Last Saturday I had a bit of a scare walking home late at night. I'll go into detail about what happened later in this post, but for now I just wanted to express my feelings about the evening.
To the guys who ruined my Saturday night...
Thanks for causing me to doubt my safety in the place that I call home. I love Guelph, and I've always felt completely secure when walking home alone - even late at night. In fact, I would consider Guelph to be one of the safest places to live in Ontario. But trust me, dear boys, I won't let your actions tarnish my incredibly optimistic opinion of this city...and I certainly won't let this experience scare me away from the sense of freedom I have here.
In fact, I'm more so mad at you all. I'm upset that you've allowed yourselves to be one of the reasons that my friend's neighborhood has such a bad reputation. I'm upset that you all lacked the morality and intelligence to question your own actions. I'm upset that you guys managed to ruin what was a fun and enjoyable evening - and I'm incredibly angry that one of you hurt my friend and threatened the rest of us.
I suppose I should also thank you guys for helping me to realize that I have become strong and brave enough person to stand up for myself and my friends. At least now I realize that I am courageous enough to risk getting hurt in order to break up a fight. At least you have the moral sense enough to not hit a girl.
So thank you boys for weighing the city down with your indiscriminate acts of aggression. I honestly hope it was a one time occurrence.
For those who have not yet heard the story of what happened to my friends and I last Saturday, I will try to summarize the story as well as possible...
The evening started innocently enough; I had been visiting an acquaintance in downtown Guelph to see his new apartment with three good friends of mine. After a night of conversation, a couple of brews and some wonderful Cuban cigars it was time to head home. Two of the friends that I was with, Devan and Kevin, live in a more industrial area close to downtown, whereas I live closer to the university. The last friend that I was with, Matt, lives in Brampton and hadn't been drinking because he had the intention of driving back that night.
It was two in the morning when we left, and I was debating about walking through downtown by myself to catch a late-night "drunk" bus home. Before I could make up my mind about how to get home, Matt offered me a drive back to my house if I just walked to Devan and Kevin's house where he had parked his car. This sounded to me at the time like the safest option. I would be staying with a group of 3 guys, and getting a drive back home without having to be crammed into a bus full of intoxicated students.
So we walked to Devan and Kevin's house, which is in an area with a bit of a bad reputation. The walk was only 20 minutes and was actually quite enjoyable until we were about 6 houses away from our destination. That's when things just started to feel wrong.
I think I was the first to notice the group of guys staring at us. There were three guys standing around on the other side of the street, one fairly intoxicated looking guy standing in the middle of the road, and another dazed individual leaning against a light post on our side of the sidewalk. As we walked by, the man who had been standing against the pole started walking with us.
We were minding our own business and talking amongst ourselves, but the dazed man following after us felt the need to join in. In hindsight he was most likely stoned, and was replying, "cool" "sure" "whatever". I don't think he really had any clear idea of what we were talking about, because when we turned to tell him that we weren't talking to him he still continued to follow us. After a couple of moments he suddenly got offended as we continued talking to one another. I suppose he thought we were talking to him because then he started shouting, "Hey. Wait...what did you say to me? What did you say to me?"
The next thing we knew he broke into a sprint straight towards Devan - right past me and Matt - and punched him in the face. It looked like a very weak punch from all angles, so none of us took immediate action. Devan was very controlled and pushed the aggressor off of him and told him off. We weren't causing any problems and we definitely weren't looking to start a fight.
That's when I noticed from the corner of my eye the guy standing in the street start to rush toward Devan. In response, I jumped in front of Devan and stood there as a human shield. I remember my legs were shaking, and I tried to shout at the guys to go away and leave us alone. Embarrassingly my voice was shaking too. I hope they couldn't hear it in their intoxicated stupor, but I was clearly intimidated.
The two aggressors just stared at me for a moment before turning away. They even backed off aggressively, being sure to turn around and scowl at us threateningly a couple of times before rejoining their friends on the other side of the street. We took the opportunity and quickly got out of there, walking the last 6 houses to Devan and Kevin's house. Matt and I jumped in the car immediately and left Devan and Kevin without saying goodbye. We were all so riled up on adrenaline that goodbyes didn't matter.
Poor Devan didn't escape unscathed. He did suffer a bit of a black eye and had a cut on his face from a ring. Thankfully that was as bad as it got that night. I'm so glad that things didn't get out of hand and that they ended where they did.
This whole experience has made me so happy that I have such great friends. They handled the situation so well, and didn't even retaliate when threatened and attacked. I am completely certain that if I hadn't trusted my friends completely, I wouldn't have put myself at risk like that. I knew they had my back and would do everything they could to keep me safe.
Labels: Friends, Guelph, Rants, Reflection