Usually the donuts you eat at 2.30 a.m. after a night out are the best. So that’s exactly what my friend Kim and I got when we left a club on a Saturday night a few weeks ago. We were just about to dig in when something happened. Something that ruined this experience for us. It wasn’t because of the donuts, though. They were perfectly fine. Fluffy, sugary, tasty, just like donuts are supposed to be at 2.30 a.m. It was Maurice, the creep, that happened.
But let’s start at the beginning. Kim and I are strolling down the street, heading for the bus stop, each of us holding a donut in one hand. We are passing a man, barely even noticing him, when he raises his voice.
“Excuse me”, he says. Kim and I turn around.
“How are you?”, he asks in a polite manner. Almost too polite.
“Fine”, we say, ready to move on. The bus stop is only three feet away and we want to check if we can still catch a ride there or if we have to call an Uber. The guy, however, isn’t done yet.
“My name is Maurice. And you are very beautiful ladies”, he says as we continue to move away from him.
We say something along the lines of “thanks, man” and check the bus schedule. We just missed the last one.
“Okay, have a good night”, Maurice says and turns away.
And that’s where the story should end. But the thing is, it didn’t. As Kim takes out her cellphone, ready to call a car, we realize that Maurice is still there. And he’s staring at us.
No – Why – No
“Ladies, can I have your phone number?”, he asks us.
“I don’t have a US number”, I say, well aware that WhatsApp or iMessage would work nonetheless.
“No”, Kim simply says.
“Okay”, Maurice says. He pauses for a second. “Why?”
At this point he’s still being polite. Or at least, he’s trying to. His voice is calm. Maurice even seems a little shy to me.
“Because no”, Kim says.
I pick the Lucky Charms off my donut, eating them one by one, figuring that it can only be a matter of seconds until Maurice finally leaves us alone.
“Yes but why”, Maurice asks.
“Because I don’t know you”, Kim says. Maurice takes a look around.
“I don’t see a place where I could invite you to sit down to get to know me so I don’t know what I should do”, he says. Now he seems desperate.
“We’re not interested in sitting down with you and getting to know you. Leave us alone”, Kim says.
At this point, Maurice still seems to have his act together. He’s acting somewhat friendly. But he’s starting to get on our nerves.
“So why don’t you want to give me your phone number? Explain it to me”, Maurice asks.
The situation is getting frustrating and I can sense that Kim is losing her patience.
“Because I’m not interested”, Kim says.
“Why aren’t you interested?”, Maurice asks.
“Why should I explain that to you? I’m simply not interested”, Kim says.
“Yes, but why?”, Maurice asks.
“Because there is no interest!”, Kim says, raising her voice a tad.
“Are you with someone?”, Maurice asks.
“Yes”, Kim says. She pauses a second. “Actually, no. I’m just not interested.”
By now this has been going back and forth for a couple of minutes and I’ve finished my donut. This is starting to annoy me so I jump in.
“Guys, this is leading to nowhere”, I say. “I’ve finished a whole freaking donut while you were talking.”
“Yes, this is leading to nowhere. Good night”, Kim says. But Maurice seems to be far from being done.
“Why aren’t you interested?”, he asks again. Kim and I look at each other. Both of us turn away, towards the road. Our car should be here in a couple of minutes.
“I asked you why is there no interest?”, he says.
“Because there’s none. You’re making us feel very uncomfortable”, Kim says.
“You can’t speak for the both of you”, he says.
“So you think you know her better than I do?”, Kim asks, pointing at me.
“I’m uncomfortable”, I confirm.
“Go away. Leave us alone”, Kim says, as two guys are passing us. Kim looks directly at them and the guys are looking at her as they pass us and disappear behind the next corner.
“Excuse me”, Maurice says. I can tell, he’s getting irritated. “I’m being a gentleman, trying to ask you out and you’re not even willing to tell me why…”
“A gentleman? A gentleman!?”, now Kim’s losing it. “It’s 2.30 a.m. in the morning, we’re two girls, you keep talking to us and won’t leave us alone even though we’ve asked you to and you’re calling yourself a gentleman?”
“So why are you still here?”, he says. “Because we are waiting for our freaking car!”, Kim shouts.
And this is where, all of a sudden, something in Maurice clicks. His face freezes. He is directly staring at Kim, his eyes wide open, mouth half open. He has raised his finger as if he is about to say something. But he’ just standing there, as if he was frozen, staring at Kim in disbelief. It’s like something inside him just broke. For a second, I’m afraid that he’s about to punch my friend in the face. That’s when our car pulls up. But the thing is: The car pulls up on the wrong side of the road. Kim calls the driver.
“You need to make a turn”, she says, then turns to Maurice who has picked up from where he had stopped. “Stop talking to us!”, Kim says.
We walk down the road so we can finally get into the car. Maurice is still standing there, at the bus stop. He’s still not moving and he’s still staring at us. It’s creepy.
Why I’m sharing this with you
You might be wondering why I decided to share this encounter with you. I understand that, merely reading about it, it might not seem very dramatic or upsetting to you. But that’s the thing. Life doesn’t always take place in the extreme. It can be subtle and sneaky. First you think a certain encounter doesn’t affect you. But for some reason it sticks with you for days. And only then you realize that – wait a minute – what happened wasn’t right. That it actually upsets you. That you shouldn’t have to put up with this. And the worst thing about it is: Encounters like these happen on a daily basis. Especially to girls.
Maurice bothered us for what felt like an eternity. And who knows what would have happened if our ride hadn’t finally shown up. What makes this situation ridiculous is that us telling Maurice that there’s no interest, us ignoring him as well as us turning away from him seemed irrelevant to Maurice. Merely because we were still standing there, at the bus stop. He automatically assumed that we stayed because of him. Because maybe, just maybe, despite of what we made clear, there is a tiny glimmer of interest when in reality, we were just waiting for our car.
“Why didn’t you…”
In my mind, I went through this encounter numerous times. Should we have acted differently? I can already hear people asking questions such as “Why didn’t you just say you have a boyfriend?” or “Why didn’t you walk away?”.
Of course, Kim could have come up with an excuse. She could have told Maurice that she’s seeing someone, that her phone is broken or that she’ll be out of town the next couple of weeks. We could have rescheduled our Uber. Tell them to meet us somewhere else. Why, though? Why is it us who need to back off if someone else is invading our space?
If you think that we should have made up a story; we should have simply left; or that we shouldn’t be out at 2.30 a.m. in the first place – if you think that this is the issue here, you might as well blame it on the donuts. Have you had a similar encounter? Leave a comment or drop me a message!