I’m frightened and furious, and it’s only 7:30 on a Tuesday morning.
The white SUV is parked cock-eyed in the far corner of the parking lot when I drive up the hill to work. It’s the only other car in the lot. I pause a moment. No one else should be in the parking lot this early. Anyone working inside the school usually parks by the door; anyone working outside on the grounds generally parks near the storage sheds.
So, what is that white SUV doing all alone over there?
I have enough anxiety that I can (and do) imagine several different outcomes for everything. I explain that it helps me to prepare for a host of possible scenarios and develop a plan of action for each one. My husband says, it drives him crazy and to please stop. We have come to an understanding, I continue to prepare for a variety of disasters and he continues to complain about it.
I used to be able to shrug off the less likely scenarios, the impossible disasters, and the ridiculous potentialities. Now, however, thanks to a bunch of hysterical infants who can’t step foot from their homes without a deadly weapon aided by a gaggle of legislators who pocket bribes from the NRA, almost any of my imagined outcomes are possible. The worst-case scenario has become a weekly, and nearly daily, occurence.
The words ‘another’ and ‘school shooting’ should never have appeared in the same sentence, ever. Yet, here we are. Any self-entitled, toddler with a too easily obtained weapon could be sitting out there in that lone, white SUV., parked crooked in the parking lot. Anyone could be waiting there for my co-workers or my students to arrive. That this is more and more likely, enrages me. Why should I be put in this position of fear because too many infants need an assault rifle in order to stand up.
Even worse, someone could be sitting there, needing help but I’m afraid to walk over there, afraid to knock on the window, afraid of being shot. I am become suspicious and choked by fear. I’ve always been anxious, but never afraid for my life.
I make a quick phone call from the car. The building manager assures me there should be no other cars in the lot. I take a deep breath and call the police.