Bang! Bang! Bang!
We spilled out onto the street to watch as the fireworks exploded, welcoming the new year. I waved bye to my friend, who had decided to go home with some tall, dark stranger. I stumbled up the road, feeling unusually safe as I passed the ladies drumming up business for the clubs and homeless people sneaking wine from paper bags, heading up towards the main road from the bar.
I was wandering along the footpath, looking for an opportunity to get a taxi home and "You shouldn't be walking on your own, it's not safe," came from a male voice behind me. A little too close behind me for my liking I thought. Without turning around, my pace quickened as I replied, "I'm all good". "I'll just walk behind you to make sure you're safe", the voice stated.
Was it as close as before? Had his pace fastened also? The heels I was wearing prevented me from running anywhere quickly so I decided confrontation was my only option. I turned to face him and in my bravest, most assertive voice said, "if you're going to walk anywhere mate, walk beside me.” The man was tall with blond curly hair that fell to his shoulders. He was dressed in a suit. He was not at all what I had expected.
I looked into this stranger's blue eyes and saw a softness, a kindness, a genuineness that I had not expected to see. I knew then and there that my first impression, the fears I had for my safety had been unwarranted and unnecessary. We've had 5 years of happiness since.