I don't talk about this very much, but around this time of year it bothers me. So I will today.
I like running in the morning, but not alone. And not outside.
Which is kind of sad, because I hate running inside. I hate that I've been on my treadmill the past 2 weeks, when it's perfectly nice outside. I hate that I've been riding on my trainer, with a fan pointed on me, when it's a gorgeous morning outside. Sometimes I'll let it slip, that I've been in my basement already, when it's just September, and people ask me why. And I say because I don't want to risk a flat at o'dark thirty and be late for work. Which, is kind of true.
But that's not the real reason.
When I'm alone, anywhere, but especially in the morning for some reason, it bothers me more. I don't feel safe. Which is often silly, as I live in a very safe neighborhood. Nothing ever happens here, right? Except that's what everyone said before it happened.
A jogger found her. In the morning. Someone jogging, alone, found her. I know, it's silly...it wasn't completely a random thing. I shouldn't be worried 20 years later. She was targeted, he had contacted her before, she was only 10 and she fell for the oldest line in the book, blah, blah, blah. But for some reason, around this time of year, I remember it again, and it bothers me.
I just remember that day, the day the principal came in to tell us they found her, because her brother was in my grade--what we all sort of knew but didn't want to hear--and that it was a jogger. In the morning.
My close friends will tell you I'm skiddish alone, and in the dark. I drove a few of my friends and housemates nuts in college, constantly nagging them to lock the doors, lock the doors, all the time hearing "but nothing ever happens here...."
It's just very sad, because, well, we're going on twenty years here. And a small part of me feels like I have almost twenty years of fear that I wouldn't have had otherwise. And, of course, anger. Because she would have turned 30 later this year.
Anger that he's still out there, as far as we know.
So, unless someone wants to join me, I'll be in the basement a lot here for a while. I'll miss some great sunrises, and maybe someday I will be able to be a jogger in the morning.
But not right now.