During my first week of college,
I used to suffer through metro rides.
I was still that naive girl,
Who hadn’t up until that point taken public transportation,
Because her school was in the same neighborhood as where she lived.
I was on my way home one day,
And found that the men’s car wasn’t as crowded as the women’s.
It was also closer to the exit at my stop.
I decided to get on it.
I stood by a chair at the very end of the car.
There were a lot of people standing.
The guy sitting on the chair I was standing by looked tired.
But he got up after two stops and told me to take his seat.
I didn’t agree right away,
Because it looked like he needed it more.
And I finally took his seat.
I thought he was very respectful.
Soon after, he told me,
“You look tired.
You must be coming home from college.”
“Yes,” I replied with a smile.
“You look like you’re in your first year,” he said.
It probably showed on my face how naive I was.
“Yes,” I answered.
He asked me where I was getting off,
And I told him.
I thought he was just asking because he wanted his seat back.
He told me that he, too, was getting off at that stop,
To visit his brother.
Why would I care who he was visiting?
When we arrived at the stop, he told me,
“My brother lives that way.”
“I live on the opposite side,” I said,
And walked away.
He kept following me.
“At least tell me your name,” he said with a wink.
I stopped, looked at him,
Told him I’m not interested,
And kept walking.
He shot me a cold glance then walked away.
Perhaps the story lacks some clarity.
This incident happened while I was still familiarizing myself with public transportation.
It affected me substantially on an educational and moral level.
The way I initially saw that guy with respect and admiration.
I thought he was chivalrous.
That soon transformed, however, into bewilderment,
And shattered the image I had of what it meant to be a gentleman.
It really got to me.
For a while, I believed that everyone was after something.