I was staring at the back of this car when I noticed this van pull up in the slow lane and stopped right beside it. Thinking that was odd, I glanced up at the van. The man in the van popped his head out of his driver’s side window and began screaming. The type of screaming where your whole face turns red and the veins in your forehead pop out. He wasn’t just screaming, he was cursing; words that ought not to be said not only that early in the day but at any time of the day.
Whatever the car in front of me did, it must have been bad. When I glanced at him, I thought he would fall right out of his window. It was then I realized, he wasn’t yelling at the car in front of me; but at me.
He yelled at me for quite some time before he sped off. The thought did cross my mind to roll my window down and ask what was wrong, what had I done to make him so mad; because I didn’t have a clue, I had never even seen this man before. But in the end, I didn’t. I probably wouldn’t have gotten a word in edge wise anyway, the way he was screaming and carrying on.
I pulled into the bank, a little startled. I had never had someone yell at me like that. I was trying to play out in my head what I could have done to this man, when things escalated—quickly. My car was already turned off when I heard this man screaming again. I looked up to see him and his van the next road over from the bank, headed towards a little subdivision. He had stopped his car completely and now had his head sticking out of the passenger side window, screaming. I was called a lot of names and threatened. But he never once told me what I had done.
I was still a teen, I was short, small, and basically defenseless. I thought about driving away but I was afraid he’d follow me. So, my next logical option was to run into the bank and ask for help.
Just to clarify, I didn’t go running into the bank, screaming for help. That felt like a bad idea too. I shot across the parking lot and bolted into the bank as fast as I could without looking suspicious. Some of the people in the bank knew me from over the years.
I went to the first teller I could find and blurted out, “I need to make a deposit and I need a security guard.”
Apparently making that deposit was more important than my safety.
The teller’s eyebrows furrowed, “Why do you need a security guard?”
“There’s a man outside yelling at me,” I told her, “I don’t know what I did but he’s really mad.”
I’m here to tell you right now, banks don’t play when it comes to security or threats; at least this bank didn’t.
“We don’t have a security guard,” the teller began.
I felt my heart sink, I was going to have to go outside and face this guy by myself. I saw her look over me then.
“But it’s okay,” she told me, “Tonya’s husband is here. He’ll walk you out.”
She pointed me to Tonya’s office, motioning me to go there. I followed her direction, all while in the back of my mind I was thinking, that’s not going to help me! I need a guard with a gun or mace!
“Tonya,” the teller yelled over me, “Send Jim out, some guys outside yelling at this girl.”
I wanted to throw up. A security guard was my last hope, or at least that’s what I thought, until Jim stood up. I stopped dead in my tracks.
The best way I could describe Jim, was ‘a good ol’ boy.” If you’re from the south, you know what I mean. He was a large fellow, the kind that would hold the door open for a lady and knock the front teeth out of a man that dared raise a hand to one. Six foot something, easily 250-300 pounds, full beard, and an air about him that said, someone just screwed up—royally.
That’ll do sir, that will do.
“What’s going on,” Jim asked.
The teller filled him in while Tonya looked out the front door.
“I just need someone to walk me to my car,” I pleaded.
I didn’t actually want anyone to fight, that gave me anxiety just thinking about it.
“Alright honey, let’s go,” he told me.
“I don’t know if he’s still out there or not,” I warned him.
“That’s alright, if he is, we’ll take him to breakfast.”
We? I suddenly wasn’t that hungry.
Besides, this is your kitchen dude, not mine. Fair warning, when it comes time to cook this ‘breakfast’ I won’t be much help in this particular kitchen. The best I can do is scream for Tonya.
He walked out first, I followed behind him. He looked to the right and then the left.
“I don’t see him,” he said, he almost sounded disappointed.
I glanced around the parking lot and to my pleasant surprise, he was gone.
“I don’t see him either.”
Jim made a disappointed clicking sound with his mouth, resting his hands on his hips, scanning the parking lot again. I suppose he thought his morning was about to pick up.
“Well, go ahead and get in your car. I don’t see him.”
“Thank you,” I called as I dove into my car and started it up.
Now, I’m not sure if that man left right after I went into the bank or left when he saw Jim coming; maybe he was hiding in the bushes and then thought better of it when Jim walked me to my car. I don’t know. All I can say is, I thank God for Jim and his ability to whip up a mean breakfast if needed.