The Lost Voice

smallest street

The scariest moment came, she told me, was when she was walking down the streets at night in Brooklyn Heights and she felt like she was being followed. It wasn’t unusually late, and she had walked home from the subway many times before. In her youth she didn’t notice that the 6 winding streets were so dark. All of a sudden, she heard footsteps behind her, many footsteps. The footsteps got louder and kept up to her pace, now faster. She also heard laughter and giggling. She couldn’t imagine being frightened by people who were giggling. She neared her apartment which used to be a garage attached to a family’s house, it was not a building, more like a store front. All of a sudden she felt surrounded by people, 4 or 5 girls, it seemed like, big girls, teenagers? They wanted her key, they demanded her key and she was about to give it to them. She was about to hand over her key to her small walk in studio apartment. Why? Because she had lost her voice; she couldn’t scream or kick or fight and that was the scariest part of all. Like in those nightmares when you are attacked and you can’t yell. This was real life. Out of nowhere a man’s booming voice from the garage across the street yelled. “Hey girls, what the hell are you doing” and “get lost now”.  He screamed at them as he started to come over. The teenage girls scattered, and the man across the street, broad and loud came over to her. He was, she decided, her guardian angel. He stopped something that could have gone very, very wrong. It was bad enough as it was. She was still scared.

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