I remember, back in the day, those videos our teachers forced us to watch in PSHE about staying clear of substations, having safe sex and dealing with strangers etc. I always thought it was pointless cause these things were so obvious, or at least from the audience’s point of view. When you’re experiencing these things first hand, you may find your view shifts or does a total 180.
A while ago, I was reading on the bus when all of a sudden this woman tried to grab my attention. Upon removing my earphones and looking up from my book, she told me:
‘I always see you reading here.’
Now, coming from an old woman, that wouldn’t be so alarming. It’s almost flattering cause I always get the feeling that old women on my bus hate teenagers (and I don’t blame them- have you seen the kids that get on my bus?? Brrr… I just got the chills…). However she was not old. Probably between 30 and 40. Now as the audience start to get suspicious, I just get nervous because… well because I’m socially awkward. We carry on talking. (She speaks, I listen and smile awkwardly)
‘Book’s are expensive these days, aren’t they?’
‘What kind of books do you like?’
‘I’ve got some books at my house.’
‘You can come over when you want and I’ll happily give you some.’
At this point to audience will be screaming at me and face-palming as I give her my phone to write down her number. I didn’t really know what I was doing. I was only thinking about how this feels like a story plot, where the nice woman invites you into her home for tea and a place to read whatever she offered and as I read, her cute nephew would walk in and we would talk and, long story short, romance novel. Of course somehow, at the same time, I quickly ran through all the possible ways she could murder or rape me, but she seemed legit. But then again, a lot of dodgy people seem legit. Hence the existence of ‘Rip off Britain’ (Love that show).
I told my mum about it when I got home and she found it funny and told me not to go… not that I needed to be told, because I as I thought over and relayed the story, I began to see things through the eyes of the audience. I couldn’t believe I even thought about it…
The reason I’m writing about this today is because something similar happened not long ago.
It’s dark as I’m walking home from college as I catch sight of these guys in front of me, though its more their silhouette cause it’s quite dark.One of them approaches me and I’m quite alarmed as I normally would be when it’s this dark. The guy who approaches me asks if I can help him. He’s smiling so instantly I’m tricked into believing he’s legit. I consider helping him despite the fact his friend had put some distance between us. I assumed he was going to ask for directions, but before I could think of anything to say, my mouth moved on it’s own.
‘Sorry! I have to get going now!’ I said confidently, yet friendly, as I continued walking. I put even put up a hand in apology and kept walking, looking back at some point to ensure they weren’t following me. Not that I thought they would cause the smiley boy looked defeated. Meanwhile I was thinking,
‘Help? Yeah right, you just want to drag me into the bushes. As if I’ll let you put your grimy hands on this!’
Again I told my mum and she told me they were probably going to mug me. A classic set up- the smiley one distracts, the shadowy one steals. They run. I cry. If I had been watching this, I would’ve screamed at the protagonist for even hesitating for a second, so it just goes to show that maybe these videos are important cause perhaps the true intentions of others are not so obvious.