It's my first night in Michigan. Tomorrow, college orientation starts. 2,000 miles from home. My brother David attends the law school around these parts, so I'm staying with him and my sister-in-law during orientation. I feel lonely, scared, and cannot believe that my new college is held in a former middle school. (Oh, why didn't I visit the college before I enrolled?) I just got in a fight with my boyfriend as a result of these elements, and I feel so low.
The August evening is slightly humid with a slow fog creeping over the ground. My heart is heavy while I walk across the quad back to David's apartment. I have almost reached the parking lot when I see a shadow behind the first row of cars. Just my imagination. I take a few cautious steps. David's apartment is right behind the parking lot, so I don't have too much farther to go. The bleary parking lot lamp shines down on me as I see a buffalo-plaid vest emerge from behind the row of parked cars, about twenty feet away from me. He's big. His stringy blonde hair covers his eyes, but I know he is looking at me, waiting for me. I wonder how long he has been watching. I decide to play it cool and I look straight into his face. "Hi," I murmur.
At my single word, the man lunges and marches powerfully toward me. I'm going to die. I'm going to be caught. He's going to do terrible things to me. I turn and sprint the other way, screaming, screaming, screaming. I screech so loud that I can feel my throat tear. My body surges with adrenaline; I feel short of breath just remembering and writing it down. I have never run so fast in my life, nor have I been so scared before or since.
I feel like I've been running for ages (when in reality it has only been a few seconds) before I hear my name being called. "Louise, Louise!" My mind begins to slow down, but my feet go just as quickly. "Louise, it's me!" The man is my brother. The realization spreads over me and I collapse on the grass, shivering and crying with no tears. David pulls off the wig and runs to me, half-laughing yet utterly ashamed and worried. He crashes beside me and puts his arms around me, trying to calm my shaking. "You did the right thing!" David says, apparently trying to cheer me up. "That is exactly what you should have done!"
My right eye twitched for a few days after the incident, but I am over it now. We rehash the story about every six months and it's become a tale I enjoying recounting to family and friends. I love my brother and I share his love for pranks, but I don't think he will ever try that one again. I have never been so afraid in my life. So, did I scare ya?!? Have a happy and safe Halloween!