21 People Describe The Most Terrifying Random Encounter Of Their Life

21 People Describe The Most Terrifying Random Encounter Of Their Life
Instagram / Tony Ciampa
Found on AskReddit.


“I was once going back to my dorm, which is off-campus, by bus. The bus doesn’t go directly to the dorm, so I have to walk a half mile to get home. One day, I was coming home late, maybe ten thirty or eleven, after hanging out with friends for the afternoon. It was late fall, so it was long dark. I usually walk home with one of my dorm-mates, but she had decided to stay home that night. So I was walking, alone, after dark, in definitely not the safest city in the world. I was a little under halfway there when I heard a scream from one of the back alleys. I think it’s just a raccoon fight or something, as those sound much like human screams, until I hear it again. Another scream. Definitely human. I drop my bag behind a trash can and take off running towards the scream. I enter the alley to see a woman, lying in the dirt. She turns to look at me, her face bloodied and swollen. She has a look of pure terror in her eyes. Her eyes widen, and she glances behind me. I catch a flash of new, fresh fear in her eyes, and she screams, ‘HE’S RIGHT BEHIND YOU!’ Without even thinking about it, I grab the lid off the trash can next to me and swing around, smashing a man at least six inches taller than me and seventy pounds heavier clean in the head. He falls to the ground, knocked out. I see that an eight-inch knife with a huge blade falls from his hand. I called the cops and stayed with the woman until they arrived. I never saw either the man or the woman again.

I take a taxi at night now.”


2. I might kill you tonight.

“A complete stranger approached me in Hollywood once. He was homeless-looking but tall, super tall (at least 6’6), bald, with an absurdly protruding belly—like a water-belly—and super-long arms, like a wax figuring that’s started to melt. One of his eyes was clouded-white and he was missing a tooth or two. He just walked up to me as I was drinking coffee outside, stopped inches from my face and said, smiling, ‘I might kill you tonight’ in a low voice before walking off. Crazy bastard.”


3. Stop making me hurt people.

“Not sure if this is what you wanted but back in college I was walking in a dress and some heels trying to flag down a taxi (relatively late at night and in Chicago) and noticed a homeless man walking alone towards me muttering things out loud as if talking to someone else. He looked up as he was getting closer to me and I saw his open hand close up into a fist. I got nervous and reached for my cell, not knowing really what to do. He stared and kept walking and then stops for a second right behind me and says “I can’t do that…that’ll be 5 to 8 years, stop telling me to do that. Fuck it, I’m doing it.” I turned around and must have looked wildly scared. He caught my eye and said to me, STOP MAKING ME HURT PEOPLE and then turned around and kept walking … scariest moments of my life.”


4. A man shooting at tombstones in the cemetery.

“My older brother and I were playing in a cemetery in a small Texas town. The cemetery sat next to some railroad tracks which led into the black section of town (for those not in-the-know, tons of small southern towns are still de facto segregated). It’s a huge cemetery and there was no one around. Then we heard little POPs. POP. POP. POP. And pieces of the headstones began flying off around us. We looked toward the railroad tracks and there was an old black man shooting at us with a rifle.”


5. The barking man in the tree.

“My first semester at Rutgers (New Brunswick, NJ) I got stuck taking all night classes and didn’t get out until about 10:00. I then would walk from the College Ave campus to the NJ transit station. Not too far a walk but it starts to feel seedy in that area and I wasn’t 100% sure where I was going. So here I am already a little leery when all of the sudden I hear someone barking at me…that’s right, barking. I look up and discover a man is up in the tree barking and growling down at me as I walk by…I was freaked out but afraid if I ran it might provoke him to follow so I speed walked to the corner then ran across the street and didn’t stop till I was at the train platform.”


6. The creature skipping through the forest.

“So, let me start this off by saying I’m a fan of long walks.

I had recently discovered a walking path in a park I am particularly fond of, and decided to try it out. This path was longer than I had expected considering I was walking on it for a good hour and a half before reaching the end. Once I did end up reaching the end I realized its getting pretty dark so I started to head back. Halfway back on the trail its really dark now, and I’m getting pretty paranoid, because it was pretty creepy with all the owl noises and animals rustling in some bushes.

I get a call from a friend who was going to meet me in the park about 20 minutes after I started the trail wondering where I was. So I pick up the phone explaining I was on the trail when I see some white human looking thing just skipping through the forest… Yep. Skipping. Universal sign of creepy shit. So there I am, halfway through a walking trail, trying to get out, when I see some random human thing, just skipping through, then just vanishes out of thin air. I’m freaking out at the time literally tiptoeing through the forest for 45 minutes while I’m trying to make sure this thing doesn’t pop out of anywhere.

Still have no idea what that thing was and I’m sure as hell not going back there at night.”


7. The werewolf from the bushes.

“I was walking home from work one night around 9pm, and I was on a side street so there weren’t any other people around. There are some bushes along the sidewalk, and as I’m walking by, I hear a rustling noise. Then, suddenly, a homeless guy with crazy eyes jumps out of the bushes onto the sidewalk, right in front of me. He seems just as surprised to see me as I am to see him and we just stare at each other for a few seconds. I can tell he is clearly on some kind of drug because he isn’t blinking and he’s sort of sniffing the air around me like a dog. I froze, and slyly tried to reach into my purse for my mace just in case he tried to attack me. As soon as he saw me reaching into my purse, he made a noise that resembled a wolf howl, leaped back into the bushes, and sprinted off through the shrubbery.

I still kind of wonder to this day if I encountered a werewolf mid-change.”


8. The monster in the bookstore.

“I was at a bookstore just browsing around and waiting for my ride to come up. As I went from aisle to aisle I realize that the same guy is going to all the same aisles as me. Pretty much following me. Normally I wouldn’t have been scared or freaked out, but what made this terrifying is that this man wore his hoodie on his head so that I could not see his face.

It seriously felt like something out of a stalker movie. I began to move to areas in the store that were close to employees. Eventually I’m getting ready to go up to an employee (and tell them everything) and the hooded man comes up from another aisle and steps right in front of me.

He pulls down his hood and says something trying to be friendly like this, “Sorry… [something about scaring you]. I just like to play this game I call Monster”

I was so scared and confused. I walked to another part of the store away from him, called my ride, and luckily my ride was just arriving.”


9. The screaming woman on the bike path.

“Growing up, I always wanted to go on a bike ride at night, something about it seemed really cool to me. It wasn’t until I was 13 that my mom finally let me. She told me to wear my helmet, have my phone, take a flashlight, and she set the parameters for where I was allowed to go. She gave me about 4 miles, which was a lot to me. So right after the sun set, I was off.

I loved it. There were no people out walking their dogs, no kids running around, the temperature was perfect, etc. It was really fun, so fun, that I ignored the limits my mom set. You see, where I was biking was all walking paths. It was one of those grassy areas between two neighborhoods. There’s this long path that went at least 600 feet at a 25-degree angle. I was flying down this hill, having an absolute blast, and darted right through the parameters.

My mom set these limits for a reason. Everything on the inside was close to houses and people. The outside, more specifically, the place where the path I was on lead to, was barren. I rode along this path for 10 minutes before I could only see some of the lights of the houses on the inside of the limits.

After 15 minutes of riding along this dirt path, I hear singing. It sounded about 30-40 feet in front of me. I stop riding to hear it better. It was a woman’s voice. She was singing ‘Eleanor Rigby’ by The Beatles. But she wasn’t singing the words, just the melody of the vocals. Her voice was strange. You know how when you have phlegm in your throat, your voice gets scratchy? That’s what her voice sounded like.

I inch forward to try and see her. I get close enough to see the silhouette of hair bouncing up and down, like she was head-banging. I decide to get my flashlight out. I’m thinking that maybe this person is in need of help or something. Or maybe this is an insane person and the light will scare them away. So I take the flashlight out of my pocket, point it at her, and turn it on.

The moment the light hit her, she stopped moving completely. She was facing away from me. She had disgusting hair that seemed to be sticking together in clumps. Some of her hair was ripped off, too. She was wearing a very over-sized, bright red hoodie. I was almost too scared to move. I think she was, too. I conjured up as much bravery as I could and said ‘Sorry’ in a very, oops-this-is-the-wrong-room, kind of way. She didn’t respond.

I turned off the flashlight and put it back in my pocket. Just as I was turning my bike around, she screams. She screams in an awful, awful, high-pitched voice. I damn near shit myself as I throw myself back onto my bike. I hear her voice getting closer to me. I book it as fast as I can. I don’t look behind me, and I don’t stop pedaling. Her screaming grew quieter and quieter until it dissolved into the howling of the wind.

TL;DR Went on a bike ride at 13, heard someone singing Eleanor Rigby in the darkness, shine a flashlight on her, she freezes, turn it off, she screams and runs at me as I bike away.”


10. The man hiding in the cupboard.

“I once worked as a live-in staff member in a college dormitory. During the summer we housed the few summer school students who remained on campus (near 30). It may be significant to point out these students tended towards the highly academically-motivated, often times high-stress students, if quiet.

One warm day in late June my office received a call from a concerned sibling that she and her family was unable to reach her brother who lived by himself in a room on the summer school floor. This wasn’t unusual as our office frequently dealt with students avoiding their kith and kin due to frayed nerves or general social awkwardness.

Our normal protocol to check on a student is to try to reach them by our emergency contact information, failing that—go check their room to verify they’re living in the building and perhaps available then and there, then have them call their family to verify we followed up on the original request. Also—we are to only enter a room with another staff member present to ensure personal safety of staff and students.

I failed to reach this student on his room and mobile phone, and was working short-staffed so since I was on my own I decided to pop up to his room and check on him.

I arrived on his floor around 2 in the afternoon and the floor seemed deserted as I had expected. I found his room number and immediately noticed the sound of a movie playing on a TV or computer from behind the door. I knocked three times and announced that I was a staff member checking on his health and safety.

No answer.

I didn’t think this was that remarkable, college students are notorious for leaving electronics running while not in the room. I checked the floor showers and bathrooms and found them deserted.

I returned to his door and knocked three more times, waiting about 20 seconds between each knock.

No answer.

This is when my instincts started to buzz. I worked in residence halls a number of years as a professional and something about all the pieces of this puzzle weren’t adding up; family concerned about his health and safety, electronics running (someone must have started them recently, within the time frame of a movie run-time), summer school students and their idiosyncratic behavior, something wasn’t right.

I was by myself, so I probably let myself get more worked up than if I was with someone else. A deserted dorm floor, even at 2 in the afternoon, oftentimes evokes Kubrickian memories of the Overlook Hotel . . .

I decided that for some sense of closure or sanity I needed the immediate resolution of keying into this student’s room, even though I was by myself and not technically supposed to do so.

I knocked on the door one more time for good measure, again announced myself as the hall director. I keyed into the room and my spider sense went off even stronger:

The room appeared relatively vacant; the student appeared to be living out of a suitcase (which is unusual for someone staying no less than 8 weeks for a summer school session). The bedding was tussled like someone had been sleeping in it and all the lights in the room were on. And as I had suspected, there was an open laptop on a desk running on battery power playing The Matrix. But no student.

I began to start rationalizing to keep from feeling unsettled; surely this student and I had crossed paths on my way to his room (I’d never met him before so I wouldn’t recognize him otherwise) and perhaps he was just down in the lobby picking up delivery food for a late lunch.

Sure, that’s it.

Then I turned to leave, planning on trying to reach the student later in the afternoon or that night. As I turned to leave I noticed another odd piece of evidence; the accordion closet doors (which are removed in most rooms due to disuse, particularly single rooms like his) were still in this room. And they were closed.

Odd. I couldn’t remember the last time I actually saw someone use those cranky, dysfunctional doors. Then my intuition spiked higher than ever. SHIT SHIT SHIT. I realized I was alone in a room with a potentially suicidal student who may, in fact, have completed just that. And I am about to be ‘that guy’ who discovers the body and then has a shit storm of paperwork and undesirable tasks, not the least of which would be calling the family back to break the news.

I felt like I was talking to myself when my voice cracked as I spoke to the closed doors and announced my name and title and that I would be opening those accordion doors in 3 seconds.

I fumbled with the latch on the doors, and finally managed to get them disengaged, and as I slid the doors apart, I was unprepared. I don’t know what I really expected, a hanging? gunshot wound?

I’ll tell you what I didn’t expect: a 7′ dark-skinned Indian man staring at me embarrassingly as though I had found his secret hangout. We stared at each other for a good 15 seconds without blinking, breathing or speaking.

I finally realized what was going on and my natural emotion was disbelief. All I could think to say was, ‘Um…are you in here hiding from me?’

He looked at me and said, ‘Yah.’

My heart was still racing, I turned to leave and before I shut his door I turned back to him and said, “Call your sister, she’s worried about you, and, frankly, I am too.”

TLDR, I met an Indian in the cupboard. Literally. Scared me.”


11. The ‘cop’ who barged in at 3 AM.

“One night, around 3am, I was dead asleep with my ex-boyfriend next to me. All of the sudden I hear someone IN my house asking if anyone was home. I woke up my ex, and told him to go see what the hell was going on. He was a total chicken shit and made me go. I get out of bed, can’t find my glasses but the guy is still shouting. I come out of my bedroom in my pajamas and see there is a big bald dude in what looks to be a police uniform standing in my entryway.

I’m squinting trying to get a good look at him and he looks at me and says, “I just wanted to tell you that your door was left unlocked and you should lock it.”

I mumble something to the effect of ‘Uh, thanks?’ and he leaves my apartment. I’m still as blind as a bat but I see that he walks away instead of getting into a car. (No policeman would be policing the woodsy area I live in on foot.)

The next day I called the local police station and asked if any officers had reported this incident and they said they would check with the on-duty officers and get back to me. The called me the next day and said no one had done this.

I still get freaked out when I think about this happening and I wish I knew what that guy was up to.”


12. Phantom woman of the subway.

“Well, I hope the bitch was real.

In Toronto, there is a subway system run by the TTC or Toronto Transit Commission. They often square off certain parts of the subway route (Which is pretty fucking basic) in order to do some upgrades or fix bits. Lately they’ve been shutting down the subway rides into downtown on the weekends.

Anyway, they were doing some upgrades on the track and we were going by pretty slow making sure not to run over anyone while they scampered out of the way. Out of nowhere the power cut out. Now, I should say that I wasn’t the only one in the train car. The cars are decently long and I was at one end, and some woman was at the other end.

When I walked onto the train it was up at her end where there was a giant bubble of seats empty around her. She was displaying the typical signs of Batshit Crazy and people sort of avoided her. Everyone else was off, getting off at Yonge but I still had another couple stops east to go.

She was laughing, audibly, and I tried to tune it out by listening to some music but it never really worked. It was so chilling that my brain sort of just kept ignoring the music and focusing on her, so eventually I just unplugged the music and sat back, trying not to shit my pants.

So anyway, the power cuts out and here I am sitting at one end, as far away from her as I could possibly be, and the lights turn off for some reason.

She stopped laughing.

In fact, she stopped making any noise at all.

When the lights came back on about 5 seconds later when I had sufficiently shit my pants, she wasn’t at the far end. She was about 3 seats away from me.

Staring at me.

The second the train stopped I bolted for the fucking door.

After she ‘relocated’ she didn’t make another sound, she just kept staring.

Fucking creepiest moment of my goddamn life.”


13. A creepy Peeping Tom outside the window.

“I once lived in a sort of bad neighborhood in a very tiny house with my brother, who was rarely there. Old house, so it was a little creepy and also felt like anyone who wanted to could have broken in.

One night I was getting ready for bed, it was pretty late and during a hot summer. We didn’t have A/C, so I had one of those two fan window deals. The blinds were pulled down to the top of the fan. I was changing for bed, I sleep in underwear and a T-shirt.

I slipped out of my pants and changed my shirt. I don’t wear a bra to bed because Fuck that. I am about to hop into bed when I hear a low, masculine voice say, ‘Let’s see those titties again.’

I think my whole body stopped working for 5 seconds while I absorbed the fact that there was a creepy peeping tom right outside my window and I was alone in a house that he could get into if he wanted.

It was the first and only time I called the 911. I had a panic attack waiting for the police and the very nice 911 lady had to calm me down. Bright note, apparently it was a slow night because they sent 3 cars. I was so happy when I moved.”


14. Rapist in a dark park.

“I almost got raped while walking through a park a few years ago. I lived by this large park, which is actually super nice during the day, but has a reputation for a lot of drug use and sex in the bushes at night. I lived about a block away and it was much faster to cut through the park. Despite the reputation, the drug users keep to themselves and the park hookup people are so worried about getting busted that you don’t really even notice them unless you specifically wade into the bushes looking for a hookup, and I was a pretty well-built 23-year-old dude, so I was never really worried about walking through there at night. Anyway, I had a really stressful day and so was just kind of meandering through the park at the end of sunset, just smoking and thinking about shit, and I walked through this heavily wooded path that I wouldn’t normally have gone on, but I was just kind of wandering aimlessly and not paying too much attention. There’s these really creepy bathrooms that are closed down about halfway down the trail and as I approach them this guy who looks to be in his 50’s approaches me and asks me to suck his dick. I am in no mood to be sucking off a random 50-year-old at the park, so I politely decline. I’m not super nervous at this point because I’d been approached in a similar fashion many times. I say no and he then asks if he can suck my dick, to which I also say no. I start to walk off, and then this dude grabs me from behind and starts saying how he is gonna have me no matter what it takes and unzips his pants and starts trying to reach down mine and take them off. Thank god I had the presence of mind and the physical strength to break free. I tore ass out of there as he is chasing after me (thank god he was fat and out of shape) and luckily when I got to the main parking lot there was a cop patrolling, so I informed him what went down and then started running again and didn’t stop until I was home with my door locked. Granted, it’s not as creepy or ominous as some of the ‘I noticed someone watching me through my bedroom window’ stories in here, but attempted rape is pretty damn scary. And just to cut anyone off before they decide to chip in their 2 cents, yes, it was a pretty stupid decision in hindsight to take a dark shortcut through a park, and I definitely learned my lesson after that one. You just generally don’t think about rape if you’re a guy…”


15. The man with his face pressed up against the window.

“Thinking back about this it still seems like something out of a horror movie, and still makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand up … So me and a girl drive her VW Jetta out to a nature center at about 11pm. The gate was never closed after business hours so we stop the car in a parking lot overlooking a marsh, a boardwalk which runs through it, and heavy bush. Fleetwood Mac is playing over the stereo and we are just shooting the shit. 10-15 minutes after we park the car I swear I see a flickering light far off in the bush, but we both shrug it off as we are in the middle of nowhere, and who the hell is going to be roaming around the woods of a closed down nature center. As you would imagine, it’s pretty damn dark in a marsh at nighttime … once your eyes adjust you can make out silhouettes and see things directly in front of you, but that’s it. Fast forward to 15 minutes later and we are making out. I’m in the driver’s seat, and she is in shotgun. Both our seats are sort of reclined back and I am leaning over, half on top of her. After a few minutes of making out I lean up to say something to her, and notice a big dark object pressed up against the passenger side window. At first it doesn’t register … and then like a creepy fucking ton of bricks it hits me and I realize that there is a man with his face pressed up against the window watching us. I shoot back like a bolt still staring at the window and the man who has not yet moved. The girl looks at me, and then traces me line of sight to the window and lets out a scream. With this, the guy takes off and runs. I turned the car on and put that nature center in my rearview mirror as fast as I could.

TL;DR: Making out with a girl in the woods at night (middle of nowhere), look up and see a man with his face pressed up against the passenger window watching us.”


16. The toolshed killer.

“My cousin and I went out drinking in Ohio. I was DRUNK. So I step outside for some fresh air from the crowded bar. There was this guy outside who was kind of lanky and having a smoke.

Feeling disoriented, I sat on the bench to rest my head a bit and the guy came up to me saying:

Guy: Dude, you ain’t ever gonna make it in the real world. If I had my way, I’d take you back home with me to my toolshed where I’d tie you to the wall and torture you to death.

Me: Well that sounds LOVELY. Hold on, I’m really interested in that, but I’ve gotta take a piss really quick.

I went back into the bar, went into the men’s restroom and locked the door until my head cleared up so I could tell my cousin that we should leave.”


17. The man licking the car window.

“I drove my sister to get sushi in a not so good part of town one time. We were in the car about to get out, and I reached down to get my wallet. I looked back up and the creepiest, most strung-out looking human being I’ve ever seen in my life had his face against her window, licking the glass. He then pulled his sleeve up to show us some scars on his forearm, face against the glass the entire time.

I don’t eat there anymore. :(”


18. The burglar from the graveyard.

“I used to live in an upstairs and downstairs house separated into apartments. I lived in the downstairs. One night as I was going to bed with my mom (small house, 2 sisters shared the other room, I was only about 10) I hear a noise that sounds like a winter jacket brushing against the back door. (Let me explain, the back door that led to the back yard, was attached to my bedroom. After you opened the door there was another door about right after it and actually led into the house. 2 doors one right after another)

I thought nothing of it and tried to sleep. But I heard it again. And again. Finally, my mom whispers “is someone trying to get in?” I am freaking out by now and say I think so, so we sit there and listen. Then this guy trying to get in starts mumbling. Some shit about ‘they had me worming the graveyard.’ I’m assuming the shift, but he was homeless and probably a crackhead, so who knows what he was talking about. We’re both freaking the fuck out now. We sneak out of the room and call the cops. Sometime between then and in the living room the guy leaves and starts standing in front of the house. Not staring in or anything just standing there.

The cops arrive eventually and take him. Not sure where but they got rid of him and that’s all that mattered. Scariest shit of my life. Good thing we kept our doors locked.”


19. Assassin at the gas station.

“My grandpa and I were at a rest stop once when we were driving somewhere. My grandpa gets out of the truck, and goes to walk into the bathroom. Off to the side, there was this shady looking fellow, smoking a cigarette. When my grandpa had his back turned, the guy came at him with a knife. I tried to like bang on the window or something to alert my grandpa. He didn’t hear me, and then when he neared the wall of the rest stop, he whipped around, cuffed the guy on the ear, and slammed him against the wall, simultaneously pulling out his pistol. He put the pistol under the man’s chin, and said, I shit you not “Come on punk, try something, make my fucking day.” Clint Eastwood bad-assery right there. The man ran off when my grandpa let go of him. Then, my grandpa calmly took a piss, and we were on our way. That’s the day I learned he is a badass. And if you want to know why it was scary, it’s because looking at my grandpa, he looks frail and old, and I didn’t know he had a carry piece on him.”


20. The creature in the hospital waiting room.

“I recently went to the hospital to get checked for mono. I was the only one sitting in the waiting room and I sat there for nearly a half an hour when a person—not sure of its gender—walked past. It was really weird looking—Pink Mohawk, raggy, old clothes, wide eyes.. And the way it walked shot instant chills down my back. Its legs stayed straight as a pin. They never bent. It’s body also stayed straight. And its eyes. Baggy eyes that had a vacant look in them. Eyes that stayed aimed at the ceiling as the thing moved passed the waiting room. That kind of creeped me out but I didn’t think much of it, I mean, I was safe. There were lots of doctors and nurses around, right?

About 15 minutes passed and the nurse called me into a room across from the entrance to the hospital. I sat on the bed, which was right in front of the door to the room, which was left open. As I was waiting for my doctor to come, I saw it again. It was walking the same zombie-like way. It shuffled up to the entrance doors and just stared out them. Then the intercom recited the words “Code yellow at main entrance.” three times, then two nurses appeared and took him back down the hallway, out of site. I thought that was a little odd, but still, I wasn’t too scared. Until it happened again. It walked back to the main entrance but this time, it didn’t look out the glass door. It was staring into my room. At me to be exact. I will never forget the haunted look in its eyes. It just stared at me and all I could do was stare back. After what seemed like an eternity, it tilted its head to the right. And holy butt-fucking shit it was walking towards me! I panicked on the inside but my body wouldn’t move. You have no fucking idea how much I wanted to spring up and slam the door shut. But I couldn’t. I was paralyzed; stuck on the bed. I didn’t know what the hell was going to happen. I just sat there and waited as the zombie thing dragged its feet and got closer to me, anger flashing through its eyes. It almost reached my door when a nurse grabbed its arm and said “You silly. That’s not your room!” And pulled it away. But as it was being dragged down the hallway, it wouldn’t lose my gaze. And all the while it was moving out of my sight, there was hate, anger, and rage in its eyes. That fucker wanted me dead. For what reason? I have yet to find out.

TL;DR: Went to the hospital, saw a scary motherfucker, almost died.”


21. The man who wouldn’t let go of my hand.

“I was waiting for a bus once.

The stop was attached to a train station, which I’d just gotten off of. All I wanted to do was go home and sleep.

Now when I’m waiting around, I have a hard time standing still, so I was pacing back and forth along the curb, letting my mind blank.

That’s why I didn’t notice the man crossing the train tracks and heading for me until he was a few feet away. He asked for change, said he’d just got outta the hospital. I didn’t have any change, told him so.

Then he asked if I was seeing anybody.

‘Yes,’ I lied.

‘Now I like you, I respect you.’

I don’t know why he said that. He said it again, later, and it didn’t make any more sense then.

Then he asked me to turn around for him.

Oh shit. This is bad.

And like an idiot, when he held out his hand to shake, I took it. I attribute this to habit and an instinct not to piss off this giant of a man.

I tugged on my hand.

But he wouldn’t give it back.

I could taste fight or flight. It was palpable.

He asked where I was going.


‘Home to your husband?’


‘If you’re ever single, you come back here and find me.’

He didn’t pose that as a question.

I tugged on my hand again, and he pulled me against his chest.

Oh god.

And right in my ear, the words practically oozing out of his mouth:

‘Anytime you want, I’ll give it to you.’

At which point I yanked my hand away and ran to the other end of the station. He laughed at me while I did it, and I didn’t stop shaking for a very long time.”

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