Where were you last night at or about 12:30 in the morning?
Can you prove it?
Hmmm. . .
We know where we were. Lillian and I were sitting here on the studio sofa while Ryan gave his statement to the police officer outside. That's where WE were.
Here's what happened.
Ryan was walking home from work last night at about midnight. A group of guys were going by on the other side of the street. This particular street is one of the main thoroughfares for this part of town, four lanes and a median, fairly well lit, fairly well traveled.
The group saw Ryan, crossed the street behind him (by the police station, may I just add. When you're ballsy, you're ballsy!) and followed him for a bit. Ryan, being the smart kid he is, realized things were wrong and removed his earbuds and tucked away his iPod.
Before he could do more than that, though, he was clocked in the back of the head and knocked down. The rest seems to be a bit of a blur for him, but he got up and was punched in the face repeatedly, while they kept insisting he hand over his wallet.
However, Ryan has had some experience dealing with assholes because he's managed a late-night burger joint, and he and Ty have had some sessions on "what to do in dicey situations". So Ryan got his bearings and moved out into the middle of the road, to the median.
They followed him, but as I say, the road's fairly busy, and with oncoming traffic, they decided to take off. Ryan made it to our corner, got out of their sight and belted home, where he called the cops, who showed up about five minutes later.
Okay sure, nothing's going to happen, we all know this. Ryan only saw one guy clearly, and even then, in a few days it'll fade so much he won't be able to identify anyone. But he chose to file the complaint, so that it's on record if these guys try something with someone else.
The only thing we all think he might've done differently is call 911 from the median rather than waiting to get home, but all in all, I was pleased to have him here instead, so it's a minor quibble as far as I'm concerned, and I know Lillian agrees.
So he's fine. A little shaken up and stiff and sore. He had a nasty headache yesterday, but part of that was the adrenaline dump wearing off. We kept an eye on him for concussion, but he's fine.
And we're incredibly proud of him. He reacted quickly and well, he came up with a defensive plan that worked, since 5 (or maybe 6 or 7, he's not entirely sure) to 1 odds are never a good idea.
But more importantly, he didn't let his testosterone get the best of him. He didn't deliberately escalate it to the point where they had to really thump on him, do some serious damage. He was obviously unafraid of them, which I think disturbed them, and he was obviously thinking, which they weren't prepared for.
And by not attacking them, he retained control and power.
I'm not sure he sees that, though. He's afraid the folks where he works are going to give him shit because he didn't fight harder, didn't actually take a beating. They're idiots, of course, but it's all about perception, and I don't think he understands that by not being confrontational, he was presenting a more dangerous and capable face to his attackers.
They didn't want to be seen, that's true, but they also didn't know quite what to do with someone who didn't react the way they expected.
When he gets older, he'll see the value of how he handled it, but for now, he's a little off-balance.
But then, so am I. When I drove to the store today, I was watching for groups of guys dressed as he described them. Obviously I didn't see them, and I wouldn't recognize them even if I did, but it's made me edgy. I don't like that.
So we're more defensive now, more cautious.
But man, we're proud of the kid!