This is actually the “mildest” form of sexual harassment that has happened to me to date. Maybe one day I will tell you about that time when I was just 5 years old.
But for now, this was me just walking to an office in the town I used to live in.
As soon as the light turned green for pedestrians I rushed over to the other side, careful to walk only on the sanded part of the typical black ice, early december walkway.
I got to the library and crossed the path of someone walking slower than me. I did not look at them, I had to watch my step, it was quite slippery.
I walked briskly towards the library and right at the beginning of the building I realised two people were walking close behind me.
They were talking to each other first, in a language I did not recognise, then seemed to fasten their pace and position themselves behind me.
I noticed them changing languages. They started speaking a bit louder and in English. Saying ” Oh! How sexy! Hello!” Making moaning noises and suddenly one, the one on my left, said “I really love having sex” and they laughed.
I quickened my pace. Held tighter on my bag and kept my eyes to the ground.
I was shaking.
After a while, just as I walked past the hotel, one said “Oh mon chéri bébé” in french
Then the one on my right caught up with me and said ” Hello, can you help me? ”
I said NO.
-Do you know where the immigration is?
I said NO.
He fell back to his friend still making noises.
Then he appeared by my side again and said “Actually I don’t need help. I can help you”
I said NO.
He said “I know where the immigration is, it’s here” pointing to the left.
I did indeed not know where the immigration was, but I wasn’t in need of directions there, I was going somewhere else.
They might have assumed I was, being black and all.
Anyway, after my third No, the guy said “You really are beautiful. What’s your name? Can I walk with you?”
I was almost running at this time.
I was shaking, I wanted to throw up, scream, cry, and disappear at the same time.
I walked past the Immigration alley and onto the next building.
Still shaking. Got into the elevator and landed on the third floor 2 minutes past 12. They have lunch between 12 and 13. I was late.
I was actually scared to go back down.
I was thinking maybe find a café, have lunch, and come back after 13. I decided I’d wait until they come back.
Then two ladies got off the elevator, asked what I was looking for, and directed me to another building.
I stood there a while wondering whether to ask them to accompany me there or not.
I asked them if the Police station was near and they said “No, just the national insurance company .”
I got into the elevator. Went to find the right building, and got on with my day. I kept watching my back. I kept being suspicious of people walking behind me. My body was shaking all day.
I did not like this feeling.