Anthony, at age 13, didn't have the luxury to just do anything he wanted. He still had to ask permission, or depend on his mom to take him places. So, on this Monday evening he found himself stuck at home, with nothing to do.
"Hey, Mom!" he hollered across the room. "How about some pizza and a movie?"
Ten minutes later, they were in the car traveling south to a favorite pizza joint to pick up their evening meal, and then a movie.
As Anthony and his mom were walking back to the car through the congestion of parked cars, hot pizza in hand, Anthony noticed a dark figure behind them.
"Mom, don't look back," he whispered, "but I think someone is following us. His mom tried to act nonchalant when she stopped to look at her phone, turning sideways so she could see the person. The dark figure was back a few aisles but did seem to be gaining on them, intent on catching up.
"Go! To the car now!" she said firmly, harshly, under her breath.
After securing themselves inside the car, Anthony's mom turned the key to rev up the engine.
"Oh, seriously! Not now!" she sounded panicked. "Crap. I knew I should have had this fixed the first time it happened!" The barrel where the car's key was shoved in, the ignition, had loosened, causing the key to continuously spin, rather than ignite life into the vehicle.
Just then, there was a pound on her car window. She looked up to see the dark figure standing there, staring at her. For a second, she was unable to move, frozen to her seat. And then a scream shot from her throat. Anthony's eyes rounded, and he stared forward, not sure what to do. The dark figure pounded on the window again, reaching out his hand. He was holding something.
"You forgot your ranch dressing for the pizza!" he yelled.
Anthony's mom slowly rolled down the window. "Oh, thanks," she said, feeling like an idiot.