As a woman who tends to walk most places alone, I always try to remain conscious of my surroundings and the people and cars that pass me by. I don’t use my earphones and I usually keep my phone tucked away if I see people ahead of me so they can’t snatch it out of my hand.
Some people may think this is being overly careful. I just think that I’m a realist.
Yesterday it was around quarter to six in the evening and already dark. I was walking home from the gym, (let’s face it – I don’t go anywhere else), when I saw a group of young teenagers, who I’d say were probably all around 13, up ahead walking towards me. Out of habit I popped my phone into my pocket and continued walking towards them without really giving it a second thought.
Upon seeing me, one of the boys in the group started walking really quickly towards me and when I stepped to the left to go around him he moved in front of me so I couldn’t pass. I then stepped to the other side to try and get around him and he followed suit. Now before you start thinking that this was one of those really awkward encounters with a stranger when you both step the same way to let the other pass, let me just say, it wasn’t. There was a delay in his movements and he was purposely moving in front of me to block my path.
The whole ridiculous facade ensued a second time and, by this point, I was ready to dropkick the little shit. I looked at him and he thrust his hand out towards me without speaking, indicating like he wanted something. Before I could stop them, my words came tumbling out and I just said “what the fuck are you doing?” in possibly the most aggressive way I’ve ever said anything. In my life.
I don’t make a habit of swearing at children by the way, but I wasn’t entirely sure if this one was trying to mug me or not, so I thought I would make an exception. Anyway, it seemed to do the trick and this kid dropped back and let me pass by, although he was sticking his middle finger up at me when I glanced backwards after I had passed by.
Is this seriously the next generation?
Luckily, I don’t really get intimated very easily. However, there are a lot of other people out there in the world who do. If I’m honest, I am pretty adamant that this teenager meant no harm and was just trying to show off and look cool in front of his friends, (most of the group were girls so I think he probably fancied one of them). However, that is not really the point I am trying to make.
If that had have happened to someone who is more vulnerable than I am, for example, someone who is elderly or had previously experienced a similar event, then that could have seriously had a negative impact on their life and deterred them from leaving their house out of fear.
I find it incredibly worrying that there are people out there,especially children, whose idea of fun is to purposely try to scare others when they out alone on a night. What kind of values are we teaching them?