My husband decided to take his vital Capstone course during the Spring semester of this year. Capstone is an important part of the Associates Degree program at Northwest College here in Powell, as it determines if you graduate and if you get to move on toward your Bachelors degree.
It was April, and as part of the Capstone program, my husband was paired up with two of his classmates for a final project that they would present to the class. After much conferring, the trio decided they would meet on Saturdays to work on the project.
On one of the Saturdays, I decided to go with my husband to the campus that day, using the time to get away from the messy distractions of the house and write. My husband joined with his classmates inside in the library. I, on the other hand, ventured to the lawn next to the bell tower and stretched myself onto the warm grass as if I were a cat that had found a nice warm cushion. I pulled out my notebook and began to write.
At that particular moment, the campus was very still, as most of its resident students were still sleeping. That didn’t bother me. The quietness of the campus allowed me to scribble my thoughts onto the small slab of paper nestled on my lap.
As time went by, students finally started to stumble across the campus to the chow hall to get a late breakfast. Once again, I didn’t care and continued to write about a particular conifer tree sitting a few feet in front of me that had caught my attention.
At one particular moment, I looked up at the tree to study more of its features to jot down within my notebook. Within my peripheral vision, I saw a man. Within, I felt the urge to look away from the tree and look at the man. As a writer, I had ignored all the other students and didn’t want to break that cycle. I wanted to keep writing on the tree. Something within my spirit wasn’t right, so I caved in and looked at this mysterious man that should be like the others.
He was not like the others though.
This man was standing next to the fire hydrant across the street, legs shoulder length apart, and his hands tucked within his pants pockets. He wore a black button up shirt, which was odd as the other residents of campus was mostly wearing their pajamas. His hair was combed back as if he was going on a date.
But he didn’t have a date.
He was staring at me.
I have never been one to complain when I catch a guy checking me out. However, most guys just glance, and then go on with there life. This guy across the street kept staring.
Before I threw judgment on the guy, I diverted my attention to my notebook, hoping that he would get the signal that I was not interested. After jotting a few notes, I looked up to see if the guy was still there.
He wasn’t at the fire hydrant, BUT he had moved to the crosswalk.
He was still staring at me.
My stomach began to work itself into a knot. It was as if I was a deer, wondering if there was something dangerous in the horizon. Did I need to run?
Once again, I ignored him, hoping that he would just leave.
He obviously hadn’t when I looked up again.
This time, he had moved a little ways down the street, but he was still staring at me. His hands never left his pockets and his legs were shoulder length apart when he stopped.
I couldn’t ignore the situation anymore and kept a careful watch on him. The lunch crowd was starting to dwindle and I realized that I would soon be alone…with him.
The man strolled across the street. His eyes were on me and his hands were still in his pants pocket. The Holy Spirit within me said, “Get into the library. Get to your husband now.”
Early in my Christian walk, I would have ignored that voice, but as the man stopped again and kept watching me, I listened to what God was telling me and quickly booked it the library.
Once inside, I let my husband know what happened. We debated about whether to call law enforcement and report the incident. In the end we decided to not call. As a secretary for a lawyer, I knew that the police couldn’t do anything as no crime had been committed.
The human part of me felt like a crime had been committed though. Who knows what thoughts were passing through the mans head as he stared at me? I could…and it wasn’t pretty. His stares made me feel dirty, as if I was being raped. Even though I had worn a simple t-shirt and jeans, I felt like I had somehow seduced the man. I felt ashamed of myself.
Most of all, I was angry. I was angry at how I was seen as a sex idol. I was angry at an injustice I couldn’t put a finger on.
What happened that days was an awakening. I just didn’t know then.