Certainly Not Men Who Do Not Respect My “No”

I am angry.

Chin up.

Shoulders back.

Footsteps like the steady beat of a drum.

I am angry.

Stare down every person I pass on the sidewalk.

The wind tugs at my hair, but I flip my hair back into place.  The wind is irrelevant.

My pace does not miss a beat for anything: not snow,  not puddles, not ice, not mud, not corners, not cars waiting to turn.

I am angry.


“Hit the road, Jack, don’t you come back no more no more…”

There are people up ahead.  Stop singing.  Walk faster.  Look straight forward.

“Hey, pretty girl.”

Keep walking.  Act like you didn’t hear.

“Hey!  Pretty girl with the glasses and the bow in your hair!”

Don’t look in his direction.

Oh no, he’s walking after you.

“Hey, what’s your name?”

Just get out of this quickly.  Use your middle name.  You never use it; he won’t be able to track you down.

“Elizabeth”

“Hi.”

He wants to shake your hand.  Don’t approach him.

“Sorry, I really need to catch my bus.”

I hope he doesn’t follow me to the bus stop.  It doesn’t show up for another 10 minutes.

“Can’t you just shake my hand?”

He’s not going to let this go.  Just shake his hand and leave.

“Can I buy you dinner?”

NO.

“No, thank you.  I really do need to catch my bus.”

“Why not?”

He’ll respect competition more than your own disinterest.

“Sorry, I’m already interested in someone else.”

Ugh.  I should have just said that there’s someone else.

“I can be interesting!”

I want to leave.

“Sorry, I really need to catch my bus.”

Walk away quickly.  Listen for footsteps.  Find the most well-lit place near the bus stop.  I don’t think he’s following.

Chin up.

Shoulders back.

Footsteps like the steady beat of a drum.

I wish this didn’t happen so often.

I was afraid.

Stare down every person I pass on the sidewalk.

The wind tugs at my hair, but I flip my hair back into place.  The wind is irrelevant.

My pace does not miss a beat for anything: not snow,  not puddles, not ice, not mud, not corners, not cars waiting to turn, and certainly not men who do not respect my “No.”


Now I am angry.

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