It’s 4pm on a hot summer’s day.
Time for my afternoon walk.
I make it a point to not turn my head in the direction of any of the cars that are driving down the road. My sense of hearing is sharpened. I listen closely to make sure they aren’t slowing down. That car doors aren’t being opened.
Luckily, they all speed past me.
A parking structure is ahead. I look around to see if anyone is approaching. I notice it’s gated, so if someone were to drive out of it, I would hear them before they saw me.
Luckily, I heard nothing.
Out of the corner of my eye I notice a man quickly closing the door to the entrance of the structure. As I get closer to the door, I clutch my phone tightly and walk on the outer edge of the sidewalk. It looks like it’s shut tightly.
Luckily it stays that way.
A security guard starts crossing the street towards me. I slow my pace to let him walk in front of me. He turns his head and greets me. I return his hello and he goes in the opposite direction.
Luckily, he seemed kind.
I walk by a parking lot full of cars. I do a visual scan to see if there’s anyone sitting inside of them.
Luckily, they all seem to be empty.
I continue on and a block ahead I see two men who are headed in my direction. They don’t seem menacing,
Luckily, they’re far enough away that I can change my path without making it obvious that I’m avoiding them.
I make a right and walk through a private college instead. It’s quiet and there’s shade. A true oasis on a hot day and I try to soak up the moment. Until I hear leaves crunching.
Someone is approaching.
Luckily, it’s another woman who seems to be as alert as I am. We smile at each other, exchange a look of relief, and go our separate ways.
I can now see my office straight ahead. My heart is elated, like when I see my best friends after months apart. I slow down, not realizing that I had been walking faster than normal the entire time.
Luckily, this stroll was a success.