What’s a story you’ve always wanted to share here but no one ever asked the right question?

(TL;DR: got grabbed by a stranger on a quiet street in rural Nicaragua, thought I was going to get raped/murdered/??, didn't get raped/murdered/?? but did get real spooked)

Some context: I'm a small-ish woman but when I was in my teens and early 20s I had no problem walking by myself on the street at all hours of the night. I've always had pretty bad anxiety but despite my mom's panic I just never feared being out by myself at night. In fact, I often found the hush of a normally busy street quite soothing.

So I was in Nicaragua for a stretch volunteering with a group. We had already been there for a couple of months so we were feeling quite settled. However, we had a strict curfew set by the Canadian volunteer org and an even stricter rule to NEVER GO to the central park/square after dark set by our local partner organization.

One night, my friends wanted to meet up to play cards and hang out. I initially wanted to stay in, but at last minute decided to join them. It was already dark but I'm pretty sure it was still fairly early. There were tonnes of people on the street and I was strolling along real casual-like, sending lovey dovey Facebook messages to the guy that I later ended up marrying back in Canada. Because I was a couple of hours ahead, I wished him a good night and slipped my phone back into my bag. Making sure to steer clear of the central park, I went a block or two farther than I normally would and went down a street that, during the day, was pretty bumping, but turned out to be totally dead at night. I didn't think much of it - I had my head in the clouds and was thinking of my dreamy boyfriend.

I only had a couple of blocks before the street I was on started getting busier and eventually led to my friend's host family's house. Over those two blocks I only passed one person, walking in the opposite direction, who was pretty non descript - kinda lanky, tall (which tbf doesn't mean much coming from me). I remember getting a weird vibe from him but I can't for the life of me remember why.. I feel like maybe he was muttering to himself or walking funny?

I got no red flags when we passed each other but I remember a second before everything happened I just got the weirdest feeling and my brain went "bitch, you bout to die". I heard a brief pause in his footsteps behind me, then I heard him running towards me. Out of everything, the sound of his feet hitting the road are what haunt me the most. It's been 3 years and countless innocent joggers have nearly reduced me to tears.

In what felt like an instant he grabbed me and held me so, so close. I struggled and immediately started screaming but he had my face pressed against his chest so it was muffled (never stopped screamin tho). He was talking nonstop in my ear, and while the adrenaline was making my Spanish comprehension extra-weak, I mostly was hearing words of affection - the only one I can distinctly remember is "preciosia". The tone of his voice was terrifying - it was like affection mixed with desperation and there was just something that made me feel like I was about to get hurt. He never paused for breath, he just muttered a steady stream of words.

My brain was on complete autopilot. I just kept screaming "leave me alone" over and over and over again and thrashing around as much as I could - my arms were pinned up against my chest and I managed to wiggle free enough to pound on his chest with my fists. I remember seeing a house over his shoulder and focusing all my energy on the front door, praying that it would open and someone would help me). I guess I put up enough of a fight that I was no longer worth the effort, cuz that fucker just disappeared. I didn't even see what direction he went in. I'm fairly sure the entire event was over within 5 minutes.

I started wandering down the street crying, I was physically unharmed and nothing was stolen but I was shaken right up. I remember some nice old lady talking to me, I think she was asking if I was okay and said something about what "that man" did to me. I managed to tell her that my friends were close by and that I would be fine and just kind of stumbled off. I reached my friend's house and just broke the fuck down. They were all very kind and supportive; the other crystal-clear memory I have is of my friend holding me close and lovingly whispering to me in French. No idea what she said but it was one of the most soothing things ever.

I have no idea if my life was ever actually in danger. Maybe the guy was totally harmless and I overreacted. It was still one of the scariest things I ever experienced (trumped only by bungee jumping and being sexually assaulted). I've been back in Canada for years but I still can't walk alone at night, which right now starts at like 5 pm. A couple of weeks ago I had a complete meltdown after thinking a man had been following me down the street at around dinner time. Just tonight I had my finger poised to call 911 because I left work late and had to walk on a dark street without streetlights.

I've only told two or three people and only my husband knows how much this experience shook me. It NEVER comes up in conversation and when it does I'm always easy breezy about it ("oh it was freaky but I was totally fine!! Ya gotta be careful!!") because I don't want to get into why it was so terrrifying even though I made it out without a scratch.

/r/AskReddit Thread