At my usual morning bus stop, I saw a man leer at me out of the corner of my eye and thought I heard him say something to me. Once I was farther away I looked back and saw him staring. Another man was also there with him.
Fast forward a couple minutes and the bus shows up. The man and his friend walk toward me, presumably to get on the bus. It had been raining that morning, and I had my umbrella up. The other man comes up to me and says, “It’s not raining anymore” as I’m closing up my umbrella to get on the bus. It catches me off guard so I say, “what?” and he repeats himself. I just say, “yeah” in a “please don’t talk to me” tone because the way he was looking and talking to me did not feel friendly or innocent. It’s a hard thing to describe in a convincing way on paper , but if you’re experiencing it, you can tell.
In that instant, I tried to give the man the benefit of the doubt- maybe he was mentally ill and that’s why he came up to me to say that.
But as I turn to go get on the bus, he says something like, “giving me that face….beautiful blue eyes…” and I know 100% that I’m being harassed.
I got on the bus, with the two men following directly behind me. I told the bus driver and she became my hero of the day. She did not let the men get on the bus.
I don’t know if anyone on the bus saw what was happening, but no one said a thing or even looked my way. I don’t know what I would expect them to do but it’s always odd having something that feels so big and uncomfortable happen to you and for it to seems like you’re invisible.
I hate living in an America that doesn’t care about women, but I’m very grateful for that bus driving being an ally. It felt like a tiny win.