A Close Call

Being on the road has it’s ups and downs. If you are traveling by yourself, the road can be bliss – you, your thoughts, and God share the driver’s seat as nature surrounds you on the open road. My advice is to never let your guard down, however. If it wasn’t for God having my back, things could have turned out differently in a state that will remain unnamed.

It was about 6 or 7pm, and I was finishing up a long day’s work. I pulled over to do some work on my computer, and soon enough I heard a bang on my door. I looked up to see two guys standing near my car. I cracked my window just enough to hear them, and they politely asked if I was okay.  I responded that I was fine, guessing that they were just making sure my vehicle wasn’t disabled. This wasn’t out of the ordinary, and I assumed they would just walk away.

However, their questions continued: “Where are you from? What are you doing out here? Why are you stopped here?” I was getting a little fed up. I don’t see any police badges, I thought. What business is it of yours anyway?

One of the men began to get a little more aggressive, as the other one backed away some. They were both solid white men, at least 6 feet tall. I began to get a little uneasy, being a black man in an area where my people account for a very small percentage of the population.

After I told them what I was working on, and why I was in the area, the more aggressive man said: “Well today is a bad day for you to be in town.” I was hoping he was joking, but in case he wasn’t I planned an escape route, and put my car in drive. My foot still on the break, as the other man was near the front of my car.

After that, the man said calmly. “I am going to need for you to get out of the car.” Did he think I was that stupid? I shrugged off the request and rolled my window up, and began to put the car in drive. Luckily, the other man didn’t try to get in the way, and I begin to pull away. As I pulled off, the lead guy tried to open my door, so I sped up, getting back onto the highway with just enough speed to keep pace with the huge 18-wheeler that slowed behind me.

Knowing now what I didn’t know then, I probably should have ventured into this neck of the woods. Apparently some hate groups tried to re-establish themselves in this area not long ago. Most of the residents resisted the hateful organization, but a few remained, and I guess I ran into a couple of them on the highway that day.