I was driving back from a friend’s house one night. It was about 12.30am, but where I live in Australia, that’s like super late and very few places are open. They kind of go into this “night-defense-mode” where it becomes that unsafe, petrol service attendants only service you through a small window at the counter from the outside of the station.
I was running super low on petrol and I knew that if I went home, I wouldn’t have enough to start my car up as I was that low on petrol and there was a station nearby.
Now, I pulled up to the station. I got out of my car and locked it, then went over to the pump. I look at the attendant through the window and they nodded, activating the pump so I could fill up my car. I got the feeling like I was being watched, like a sudden feeling that something’s going to happen, was going to happen. I kept looking around me nervously. All done. Thank god. I hang up the nozzle and walkrf over to the attendant at the window.
I pull out my wallet and hand over my debit card to the attendant, paying for the petrol using tap and go. As I put my card back in wallet, I suddenly see someone to my right come up near the window. Now, I’m not one to stereotype, but people out this late are usually the Aboriginal people, as this guy was, and they’re usually not the friendly ones either. And when I mean not friendly, I mean you could walk past these guys and avoid making any eye contact, and they’d purposely flag you down and threaten you for not looking at them because of their skin colour. And if you were to look at them, they’d still threaten you. And if you’re a shop worker or owner and you’re trying to prevent a robbery or theft, you get threatened for trying to stop it.
I swiftly put the wallet in my pocket and turn around, and there’s like 20 people, mostly male, around me. I felt hot all over, I’m sure I looked red. I looked back at the attendant, and he had an expression of worry. If anything happened, it’s not like he was going to let me take refuge in the store and the doors were too far away so I had no chance. I sucked it up and walked back to my car, walking through the crowd.
I felt countless pairs of eyes staring at me as they stood around. I unlocked my car and kept stepping towards it, stepping louder and each step with more force than the last, trying to show that I don’t fear them on my exterior. Thankfully, my car lets you unlock only the driver’s door on the first click, so I got in the car and locked my door behind me.
As I put my key in the ignition, I looked up in front of me and they were all standing in front of my car. I made sure my doors were locked. I didn’t know what the hell they were going to do, so I reverse out and got the hell out of there.
The station is no longer open, due to customers being taken to hospital after sustaining injuries suffering attacks by a local gang.