I was a server at a 24-hour family restaurant when I was 18 and 19. It was difficult for me to turn down shifts, but because transit was tricky after11pm I managed to make that my latest endtime. I frequently took a single bus home at 11:25pm that was sometimes completely empty.
The bus driver would often strike up a conversation. He would tell me about his marital history and how he didn’t have a lady in his life just then. It sure would be nice to have someone. Did I have a boyfriend? I am having sex, right? “We’re all adults here, right?”
Being the only one on the bus it was difficult to avoid talking to him; even though I wore headphones I felt it was rude to ignore him. He asked me if I was far from home when I got off my stop; I told him I was a block away. He guessed my apartment complex correctly and would then stop there.
A woman in my apartment complex passed me once while walking her dog; I started to see her more and more. “Be careful of him,” she finally told me once. “He likes young girls.”
I didn’t grow up in the Lower Mainland and had never taken transit before age 18. I am thankful for her kindness and watchful eye. I took the skytrain + another bus home after that, even though I often got home after midnight that way.