Entry One- Three Little Cars
Making a mistake is an easy thing to do, making them repeatedly is dumb.
I am dumb. I am so, so fucking dumb.
Three times. I have nearly been killed three times by losers with cars. Not from a hit and run or from a drive by shooting but because predators and perverts were as mythical to me as vampires and werewolves, (not mermaids though, mermaids are real.)
Everyone’s first mistake is forgivable, and my first act of idiocy in this story is entirely forgivable. I forgive little me. It was a wet day, non-school uniform day— the day when I could finally wear something nice— even if it did clash with the weather.
So, I threw on some leggings; a thread bare jumper and a pair of brown, fluffy boots. I fucking loved these boots (in the box). The day I chose to first wear my special birthday boots was a non-school uniform day. Of course, not one of the Neanderthals at school understood my fashion but I was happy to show the boots off … for first period anyway. By second period the demonic fur things had turned into bear traps.
The boots pinched the backs of my heels and toes as though they were determined to morph my feet into paper boats. I bled, limped, lost two toes, and by the end of the day I was a whimpering slug. A dismal, fashionable, slug.
I ventured home, utterly defeated by my beautiful, foot hating boots. I was already feeling like shit when it started to rain. I was halfway down the unmade road, which was a half mud, half concrete track outside a strip of houses. It ran adjacent to a social, proper road which was easy to get onto if you jumped the low lying fence but I preferred the shadowy unmade road (edge lord alert). No one came down this road except the unsocial. I was already soaking when a van began to trail behind me. I moved to the side to let it pass and as I did a friendly voice shouted to me.
“Those shoes aren’t too appropriate for the weather!”
I looked up and stared at the man. He was shadowed by the interior, but I could see he wasn’t alone (my friend, Lizzie, later pointed out that because he wasn’t alone then he probably wasn’t threatening at all… don’t be like Lizzie guys. Just don’t.)
“No, but they’re cute.” I replied smugly, happy that this older man had even noticed my shoes.
He leaned out the window a bit and said the words that every parent should warn you about.
“I can take you home, jump into the van. Where do you live?” He looked at me, waiting to see how I would react.
My feet were killing me and I was so tired. I took a step forward and then I saw his smirk.
“No,” I muttered as casually as possible, “Thank you.”
I turned away quickly, and I jumped the fence separating the main road from the unmade road.
I must have shocked them by jumping the fence because the next thing I heard was a metallic screech and the van was gone.
Of course, I told mum when I got home. She said not to tell my dad because he would be upset, and that I should just try and forget about it— The following week a girl reported the van to the police and school. She had been physically pulled into the van by the driver, but her friends fought him off. She was traumatised.
It took me a few years to realise just how close I came to be being pulled into the van.
I should have learnt that day to be safe and to stay in light, busy areas.
I should have remembered it second year of university the moment sheer stupidity took over… I went for a walk in the dark.
Having been to the area a few times, I decided that walking in Silverdale in the dark was okay. It wasn’t well lit but the odds of anything happening were slim.
I was walking along a narrow path under a thick canopy of trees when a car suddenly shot past me. The windows were dense with smoke and the music was blaring. Pillars of smoke rocketed from the windows as they were scrolled down, and I heard the men inside. They were shouting at me. All the usual, ‘darling’, ‘hot’, ‘arse’.
Shit. Fuck. Shit. I ran.
I don’t know why I had come out at night. I don’t know why I hadn’t listened to my boyfriend. Stoke was a rough place and after living there for a few years anyone would forget drugs and abuse were even illegal.
Up ahead, the car was slowly down and dim, red break lights shone.
This was my running route, I knew exactly where to go, but whether or not I could get there in time was another matter. I don’t know why I was so scared, but my heart raced, and right in the pit of my stomach I knew something was wrong.
For a moment, just a split moment, I thought I was overreacted. Those men were just high, just listening to music… just slowing down the car after shouting at me in the darkness.
I sprinted to the other side of the road and into the public footpath, up the left side of which was a hill entirely hidden in thick shadow. No one would go up here, and no one would look behind the hedges halfway up.
I shot up the hill and fell hard behind the bush. I waited. I heard nothing for a while and then, suddenly, voices. Lots of them. Men shouting, “She went this way.”
My heart fell. Never in my life had I been so scared. Never had I felt such intense fear. Not when I was strangled or when I was strangled a second time— I could see those people and I knew they couldn’t kill me. These people below me were high and dangerous and they weren’t children.
I waited until the voices trailed down the path, and then I waited some more.
The sprint back to the university could have won me a medal.
I didn’t report what had happened. I didn’t want to admit to myself that I had ever been that stupid.
It was the second time I had been in near darkness and people in a car had nearly killed me, and the third time wasn’t any different.
The third time, and hopefully the last, was a year ago.
I left my boyfriends parents house looking quite pretty. I curled my hair, wore a coat that flattered my twenty-four-inch waist and strutted with purpose. My boyfriend had just come home from work and I had decided to go buy some sweets for us.
I was five minutes out the door when a car belted around the corner. I kept my head focused on the path, wilfully ignoring the shouts being thrown at me. Then the car stopped right ahead of me. The breaks screamed and the shouts got louder but still I refused to look. If I didn’t look then they weren’t real.
As I got nearer to the car, my heart once again began to race then I heard it… the unmistakable noise of the car door popping open.
It all happened so fast… so, so fast. As soon as the car door popped a lorry zoomed around the corner, and a bunch of school children started to litter the street ahead. It as though God started to pepper witnesses everywhere.
The door slammed shut and the car zoomed away.
The lorry driver slowed down and gave me a look, a look that quite clearly asked, ‘are you okay?’
I nodded and kept walking. Two seconds later a car pulled up next to me and the driver shouted, ‘get in loser.’
I’m not sure who came closer to death that day, me or my boyfriend.
I didn’t report any of these cars. I have no idea if the drivers tried to hurt someone else, if they killed someone else or if I was the only one. Isn’t that a fun thought.
I did three dumb things. It wasn’t going out at night, it wasn’t wearing boots or looking pretty… it was not reporting these fuckers to someone.