Chattanooga

My husband’s brother married an amazing, wonderful woman this past weekend. The wedding was in Flintstone, GA. We all stayed in a hotel in Chattanooga, TN. The day before the wedding, the family went out to a casual lunch. My brother-in-law and my husband (the best man) had some errands to run, and so my father-in-law, my son and I walked from the lunch spot to the hotel by ourselves.

A 6ish short, skinny, African American woman approached me and said, “Excuse me, may I ask you a question?” I paused. She proceeded, “I don’t mean no disrespect but–”

Me: “Then don’t finish that sentence. We are done. Let’s end this.”

But she kept talking anyway. Asking me what gave me the right and on and on. I talked over her in the unlikely hope that Luc would not be able to figure out what she was saying. She followed us and kept hollering at us. I finally got loud and started yelling, “Get away from me! Stop following me!”

And not one person around us helped.

She followed us for almost two blocks. She crossed the street with us. She told me she was calling the police, and then she started telling Luc that she would help him find his parents. “Where are your parents, little boy? I’ll help you find them.”

It was so bad that I called 9-1-1 and begged them to send some help as quickly as possible, “She won’t go away. She won’t stop following us! Make her go away!” I was sobbing and positioning unhelpful cowardly bystanders between Luc and her. Finally, I ran into our hotel crying, with my phone at my ear, pulling Luc behind me, “Where is your security?! I need security!!”

The desk clerk replied, “Are you a guest here?”

Really? Really?! If I hadn’t been a guest you would have kicked a mother and her seven year old son out? Or refused to help?

Anyway, the manager came out quickly (I was making a big scene) and pulled us into her office and out of sight. I sobbed and sobbed. I turned back to my phone and said, “If the police are on their way, I need to go comfort my son. I need to make sure he’s ok.” So I got off the phone and tried to help my poor traumatized son.

He was so upset by her asking where his parents were! He was so upset! It was horrendous.

I decided not to press charges and have her arrested because 1. I couldn’t take time to go back to Chattanooga for the court hearing, and 2. what would messing up her life by having her arrested do to help? But, the police man went out looking for her to give her a warning anyway.

In the end, he managed to find her and evidently read her the riot act. He hollered at her and told her that she would be in big big trouble if he got another complaint about her harassing us again. He said he could smell alcohol. He told her he didn’t even want to see her on the same side of the street as our hotel.

I still don’t know what to think of the whole event. It still upsets me deeply. But, there it is.

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