The timeline on this event is fuzzy. I do know it was in the spring or fall, for there was no snow on the ground that I remember. Or if it was the winter, we had very little snow. I also place the year around 1980. I would've been seven or eight. But I could've been nine or ten, depending on the actual year.
I grew up in a small town in northwestern Minnesota. And yes I walked to school. Even in sub-zero temperatures, I walked.
Before you ask, no it was not uphill, both ways. Thanks for asking.
I was heading to school, which made it about a quarter to eight. I do remember the exact spot where I was that this event occurred.
A dark van pulled up next to me. It was one of those typical 70's vans with plush carpet on the inside and there were no side windows. The side door opened. Obviously, there was the driver, a front passenger, and one other passenger in the back.
There was at least one female inside, but my recollection is fuzzy when it comes to where she was seated: either in the front passenger or the back.
They asked if I wanted to ride to school. Now, these were the days of the "Stranger Danger" campaign, but Stranger Danger was the last thing on my mind--if at all. I did, however, get a weird vibe.
I said, "No, thanks, I can walk."
What's weird about this event is that, on the street where I was walking, I probably knew most everyone in the neighborhood. It was 3-4 blocks from the highway, so for someone to choose this street was odd. I didn't recognize them, even though I'd place their ages in their late teens. Which would make them probably high school seniors, IF they were in school.
The one inside asked if I was sure I wanted to walk. I said I was.
Then, they shut the door and drove away.
Afterwards, I stood there, wondering which way they would turn. You see, if they turned left, they were heading toward the school. If they turned right, it would lead out of town.
The van . . . turned right.
Now, there are possibilities that these were just conscientious high school seniors looking to make good by giving a kid a ride to school. They could have had friends who lived down a street to the right.
Oddly enough, I never saw the van again. I also didn't recognize any of the occupants.
Was I almost abducted, I will never know.
But I will always wonder . . .