It’s become part of my “afternoon ritual” to take Ethan for a walk in our complex. Usually, I put him in his pram (which he still loves to take walks in) and we just walk to the gate and back. Ethan is semi-obsessed with aeroplanes so points them out at every chance he gets. He’s also at a stage where he likes to wave at people, so if anybody’s walking pass or driving into or out of the complex, he’ll wave even if the person doesn’t say anything or wave at him.
On Saturday, we were alone at home as Angelo was out, so I took him for a walk to the gate and back. As we neared the gate, I saw an old man walking toward us. Now it’s not the first time I’ve seen this man – in fact, he’s often sitting around chatting to the security guard on duty or just walking around in the complex but it’s the first time that I’ve actually walked past him. Now let me just say that he’s a neatly dressed, well groomed man so there’s nothing in his appearance that’s strange but as we neared him, I just got this creepy feeling. I can’t explain exactly what it felt like and really, he did nothing – in fact, he walked past us without even looking up or greeting – but he just gave me shivers up my spine! We turned at the gate, our usual path, and walked past him on the way back to the house. Dude then looked up as we passed and said hello. So I politely told Ethan to wave to the man as I would normally do when we walk past somebody who says hello or waves as I’m teaching him to understand how to greet people and to be friendly. Ethan looked in his direction and quickly turned the other way without even a smile or wave. He then said to me (the dude, not Ethan!) that looking at Ethan reminds him of his little boy in Durban to which I just replied – ah shame – without even asking him to elaborate further for fear of having to stop and chat to him. I then picked up the pace, constantly checking behind me that he wasn’t following us, and locked the front gate to our yard, the security gate and the front door immediately!
Yesterday, I took Ethan out for a walk again and the same man drove into the complex in one of those delivery vans with the open backs. As soon as he saw us, he started waving and shouting “hello boy, how are you doing”. Again, I got a very creepy feeling the moment he slowed down.
I wonder if my instincts are right or if I’m just over reacting? One thing I know for certain is that I will be staying far far away from that man because I’d rather be safe than sorry!