bit like a ‘T’ formation. She uses her car more in the week than I do, so it works out easier this way, although if I want to get my car out I have to jump in both and do some manoeuvring.
Whenever I do this I like to pretend I'm in The Sweeney.
I’d returned from the supermarket so had moved mum’s car, parked mine on the drive, and moved mum’s car back in front again. I’d just jumped out of mum’s car and was locking it when I noticed a man slowly cycling on the pavement across the street.
He was a fair distance away but as I walked around the car my inner alarm bell started ringing, softly at first. I saw out of the corner of my eye that he had seen me and had suddenly crossed over to my side of the road.
I went to my car, intending to get out my groceries. This is when my inner alarm bell went off like a siren and my subconscious clocked seven things simultaneously.
- He’d sped up. Before he was aimlessly cruising down the road.
- There was also no reason for him to cross the road, no junction for him to turn down into, no obstruction his side that would stop his progress.
- The road was unusually quiet and totally empty.
- He was an adult on what looked like a teenage boy’s bike
- He had his hood up despite it being a sunny day
- I had the keys to two cars in my hand
- I look quite young
I quickly locked my car and practically bolted to my house. As I turned to shut the door I saw he had got incredibly close in a short space of time and was just passing my drive. We caught each other’s gaze and his look was so malignant that I knew my feelings were justified. And then he carried on down the street.
I’m not a paranoid person but there is a big problem with drugs (and knives) in the area that I live, with the gangs behind the trouble cruising the streets on bikes. So perhaps I’d clocked there was a reason to be careful from the moment I saw him. Whatever the case, I am so grateful to my internal warning system, and so very glad I listen to it. Please make sure you do the same with yours. x