So, I talk a lot about creepers and getting creeped on. But most of the time, it’s in, shall we say,.. a controlled environment, such as a club. Yes, creeping is involved, but my personal safety has not been breached, if ya know what I mean.
I thought that moving to a nicer neighborhood in Chicago would cut down on how many mildly creepy experiences I would have, and for the most part, it has. However, a few weeks ago I had a truly terrifying experience that goes above and beyond creepy.
Here’s the set-up: A bunch of my girlfriends and I dressed up and did the barhopping thing until about 2 a.m. Any creeping that happened during barhopping is irrelevant as its level of creep no longer registers on my meter.
My friends were staying at one of the girl’s apartment, which is on the way to my apartment. So, suddenly the group decreased from four girls to one (that would be me). However, I live just a few streets away, and have made the lonely trek several times already, so I blithely continued on my way.
I was almost to my house, and had my keys in hand, when I looked up and saw a guy walking in my direction on the opposite side of the street, pretty much parallel to me. My brain registered that he was there, and that it was a bit odd to see a guy out by himself on my street (which is quiet and residential) at about 2 in the morning, but I wasn’t actually scared.
I proceeded the last couple steps to my apartment, up onto my front porch, fitted the key into the entry door, and stepped inside.
There are times when I just kind of bat the door shut behind me and don’t check to see if it’s actually closed all the way. But that night, something made me give the door an extra little push so that I could hear it click shut.
I then jangled through my key chain to find the key for the front door to my apartment, and as I was getting ready to unlock the deadbolt, I saw a movement out of the corner of my eye. There’s a big mirror in the entryway of the apartment building directly to the left of my front door, facing the entrance of the building. And in the reflection I saw the guy from outside, crouched down with his left hand trying to open the door, and with his right hand shielding the pane of glass next to the door so he could peer in at me.
Even though I knew the door was firmly closed & locked, this probably gave me the biggest jolt of my entire life. I was literally two feet away from some random guy who was trying to follow me into my house. I screamed something at him — go away, or leave me alone, can’t remember — and finally was able to unlock the door and run inside.
Well, that’s pretty much it. I was kind of a wreck for the next 20 minutes until I finally got up the courage to peek out my front window to see if he was still there (he wasn’t), and that was it. I just couldn’t stop thinking about how badly it could have turned out, if I had lingered just 20 seconds talking to my friends before heading to my apartment, or had stopped briefly to check my phone or text someone. It really was just a 20 second differential between me getting inside the apartment building and shutting the door behind me, and this rando literally trying to follow me in. Crazy.
After spending four years in Albany Park and routinely hearing of violence that occurred basically in my backyard, I don’t think I EVER expected my creepiest encounter to happen in my current neighborhood. But it definitely makes the case for ALWAYS being alert.. and maybe some pepper spray wouldn’t hurt, either.