The need to stay calm for the sake of my class had worn off. I was shaking inside with anger and fear. The walls of my office were covered with teaching honors and awards. I had drawers filled with cards and thank you notes from my students. Who did this young man think he was to do this to me in my classroom in front of my students? I was livid and I was frightened. The rumor was that his brother was a military officer and that LK had been in trouble often because of his volatile hair trigger temper. Each time his brother had gotten him out of it.
I had no idea what set him off. He had refused to do a class exercise. I asked to see him after class. The next thing I knew he was out of his seat and in my face.
For two weeks security walked me to my car. Then one day the protection stopped. I was on my own.
It was a spring day.
Each morning I parked in the same space. This particular morning I noticed a van parked near my car. Its windows were blackened. You could not see inside. The reason I noticed it was because it was oversized and looked menacing.
I hesitated getting out of my car. I told myself my imagination was working overtime. I opened my car door and with my eyes never leaving the van I intended to begin walking toward the college entrance when I dropped my briefcase.
As I bent down to pick it up, I remember the sound of a sliding door opening. I was grabbed from behind. I tried to scream but the foul smelling scent of the rag stuffed into my mouth stifled my sound and weakened me. I kicked but was overcome and pushed inside the van by two who were much stronger than me. That is all I can remember.
When I woke, my head was pounding. I was blindfolded and could not see. I was parched and as I ran my tongue over the side of my mouth, I tasted something salty. I realized it was dried blood. I started to hyperventilate. The room smelled musty. I could hear outside ambulance sirens and car horns. Otherwise the place I was in seemed silent.
I started to cry. I knew who did this.
Suddenly I heard footsteps.
“Hey, bitch. You knew we would have this date. You wasn’t gonna win, Prof. No way. You have to learn your place, woman. You have to learn that I am the man and you must respect me. Stop your crying, bitch.”
His words made me strong. Suddenly all I could feel was rage.
“ LK, take this blindfold off of me. Are you afraid for me to see you?”