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Young revert living the cutie life while trying to keep her heart as soft as possible, iA.

I was followed at HEB 😱

The other night after work, I decided to stop by HEB to get some matcha since we don't sell any at my job. It seemed like such an easy and quick stop before going home that I really didn't think anything of it. Normally if I stop anywhere after work, it's the Kroegers down the street from my house, but I decided to go to the HEB in the new half of town. I live in a pretty small town and crime is still pretty low, but I'm sorry to say that going to the store is something I regret doing. If I could go back in time, I would stop myself from even considering it and would just go home and wait til the next day. Sadly, that's not what happened.

It all started pretty normal enough, I got a parking space really close to one of the entrances since it was late after all. Then, I went in and didn't bother getting a trolley since I was only getting a package of matcha. I went through the front and as I passed the produce, that's when I saw him out of the corner of my eye: a man in a grey hoodie with the hood up just chilling with the apples. I didn't really pay him any mind and stopped to look at the seafood they had since my store doesn't have fresh fish. At this point, I should've had warning bells going off in my mind since he'd moved and was now a foot or two away from me just staring at me. Unfortunately, maybe the prices or selection had me too mesmorised or maybe I was just tired from work, but I didn't notice him at all.

If I'm being honest, I don't know where he was after this, because I really didn't notice he was following me til I thought about it afterwards.

What I do though is that when I was looking at the international foods, he walked by me three times in quick succession and creeped me out enough that I felt the hair on the back of my neck stand up. He came right up to me and stared at me close enough I could smell how bad he stunk and I was so freaked out, all I could do was pretend to read the german cookie packages til he walked to the end of the aisle and turned back around and turned around and stared at me for what felt like hours. I immediately texted a friend and told her what was going on and she said she'd talk to me to calm me down and make sure I was safe.

I tried to hide from him and find an employee to tell them what was going on, but since it was so late, the store was mostly empty. I tried to at least get his picture in case he tried to kidnap or attack me, but when I saw him near the flowers looking around (like he was looking for me :x) I ran away and hid at the other end of the store. When I finally made my way to the self check, I saw him and felt like I was dunked in ice water and like someone was squeezing my chest so hard I couldn't breathe.

I managed to get his picture without him seeing, but we ended up getting registers opposite each other and he stopped scanning his items to completely turn around and stare at me til the cashier asked him he needed help. After he was done, he slammed his trolley into the corner of my register o.o and just stood next to me staring at me until walking away after I refused to acknowledge or even look at him.

I don't know what happened. I had pepper spray in my purse, but when it all came down to it, I froze just like when that man tried to mug me. For some reason, I just stand there like an idiot unable to move or even speak like a deer in headlights. I hate myself for doing this, but I don't know how to change this. It was only after he finally walked towards the entrance that I went up to the cashier and tried to tell him I needed help, but my voice was barely audible from how scared I was. He had to ask me again and lean in close to hear me and I had to choke back tears.

As soon as he found out what happened, he went and got a manager and the two of them walked me to my car. While we were walking, he told me I was smart, because most women will just make a run for it and get ambushed in the parking lot. The scariest part for me was when we got outside and saw the guy in his truck with the engine on just waiting 😰😰😰 Who knows what would've happened if I'd tried to leave without telling anyone? It's scary to think that I could've been another face on a missing poster.

Afterwards, I was crying all night and the next day and have been very scared and paranoid ever since. My Darling has told me to never get out of the car after dark and to shop at our job if I want, but nowhere else until the next morning. It made me a little angry too since I hate that men act like animals and scare women to the point where we can't go anywhere from a certain time at night and in the morning, because 'it's too dangerous'. Men, on the other hand, can go anywhere at any time without fear of being attacked or sexually assaulted or killed just because we're women.

My fiancé has always told me how beautiful I am and how lucky he feels to be with me. I know it's sounds stupid and cliched, but I always assumed he was just saying that because he's my significant otter. But now, after all the awful and scary experiences I've had with men both at work (including a male customer grab my breasts and try to forcibly kiss me) and outside of work, I'm starting to realise he's probably right and all these men are harassing me because I'm pretty and I hate it. Why do men find this kind of behaviour acceptable?! I'm just so fed up and sick of being catcalled, followed, constantly hit on and flirted with and even having men grab me and pull at my hijab 'as a joke'.

All in all, I just ask you make dua for me, because I'm too scared to even leave my house anymore besides for work and I hope that I can feel safe again, in sha Allah 🤲🏻🤲🏻🤲🏻💕💕💕

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