All I've Never Known
Intimidation, it's quite an interesting emotion. It was especially unusual for me to be feeling.
I couldn't help it though as I stood at the bus stop on the corner of Redmont and Grant. I don't even exactly know how I ended up here, just what lead up to it. I was supposed to be going to meet up with my Aunt Helen for lunch in the more Urban city-town of Trent and she had never shown. I had only come in hope that the old witch was going to tell me about how she had put me in her will. Well, the half hour bus ride there from school was quite pointless and a waste of my time.
So now here I sat, alone, while it was getting dark. To make it worse I was in my school uniform, having gone right from the the Student Government meeting at my Catholic High School to meet my Aunt at some posh restaurant. The navy and forest green plaid skirt and white shirt screamed 'I'm innocent and naïve, come mug me.' I sighed with fatigue and looked around with paranoia. My heavy backpack sitting on my lap was my only source of comfort right now. I felt like it kept anyone who came too close a little farther from me than they would be without the backpack. And of course if anyone tried to come near me I'm sure that the 20 pounds of textbooks in the bag would sure hurt if it was swung in their face. Thanks to the early December weather it was not only almost completely dark right now, at a little past 6 o'clock, but the cold was making me lose feeling in my toes. My phone had died last time I checked the time, but my bus had already been ten minutes late then, and that must have been 15 minutes ago. This was ridiculous.
I was feeling a mixture of anxiousness, intimidation, and fear right now. Maybe if I closed me eyes and pictured that I was vacationing in some beautiful, warm tropical island I'd begin to regain feeling in my toes. That would relieve me of one of my pending problems. I attempted doing exactly that, and I must have sat there for 5 minutes with my eyes closed looking like a complete imbecile to any passerbys. Good thing the street seemed almost completely empty. I actually couldn't decided whether that was a good or bad thing. So after the few minutes that I tried that method and it failed I opened my eyes once again and nearly jumped 5 feet into the air.
Sitting next to me was some guy with a black Northface on, dark blue fitted jeans, a baggy white t-shirt under the Northface, and a black hat that all of those guys seemed to wear. And he was staring at me with interest. Interest. That's what was making my heart race at a million mile per hour, and not in the good way. My mind was blanking out and I had no idea what to do. I am a 17 year old girl from a middle class, suburban neighborhood. I had no idea how to deal with or interpret anything in Trent. The only time I had been in the area was once or twice with my parents to meet up and have dinner with their friends from the city or something of that sort.
Now I was sitting at a bus stop alone next to a guy who just shouted 'bad news'. I didn't think it was possible but my grip on my backpack in my lap got tighter and tighter as the guy looked at me longer and longer.
Where the fuck is my bus?
"What's a pretty little thing like you doing around these parts?" he chuckled a bit at what he had said. I could practically feel myself shaking.
"Going home," I answered coldly, still staring straight ahead. The ice bitch act was coming out full force and it was times like these when I was thankful for the large amount of attitude that I contained.
"Maybe I can change your mind on that. I'm sure I could show you a good time," he insinuated non too subtly and I swear I almost threw my backpack right at his manhood. I despised guys who sleazily tried to pick women up, especially when I had to deal with them.
"I doubt it. Now I prefer that you stop talking to me and I can just wait for my bus in peace and happily be on my way home," I said with my nose raised, still not having even looked in his direction.
"Oooh, fesity, I like it," and that just hit my nerves. I turned my head to face him and gave him the strongest glare I had. It almost completely knocked his smirk, away, almost, and cause him to raise his eyebrow.
"Listen to me you worthless piece of trash, I do not and never will want to do anything at all with you have it be sexually or even socially. I am merely waiting for my bus to get home. I am freezing fucking cold, I am exhausted, and I have had one of the single most stressful days of my life. If you seriously want to sit here and try and play this little 'mess with the innocent little suburbanite' I will not hesitate for once second to make you regret." I said quickly, but with a calm voice, not once halting my glare.
He held his hands up,"Woah girl, I'm just having some fun with you," it was when he held his hands up that I noticed something on his forearm. It was a tattoo. It was a tattoo of a lion in mid roar with words in some language that I didn't know written underneath it. Oh my god. I knew exactly what that was on his arm. It was a gang symbol from one of the gangs around this area. A pretty influential one. Shit. I should have just kept my mouth shut. How can someone as intimidated as I was now be able to keep her trap shut and not give someone attitude for once? Oh God, I am screwed.
He must have noticed when the shock and fear registered on my face and his face went solemn, "You're lucky that I'm the one that just happened to run into you. I could name many other people who you wouldn't want to run into on a dark street in Trent, especially as mouthy as you are." I was then that I fully took him in, he must have been 3 or 4 years older than me. He had olive green eyes and a shaved head of hair that was growing in as a medium brown color.
"I-I-I'm s-so-sorry," I couldn't help but stutter.
"You're lucky I'm too nice of a guy to do anything, and I wouldn't hurt a little innocent thing like you," he said with a wink and that's when I let my self let out a little silent sigh of relief. This guy had pretty much stated underhandedly that he was harmless to me.
We sat there in silence, me still stiff and looking around with that still prevailing paranoia, never unaware of this guy's presence on the bench, less than three feet away from me. It was then that I felt something else. It was another presence, and it was approaching. I looked across that street and saw a tall figure walking with this strong sense of sureness towards the bus stop. With his face down and his hands in his jacket I couldn't really tell much about him. The guy next to me noticed him also and got to his feet and slowly, but purposefully met up with this new guy about ten feet to the left of me.
"Alex, man, what's up?" the guy who had been sitting next to me said to this new guy as they did one of those typical bro hug things.
"We have a problem Jay and I need to go pay a visit, I don't trust Pats to back me up so I decided to come find you," he replied.
It was then that this new guy, who was apparently named Alex, noticed my presence and looked up suddenly, right into my eyes. His eyes were dark, that was the first thing that I noticed about him. I also took in the fact that he had to be at least 4 inches taller than Jay. His gaze seemed to pin me to where I was seated and I couldn't even move, I felt paralyzed. He was powerful, I could tell by the way that he carried himself with confidence.
"Who's this?" he asked Jay without even breaking his gaze from me.
"A good little girl who was giving me some attitude before," he said with a bit of a chuckle. I stuck my nose up and looked away. The fact that they were talking to me without actually involving me in the conversation not only made me uneasy but also annoyed.
"Oh really?" he asked Jay as he broke his gaze from me. "A good little girl around here all alone? With attitude? Does she know where she is?" his voice held no humor and his face was still stoney and solemn. I noticed that his had high, prominent cheekbones and looked to be of some hispanic or Spanish descent.
"Apparently not," he said with a chuckle.
That seemed to be the extent of their interest in me and their attention went back to their conversation as my bus pulled up a few minutes later. Finally. I stood up and put my backpack onto my back and got myself together, still lacking feeling in my toes. I tried not to even look in their direction as they continued their conversation a few meters away from me.
As I was stepping up the bus I heard a whistle and looked in that direction, where the two 'gangsters' were standing, "Adios chica!" the guy Jay said rather obnoxiously. I waved goodbye to him, a little weirded out, but knowing that he was harmless and just strangely outgoing. I continued up the stairs before I heard the whistle again, "See you around," the guy who I knew as Alex said as I was stepping onto the bus and nodded at me as a farewell. I sensed an underlying meaning underneath his words. I didn't give him any goodbye and looked away without a word as the door closed behind me.
I paid and took my seat, now much more comfortable and secure knowing that in 30 minutes I would be home and safe. I looked out the bus window next to me as we pulled away and noticed the tall, intimidating Alex staring at my window with a thoughtful look and a raised eyebrow as his friend seemed to not notice and went on with the conversation that became one-sided.
Our eyes locked through the glass for a few seconds before I turned my head and looked forward as we got farther and farther from the bus stop. That was a very strange experience. Very strange indeed. But that thought left my mind as I went back to worrying about the research paper that I had to finish once I got home and the Algebra homework I had yet to begin.
I sighed once again, at least I was back into a form of a comfort zone. I liked the little bubble of my comfort zone.