As any 15 year old I was an outgoing girl, normal and bubbly. My life was pretty straight forward and I had it good. I wouldn't say I was fearless but I never felt scared until my life changed.
Me and my friend who was 14 at the time which seems a lifetime ago now, we was walking to the shop around 9:30pm chatting away as young girls did and making jokes, we came to a stop when we reached the road which had the shop on the opposite side. We remember to look both ways before crossing a lesson that stays with you through life, just as we are about to cross my friend turned to me and said there is someone over in that park, this automatically got the hairs on the back of my neck up and something didn't seem right. As I was older I tried to shrug it off and make a laugh and joke about it so my friend didn't feel scared, she was adamant someone was in the park and before we could talk or react we was walking over to the shop we was both in shock when a man appeared from behind a wall. In this moment what happened next seemed to drag for so long but in reality it was over in a matter or minutes.
We genuinely believed this man who was dressed in all black with a black balaclava on was a friend playing a joke on us, never did we think this was real in any way. After the shock floated away the only thing I could manage to mumble was 'we don't have anything, no money no phones nothing'.
He told me to walk to him slowly and in that moment I thought to myself this is it, this is how I'm going to die. Walking to this man seemed to happen so slowly but he was only two steps infront of me, he grabs me pushes me to a wall and pulls something out of his pocket.
Panic sets in as I'm still not sure what he has in his hand until it is placed on my right breast, the man has pulled out a gun and now I'm fearing the worst, praying someone will walk past or hoping this is a weird dream and I would wake up.
He opens his mouth to mutter a few words ' get over the wall' he tells me. I have so many thoughts running through my head, how many people will there be if I climb over this wall?.
My friend is still with me panicking just as much as me we are both in danger and we are too young to know what to do. Parents are meant to guide you through life but how can parents teach you to deal with something like this?
Somehow I pluck up the courage to say 'no' and I was shocked to hear myself saying this. My friend was shouting over and over the same thing 'don't climb over the wall'.
He wanted to keep my friend quiet he told her to shut up and moved the gun from my breast to the side of my face, this cold gun was now on my face one slight movment and it could be the end.
My friend wouldn't be quiet so he focused his attention on her and walked towards her, I had a split second decision to make, I can either stay here and anything can happen or I can leave my friend with this mad man and run to the shop which was only a few steps away.
A decision which I couldn't not take lightly and that will stick with me for the rest of my life. I decided I needed to run we needed help and we needed to get away, I started to run but time was in slow motion and felt like I was running for minutes instead of seconds.
I got to the shop and felt some relief when I shouted 'call the police' fearing the worst and can't help but feel guilty, I left my friend outside to try and do the best thing for us to survive our ordeal.
I turn around to go back out to try and save my friend, she notices I'm safe inside the doorway of the shop i shout out to her, his body shifts to face me bewildered as to how I got inside the shop.
This is a moment that I would think belongs only in movies, my friend runs into the road around parked cars so she can make it to safety inside the shop with me.
My friend is now one foot away from me and our arms are holding out for each other, she takes one last look as this man is taking off his balaclava and jumps over the wall and has disappeared into the darkness.
Our bodies meet into a tight hug, one of those 'never let you go' moments and we both sobbed this could of been the end for us but we defeated this man and was both safe.
Our parents and police was called and this man was never caught and my friend will have to live with knowing his face forever, for me I have to live with his voice his smell and the memories of his gun being against my body.
The night after the ordeal was tough, everything I knew about monsters being fake turned out to be wrong!
Why was we targeted? Will we ever get over this?
So many questions and so many went unanswered, the night was abit of a blur I was too afraid to walk past the front door infancy any doors I was too scared to walk past. I didn't want any one to get me through the door, you know the monsters you see in your imagination as a child made out of clothes that is exactly what I was seeing out of all the coats next to the front door, I stared so hard at these willing myself to not give in and to be strong.
I hardly slept and I didn't know what to think feel or how I would cope, I knew Monday would come and I would have to be back at school but was I ready? Could I face everybody knowing they would all ask if I was ok?! I was not ok, I felt depressed and scared constantly I would die.
The next day the police arrived and took my statement this went by so quickly and I didn't feel supported by them.
Monday came around and I felt much strong and ready to face the world I went to school and acted like nothing had happened, people wanted to know the ins and out and I was prepared to tell them what had happened as my friend needed more time to deal with the ordeal she spent the week at home.
Word quickly spread and I got the odd few comments on how certain people would have dealt with that situation but like I said to them, no one knows or can fathom what you will do unless you are in that situation and facing the harsh reality of it first hand and it's not something I would wish people to go through.
In time I became less afraid of the dark and grew up. I have moved on to make a family of my own and I hope my son would never have to go through what I went through, if I have learned one thing in life it is to live everyday as your last because you just don't know when that will be.
Thank you to my family and friends also a massive thank you to my partner and son without you two I would not be the woman I am today.