A Hot Afternoon
It seemed like just another summer afternoon with not much to do; so Sally decided to go on a shopping trip. Usually, it was her 21-year-old granddaughter who did it, but she was sick that day.
It was a beautiful day, and Sally had found everything she needed in the store. But then she saw him walking towards her. That’s when she knew she had to do something: she decided to confront him.
Moving To Oklahoma
Sally and her husband had lived in Tulsa, Oklahoma, for years now. They had a house in the suburbs, and that’s where they had raised their children, who now had kids on their own.
The whole family was the very image of perfection. Their lives had gone on unperturbed, as peaceful as they could be. But suddenly, one day something happened that made their lives take a wild turn.
Like a lot of women, especially at her age, Sally was scared to walk the streets by herself. She’d heard plenty of horror stories about what could happen to women who ventured into neighborhoods they didn’t know all alone, and she was afraid of something like that happening to her.
Even though hers was a safe neighborhood and Tulsa is a calm city, she always tried to have someone with her every time she left the house. But that day was different.
Sally close to turning eighty when she first dared leaving the house on her own. For some time now, she had been living with her granddaughter Skyler, who moved in with her after Sally’s husband deceased.
All of Sally’s kids, among which was Skyler’s dad, lived in California. Sally missed them sometimes, but Skyler was the best companion she could have ever asked for. However, things wouldn’t be so good forever.
A Scary Situation To Be In
One summer Monday, Skyler became sick with a really bad cold. She’d been taking care of Sally for about three years; she’d never fallen sick in that whole time, so this meant a disruption in the usual order of things.
For instance, Sally couldn’t ask her to run errands for her in that state. Sally hadn’t driven for years; so if she wanted to get somewhere and Skyler wasn’t there to give her a lift, she’d have to use public transport.
Needing To Go Out
When Sally first realized that she’d probably have to walk the streets on her own for the first time in a really long time, she got really worried. Her neighborhood was safe, that’s true. But there was a problem.
Other neighborhoods weren’t as safe as hers. Besides, she couldn’t really know what dangers may be creeping out on the streets. And that wasn’t all; there was something else.
A Sad Reality
Sally had been in the world for 80 long years; and if there was something she knew for certain was that crime rates had increased all over the nation. The world was a more dangerous place now than it was when she was young.
While Sally took care of her sick granddaughter, she was keeping an eye on what was in the fridge, praying that she wouldn’t need to go to the grocery store on her own. She couldn’t imagine a scarier scenario.
Facing Her Fear
And that morning, it finally happened. They had almost ran out of food and Skyler needed some medicine, which meant that Sally would need to venture into those streets to get what they needed.
When Sally woke up, Skyler was coughing and in a really bad state. Her fever was worse than ever, and the girl couldn’t even bring herself to eat anything solid. Sally had to go to the pharmacy, and there was no way around it.
A Taxi Drive
To make things worse, the closest pharmacy was quite far away; to be specific, it was in the city’s outskirts. Sally decided that she would just call a taxi to drive her over there.
She arrived at the pharmacy without any problems. She got the medicine and then decided to get some food from the grocery store down the corner. Little did she know that this decision would change her life in a major way.
Sally got everything she needed and got out of the store as fas as she could. But she found something appalling: the taxi she’d come with was no longer there, probably because it had picked another client.
Her heart was racing as she walked towards the bus stop near the parking lot. But as she carried her bags, which weren’t too light, she suddenly saw a man walking towards her.
A Chilling Sight
He was taller than most men Sally had met in her long life, and his eyes glinted ominously under the burning sun. His lips curled, but that didn’t stop her pounding heart from dropping to her feet.
Sally’s first response was to run away, but what good would that have done? She could barely walk a mile without needing to take a breather. She turned fully to meet her fate, praying everything she’d feared since she was young was wrong.
Sally gulped air as the man stopped before her. He was even taller up close, but there was no malice in his eyes or the earnest smile he flashed at her.
He was also dressed in green fatigues that seemed to hint that he was a military airman. Sally took a deep breath, knowing she had to face this ordeal once and for all. What the man asked her would leave her speechless.
“Do you need help with your groceries, ma-am?” the man asked confidently as his smile widened. “I’m Ishmael,” he introduced himself, taking his airman cap off.
“Sally,” Sally stammered. Her heart was calming down by itself, and slowly, the dread that had built up within her was dissipating. What was happening?
Was She Wrong About Him?
The man grabbed her groceries, surprising her when he effortlessly carried them in one hand. “I just came from a flight,” he said. “And I am drained. But I would be honored to drive you home, ma’am.”
He locked eyes with Sally again, his smile still holding fast. “I won’t take no for an answer,” he added, and Sally found herself nodding at his offer. “I would love a ride home, Ishmael,” she said.
An Experience Like No Other
The drive home was unlike many Sally had experienced. Ishmael told her that Oklahoma wouldn’t be what it was today without people like her. When they got home, he helped her carry everything into the house.
He even spent a few minutes with Skyler, telling her how she had the best grandma. Sally later found out that someone had recorded them in the parking lot, and their story was trending. She couldn’t care less about that but was glad that she’d had such an eye-opening experience by facing her fear.