a few friends had told her to take self-defense classes, had even gone with her multiple times, but she wasn't sure she'd really learned anything. tori was the type of person that would shut down rather than fight back or defend herself. she was timid, in that regard, didn't even like arguing with people; though she could definitely get heated when it came to certain things, but she couldn't remember ever yelling at someone. victoria had made this walk hundreds of times, she was going to be fine. off campus, she had a few blocks to walk, had been warned about taking shortcuts, so she didn't. it wasn't that late, but her class had gone on far longer than she'd anticipated. usually, she tried not to take night courses, but sometimes they were the only ones available, and since she didn't work, she could go to class whenever. that being said, it was pushing eleven at night and she was just now heading home. worrying her lower lip between her teeth, victoria cross the street and made her way down the strange co-joining set of alleys that would lead right to her posh building's entrance. it was at the mouth of this alleyway she was, essentially, stopped by two men, possibly her age, maybe older, as they conversed in hushed tones. initially thinking nothing of it, tori curtly excused herself and went to round them, but the first one stepped back, a little into her space, causing her to lose her grip on her portfolio.
he apologized and tori smiled brightly. this felt weird, it didn't feel right. when asked where she lived, she almost told him, but backtracked immediately and just said 'nearby' instead. she remembered some things that she'd been taught, plus, she wasn't going to outright trust these two guys. she kept her back to the wall as they engaged her in conversation, but otherwise she wasn't quite sure what to do. there were compliments and one was moving a little too close, but she stood her ground and smiled, and accepted the kindness. but she was feeling uncomfortable and wary and they must have noticed, but didn't back off. it was scary, really. the second one of them tried to reach for her, she laughed sheepishly and tilted her head away, tried to divert by glancing at her phone in her other hand. she needed to make some kind of excuse to leave but, then what? she didn't want to go home, lest they tried to follow her. in the long run, victoria was not fully equipped to handle a situation like this.
LYALL L. FREEMAN sorry i took literally forever, had some things going on ><