On Spring Break in the year 2009 my family and I took a vacation down to Grand Cayman to escape the frigid spring weather in Bozeman, Montana. This was our second visit to the island in the time span of two years. I guess we just couldn’t get enough of the crystal clear Caribbean Sea or the velvety sand beaches. We were staying in the same resort we had stayed in our previous visit, Treasure Island Hotel and Condos. They had treated us great two years ago and they were located right on the best beach on the whole island, Seven Mile Beach. Treasure Island Resort was very sequestered, accommodating, and safe or so I thought.
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On one of our “lazy days” I took the opportunity to get some alone time. I was ecstatic to find the resort’s most coveted spot empty. The cozy hammock nestled between two trees faced the ocean and offered a very serene spot to read. I had only gotten through about two chapters of my book, Sirocco Wind from the East, when a man with very dark skin, dark brown hair, and seemingly black eyes approached me. I had noticed him earlier under the cover of my sunglasses as he proceeded to walk down the beach toward me. He wore a long sleeved shirt and long pants in 90 degree weather which led me to believe he was a local. He looked to be in his late twenties. Me, being the naive sixteen year old that I was found it flattering that he walked all the way down the beach to chat with me.
The man started with small talk, asked me my name and how old I was and then introduced himself. He continued with the introduction questions for about ten minutes but it seemed like an eternity. At that point I was getting annoyed with the pointless conversation and started hinting at the fact I wanted him to leave. It was then that he started getting creepy. He began asking things like whether I liked to party, and if I wanted to drink and go dancing with him that night. His words are still branded on my mind,
“Meet me out here at ten tonight, don’t let your parents know.” I have regarded my very sheltered life and shy disposition as amazing blessings ever since then. At the time I didn’t catch on to the danger his offer carried, I just wasn’t interested in doing anything he suggested. It was just a few minutes after he began this creepy conversation that one of the resort’s security guards walked up and kindly asked me if I could excuse the two men as they talked. I gladly walked off, happy to be free of the incredibly awkward conversation.
It wasn’t till that night while explaining to my parents of my encounter that the scary reality of the event set in. My parents explained how locals weren’t allowed to come on the resort’s private beach which was why the security guard showed up. My parents said they took this precaution to prevent situations like Natalee Holloway’s from happening at the resort. That really hit home for me because we had vacationed to Aruba and actually ate dinner at Carlos’n Charlie’s a year before Natalee’s disappearance. I was shocked at how close I potentially came to being in a situation like Natalee’s. And though I will never know that man’s honest intentions of our conversation that day I learned through experience, how easily one could be blindsided by a man of potentially cruel objectives on vacation.
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