Tuesday, October 12, 2010
It was a hot sunny day when a middle-aged man flung open the car door and jumped into a car stopped at a light on Constitution Ave., in Rock Hill, S.C.
The girl driving the car turned to her passenger side seat with a shocked expression at the unknown man.
That girl with her mouth hanging open was me and this happened my second year of college on the way to work.
“Can you give me a ride,” said the man.
My heart was racing and I was frozen in my seat. I knew I should get out of the car, but I could not move. I told the man I couldn’t, because I was on my way to work and I was already going to be late.
“I need a ride and it won’t take long,” said the man.
My face dropped and my heart pounded as the light turned green and cars were honking their horns
“What to do?’ ‘What to do?” the question kept flying through my head.
Finally, I pressed the gas pedal and started driving with him in my car. The man looked like he just climbed out of a garbage can. He smelled of rotten eggs. I prayed to God to let everything be okay.
He sat silent and quiet in the seat next to me. I wondered if he could hear my heart pounding. So, I just started talking about myself. I told him how I really needed to get to work. I told him how I was struggling keeping my head above water with school and work.
Finally, after what felt like the longest five minutes of my life he said to turn. My hands started to sweat as I gripped the steering wheel.
“Stop here,” said the man. My heart pounded as he got out of the car and left without even a thank-you. I sped off towards work my whole body shaking.
I told my mother a year later what happened.
“That’s why you lock your doors,” said my mom. “You should have got out of the car!’ ‘What were you thinking?”
To this day I still don’t know why I didn’t get out of the car. Fear can overtake the body sometimes and make the mind do irrational things.
Though, I now know why it is important to lock the car doors while driving.