Story Time: I Was Almost Kidnapped (or worse)

High school is a strange time for all of us.

We’re figuring out who we are and who we want to be.

I went to 3 different high schools, somewhere in the middle of it all, I ended up in Florida (thanks mom).

That move from Brooklyn sent me right into an all consuming depression. This isn’t about that though, maybe another time.

This is about one day that a bunch of friends and I decided to go Daytona Beach.

We piled into a car, and headed out.

When we arrived the deal was, we came together and we’d leave together.

Perfect right?

Wrong!

We got to the beach and ended up losing each other. People were smoking, drinking and dancing for hours.

In hindsight, it was a dumb plan.

I just wanted to hang out with my friends.

To tell you the truth, at that point I was already so far from home I didn’t want to add being completely out of control to that. It was really innocent but then the night took a turn.

Once it was time to go home, panic struck.

We couldn’t find or contact the girls we came with. More importantly, we couldn’t find our driver.

We walked around for hours and ate burgers from Krystal’s, it was the only thing we could afford.

I guess we were also procrastinating while we tried to figure something out.

There was no way we were calling our moms and letting them know we were over an hour away from home, stranded.

A couple of men noticed our plight, they had to be in their 30s.

One guy did the talking (he had the car) and once we explained what happened, he offered to give us a ride.

It seemed like our only chance and it felt like we had no other choice.

So, we took him up on the offer.

We followed them into a white convertible with the top down. It was summer, of course.

My friend and I sat in the back seat, never fully settling in, exchanging glances from time to time.

The silence in the car was deafening and the tension was thick.

She was afraid and so was I.

We started up the highway and I said a silent prayer.

Suddenly, the car began to slow down and pull over onto the grass on the side.

My friend and I turned sharply towards each other.

I think we both held our breath in that moment.

The convertible top came down slowly, then we quietly drifted back onto the road.

We shared a quiet sigh of relief.

The car ride was a little over an hour, but it felt like 3 of the longest hours of my life.

I gave them my then boyfriend’s address thinking, worst case scenario, it was a house full of men.

To our surprise and relief, we found ourselves pulling into the parking lot of the apartment complex without incident.

We got out of the car, still frightened.

I personally felt shame for ending up in such a vulnerable position.

Then I heard these words I will never forget.

”This is how little girls like you end up on the side of milk cartons.”

He said something else, I think the tone was meant to soften the chilling effect of the first statement, but it couldn’t comfort me.

I walked into the apartment with my tail between my legs, happy to be safe but filled with regret.

Looking back, I swear there was a hand over that car.

We were protected that night.

It was never lost on me that it could’ve ended so differently.

I’m forever grateful that it didn’t.

Photo by Pino Gomes  Makeup by Moises Ramirez  Collage by Maike Gabriela

Photo by Pino Gomes

Makeup by Moises Ramirez

Collage by Maike Gabriela