In today's society, we are so in tune with everything that is going on on social media that we forget to look at the things around us. We forget to look at the things like the big, beautiful, full orange moon. We forget to look at the stars that glisten in the night sky. We forget to look at the waterfalls and the trees. We forget to look at all of the kind faces around us. We also forget to look at the not so kind faces around us.
A two college town right off of the interstate is a perfect place to run an industry in trafficking. We always hear people say "be aware of your surroundings" and "be careful," but how many of us are actually aware of the things that go on around us? I know that over half of the time, I am most certainly not.
We have all watched the news. We have all seen the stories floating around about the young girls and women who come up missing. We have all read the articles about the women who have been followed throughout the stores by suspicious people. We have ALL seen them. My heart has always gone out to these people, but never once did I think that I would have my own story to tell. I thought, just like everyone else, that it would never happen to me.
I was at Walmart last week with a friend around 11:30 at night. We were just walking around the store, goofing off. I noticed a man who seemed to appear everywhere that we were. He would see me look at him and walk over to the next aisle. We would go to a different part of the store and he would be there again, just a few aisles over, watching us. I began to get nervous, but brushed it off as me being paranoid.
We ended up at the front of the store. The man was standing in the middle of an aisle and we walked past him. I grabbed a candy bar from one of the checkout stations before going to the self checkout. As I turned around, I saw my friend leaning over her cart looking at her phone. The man was standing in the clothing section, glaring at her. We walked towards the self checkout and the man walked in the opposite direction of us. He made direct eye contact with me, so I made it a point to acknowledge him. He looked at me as if I were crazy, but I wanted the man to be aware that I knew of his presence.
We went on to the self checkout and he followed us there with no items. He grabbed a bottled drink and proceeded to check out, as we were. He finished before we did and fiddled with his wallet until we were done. There were two ladies who were standing at the front of the store and I asked them loudly if they had someone in the store who could walk us to our car. As I said that, I turned to look at the man. He made eye contact with me and rushed out of the store.
It is so important for us to be aware of our surroundings. We need to take some time out of our cell phones and plug into the world around us. It does not matter who you are, where you live, what your gender is, or what you are doing. We live in a very dangerous world where anything can happen. Watch the people around you and save your family some heartache that could come from a simple trip to the store.