BB’s Story: “I don’t know your name, woman on the bus, but I’d like to thank you again for your altruism and your bravery.”

I’ve always been a bit spacey and slow on the uptake when it comes to conversation, so I often don’t realize I’ve been flirted with or hit on during the day until I’m going through my day right before I fall asleep. This usually isn’t too much of a problem for me, but it’s thanks to a certain brave woman that it didn’t lead me to some dangerous consequences when I faced a harasser a few months ago.

I was taking the bus back from the airport, and a female passenger struck up a conversation about the luggage I was using. We chatted a bit, and eventually a man sitting behind me joined in on the conversation. The woman got off at the bus stop and the conversation continued, and because I thought he was just being casually friendly I didn’t notice that he was persistently casing me out for personal details – where I was going, what college I was going to, where I was staying, etc. stuff that I didn’t think twice about when telling him because I didn’t realize that’s what he was doing, or that he was showing non-platonic interest in me,

Then, a woman sitting across from me turned, looked at me and him, and loudly and pointedly told me that she would be watching what stop I was getting off at in case he decided to follow me. Suddenly, I realized the situation I was in, and what possible danger I was getting into. He confirmed that suspicion by getting angry and turned to verbally abusing her, trying to tell me that she was just jealous because he wasn’t hitting on her and forcefully insisting I tell him my name. She wouldn’t take that kind of behavior and started telling him off, and they started arguing. All I could do was keep silent – I’d never been in this kind of situation before. Eventually, he got off and I thanked the woman for cluing me in.

When I got off, I was shaken. I felt stupid that I’d let myself get duped so easily, angry that he would think it was okay to treat me like that in the first place, but above all else, I was grateful that someone had stepped in to help someone else who was unknowingly being placed in a dangerous situation and defend them from a harasser. I don’t know your name, woman on the bus, but I’d like to thank you again for your altruism and your bravery.

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3 Responses

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  1. Enna says:

    If that man was inncoent he would have apologised – he the lady was jealous he wasn’t hitting on her? Says it all really. If he was being an inncoent cretin, he would have apologised and stopped – or given the same details of his as you had to him.

  2. Q says:

    I don’t think there’s any question in anyone’s mind that the man had machinations on this woman. You probably don’t need to point that out to make it true.

    However, you (writer of the post) are so incredibly lucky that you managed to escape that situation with merely a feeling of unease and slight embarrassment. I shudder to think where you might have posted this story from otherwise; the hospital after the rape kit had been employed, or worse: not at all, as there’s no internet from the grave.

    Truly a noble and courageous thing for this woman to do for you. I know it’s pointless now, and I probably wouldn’t have thought of it at the time with my mind reeling as I’m sure yours was… but it is too bad you didn’t get her name. Heroines like that should be publically applauded for their bravery.

    Thank you for sharing this story.

  3. Choika says:

    I would highly recommend that you find a therapist who can give you some assertiveness training. Especially if you’re not neurotypical, being unable to determine when someone is being predatory is very dangerous. Learning how to draw boundaries with people is really important.

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