Apr 17, 2010

Angels protecting me...

It was raining as I stepped out of Piscataway Library that evening - the year was 2004. I was in between jobs then and was running errands before picking up kids...

As I tried to reverse my silver Honda Accord, I exchanged pleasantries with this frail, old man. He got closer to the car and started asking me something... I stopped, rolled down the windows to listen to him. He asked for a ride to his home nearby. I told him I was very bad with directions, and couldn't spare any time as I was on the way to pick up kids. He convinced me his house was very close to the library and he came walking to collect his mail and since it was raining he couldn't walk back...

I thought for a moment, sensed there was no harm, and opened the passenger side door for him... He directed me to his home - he was supposedly a retired professor from Rutgers, originally from India, both him and his wife taught at the university, wife is no more, no children, etc.

When we reached there he insisted I come in so that he could show me his wife's picture... I tried to explain again I didn't have much time on hand, he insisted. I thought I will be in and out quickly and went in with him... He latched the door! Now I was begining to be very uneasy... and started praying and tried to be cheerful etc.

All windows were shut so it was not very bright inside. His house was full of garbage bags and stuff. I asked him what was in it, and he said he was moving in from Jersey city vacating his home there... I asked him how long he had been vacating and he said, "7 years"! All the rooms were filled with mail, magazines, milk cans, news papers, ect. Now I got convinced something was not right about him...

When I asked him what subject he taught, he said, "Ceramic Engineering" and showed a cup and saucer claiming he made it by his hand... clearly it did not look like a hand made item and it very much looked like store bought ones...

I got more restless now and began to open the door, he insisted I see his wife's picture... Now that the door was open I was once again calm and felt it was okay to stay a little longer to look at the picture... He took me inside to another room and showed this small 5x7 framed black & white group picture - a lady in saree in the front row. He claimed she was his wife.

Though part of me warned me to run; the other part of me felt very sorry for him. I wanted him to meet new people and so invited him to our weekly Tamil worship service, gave him our phone number so he could call anytime he needed help and before leaving I wanted to pray with him...

We stood in the kitchen and I was about to close my eyes for prayer when I saw a huge knife on the kitchen table... My heart almost stopped, I rushed through my prayer (honestly I was just mumbling... ) with open eyes and hopped out to leave...

I said I really had to leave as I had to go to store before picking up the kids - actually I didn't have to go to the store - I just said that to hurry my departure... With very pathetic look he said he also needed to go to the store as he didn't have milk at home and he wanted to come with me...

Reluctantly I drove him to the store, he bought a few stuff he needed, paid with some voucher (not cash) and asked me to drive him back home... When we reached his house again he begged me to come in, but this time I refused and rushed back to school and then got back home! I had spent a full 3 hours with him!!

There were dozens of voice messages from Israel whose tone had increasingly become nervous with each message... When I called him to tell what had really happend he was MAD!! He said something rude like, "Are you gone off your mind or what?!" or something like that and hung up...

That evening he got home with a brand new cell phone for me and sat me down to explain it was very STUPID of me to have done what I did and asked me to NEVER trust strangers like that and to be VERY careful and wise going forward... He was shaken honestly...

Slowly it made sense to me why it was really a miracle I escaped in one piece... I am sure there were invisible angels protecting me that evening... All the prayers of my parents and grand parents had worked out that miracle! He could have been a good person but what if he was not! What if he had a crazy son or someone at home?! It would have been a very dangerous place to be after all...

Before that day when I learnt from TV about something horrible happening to adults, I couldn't understand how it was even possible for a lady to be in such a situation with a total stranger. Now I understood, it could happen to anyone as long as they were too naive and ignorant like I was. That's when I realized I was not so smart as I had assumed I was... I had so much to learn, I had to grow up!

This is a true incident that happend in my life... Decided to share it with you all so that other girls like me will be more prudent when it comes to matters like this...

3 comments:

A said...

Oh man. This is scary. I always speak with strangers. In fact I speak with strangers in foreign countries on business trips. But probably I would not give ride and won't go to anyone's home.

NRIGirl said...

Friendly Hi & Bye would be of no harm I guess... Anything above and beyond could jeopardize safety...

When I shared this story with some colleagues they advised the only thing I should have done if I really felt sorry and wanted to help that man was to call the cops...

It would have never occured to me...

Black Walnut Pearl said...

OMG! That's really scary Ms. Q. I am glad that you were saved on that day!

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