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Stranger than Fiction | Matt Kriese

Photo Credit: Bobby Jones

I have never felt unsafe on this campus; on the contrary, I have always experienced a sense of community and comradely here. That’s why I keep coming back. Except, of course, for one fateful night in the dead of winter. On this night, I experienced perhaps the single most jarring moment of my entire life.

While taking the last train from Mineral station, I noticed a man follow me closely to my seat. The act of following me to my seat is not in and of itself strange, save for the fact that we were the only two people on the train.

Once the train began to move, he began to speak loudly to himself, seemingly losing the argument. I tried to not pay attention to him. At the first stop along the way, as the doors opened, he immediately stopped his dialogue and stared directly at me. As I remained seated and the doors closed, he began again. I grew more and more frightened of him.

Once I got to my stop, I let the doors stay open for a moment. I felt him staring at me, his silence far louder than any words he said prior. As I heard the doors beginning to close I sprinted out of the train as fast as I could. There was no way he could’ve followed me out.

That is until I looked behind me as the sound of his jogging grew ever more prominent. I began to run. I ran through historic Ninth Street and hung a left in between the houses. I looked behind me. A syringe brandished in his hand. I ran harder. He did too.

I ran all the way to Campus Village and prayed the doors would lock. He ran up to the door just as it sealed. He saw me in the lobby, safe. He wanted blood. He ran away into the night.

I really have had a difficult time accepting the argument that there aren’t dangerous events that happen on commuter campuses. There are days I think of where I would be now if that night had gone differently.

Since then, I don’t take my chances here at night.

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