Summary from Part 1 and 2: I went to a Green Dot Bystander training and ran in to an old friend. We reminisced about our childhood and updated each other about our current lives.
So, fast-forward to the part of the training where we talk about the barriers to being a good bystander and then where we are instructed to think about our own. A quiet sneaked across the room as people started thinking about their own lives and past experiences. In the quiet room, I gave my mind free-reign. Unsurprisingly, the first memory to pop up included Megan. That day is so vivid I’ll never forget it.
Megan and I used to walk home from school together. She and I would discuss our day and the food we couldn’t wait to snack on when we got home. That day, we were talking about this guy that she kind of liked but didn’t really know much about. He had been looking at her a lot during class and she was nervous about it but also secretly pleased, and truth be told I was a little jealous. But anyway, as we were walking home a truck pulled by and slowed down. It was the guy from class that we had just been talking about. I glanced over at Megan and she was blushing bright pink. He rolled down the window and leaned out of the truck and real smoothly said, “Hey do you need a ride?” I could tell that Megan wanted to get into the truck but I just wasn’t sure. Something felt off. I mean the guy seemed normal enough. He became a little more pushy and I told Megan I was good, I’d walk the rest of the way home by myself. Megan got into the truck and drove off.
I wish that that was the end of the story, at that point where there’s a bit of underlying dread, but ultimately it’s an ambiguous situation; but it’s not. That was just the beginning. Megan was never the same after that ride. She didn’t come to school the next day, she refused to talk to me. Anytime I saw her in the halls she avoided me. But the worst part, I didn’t help her. I didn’t reach out. I didn’t ask her to walk me home that day. I just didn’t.
So, that whole part of the story about running into Megan at the training, that’s not true. I haven’t talked to her since she moved away with her family. I know that 20 years later, it’s too little, too late, but Megan I’m sorry. I hate that story.
But, I’ve realized that there is still time to write a new one. When I say the bystander training was excellent, I mean it. I was reminded of why we need bystanders, but I was also reminded that that bystander needs to be me.
SO ENDS PART 3
Until next time,