TRIGGER WARNING, READ AT YOUR OWN RISK.
Walking out to my car late at night always made me move faster. I don’t know what my problem was? I have only worked here for the last six years of my life. You would think I would be used to it by now. I’m the manager of the makeup counter and I close up every night Monday through Friday. I have for the last six years. I make my way out to the ally and then to the employee parking lot, but no matter what. I’m always creeped out. That was until the strange man showed up one night. I thought for sure I would be even more worried, but it didn’t go that way. By company policy, if we find a homeless person by our store. Were suppose to notify the police and have them removed. Only he wasn’t causing problems and I was the only one who knew about him.
I could never really see his face and whenever I came he would move far away from me. I don’t know what it was but there was just something about him. A kindness maybe, but never a feeling of threat from him. I left him be and he has been here for over a month. No one has even realized he was here. “Mandy, do you think you could help with the fundraiser this weekend? We could really use all the help we can get?” My boss and good friend Joanna asked.
“Sure, I don’t have plans this weekend.”
“You’re a life savor. I knew I could count on you.” I just sighed. I was hoping to stay in bed and read this weekend. It was already well past midnight when I finally headed out to my car. The ally was quiet tonight and I didn’t see him. I got a bit of a cold chill and moved my ass faster to my car. I swear someone or something was following me. Or at least watching me. Normally I never feel this way. I mean yeah I get spooked out but nothing like this. My car was the last one in the parking garage. I fumbled with my keys as I was coming closer to my car. I swear there were footsteps behind me. Of course, I couldn’t get the keys in and I ended up dropping them to the ground. Please god, I said as I bent down to pick them up.
That’s when I felt the body slam into me. I let out a small squeak as I was flipped around and came face to face with a man that looked out of his mind. He held a knife to my face and pushed hard with it. A single tear fell down my face. “What do you want?” I managed to get out.
“Get the car opened lady and we will have no problems.” I nodded my head at him and turned to put the key in the lock. I opened my door and he grabbed me and tossed me down into the back seat. He stood up and took a look around. Then he climbed in on top of me. I knew I was going to die tonight. I screamed out as he ripped my shirt from my body. Then he slapped me hard and screamed at me to shut the fuck up. I didn’t know what to do and at that moment my body went limp. I was frozen as this man started to remove his clothing and then began to finish removing mine.
Time as I knew it stood still. I have never been in this type of situation before and knew I should have listened to my friends when they told me I needed to have some sort of protection on me at all times. I could feel the tears rolling down my face but still, I didn’t move or fight. That’s when the man’s body went flying backward. I didn’t know what was happening until I sat up. The man from the ally that I have been seeing kindness in had this man pinned to the ground and a knife to his throat. “It’s not okay to touch her.” I heard his deep voice say. The pathetic piece of shit was on the ground now begging for his life. I pulled myself out of the car and walked over to him and kicked his side with everything I had. He cried out like the pathetic loser he is. The homeless guy dug the knife deeper into this man’s neck. I’ll kill you for putting your hands on her.”
“Don’t kill him. It’s not worth it.” The homeless man looked up at me. His face was covered by his long beard and dirt covered him. His eyes were a blue that I had never seen before. I smiled at him as I called the police. “Thank you.” He looked away from me. “Hold him until the police show? Please?” He nodded at me. When the police showed up. They got control of the guy, but when they looked for the homeless guy. He had disappeared. The police wanted me to go and see a doctor, but I declined and promised to come in first thing in the morning to make a full report.
When everyone was gone. I sat by my car and just started to cry. I heard a small cough and looked. He was standing in the shadows watching me. I wasn’t scared or worried. In fact, I felt safe. I gave him a nod and got in my car and went home. He was now my savior and I didn’t know how I was going to repay him.
I made my report with the police and I wanted to know about the man that saved my life. I couldn’t tell them much. Just that he was a homeless man. I didn’t tell them that he lurks the ally by my job. I didn’t want them to harass him in any way. Besides they had the guy and that what mattered most. Over the next week, I stayed home from work. I needed some time and I felt as though my hero was watching me. I knew that couldn’t be true as I loved almost forty minutes away. I didn’t know how he could get to me. My apartment was on the second floor and my living room window faced the street. I would stand there in the evening time and I could swear I felt someone watching me, but I never saw him.
Finally, it was time for me to return to work and my hours stayed the same. There were no positions open during the daytime hours that I could move to. That night I was the last one out like normal. I was nervous as I started to make my way to my car. I did however invest in pepper spray that I held in my hand as I walked. I stepped out into the ally and took a look around. I didn’t see him, I was hoping to see him. Sadly I think he has moved on. I started to walk when I heard footsteps behind me again. Fear struck my heart and for some reason, I slowed down. I finally stopped and turned fast. Only I was faster than he was. He stepped out of sight and I just sighed. “Please don’t hide from me.” I hollered out. I waited and he walked out into the open. I watched him as he moved closer to me. I gave him a small smile.
“I want to make sure you are okay.” I understood and nodded at him. He walked me to my car. I unlocked it and he stood back some as if not to scare me. Only I wasn’t scared of him at all. Over the next week whenever I was off work. He walked me to my car. We never spoke. He was just there at all times, and he would watch me until I drove out of sight. I wanted to help him. I wanted to talk to him. I wanted to get him off the street, but financially I couldn’t help him. I barely made my own bills.
“What your name?” I asked as we walked together. He stopped and I stopped with him. “Please, you don’t have to tell me your last name. I just want to know your first name.” He was quiet for a moment.
“Neal.” He said softly. I smiled at him and started to walk again.
“I’m Mandy,” I said as I unlocked my car. I stopped and I don’t know what came over me, but my mouth moved faster than my brain. “Do you want to come home with me Neil?” He looked up at me. I could see his beautiful eyes behind all that dirt. “I’m not scared of you Neil. I feel safe with you. I don’t have much, but I can give you a warm and safe place to lay your head and a warm shower and food. Please come home with me. It’s the least I can do?”