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Hey guys. I've been reading this subreddit for a while, and I finally got my nerve up to post one of my many creepy experiences with public transit. This is basically a partial manifesto of why I hate to take the bus.

So, I am a girl, and I've always been tall for my age - by the end of middle school I was almost 5'9". I'm not hideous; I'd say I'm reasonably good looking, but at 14 I definitely had a kind of unnatractive KID look to my face and overall body shape, and I was not overly curvy, although I was somewhat fat. But because of my height, people often mistook me for a youngish looking college student, I guess because they think fourteen year olds can't be tall. At the time, I normally dressed in very baggy, worn out tee shirts, and men's cargo shorts that came down to my knees. Not exactly jailbait, here.

The other thing to bear in mind for this story is that I am autistic. I am not "low functioning" - I can talk, although I have trouble with language, and I could make my way to and from my high school on the public bus without getting lost. But I really have trouble reading people's demeanor and tone, and I also really have trouble distinguishing whether things are appropriate or not. I am also generally very quiet, and do not make eye contact very much. I am also really not a quick thinker in social situations. According to my sister, she thinks that because I look at the ground so much, it's like a magnet telling weird people that I'm an easy target.

So, on to my story. In my freshman year of high school, I took a rather long bus ride in the city bus to get to and from school, because my school was too cheap-ass to have a school bus, and I "wasn't disabled enough" for them to pick me up individually. Well, as I rode the bus, I noticed that there was an oddly dressed old man who always got on the stop after me, and got off the stop before I did. Even my fashion challenged autistic brain could tell it was odd. He was at least 65, and he wore button up short-sleeve shirts, and pressed shorts with suspenders, and he had a bright red lunch-cooler that he always had with him. Whatever, I didn't care.

One day though, the guy sat down next to me, even though there were plenty of other seats. That wasn't that weird, it was a two person bench. I prefer more space, but there weren't any completely open benches, so he just happened to pick mine, right? WRONG. EVERY DAY after that, the guy would sit next to me. It clearly wasn't an accident. But it still wasn't all that creepy. Then he started talking to me. THAT'S when it started getting creepy. I don't remember how he started out, but he kept asking me simple questions, like how old am I, am I in school, and stuff, even though I only gave one or two word, mumbled answers, and I didn't look at him. He always talked in a really odd, flat tone, which even I could pick up on the strageness of. He said I was pretty a lot, which made me kind of uncomfortable.

Then one day, he says, "Do you have a boyfriend?"

Um. WHAT? At this point, even then I realized that the interaction had gone straight to creepy-land, but I thought "well maybe he's just going to say I'm cute and boys should date me, like my grandma does." But it still weirded me out. I am very bad at lying, so I just said, "I'm not allowed to date."

He kept asking me that every day, and after a couple days, added a new one. "Can I put my arm around you?"

I realize that I should have immediately said no, since I didn't want to let him at all, but at the time, I was too shy and freaked out by social interactions to stand up for myself. And I am also asexual, and was pretty innocent at the time, so I didn't really fully understand the creepy implications back then. So I mumbled something unintelligible, which apparently he took as "yes", because every day after that, he would put his arm across my shoulders.

It is impossible to describe how uncomfortable this man made me. I tried everything I could think of to try to get rid of him - I sat at the very back of the bus, but he still sat next to me. I even tried moving after he had sat down, and he FOLLOWED ME down the bus.

Thankfully, I was not the only kid from my high school who rode that bus line.

One day, I got on to the bus stop, and there was a boy from my geometry class there also. Now, this is not a wimpy little fourteen year old. This guy, Jose, was a BIG, BURLY seventeen year old football player with a shaved head, and he dressed like a stereotypical Mexican gangsta, to the point where people kind of expected him to whip out a knife if they got in a fight with him (and I realize this sounds racist, but it's TRUE, even his sister says it). We weren't super good friends, but we got along decently, just never talked much.

We got on the bus, and we don't talk to each other, he's just chilling with his buddies, but we both end up near the front of the bus. I think I was maybe a row or two down from him. Then creeper-man gets on, and of course sits next to me, and starts up his usual.

"Do you want to be my girlfriend? Can I put my arm around you?" I was sitting all hunched up tight, and it must have been really obvious that I wasn't comfortable, because Jose happened to glance back, and his eyes got all narrow, and he just scowled at the guy really angrily and said, REALLY loudly, "EXCUSE ME, IS THAT MAN BOTHERING YOU?"

The old man got this brilliantly shocked look on his face, and he didn't say a word, but his hand was off my shoulder in less than a second. Jose kept staring at the guy until the man booked it out of there the second the bus stopped, and then went back to chatting with his friends like nothing had happened. I am so, so grateful to him for scaring that weirdo away - the man didn't show up on the bus again for a week, and he never sat next to me again.

Later, I mentioned the experience to my mom while laughing about how funny it is to scare creepy people away on the bus. I only realized that the man was stalking me, and just how creepy he was, when she told me very seriously that I should have told the bus driver so they could throw him off, and to do so if anything similar ever happened again. Thankfully, it hasn't; I have plenty of other stories about the bus (for example, a pervert who was obsessed with my legs), but only the one who bothered me repeatedly, and went SO fucking far outside my comfort zone.

So yeah. Creepy child-molester who dresses like a 1950s schoolboy? Let's not meet.

by reddit user kaikadragon via:


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