Safety First: Share the story of a time you felt unsafe.
Not a good topic but I still have a few stories that I could share. Here is one off the top of my head.
Once upon a time (3 – 4 years ago), I had an exam at the Uni and it was the last exam of the semester so I and my friends decided to go some place and hang around for a while just to freshen up our moods. Well, we were free by 1 pm, after the exam. And after all the discussion about the question paper, an hour had already passed followed by more discussions on hot topics/gossips and lunch, I think we got out of the campus around 4 pm.
It was December, the first week, but anyway it does get dark outside after 5 pm itself. And the subway ride from the college to the centre of the city killed another hour. Finally, we did have a really good time. We decided to visit a temple that “I” had never visited before.
After that we got to know of a youth festival that was being held in the vicinity with free entry – just the thing some one could use to change their mood. Naturally we went there and hours flew by, normally we were at our homes by 6 or at most 7 pm. Life is a little different on this side of the waters, you live with anxious parents even during your college years.
And that fine day it was half past seven and we let our folks know of our plans and decided to enjoy the laser shows intermixed with folk dance on international beats. It was captivating indeed. We could not have missed that. Nevertheless, being responsible kids, we headed to the subway and took the metro back to home.
I was now left with only two other friends of mine, we sort of lived on the same side of the city but had to part our ways after the metro ride because we had separate bus-routes to take. My bus was as usual late and I was left standing alone with strangers at the depot. Finally, I hopped onto a bus that would get me close enough that I could easily walk back home.
Now, if you’ve ever watched any kind of thriller or horror movie, you would’ve realized that, this is where the window opens up for something unfortunate to happen. In the dark of the night, with cold breezes that kept the population hidden in their apartments, a student all alone alighting from a bus near an underground-pedestrian. Yes, the scene is set. let’s add in a bit of fog to make it eerie (which was real by the way).
A man of an average stature but massive built, with a handkerchief in his right hand and something scribbled on a piece of paper in his left, was looking for a helpful passer-by (prey). I being myself, paid heed to what he said, looked at him, he was beckoning to me and I thought of going towards him to understand the situation. He said, “can you read this address, tell me where this place is?”
God’s grace or my awareness I am not sure, but when something is not right you feel it and I suddenly was not feeling good about this man. A man had just walked past him before me. Why did he not ask him for help?
I asked him, while walking towards him, to hand me the paper but he insisted on me coming closer to his hand instead. Red flag!! What a creep? But creeps could be harmless, kidnappers are not. For one moment there, I tried leaning in to read the paper in his hand but my eyes caught something, the hanky, why would he need that in this cold winter? You do not sweat in winter! What is that dab on his hanky? Why is he holding it in his hand like that? I asked myself.
I have heard enough and watched a lot of TV shows that led me to assume that it could be chloroform stain. Then and there I froze a little, felt the chill run up my spine and instantly jumped back. He looked startled. I started walking away, slowly at first and then faster. And then it happened, he confirmed all my fears by uttering the following sentences. He said, “what are you afraid of? Just read this, hey do not walk away! Do Not Be Scared!“.
Do Not Be Scared!? Really?
Is that not like the classic thing when someone just says, do not be scared, come here, come near, come into the van, take this piece of chocolate and bam! something goes horribly wrong?
After that I did not walk, I just ran back to my home that day and did not even go near that place for a while. All of this happened in a matter of minutes. But it feels like how fast it went, it could have very easily gone the other way round as well. Talk about feeling unsafe! Who is really safe when innocence (our true nature) is what gets taken advantage of?