The Uninvited Guest
Isabella’s mom always warned her of stranger danger but never thought she’d live to see the day when her daughter would need to remember her words. Isabella’s short walk home felt everlasting the day someone’s shadow followed her.
With trembling knees, Isabella’s route back home seemed like the end until she got a glimpse of her special friend.
Not Your Average Wednesday
Isabella’s older brother Jack usually walks her back home from school every day. Stuck in school because of detention, rather than waiting for her brother, 18-year-old Isabella decided to walk alone on what seemed to be a regular Wednesday.
Skipping through Old Bridge Road, Isabella didn’t notice that she wasn’t alone.
The Second Shadow
Humming the new song she learned in music class, Isabella watched her shadow move as she made her way down the road. While observing her shadow, she suddenly became aware of another shadow. One that looked much taller and wider than hers.
Almost instantly, she stopped her humming and her body stiffened up, something about this didn’t feel right at all.
Coincidence or Planned
Unsure whether the shadow was following her, Isabella wanted to give it the benefit of the doubt. Turning to the side, she waited her turn to cross the street. With chills making their way down her spine, she watched as the shadow followed suit.
Isabella should’ve waited for her brother, but it was too late. She had to act fast. She had to do something. Anything.
Too Close For Comfort
Watching the shadow pick up their pace, Isabella felt the urge to take a peek. She needed to know who her follower was. She quickly whipped her head around, fast enough to realize that she had no fighting chance against the tall, built man, but not long enough to take a good look at his face.
Her heart raced as she thought of all the possible ways this could pan out.
That Shoulder Bag
Isabella had to do something to flee. Something to get herself out of this situation, but all she could think of was how she has definitely seen this man’s figure before. Looking straight ahead she realized that she recognized that shoulder bag.
Her stomach dropped as she realized who he could be. She needed to know. Even if it was the last thing she’d do.
A Good Look
With adrenaline coursing through her body, Isabella had her mind set on her next move. She took a deep but shaky breath before she took one last look. She swiftly turned her head back, confirming it was exactly who she thought it was. Exactly who she hoped it wasn’t.
It was him, Jack’s English teacher. A shiver ran up her spine.
Time Is Running Out
She always felt like something was off with Jack’s English teacher. His crooked smile made her feel sick in the stomach. Questions of why he was following her, or what he could possibly want to do with her made Isabella’s head spin.
Watching as his shadow inched closer, she desperately planned an escape route. Suddenly, she spotted something. .
Rather than slowing down, he was catching up to her. Isabella was running out of time. She then saw her house from a distance, and at the edge of her lawn, she saw her special friend stand up.
“Shaggy!” she yelled as loud as she could knowing that this was her last chance of fleeing.
Shaggy To the Rescue
With the distance between them closing, Isabella’s dog galloped towards her. Feeling guarded by her dog, she ran to her house, screaming for help. He was fast- but not as fast as Shaggy who stood tall between Isabella and him.
Alarmed by their daughter’s screams, her parents frantically ran out of the house.
Hearing Shaggy’s challenging growls, Isabella hid behind her parents who didn’t hesitate to stand up to the man following their daughter. “Mr. Phillips, what are you doing here, following our daughter back home?”
Just in time, the sound of The Prince William County Police’s sirens beamed as they appeared on the scene.
Police Join the Equation
Mr. Smith explained his actions to the big audience surrounding him, made up of Isabella, her parents, the police, and Shaggy. He was walking back home too when he recognized his student’s little sister.
Knowing that Isabella was walking all alone, he felt obliged to keep a close eye on her.
The Unspoken Truth
Jack often excused himself early from Mr. Smith’s period in order not to keep his little sister waiting. Knowing that Jack walks his little sister back home, as soon as he recognized Isabella, he decided to make sure she got home safe. In an attempt to help, he alarmed Isabella.
Intent didn’t clear many questions the County Police had for the suspicious Mr. Smith.
Better Safe Than Sorry
The police stepped in questioning him on why he did not justify his reasoning to Isabella from the start. Feeling small, Mr. Smith explained that he was trying to approach Isabella to do so from the beginning. He then felt her panic the entire way and didn’t want to make things worse as he felt that the right time to announce himself had passed.
Regardless of his intentions, Mr. Smith left a mark that would live on in Isabella’s entire neighborhood.
A Cautionary Tale
The misunderstanding was sorted out. Grateful for his actions, Isabella’s parents invited Mr. Smith over for lunch. Despite the reasoning behind his actions, the incident served as a cautionary tale for Isabella and all the kids in her area.
Even in the safest of places, it is always better to be safe than sorry, for not everyone has the purest of intentions.