I have two stories of being followed.
One occurred when I was in college, 17 years old. The college day had finished and I was headed to big band practice. I was with my friend whose house was part-way on my route so we started the journey together. We got on the bus and all was okay until we both noticed an older guy (about mid 40’s, already on the bus when we got on) staring straight into my eyes and smiling creepily at me. That was unsettling. We communicated this through our phones to each other.
Then our stop came and we got off the bus. He followed. The stop was a university so it’s wasn’t implausible for it to be His stop. It’s what happened next that really worried me. This was the point where me and my friend went different ways. We got different buses from the same bus stop. He was still waiting at our bus stop staring at me, making me uncomfortable. My friend’s bus came first. She got on and I crossed the road. He followed. I walked and doubled back to the bus stop. He didn’t follow – that I could see. I was on the phone to my friend since the moment we split because I was feeling really uncomfortable with the situation. My bus arrived and I got on. The bottom was full but the majority of the seats upstairs were free so I went to the free seats at the back. It looked all clear and a few stops later I was feeling better.
Then He came to the top level and went straight to the back and sat right next to me. The majority of the seats were free and he didn’t even look at the empty seats. He made a beeline for me. As He sat I ran down the stairs (still on the phone to my friend) and told the bus driver I think I’d been followed. He started down the stairs too. My stop was also coming up. It was a remote area, just housing and the primary school which I had my big band practice in which furthered my worry. The driver stopped the bus at the stop and closed the doors after I got off. The driver watched to make sure I got into the gated primary school (my destination). The man following me wasn’t allowed off the bus.
I ran to the gated primary school and then to the entrance in tears to my friend on the phone. I got to my band practice and told my band leaders of the follower with a full description. All I can say is thank you to that bus driver and fellow passengers who stopped him following me inside the primary school. I’m also thankful I wasn’t headed home as he doesn’t know where I live. I got a ride home from my dad that evening. I never saw the follower again after that but it was an experience which really shook me up. Especially as a girl of 17 alone in a city. This happened in Manchester, England.
The second following incident happened when I was in University, 20 years old. I work the night shift at McDonald’s and finished my shift at 4 a.m. The streets are empty at this time and the only thing I usually have to worry about are foxes…at least they run away when you approach. I was walking home as I’d just missed the bus and had forgot my purse (I haven’t since). I was halfway down the high street when a guy asked if I had a light. I politely said I didn’t and kept on walking. He carried on walking next to me. It was an uncomfortable situation. He started talking and kept insinuating he wanted a kiss…also hinting he wanted more.
As I approached the halfway point to my way home I got my phone out and was prepared to call my university campus security to come and meet me as I approached campus and escort me home (there is an app on my phone which the university has which makes this possible). Luckily he figured out he wasn’t going to get anything from me and started walking the opposite way. To make sure he didn’t follow me home I walked around and doubled back to my route. He didn’t follow but it was still unsettling and scary. Especially as he was big enough that if he wanted to, he could have taken what he wanted and I wouldn’t have had much chance of fighting him off. This happened in Canterbury, England.
Location: Manchester and Canterbury, England
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