It was a sunny day – the kind of day that springs forth from the drudgery of winter to blind you with its brilliant sunshine and pleasant breezes, imprinting itself onto your memory. The air was filled with the smells of cherry and tulip blossoms and the slight overtone of a diesel-fueled truck, while the thumping of nearby construction pounded out the rhythm of a downtown rave party, minus the fancy lights, drugs and half-naked dancing people thrumming against your leg.
I had decided to leave the lab early. The spring day called out to me, “Jackie! Leave the window-less torture of a lab you’re sitting in! Drop the data analysis and run and frolic in my splendor!” Not being one to ignore calls of nature in the off chance that I might end up with wet pants, I grabbed my things and snuck out. My sandaled feet skipped along the sidewalk, my toes happy to be wriggling in the air of spring and reveling in the vitamin D of the sun. As I waited to cross the street outside of the University of Maryland Medical Center, I felt someone sneak up behind me.