I drive a SUV; it makes me feel safe, especially at night when I’m driving home from work. Still, I carry a small gun.
One evening we were invited out to an office dinner, so it got rather late. Just as I paused at one of the traffic signals on my way home, another SUV came up alongside mine. This one was loaded with thumping music and men, most likely late-night revellers.
I ignored them, waiting for the lights to change, but their ribald hoots where clearly audible and I glanced at my gun. At that moment, a gust of breeze kicked up dust, sweeping it into my face, and I turned away, blinking my eyes as I powered up my window pane.
The men in the SUV construed this as something else, and one yelled triumphantly:
“She winked at me.”
The lights changed that instant and I took off. Behind the SUV followed, its thunderous music reverberating into the night.
I live at the end of a less-frequented, serpentine street that shoots off suddenly from a busy intersection. If I got there fast enough, I could turn off unobserved – they would naturally take the main road and I would be free of them.
I put ‘pedal to metal’ that night, to place as much distance as I could between us. I reached the intersection and veered off from the main road.
Halfway down the street, I checked my rear-view mirror and sighed in relief. There was no sight of the SUV.
I reached home, quickly parked in the garage and was shutting my door when I heard blaring music again – then from my window I saw the SUV booming down the street. They hadn’t seen me, but I wasn’t taking any chances.
I reached for my gun and waited.
© Cindy Pereira