Late Night Walks..
I left work late this evening.
I’d already missed my bus home so I decided I would go and get the train instead of waiting 35 minutes for the next one.
It wasn’t cold.. but it was a little windy outside.
I started my walk to the train station. It’s a walk that I am not too fond of taking. It’s the same journey I took not too long ago when I was followed. It was a scary time for me and I try to avoid walking alone on this route as much as possible.. but today I had to. So I started walking.
I can’t remember the last time I was so actively aware of my surroundings. I mean, I’m usually aware.. but this evening I just felt.. I don’t know.. Scared.
I reached the spot where the gentleman had begun following me and opened my eyes wider to scan the area, glancing over my shoulder and into the half filled car parking lot on my left. I began to pick up speed as I descended down the hill and past the theatre. I reached the traffic lights and felt like I could breathe again. I didn’t even realise I had been holding my breath. My heart was racing and I’d been clenching my fist so hard I left marks from my nails in my palm.
I crossed the road and proceeded past the shops, restaurant and clock tower before heading towards another set of traffic lights. I noticed out of the corner of my eye a girl on the phone, she was acting a bit weird but I just continued on my journey. I got to the lights, looked left and right and noticed this girl again.. She was getting closer and closer to me. I thought it was a bit strange, so I kept walking but started walking much faster than I had been. Past the KFC, past the Starbucks.. past a few banks and back onto the main road.
I went round the corner and the girl had disappeared. I started to calm down and approached another set of lights. As I looked again to my left and right waiting for the cars to stop so I could cross the road I didn’t notice anything unusual.. then out of nowhere, the same girl from before was suddenly coming towards me.
“Excuse me?” I thought I heard her say. I looked over at her and she continued to move towards me.
“Excuse me?” She asked “Are you going to the train station?”
I looked at her understanding what she said but a little puzzled I think by the question.
“Sorry” She started again “Are you going to the train station? There’s a guy following me and I’m really scared.. Are you going to the train station? Can I walk with you?”
I heard what she was saying, but it didn’t register. I was so scared and I didn’t know why. He wasn’t following me. I needed to speak. She was looking for reassurance and I was saying nothing.
“Yes” I said “Yes I am going to the train station.”
She started thanking me. I wasn’t paying attention to her.. I was scanning the street for the person following her and ushering her across the road at the same time.
She started apologising for following me and said that she didn’t know why she did, she just hoped I was walking to the train station and decided she was going to follow me – she kept saying sorry and that she didn’t mean to follow me but she didn’t know what else to do.
I was partly listening to her and partly looking out for the man she said was behind her. We were about 300 metres from the train station and I was so scared that this guy would just appear.
We spoke and I reassured her that it was okay to walk with me and that she shouldn’t be walking by herself alone at this time. I told her that she needs to get an attack alarm and advised her of several ways to keep herself safe with things that could be found in her handbag. I got on the train with her and we sat down. She said that she will be getting picked up when she gets off the train by a family member and before I got off I gave her the number for Security, should it happen again.
My station came and as I stood up to disembark, I told her to make sure that she got home safely. She thanked me again and I got off the train.
As soon as I got off the train my legs felt like jelly and I grabbed onto the fence to support myself. It felt like it was happening to me all over again. I started shaking and I couldn’t breathe. I stood there taking deep breaths before realising that I was okay and SHE was okay. Everything was okay.
I rushed myself home, got in and locked the door.
I’m glad I was there to help this girl. There were very few shops open and the area she was in quite secluded.. I think I was in the right place at the right time and feel that I did the little bit that I could have done to make this girl feel safe. I remember when I was being followed and I was walking down the street; crying and hyperventilating, wondering why no one was trying to help me.. I didn’t want her to feel alone so I did what I could do the way I knew how to.
*sigh*.. I feel so drained.
I hope she got home okay.