The story continues…I’m outside of Top Value trying to sell my chocolates.
For a time the man in white left me alone as I ran up to people to ask them if they were interested in the chocolates, but I was starting to do worse than before, not getting a single sale. That’s when the man approached again.
“It’s hard, isn’t it?” he said. “You know, I used to sale so many chocolates, about four boxes.”
This interested me. I was just a child and if I sold the first box I could get a second and maybe win if I sold at least three or four. So, I looked at him and asked, “how?”
He smiled at me again. “I had one really good customer that I would sell to. She would by whole boxes from me.”
To a kid, that sounded incredible.
“I would go to her house whenever I was selling and knock on her door. She would let me in and buy the whole box,” he said, continuing. “She gave me the money but only wanted one thing in return for the whole box.”
“What did she want?”
He gave his creepy little smile again and lowered his voice, leaning down and closer to me. I could feel something was off about him.
“She asked if I would let her touch. You know, down there.”
I knew that was a bad place for adults to touch. I immediately felt uncomfortable. But he just stared at me, awkwardly. I almost didn’t know what to say.
“…Did you let her?” I asked.
The man in white nodded and smiled.
“I let her touch me and do all sorts of things. It wasn’t scary at all.”
I swallowed. My mouth felt dried. He lowered his voice more, so low, I knew only I could hear him.
“We did adult things,” he said. “But, i’m sorry, I lied. I was a bit scared but she was so nice that I realized it wasn’t scary at all.”
I kept looking forward, trying to ignore him but he moved closer to me.
“It felt nice actually,” he said. “Do you know how adults like to play?”
I wanted to run away. I was clenching the box of chocolates in my hands, too freaked out to move. I also didn’t want him to follow me or find out where I lived. I forgot about the people leaving the store. It felt like only he and I were the only two outside that store because of how people ignored us in that small moment. I felt completely alone with the strange man and he knew it as well.
“I have a lot of money,” he said. “Would you like me to buy your box of chocolates?”
I felt ice run down my back. I was an intelligent kid. I knew exactly what he meant, even at that age. But he was an adult, he was taller and stronger. Would he take no for an answer?
“Umm it’s okay, my parents will sell the rest if I don’t so…”
“Nonsense. I can help,” he said. “I don’t live far from here. Right through that ally over there. Let me help you.”
I didn’t know what to say. I guess I could have screamed or ran, but I was a brave kid and I didn’t want to looked scared. At that age, I was surprisingly paranoid and clever. I acted as though I wasn’t afraid and tried to appear confident. My dad had always told me predators could smell someone weak, like a lion hunting gazelle. I didn’t want to be this guy’s next meal.
“I have to get back to my uncle’s house now. My father, my uncle, and my cousins are all there. We are staying with them for now and they are waiting for me.”
My uncle and cousins lived next door but they weren’t waiting on me. Neither were we staying with them and I figured that if he saw me walk off in a direction, he would either follow or assume where I lived. I needed something to dissuade him.
“My uncle and cousins can be scary and strict, so I should get home by curfew,” I said. “They can be nice sometimes too. They play football and I sometimes get to play with them…” I was rambling now. I looked at the man and he seemed skeptical.
“Where do you live?” he asked.
I pointed towards the far East but I lived to the South West.
“I’m just staying with my uncle for now so I’m not going that way.”
The man stopped smiling. Instead, he looked annoyed. He could tell I wouldn’t change my mind.
“You can stay just a little bit longer. I’ll buy your chocolates,” he said, taking a few steps forward, as if he was going to go right that moment. he motioned for me to follow.
I shook my head.
“If I stay, my uncle and cousins will come here to get me and they’ll be angry at you for keeping me here too long,” I said.
The man stared at me with his dark eyes. Finally, after a long moment of silence, he nodded.
“Then maybe you should get home.”
I felt like my limbs were frozen, but I quickly turned away and walked briskly towards home, glancing back to make sure he wasn’t following me. I never told my parents about what happened, I was afraid they wouldn’t let me go out by myself if I did. But whoever that man was, he was a predator in disguise. I never forgot that man and I never saw him again.