I cannot make this stuff up.
So, picture the scene, it’s 24 degrees outside and the sun is shining. I woke up early and so I wasn’t in a rush. I decided I was going to the 11:30am service so I could take my sweet time. The bus was supposed to get to my stop at 10:59, however, it was a couple of mins late. For a second I thought I had missed it but when it pulled round the corner I was filled with joy, little did I know that this bus ride would give me a headache for the rest of the day.
As I got on, the bus drivers attention appeared to be on a guy in the back who was acting shifty. I quickly analysed the situation, realised the man was injecting himself with a substance and decided to sit closest to the driver. The driver’s unease was causing me to feel uncomfortable and just as I was at the point of deciding whether to get off the bus, a man sat opposite me, who looked like he was in his late 50s, said “good morning”. This is not unusual because Charlotte is in the South, everybody talks to everybody. Many people have pure intentions in doing so.
He looked roughly like this:
But I just thought he was being friendly because he could sense my discomfort. Anyway I said hello back and tried to put my earphones back in (am I the only one that gets excited about being able to listen to a solid playlist on a journey?). He then asked me where I was from (the accent forever gives me away) and continued to force a conversation from there. I then decided to call my cousin Tash, just to have someone on the line, hoping he would get distracted by something else. Whilst on the phone I told her I was on my way to church, we went back and fourth and then she told me she had to go.
As soon as I’d finished my conversation he asked what church I go to. I told him I went to Elevation. He seemed interested and so who am I to stop God from moving (can I get an amen?). He asked what time it started and finished and then told me to Google his church which he claimed was near mine.
This is where it got sketchy.
He said that he was going to jump off the bus and catch an Uber for the rest of the way. But because our churches were so close I should get off and jump in his Uber with him. (He really messed with the wrong one because I’ve watched nearly every kidnapping documentary in the world). This is how “close” our churches are:
I politely declined.
Next thing he slipped me this with his number on it:
Whether you have a boyfriend, or are even married, there are quite a few older men here that can school you on perseverance. He then forced me to call his number which I didn’t mind doing because I already knew I would be blocking it. Plus in some months my American number will be useless to me. I always prefer to not allow a situation to escalate and so always play calm. (Plus people have guns here and I want to go home in one piece). He asked me where I live and I gave him an elaborate explanation of the complete opposite end of the city to where I stay. He then said that at 1pm we would be going to lunch and that I shouldn’t worry because he would be paying. THE LAST THING I WAS WORRIED ABOUT WAS PAYING FOR FOOD. I awkwardly laughed it off and he got off the bus at his stop.
In the service I received this message:
I blocked his number and didn’t think much of it because I knew I would never see him again.
So I thought.
After church I headed back to the bus station and got on the bus. I had completely forgotten about Roy. I was 10 minutes into the journey after laughing about the situation with my mum, living my best life. TELL ME WHY ROY THEN GOT ON MY BUS. He didn’t see my at first and so this was me:
I made a plan to get off the bus because I didn’t want him to know where I actually lived. I prayed to God that someone would come and sit on the seat next to me. Next thing I knew one of my friends came and sat next to me asking why I was hiding. I explained the situation and told her not to look as I described the man I was avoiding.
She then burst into laughter. He then notices me and starts trying to wave and get my attention. I just kept my head low. He then proceeded to shout “Kookie, Kookie!” on the bus. People started tapping and pointing saying he was trying to get my attention. I give in and acknowledge him. He asked me what happened to lunch. I’m like Uncle, you just came from church please leave me.
Long story short, it got to the point where I had to escape at a random stop. Hopefully, I’ll never see him again but I’m not getting my hopes up.
Roy if you’re reading this, I’m sure there is a fine 57 year old woman just for you somewhere. And if you’re an older man that does this to young girls, please stop.