I’m a 19 year old, non-binary person living in Ireland. I was born a female, which I believe may be part of the reason why this incident happened. Every summer for the last three years, I have gone to a week long music camp. It’s the best week of the summer every year, but this occurrance left me scared and confused for months. For my 18th birthday, I was given a yellow submarine themed guitar case as I play guitar and ukulele and was in need of a good case for the camp, and general use. The town that I live in, which we’ll call L, is roughly half an hour from the city, which we’ll call D, where my mum works. it’s also about 20 minutes from a town wich we’ll call R, wich is key information that will come into play later. She gets the bus to and from D, and I usually meet her at the bus station when she comes in from work, to save my dad making two trips to and from home.
During camp week, I walked from the youth club where I went every day afterwards, to the bus station. I had my guitar, a bag and my ukulele with me, and so was weighed down. When I reached the bus station where I was waiting for my mum, I put everything on the ground beside me, and stood leaning against the fence with my earphones in. I was listening to music and looking at the ground as I’m an extremely socially anxious person and avoid contact with strangers like the plague.
I was listening to my favourite band when I noticed the shadow of a person in fromt of me. Looking up, there was an older man in front of me. I awkwardly smiled and said hello, hoping that he would move along quickly so I could get back to listening to my music. No such luck. He began making conversation and I was growing more and more anxious by the minute. He says “you like the old music, yes?” eyeing up both my Beatles guitar case and various badges on my bag. “Uh, yeah. The Beatles are one of my favourite bands.”Hhe replied to this with “yeah I thought so, I’ve seen you many times. You’re always in the shopping centre and standing here.” Both of these statements are true. “I have lots of Beatles photos and posters in my house in R, would you like to come and see them?” He also tried several times to give me his phone number, and to ask for mine, which I, of course, furiously denied doing. I gave him a fake name in case he tried to find me another way when he asked. He told me his name was T and how he lives along the main street in R and all about the collection of Beatles photos that he apparently had and wanted to sell me.
As previously mentioned, I’m and extremely anxious person. I was completely terrified by him knowing where I meet my mum, and my now ex boyfriend and other friends, so I simply said “I’ll… um… talk to my parents and see what they think.” Finally, after me telling him I need to run and buy my bus ticket and telling him the time as he said he also had a bus to catch, he left. Of course, I didn’t have a bus to catch. I picked up all my stuff and went inside the bus station, which meant I could no longer enjoy the July evening sun. I usually walked from the youth club to the bus station alone, but I knew he would be there and was far too nervous to walk alone, so I told some of my male friends and they walked with me down to the bus station for another couple of weeks.
Yes, he may have genuinely trying to be friendly. However, knowing the places where I tend to be most often, as well as recognising my guitar case and trying to get me to come to his house is undeniably creepy. I still see him around all the time, and hope to goodness that he doesn’t recognise me as I cut my hair from waist length to chin length since that happened.