It was Tuesday evening, my day to work late. I was one of the last people in the building and I left the office alone. The security guard had offered to walk me to my car, but being of the male gender I cheerfully insisted there was no need for that. With the setting of the sun a fog had crept into the city. Although it is generally a shelter from the weather, the entrances and sides of the parking garage are open. Tonight the fog seemed to be slithering into the garage of it’s own volition, like a snake extending it’s tongue to sniff for prey. By 7 pm the dimly lit parking garage was virtually empty. If ever there was a place where something bad could happen without anyone else noticing, this was that place. My footsteps echoed off of the concrete walls. The entire level where I had parked was empty with one exception. There was one car besides mine. It was parked immediately next to mine. In the dimly lit atmosphere the car next to mine appeared perfectly ordinary and perfectly empty. The night, the fog, and the empty garage had all joined forces to create an atmosphere that had me on edge. I took out my keys and hastily shoved them in the lock. Fortunately I had no slasher movie tremors or fumbling to prevent me from quickly gaining the safety of my car and locking the doors.
The engine roared to life easily and I quickly navigated the angular corkscrew path that was necessary to exit the building. The ride home began uneventfully enough, although it was quite eerie to cross the elevated bridge over the river in this fog. With everything around me obscured by the fog and the cars ahead of me disappearing into the mist it appeared as if the bridge was suspended in the middle of nothingness. Needless to say however I crossed the bridge without incident and contiued my normal commute home on the expressway. About two miles from my exit I pulled into the right lane, content to coast along without urgency. I was behind another car that was going just a little slower than I would have preferred, but being relatively close to my exit I didn’t bother to pass. Then I noticed a car had pulled in behind me and flashed his highbeams. At first I thought it might just be a momentary flash, or an impatient driver indicating his desire for us to speed up. Then he flashed the high beems again. I ignored this, figuring that he’d pass eventually if he was in such a hurry. The flash from behind filled my rear view mirror yet again, and yet he remained firmly behind me despite my leisurely pace. With the glare of the headlights obscuring my view I couldn’t see the driver or determine the make and model of the car.
Finally I arrived at my exit, signaled to leave the expressway, and noticed that Mr. Highbeam had done the same. There are two lanes that turn left off the exit ramp and as usual I chose the furthest right, hoping Mr. Highbeam might choose the left and pass me. He didn’t. As I steered my car into the right lane he did the same a moment after me, despite the fact that the lane on the left was shorter, giving him the chance to pass me, whom he had found so maddeningly slow on the expressway. The light at the top of the exit ramp was red. I waited patiently, but now with a growing feeling of nervousness. The fog was a little less dense out here, but still creepy when I was sure I was being followed. I had to be imagining that he was following me. A few identical turns didn’t mean anything. He might just live in the direction I was going right? The light turned green and I intentionally went a little slower, hoping that Mr, Highbeam would choose to pass me. He didn’t. Now I was sure I was being stalked. I began to run through scenarios in my mind. I could pass my street continuing around a few other streets until I reached the nearest police station. I could pull into the next well lit gas station to see what he would do. I could turn onto my street and then race unpredictably through the labrynthine suburban avenues hoping to lose him. One thing was certain. I didn’t want to lead this nutjob straight to my house.
As my street approached I decided to continue past it. I would turn right at the next light. I watched in my rear view mirror as I signaled for the right turn. My pursuer did the same. This was insane. Why was he dogging me? Who was this? There were two lanes. The one on the right merged into the other in about 50 yards. I took the right lane, and to my surprise my pursuer swung wide and was forced to pass me. It was a gray Jeep Cherokee with tinted windows. I couldn’t make out the gender or identity of the shadow at the wheel. I slowed down. It was possible he intended to stop, blocking my way somewhere. The other, north entrance to my street was ahead. The Jeep continued ahead of me at a steady pace. He passed the entrance to my street and at the last moment before I approached my street I signaled for my turn. Literally a split second after I signaled I saw his breaklights flash and he signaled to turn into the plaza just past my street. I gunned my engine, hoping to get far enough into my neighborhood that he would have no hope of catching up, or even of finding my car in the driveway. I continued to drive the twists and turns as if I were in an Indy race. One eye always on the rear view mirror. I arrived home safely and rushed into the house. I cautiously peered out the window, waiting to see the Jeep come trolling along slowly.
As far as I know I lost him. Nothing strange has happened since and I haven’t been followed home from work, that I know of. BTW, do you enjoy these kind of stories, or is it just a bunch of insipid self-indulgent drivel that bores everyone?