January 26

by silvershoes   Mar 11, 2022

He held a gun to my head and I saw the humanity in his eyes as they locked into mine
so I forgave him as soon as he lowered the pistol and jogged away with my purse.

I was rattled but maybe he was too,
and I don’t know what it takes for a life to lead up to robbing someone at gunpoint,
but it can’t be good.
I don’t envy him.
He can have my purse that was a gift from my sister.
He can have my wallet that I’ve held onto for way too long.
My crappy phone with all its pictures of my dead cat that I forgot to save anywhere else.
My keys. Even the stupid white cat shaped house key that reminds me of Rudy.
My lipstick. My Southwest Airlines drink tickets.
He can have those things because they’re just things.
I’ll never be in a position in my life where I feel the best option for me
is to hold a woman at gunpoint so she’ll hand over her purse and whatever’s inside.

I didn’t have cash.
I cancelled my cards immediately.
What good is a $400 key fob without the car?
It was an iPhone 7 and Apple was already on iPhone 11.
Not much worth.
Not what my life is worth.
He let me keep that, and I felt thankful to him.
Is this Stockholm syndrome?

The police contacted me later.
There’s been an arrest.
He had your things, but we can’t return them to you.
So now the police have my things, not me, not him. The police.
Is that somehow better?
Maybe. I don’t think the police will use my things to hurt me, though I’ve heard stories.

Anyway, the photo lineup.
Yes, I recognized him immediately.
But then I second guessed.
I know how these things work, and by these things, I mean memory.
Memory is fickle and tells lies that are easy to believe.
I said I was unsure, which is true, but now I find his picture sprinkled across news sites, and I know.
It’s him.

He was arrested the same day he robbed me.
Less than 24 hours later.
He was arrested after robbing another woman and sexually assaulting her.
It wasn’t his first time sexually assaulting someone.
There were more reports.

Now I know that human moment we shared in which I thought he was looking at me,
apologizing with his wide, young eyes,
I know he was looking at me, deciding whether to make me go with him.
Deciding whether to hurt me in a way I might not recover from.
Once again I’m thankful to him that he didn’t.
I hate myself for being thankful to him, but I can’t help it.


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Latest Comments

  • 2 years ago

    by Michael

    Hi Jane.

    A brave piece of writing, and thank you for sharing. Such an ordeal for you and no doubt leaves a scar of such a frightening time.

    It makes me feel sad, again about humanity. I hope you will get through this, sending my thoughts and love, along with peace.

    M :)

  • 2 years ago

    by Poet on the Piano

    Just leaving a note to say I don't know how I would have felt if this happened to me, and everything one would have to process after. I can't imagine the fear, then identifying him, then learning about the kind of person he is. The point about seeing his humanity then reflecting on what that moment shared was later... so many tough emotions in this. I'm not sure if it brought any catharsis to write about, or if was harder to put words something traumatic, but offering you all the support in the world <3

  • 2 years ago

    by Star

    This world is messed up. I dont know what to say, I wish I did! and I can’t imagine how it felt! You’re strong and amazing and I’m glad you’re fine.

    I hope someone nominates this.

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