Nine years ago, I was in my second year at Cal State Sacramento and my roommate and I were heading to a friend's apartment for a New Year's celebration.
Whenever we left the house, I made sure to take my keys and purse, just in case we got separated. But that night, when I went to grab my purse off its knob in the hallway, a voice inside told me not to take it.
Once we left our doorstep, a small SUV drove past us very slowly. My roommate mentioned she thought it was eerie, but I didn’t think much of it. We continued to walk through the streets of our apartment complex, carrying on with excitement about the evening ahead.
Each building in our large complex was lit up by one streetlight, and they were separated by dark pathways. As we got farther from our place, my roommate noticed there were three men trailing behind us. It made her nervous, but I told her to carry on and not worry. We were walking on New Year’s night in our large, gated, apartment complex; it didn’t seem strange that other people were walking outside as well.
We were mid-conversation when I suddenly heard my roommate scream, “What do you want, my purse?” I looked back to see one of the men behind us holding a gun to her side. All three men were dressed in dark clothing: Hoods covered their heads, masks concealed their faces, and the only thing you could see was the evil in their eyes. In that moment, everything in my life froze. My soul left my body and all I could think was, do whatever you have to do to survive.
My roommate looked at me in a panic and I nodded, “Give it to him.” The two other men approached me and one said, “Give me your purse.” I quickly responded in fear, “I don’t have a purse, I don’t have a purse!” He lunged toward me, inserted his gun, topped with a silencer, into my mouth, and replied “Shut your mouth.”