There’s something about the growl of a public bus, standing idling at a bus stop later on an evening that takes me back to my teen years.
At 15 I lived in an even smaller village on the outside of my already small town. I thought it was the worst thing ever, any trips to town to see my friends involved using the bus or walking a very long way, or at least that’s what I thought at that time! It also involved a lot of waiting at bus stops in all weathers.
This week I have been in the city for work, it’s in perpetration for one of my appointments I found myself late in the city one evening listening to the buses tick over while waiting for my girl friends to meet me for dinner. I was instantly back to being that 15-year-old girl waiting for her friends all those miles and years away. It’s amazing how a smell or a sound can do that, instantly transport you back to a memory.
Nothing changes it would seem, my friends are destined to always be late. I am still waiting around listening to that rumbling bus, ticking over all these years later while waiting for friends.
After our lovely meal at one of my clients restaurant, I had to make my way back to my car which was parked some distance away and this walk is proof that I clearly have an over active imagination!
The in my head version goes like this:
Leaving the restaurant , they said their fair wells and headed home. She watching her friends walk away and headed back to her car some distance from the restaurant.
She found herself distracted by the comforting sound of the near by buses idling waiting for the late night passengers making their way home after whatever activity had kept them out so late, the sound of the bus rumbling transporting her back to a time in her life where she was carefree. She felt happy, relaxed even.
This light was fading fast from the sky, and the wind was picking up, as pulled her coat tighter around her against the cold bite of that wind she noticed the clip,clip clip of footsteps behind her. Feeling a rush of adrenaline,
“Why are they walking so close?” the girl thought.
She quickened her step, the clip, clip,clip increased in speed as well. Quickly she assessed the surroundings, for a city, the street was empty.
“Where were all of the people!?” She thought.
The car park which held her car, she knew she had to walk down a dark path and across the empty car parktto reach it, it was opposite her office. She could go back into the office but she didn’t have a key for the exterior door! Where could she run to should they attack!
There was nowhere to run, all of the shops had long since closed for the evening the only lighting coming from the stores was from the window displays which highlighted the mannequins in the mid movement, but not helping with her unease as they looked like they could spring to life at any moment.
Where could she go?
The steps became closer, she clutched her keys and fed them through her fingers and tried to remember the self-defense she had seen over the years of watching cheesy chick flicks, she looked up and it was then she saw…….
That is was three middle-aged men on their way into town…… probably to pay pool or darts ….. not a mugger or murder….they pasted her and back to reality!!
Being from the countryside as a young woman in the city, my mother was constantly worried for my safety. Rightly so to be honest, but when you are young there is little to scare you. I didn’t worry about such things, traveling I perhaps put myself into situations that would potentially be dangerous, but again I didn’t worry. So I did laugh to myself on my way back to my car that evening in Derby, the city girl of even 2 years ago would have walked to the car without a single thought, but now having lived in a village where everyone is familiar, walking down that empty city street was uncomfortable. I laughed at my imagination getting the better of me!
I think we have a different sense of safety depending on where you grow up, there are concerns everywhere of cause, nowhere sadly is ever truly safe but perception plays a huge part in how safe you feel.
My husband is a city boy, born and bred in Derby….although a Newcastle fan since he was 4 so rather randomly it would seem he was meant to be with a North East Girl…… his teenage years were very different to mine. He was not permitted to walk the streets as such, he had to be at a friend’s house or youth club. Of cause he didn’t always follow those instructions. His first experience of going out to the pub was after his 18th Birthday, were as I had been frequenting our locals for a couple of years. No harm done it would seem as I don’t even drink now, there just was not a lot else to do – that scene from Hot Fuzz the movie with Nick Frost and Simon Pegg were the city cop is IDing all the local Youth and the pub is left empty, this is a all too familar scene of my teen years.
On reflection I wouldnt change a thing about my childhood, nor would I have not moved to the city even though I have eventually moved back home. I love the city. The traveling I have done and the experiences I have had, the people I have met have all made me into a much better person, as much as I love to visit the city, being that close to all those handbags for me is perfection …… There is no place like home.
Until next time xoxo