I lived just down the street from my elementary school. My friend, however, lived further away. So, against my mother's warnings and death threats, I would walk my friend through the first boardwalk, and then walk down the alley to get to my house.
There were times when that alley was not altogether safe.
It was where I got chased during that first week of my grade 7 year by my brother's friend, who was armed with shaving cream.
There was the first week of grade ten when I was chased yet again by froshers down that alley, but at least that time I didn't have to outrun them. I only had to outrun my friend. Which I did.
It was where I was cornered by two snarling doberman pinschers. I was eventually saved by neighbours who were driving past.
And there was the time that a car stopped me. It was a light blue four door with a man driving. He asked me if I wanted to see a trick. I said okay, knowing better, but also, you remember, I was not one to embarrass myself or others, or make anyone feel bad.
I actually walked right up close to the car and watched through his open window as he dug in his pocket for, I was assuming cards or balls (you laugh, but I actually thought this was a possibility).
He brought out his "thingy". I swear to this day, he did not actually reach inside his pants. He seriously did go into his pocket. He must have had his zipper open and just kind of maneuvered through his pants. Perhaps he was worried about scaring me off before he had a chance to finish what he had started.
He spanked it and milked it in just a few short strokes, my friends. I mean, he was good at it. If only I knew then what I knew now, I'd have been embarrassed for the poor bugger. It was that quick.
And then he looked up at me and said "See? Wasn't that neat?"
I responded with the ever-polite, "Uh, yeah."
And then he said good-bye, and I walked the rest of the way home.
I told my brothers what happened. You aren't gonna' believe this, but I was THAT naive as a kid, and with two older brothers even, I didn't realize JUST how bad this act was. Weird? Yes. Illegal? Hmmmm, really?
When I saw my brothers' reactions, I got so scared. I thought for sure I was gonna' be in trouble. And for more than just going through the alley. And I was so painfully shy, I just wanted to forget the whole thing!
But, no. My parents had other ideas.
Hey, they thought, let's take this shy little girl, who still has no clue what was so bad about what she had just witnessed, and make her tell two male police officers.
I had already locked myself in the bathroom. I just sat on the toilet lid and cried. I was mortified. (Yes, you can be mortified without even knowing the word.)
So I told my mom what had happened while we were in the privacy and comfort of the bathroom.
And then I either got coaxed out, or dragged out, kicking and screaming. It's possible that the police even came into the bathroom to talk to me. It could have been done by morse code with the water tap, or by slipping little notes back and forth underneath the bathroom door. I haven't got a clue.
But I do know that I told my story and that they were very interested in finding this guy. I had to give his description (ummm, about four inches?) and tell them about his car.
I don't think they ever found him.
I understand their urgency now.
I know that pedophiles get worse. He was probably just putting out perverted "feelers" when he stopped me because magazines and videos just weren't cutting it anymore. Perhaps by now he has a child held hostage in his sex room in the basement. Or maybe he is in jail.
It could be that he was totally disgusted with himself and never did it again. Not likely, because he wasn't nervous at all. He seemed quite comfortable, actually.
Regardless, being a mother now, this story is enough to make me throw up. Two of my kids, the oldest of whom should DEFINITELY have known better, just followed some stranger home from the park for ice cream only a couple weeks ago. Yup. Off they went, without a concern in the world.
We drove around and eventually found them, completely oblivious to the wrath they were bringing out in their mother and to supper getting cold on the table at home. (I really was more concerned about my children than angry over the cooling food, but seriously, it was a roast and smelled FANTASTIC!!)
I hope you enjoyed my Memorable Monday story on this fine Tuesday.
And for the love of God, if you have a child like I was, lock it in a room until it is around 20.