Tuesday, May 15, 2012

I still can't believe the way this happened. I've watched horror films my entire life and even while it was happening I couldn't believe how similar it was.

It was 1992, I was 15 (I'm female). The house we lived in was a house built in the 30's with a detached garage in the back yard where the washer and dryer were.  It was CA so the entire back yard was fenced in with a privacy fence, but the back fence/gate (approx 6 feet high) lead to the alley that ran behind all the houses on our street.

It was early evening - not completely dark out but the sun was starting to set. We had a family room right inside the back french doors where my father was sleeping on the couch. I tried NEVER to do laundry at night because walking out the the garage always creeped me out, so I was walking out to the garage to take some of my clothes out of the dryer before it became dark.

When you went into the garage, there was a window right over the washer/dryer facing the portion of our yard where there was a woodshed and the gate that lead out to the alley.
I went in and bent down to take my clothes out of the dryer. When I stood up, a man was standing on the outside of the window looking in at me. He was standing inside our yard and the gate behind him was shut. Because I hadn't heard it shut (it was loud when you shut it) while I was out there, he had already been in the yard and had to have been looking straight at me, practically right in front of me while I was walking to the garage. I was clearly just so oblivious I hadn't noticed. He started to say something to me and all I thought was "I have to get OUT of this garage before he comes around to the door and traps me in here." So I ran out of the garage back into the back yard where he was. It was my only option. He began to walk toward me and the only thing that kept me from going in the house was being afraid he'd get in behind me before I could slam and lock the back door behind me and that he'd trap me in THERE (forgetting my 6'3" father was sleeping on the sofa, but he worked odd hours and was an extremely heavy sleeper so many times when he was sleeping it was like being alone).

I wish I could tell you more about his demeanor or the look on his face, but I was so frantic I was trying to focus more on the fact that this man was physically moving toward me in haste, which no person with innocent intentions has any business doing. My 2 second plan was to run around the side of the house toward the front - stay outside and run so I could go screaming down the street where people could hear me and it would make a scene, but I was so frightened I just stood there like an ass.

Before I could do anything our little Fox Terrier ran outside and started barking at the guy ferociously, so he stopped walking toward me. My father shortly followed and said "Hey, who the fuck are you?". Then he looked at me and said "What the fuck are you doing standing there without a goddamn weapon????!".

The guy became flustered and told him he had seen some garbage cans knocked over in the alley so he stopped to see if they were ours. My Dad, who is 6'3" tall and huge, followed this guy, who was no more than about 5'10", out to the alley where there were NO garbage cans knocked over and his car was parked a few houses down. He basically chased him out of the neighborhood. When my dad returned he hollered at me for a good 5 minutes, showing me all the potential weapons (including a large hatchet and crow bar) that had been hanging in the garage that I should have grabbed on my way back into the yard. We didn't call police which, in hidsight was a huge mistake. I can't stand thinking about what he did after this to anyone else. I still feel incredibly guilty about that.

To this day, I sleep with a giant crow bar under my bed.

-Christina

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