Please turn red!

Daily Prompt: Safety First

Share the story of a time you felt unsafe

Image by James Bowe

There are many times I have felt unsafe, but the platform of a blog would not be a suitable place to air the details of them.

When I saw and read this prompt, one incident in particular came to mind, so I figured I’d share it.

Before my accident I used to work part time for a taxi company. I was a phone operator, or telephonist as I would prefer to be known! In the old days, this being about 10 or more years ago, I used to work all the weekend shifts. The Saturday one did not finish till 6am and in the wee small hours when all the drivers were out and about it could get really boring, especially if they were out of town.

This particular night in order to ease the boredom I decide to walk round to the 24 hours garage for a pint of milk and something to eat. It’s only a short distance, up a street and round a corner and in those days it was much safer to be out on the streets at night, much less traffic around and fewer people, excluding the drunks who had collapsed on the street and slept where they lay.

I dandered round and picked up all the things I needed, and stood chatting to the night clerk for a while, no doubt finding out all the gossip from the hours before.

Two guys, say around early twenties came into the shop, bought a few things, got back into their car, but didn’t leave the forecourt. I didn’t think much of it, but they kept looking into the garage and in the back of my mind I was wondering why they had not left.

I decided it was time to head back, so I said goodbye and headed out the door. As soon as I stepped foot onto the forecourt I heard the engine of the car start, which automatically put me on alert. I rounded the corner from the garage onto the street and instinctively knew the car was following albeit very slowly, so I bolted up to the traffic lights and on my way past, pushed the button for the pedestrian crossing.

The whole incident only took minutes but it felt like a lifetime, as I glanced behind me to see if the lights had turned red. Thankfully they had and I ran the rest of the way to the office, trying to open the door as quickly as I could before the car rounded the corner and saw where I was.

Our office was on the main street anyway, it had a big open window with a ledge, not unlike a seat I guess. I just got the door closed and locked when I heard the car coming, not hard to tell at about 4am when there is no other traffic on the road.

I left the lights off and knelt down behind the ledge and saw the car crawling up the street at what must have been about 10mph. They must have known I was spooked, given how fast I had walked to the lights and then how quickly I had disappeared around the corner. They were trying to find me.

I stayed rooted to the same spot, pretty much out of fear for about 30 minutes, and in that time saw the car cruise up and down past another 3 times.

I will be forever grateful that the traffic lights turned to red!

25 thoughts on “Please turn red!

  1. Woof! Ahhh I’m so glad that your instincts kicked in —- and that the skies and lights worked to keep you safe ….. but I do so understand the totally creepy feeling. Shite like that stays with you for – like – well – forever.


      • Lol — sorry, not laughing at you —- but I *know* what you mean.

        You’re probably just reliving it in your mind – hence the cars bit – and that’s because it was a situation that really struck a nerve.


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