Let me start off by telling you some background information.
I told you earlier that my hall is super close, and that we all get along so well. Within my hall, I have met some of the most Christ loving, joyful women and I am so blessed with their friendship everyday!
We all love to encourage each other, keep each other accountable in our individual walks with God and we've developed times to set aside and devote that time purely to talk about how our lives are going, what actions we can take to serve the community we're living in, and also talk about how we can be praying for each other.
We call it teatime!
At my school, the "valley" is the central place of campus. its a valley of towering trees, and winding sidewalks that all lead to the buildings where our classes are. The valley is absolutely beautiful in every season...
A normal walk to classes in the Fall consists of gazing up at the vibrant orange, red and yellow trees, and watching the squirrels run around hiding their acorns.
And then, you spot a sight similar to this.
Do you recognize what those are? They're hammocks! Specifically the brand "ENO" hammocks.
And college kids at my school bring them into the valley and tie them from tree to tree to either take a nap, attempt to do homework or just relax! It's the coolest idea ever.
So this Fall, when my friend Katie visited her sister, she was telling her sister about how some kids do that.
A couple days later when Katie came back on campus, she had a hammock in hand.
Although, it wasn't an ENO hammock, it was a typical hammock seen at beaches and in backyards and such.
We were all so anxious about trying it out, and we had a successful time setting it up and relaxing in it in the valley.
That next weekend, it was very pleasant outside and my group of five friends decided it would be so fun to go to a local park called Shadyside, a couple minutes away, set up the hammock and have tea time in the park!
We had a really great discussion, everything went as usual, giggles and all!
Until the sun started setting.
We were thinking about leaving because we were ready to head back to the dorm to go eat dinner,
And that's when the wind started stirring up, and we got a little more antsy to head back.
It took a little while for us all to collect our things and strategically get off the hammock, so as not to let one side flip over with people still on it.
By the time we were off the hammock it was pretty much almost dark, and only around 5 o' clock.
The wind started picking up and the leaves were rustling around us and all the warnings that our parents had told us about being alone at dark started filling our conscious.
Two of us were struggling to roll the hammock up and attempting to put in in the carrier that we had brought it in, and the rest of the girls were using their phones as flashlights to help us put away our bibles and journals.
By this time it was completely pitch black.
Yes. Girls take awhile to get ready to go somewhere. Shocker?
We had everything on our backs ready to leave our hammocking spot when we heard a blood curdling cry in the distance that made us all stop in our tracks.
We were in the middle of this park called Shadyside, woods surrounding us and it's pitch black.
The five of us girls all grabbed onto each other and listened closely to see if there was any other noises.
Again, another scream filled the air, this time the call was more distinct.
"SOMEBODY, PLEASE! HELP!"
Our grasps tightened on each other, and although it was pitch black, you could see the fear from everyone's eyes.
"Did you hear that?!"
"Oh my gosh. Is someone hurt?"
"They're calling for help!"
"Let's go. If we get to the parking lot we'll be fine and we can call the police."
I'm shaking this whole time and I have 911 pulled up on my phone. We had no idea if someone was actually in trouble, or if this could be a prank from a kidnapper who saw 5 girls go into the park alone.
-Sidenote: When I first moved into school, my peer mentor told me that Shadyside park was kind of sketchy and that her roommate, who was on the cross country team used to go for runs there until there were reports of stabbings at night there.
My mind was in a trance state of just getting out of the woods and into a well- lighted area. We were all walking as fast as we possibly could.
From the parking lot, to where we set up our hammock, it was a good 10-15 minute walk. It may not seem like a long walk, but in the dark it definitely is.
Meanwhile, we keep hearing these cries of help. As we walk closer the cries keep getting louder.
THEN. THIS HAPPENED.
"GUYS. MY PHONE. I don't have my iPhone!"
"Oh my goodness Katie! We can't go back! It's too dangerous."
"I have to! Do you know how much trouble I would be in if I lost that?!"
"We can come back tomorrow Katie! This is a really bad time to be here!"
"HELPPPP, SOMEONE! PLEASE!!"
"Katie! We have to go! You can't go back!"
" I HAVE TO!!!! Madi, and Adrian come with me. Marisa, you and Katie go get the car and we'll meet you in the parking lot!"
I'm on the verge of tears, and I'm shaking so hard my legs are starting to ache.
Katie and I keep speed walking towards the car and the other three start walking the opposite way.
Five steps later and the calls of cry are right across from us.
In the river,
Coming from a group of teenagers, ROCK JUMPING. Just FOOLING AROUND.
If looks could kill, those teenagers would have been gone in a heartbeat.
Katie and I just stopped in our tracks, our blood boiling..."ARE.YOU.SERIOUS."
There was no prank, no body hurt. Just some stupid teenagers, putting us in fear for no reason!!
Our walk back to the car was a little less fear stricken, and a lot more irritated.
Once the three others hopped in the car with Katie and I, we peeled out of that park and NEVER looked back.
After a few seconds of stunned silence after sharing WHO the cries of help were coming from and that there was nothing wrong, we all took a deep breath in and then a deep breath out and got our selves together.
Following our reassurance breaths, I prayed and thanked God for protecting us and keeping us safe! Whew!!
Much chatter continued about that hour of shananagains, and soon there were soft giggles that turned into hysterical laughing as we pictured ourselves frantically walking with 911 pulled up on all of our phones. Speed walking, fear stricken faces, clutching our bibles and a hammock... we must have been quite the sight.
After some time in the car, driving back to campus, Katie discovered that a voicemail was accidently recorded on her phone as we were looking for it.
Can I just say, I have no laughed so hard when listening to a voicemail! About 5 minutes of our frenzied conversation was recorded! The most clear parts were: "Should we call 911?!" "If we get to the parking lot, we'll be ok."
I'm so glad that we were aware of our surroundings and that we have been taught well to be cautious!
& I'm extra glad that nothing bad happened!
So that's the story of the first time I almost called 911.
I hope I could give you some chuckles for tonight.
Talk to you tomorrow,