Picture this. It's late at night in a major metropolitan hospital at the close of visiting hours. I've been to visit a sick friend on the ninth floor and the wing is nearly empty--the hospital is undergoing renovations. As I walk down the long hallway to the elevator, I suddenly feel like a heroine in a Kevin Williamson movie.
The hallway is dark, deserted, and the only sound is my footsteps on the linoleum floor. Most of the rooms are empty and hospital equipment is stacked in the hall, covered with plastic sheets. I am starting to feel creeped out, but blow off the feeling, telling myself I'm just tired and worried about my friend.
And yet--the feeling won't go away. A little finger of dread curls in my stomach and goose bumps sprout on my bare arms. What in the world is wrong with me? I wonder. I take a deep breath and keep on walking. I reach the elevator, push the button and the doors open immediately.
As soon as I step inside, a man darts out of the shadows, rushes in next to me, presses the "close door" button and leers at me, standing way too close. He reaches out and lays a hand on my arm. Where did he come from? And worse, what does he want?
I'm teetering on full blown panic, but I spin around with my back to the door, reach over and hit the "open door" button. Now I'm facing him and I hurl a string of expletives at him while I back out of the elevator. He seems shocked as if he didn't expect any resistance. Maybe he thought I was a "girlie-girl." Hey, I'm from New York, I don't do "girlie-girl."
I grab a passing security guard and he quickly radios down to the guard desk in the lobby. It turns out this creepoid has been lurking in the hospital for days, preying on women. They've been unable to catch him--until now.
My instincts were right on target, but I tried to ignore them. Luckily, my story had a happy ending anyway. There's a wonderful book, The Gift of Fear, by Gavin De Becker, that explains why we should *always* trust our instincts. I recommend it to my clients, and I think you might enjoy it.
Stay safe, everyone, and always, always trust your gut!