When I was sixteen I was hanging out with a friend, Vanessa, in a nice area city surrounding Salt Lake City. Despite us being an hour away from downtown it’s still dangerous and I’m a paranoid girl so I’m always aware of what’s around me.

Vanessa was one of the first to get her drivers license and her parents gave her an old car when she passed the test. It was summer so she was driving me home pretty late, maybe 11 o’clock. We were having fun, slipping our coffees and feeling like badasses since we were both raised Mormon. Just four turns away from my house I noticed a white truck had been behind us for awhile.

Vanessa is a 4 foot something cute little redhead who’s innocent as she is short so I decided not to tell her of my growing suspicion of the white truck. I was often wrong about this stuff since as I said I’m paranoid of everything. We took a few more turns and I began to feel a little more worried as we got closer to my house and the truck was still behind us.

We came up to the last light before my street, we had to take a left turn and the light had two left turn lanes. We stopped in the right most left turn lane and the white van started pulling into the left most.

For a moment I felt relief, that lane meant the driver would end up in front of us, so that meant they weren’t following us, right? Wrong, very very wrong.

As the truck pulled up next to us a light flashed and I jerked my head over to see the driver was taking photos of us!

His face was obscured by the phone he took the photos with but I could tell it was a man, scrawny and with a beard. He stopped after just a second and pulled forward enough that we couldn’t see him.

Now I finally stopped Vanessa in whatever she was telling me to explain to her that we may be in a dangerous situation. Somehow she hadn’t noticed anything with this white truck before I told her.

Instantly she was terrified, freaking out and asking me “why would someone take photos of us?!” But I felt ridiculously calm. It’s important to note here that my mom was raised in south L.A. she was a 19 year old living by herself in the area the Hillside Strangers were killing. She had escaped many close kidnappings. At this moment I felt like every safety precaution she had shoved down my throat growing up just prepared me for this moment.

I instructed Vanessa to be calm, drive normally and DO NOT turn down my street.

The light seemed like it was red forever. When it finally changed we turned, and just like I thought the white truck ended up in front of us when the lanes merged right after the light.

Again for a moment I relaxed a bit, but not too much. This road had zero lights, it was dark and several blocks of it had no buildings at all. If he suddenly slammed on his brakes we were fucked.

In the end I didn’t have to worry about that, the moment the middle turning lane opened up he pulled into it and stopped, waiting for us to pass. As we passed he took more photos of us. Then pulled back into the road to follow behind us. 

By now Vanessa was near crying, she had no idea what to do. Again in the calmest voice I could muster I instructed her to drive passed my house and down the road. He was right up against our bumper now, his brights on, virtually blinding us.

Sadly at this point in my life either of us had a smart phone and I didn’t know where the closest police dispatch was, and for some reason I didn’t think this was serious enough to call 911. Luckily for us I did know that because people regularly sped on this road a police car was almost always parked at the gas station at the end of the road.

At this point I was panicking a bit as well and I just wanted the entire situation to be over. So I told her to hit the gas and get to the gas station as soon as she could.

There was a moment as we flew down the street with this creep on our ass that I feared the police car wouldn’t be there this night, I could only hope and luckily that hope won out.

The police car flashed its lights the moment the cop spotted us and the truck driver continued on passed us, speeding up as it turned out of sight.

I explained over Vanessa’s crying what happened and unfortunately I wasn’t as prepared for the situation as I thought because I didn’t even think to get his license plate number. The officer was sympathetic to us and offered to escort us back to my house. Once we got there he took our statements and informed us that nothing will come of it since neither of us thought to get details of the truck or the license.

The officer escorted Vanessa back to her home as well. 

So creepy truck camera man, I don’t know what you had planned for us, or why you took our photos but I’m so glad You never got the chance to find out where Vanessa and I live. 
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