Tuesday, November 3, 2009
Be careful...
My dad really likes watching those shows like Forensic Files that show how DNA testing and the smallest details will help to solve a crime. I tend to like watching them too, but they also sort of freak me out a little.

After last night, I think that maybe it’s good that they freak me out a little. I’m convinced that watching those shows may have saved my life or, at the very least, prevented me from making an unwise decision that could have caused me some damage.

Before my CCD meeting last night, I stopped at the Exxon for gas. I knew it would make me late to the meeting, but my gas gauge was on the red, almost on the little white line that said “E,” so I was in dire need of gas. I got out of my car and went to the pump, and looking around, I’d say there were two or three other people at the other pumps when I got there.

As I began pumping, a middle-aged man came up to me and asked if I was from Pittsburgh, telling me he was from Ohio and that he had just been in a car accident with his 6-year-old and 8-year-old kids. He said that the guys in the other car were from Duquesne, but that they had left him. He kept repeating that no one from Pittsburgh would help them, and that he didn’t know what to do.

Already, the wheels in my head were turning. No way was I going to go anywhere with this guy by myself. That was a given. And I didn’t want to give him my phone since I didn’t know him. But I was willing to help, so I began to suggest that we both go in the store and see if they had a phone. As soon as I said this, he smiled.

But there was something about that smile I didn’t like. It wasn’t a true smile of relief. There was something in his eyes that made it different, like they were a bit too narrow, or his face was a bit too creased. It seemed like it had a twinge of malevolence to it, and it made me uncomfortable.

Then I remembered a story I had seen on one of my dad’s forensics shows. It told of how a girl had accepted a ride from a stranger at a gas station and was never seen again.

Remembering this story, I quickly began to retract my offer to help, saying I was in a rush (which I was) and that I had no way I could help him. I apologized, and he walked away from the gas station, somewhere down one of the side streets.

By that point, there were at least 5 or 6 people at the gas station too. While I may have been acting a bit out of paranoia, my question is this: If he were really in an accident with two small children, would he not ask the help of anyone he could find? Would he not be persistent in trying to find help when one person refused it? I can’t help feeling as if he targeted me, thinking that, as a young college woman, I would be foolish enough to trust him. I almost did. God only knows what would have happened, but I thank Him that He kept me safe and gave me the wisdom I needed to make a good decision. Just in case he was actually in trouble, I said a prayer for the man as I drove out of the gas station, and if he indeed needed help, I hope he got it. But for safety’s sake, I could not be the one to give it.

I post this to remind you to be careful. Always be on your guard, especially in this city setting. Like I said, I don’t actually know if the guy needed help, but I know that if I did go anywhere with him, even into the convenience store, I could’ve seriously endangered myself. It’s good to help others, but always watch out for yourselves.
posted by Kristin @ 9:22 AM  
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Name: Kristin
Home: Pittsburgh, PA, United States
About Me: Seeking my true Fatherland as I travel this spiritual journey with Our Lord Jesus Christ. I hope, with the help of God, to follow in the example of the saints and strive for holiness.
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