By Ashleigh / Dec 4, 2022
The car was the perfect distance behind that it couldn’t be seen as an instant threat, but close enough for him to understand that he was being stalked. At last, the car drove up next to him.
He is paralyzed with fear as he answers all his questions. He then tells him to get into the car. With a forced smile, Duncan swallows heavily and obediently follows his instructions.
Michael Duncan was walking home from work. It was a treacherous 7-mile walk from Vallejo, where he lived, to Benecia, through pitch black streets that usually took him around 2.15 hours to complete – each way.
It wasn’t the first time; he had been doing that for several days now. However, this time would be different.
It Wasn’t Always Like That
Duncan didn’t always have to walk to work. He used to have a car until it broke down and he couldn’t afford to fix it. Now, he was at the mercy of the dark mornings and nights.
For some time, he relied on friends and family to give him rides to work. However, that had to stop eventually.
After a few weeks, Duncan decided that he had to stop relying on others to go to work. He still didn’t have money to get his car fixed, but he didn’t want to burden others either.
So he made a decision. He would walk to work every day for the time being, until he managed to save enough money for his car.
Things Were Complicated At Home
Duncan was well aware that the situation at home was already complicated enough. It had been two or three weeks since his car broke down. Every time he asked his mom or his brother to take him to work, he couldn’t shake the feeling of guilt.
After all they had gone through during the last year, the last thing he wanted was to give them more headaches.
It was a particularly stressful time for Michael’s family. Fortunately, they weren’t in a bad spot financially, but they had other types of problems.
Michael’s brother and mom worked full-time, and he had just started working part-time, so there were three salaries contributing to the house income. They worked different shifts, so that meant they didn’t see each other a lot. But there was more.
Just a few months before, Curtis, Michael’s little brother, had been interned in a juvenile detention center. In all fairness, Michael could see it coming.
But even though he, his mom, and his older brother tried their best to avoid that, Curtis was hard-headed and kept getting involved with the wrong people. But what about their dad?
Their dad had been imprisoned as well. They still visited him from time to time and Michael’s mom hadn’t started a relationship with another man.
However, they all held a certain feeling of resentment towards him. It had been his own reckless and selfish behavior that had sent him to prison, nothing more and nothing less. He wouldn’t get out in at least 12 more years.
Enough On Their Plates
So Michael knew his mom and brother had enough on their plates as it was; so he decided to go to work by his own means, even if that meant walking until he could get his car fixed.
After all, he had taken up that job to help out at home, not to give his family more problems. However, there was something he didn’t count on.
If only he knew all the possible dangers he was leaving himself open to. He wasn’t aware of it, but those roads could be dangerous. They were often unsupervised; if anything happened to him, maybe nobody would know until it was too late.
Nevertheless, he got used to waking up before the sun and walking home in a pool of darkness.
Brave Young Man
Duncan was a brave young man but that didn’t mean that he didn’t get scared. He often got a fright on his walk home when he’d hear a noise coming out of the darkness. Luckily, nothing ever happened, just possums and squirrels and rats having a good time.
But this time would be different. Duncan was about to stumble into a terrifying encounter.
With only one more hour to go, he began to daydream about his bed. He was exhausted after a long day at work, and the walk sure didn’t help.
He let out a big yawn, and stretched his arms up towards the sky. That’s when he noticed his shadow. He moved further away from the road, expecting a car to pass, but something was wrong.
His shadow hung around and remained the same size. Confused, he looked behind him. Out of the darkness and in the distance, he saw the dazzling headlights of a car. It seemed like it wasn’t moving.
What was going on there? Michael squinted his eyes to get a glimpse of the driver behind the windshield; but he couldn’t see anything.
Was There A Problem?
For a minute, as he stood there, Duncan thought about walking toward the car and approaching the driver. Could they be having a problem?
Immediately, he realized that he was better off minding his business. For all he knew, it could be a set-up attempt. So he turned back and kept walking. But he realized something.
They Were Following Him
The car had begun moving. It was keeping up with Duncan, just far enough behind to not be an instant threat and close enough to make him realize that whoever was on the wheel was following him.
Right then and there, a scary possibility crossed his mind: was he being stalked? But why, and by whom?
Just His Imagination?
Maybe he was just imagining things, he told himself. Duncan had never been propense to paranoid thoughts or fearing unlikely scenarios, but this time was different.
He was all alone in the middle of the road at night, miles away from home, and there was one car following him. Anyone would be afraid in that situation; and Duncan, in particular, had good reasons for it.
He Kept Walking
He decided to keep walking and not look back. Maybe they were waiting for him to stop so they could jump on him more easily.
With his heart galloping, he kept hearing the low and menacing roar of the engine, while the car kept moving slowly behind him. He thought about running or screaming for help; but quickly, he realized something.
The road was completely empty; no one would hear him scream. And no matter how fast he ran, the car would reach him if the driver was really going after him.
There wasn’t much he could do to get out of the situation, which felt like an absolute nightmare he couldn’t wake up from. Duncan decided there was only one thing he could do.
Voice From Darkness
He turned around and quickened his pace. His shadow grew bigger as the darkness gave way to the headlights. The car slowly pulled up beside him.
He acted like he didn’t see it but then he heard a voice shout from the car. His heart pounded as he looked at the man, and then he froze.
Cherries And Berries
It was the cops. Duncan’s mind got racing and he felt drops of sweat going down his forehead as the officer ordered him to stop walking and began asking him questions.
Did he think he had done something wrong? He surely looked suspicious walking on this empty road in the dead of night. And, of course there was another possibility.
Could this be related to his little brother or his father somehow? Duncan began feeling really anxious. But how could the cops recognize him? Had they been investigating and surveilling him?
The thought alone formed a pit in Duncan’s stomach. What could his brother and his dad have told the police? How could they be able to do something like that?
The police officer asked about his name, address and what he was up to. Duncan replied and then asked if there was something wrong, but he got no response.
After he answered his questions, the officer asked him to get in the car. His face is stern, his hand resting comfortably on his weapon. Duncan gulped and did what he was told.
The officer offered to drop him home. He was so nervous that he couldn’t refuse. The officer could have told him to do anything and he would have done it.
So desperate to prove to the officer that he was a friendly, normal guy, he began speaking non-stop. He let the officer know things perhaps he shouldn’t have even mentioned.
By the time he got home, the cop knew everything about him, his friends, where he lives, works. This cop had all his information.
Immediately, Duncan realized that maybe he had talked too much for his own good. But the officer didn’t seem to have any ulterior motives; he just dropped him by his mom’s house and let him go.
The next day, Duncan set out on his long journey to work again. He thought about his encounter last night and laughed at himself for being so scared.
“How ridiculous”, he thought, “I’ve been watching too many movies”. Duncan concluded that the strange encounter was just a cop being friendly, but there was much, much more to this story.
When he finally arrived at work, he was there waiting for him. He stood with his hand on his hip, resting on his weapon, feet planted firmly on the ground. His gaze fixated on Duncan.
Confused at this unwelcoming sight, Duncan’s heart raced. Why is he here? Was he there for Duncan? He didn’t even do anything wrong. Duncan held his chin high and walked towards him.
Awe And Admiration
The police officer, Kirk Keffer had listened to Duncan’s story that night and his reason for walking alone in the darkness. He knew he had to do something to help.
“His drive. His work ethic. To me, that speaks volumes.” Keffer said, “Not that many 18-year-olds you meet have that kind of mindset. They don’t even want to walk down to the store, let alone walk 7 miles just to get to work.”
Duncan had told Keffer that he had just graduated high school and really wanted to become a police officer after going to college so they exchanged numbers. Duncan thought he’d never hear from him again, but Keffer had other plans.
He showed up at Duncan’s work and pulled out a brand new bike from the back of his car. But that’s not all.
The Gifts Keep Coming!
He also spread the word about Duncan’s dedication and started a GoFundMe page for him to go to college. They ended up raising $40,000 for him.
YouTube – CBS Sunday Morning
Duncan couldn’t believe this police officer did all this for him. He was in total shock. He never expected his actions would be recognised by a cop, let alone rewarded!
A Lasting Friendship!
Keffer and Duncan developed a solid friendship from then on and often keep in contact as Keffer checks in on how he’s doing – and how he’s spending his money!
Staying true to his word and ambition, Duncan spent $2,500 on a new car for his commute to work and put the rest towards college. A worthy gofundme recipient!
In order to protect the privacy of those depicted, some names, locations, and identifying characteristics have been changed and are products of the author’s imagination. Any resemblances to actual events or places or persons, living or dead, are entirely coincidental.