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  • I really thought it was going to happen. To me. No, I KNEW. My only question at this point was, will he stop there, or will he kill me too.

    I don't know how I had found myself in this cut off desolate place. As a traveler I love to get lost so I can find my way again. The map told me that this way lies a beautiful public park. I had done the museums, the galleries, all the hot spot destinations.

    I had watched the pickpockets, I had seen the assault, I had been felt up on a bus and I had seen a man masturbating at me through the gap in a bus seat. I needed air.

    The map came out only when I knew I had gone wrong. I did not want to go back the way I had come so sought another route round what seemed to be a municipal dump on the edge of the park, cut off by a main road. I found a track leading in towards the park, so I thought, and took it.

    I reached a dead end. Hot and frustrated, and a wee bit embarrassed at my dire map reading, I turned about. And this is when I saw him. A greasy slick with an out of date moustache, a smile made of maggots, slowly getting off his motorbike, which he had placed across the track, blocking my way. He spoke to me too quickly for me to follow at first, but his leer and gestures made his intentions clear. And the fear began. How do I escape followed by how do I survive.... He moved closer, touching himself. I began to understand his words. He was offering money, and describing what he would get for each sum. I screamed at him in all the swear words I had learnt during my stay, incomprehensible but furious.
    This only made him laugh and move closer. He held something I could not see. I had only my map. I chose to scream abuse still, as this was my only means of defence. How long this lasted, I do not know. In my memory, I am still screaming.

    And then he left. I have no idea why, his intentions had been what? To rape? Maybe not after all. To scare the little English girl? To try his luck?

    Grateful. Grateful he left. I was 17 and had had my first taste of real fear. Grateful. I was alive. It is strange how some of life's gifts are packaged. I knew I was lucky.

    Sent from my Sony Ericsson Xperia ray
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