Don’t judge a book by its cover

In my teens, I met a girl through MSN Messenger, her name was Anna. I received a friend invite after signing in one afternoon after coming home from school. MSN always showed the display name of the contact and the e-mail address in brackets. I remember the e-mail address being miniorgy86@hotmail.com and thinking that this Anna was 2 years my senior, and was probably not a virgin.

We didn’t talk right away, but later, she messaged me with a simple heya. That was the start of a 3 month-long friendship. During this time, we went from friendly conversations to becoming like a married couple. She became attached to me, got upset with me if I wasn’t on by a certain time and played hard to get at other times, like she wasn’t interested in talking to me. As I was young, and with extremely little dating experience, I tried not to screw this up.

We never exchanged photos or anything like that, back then, it wasn’t really a thing people did, but we described ourselves to each other to the best of every detail. Or so I thought. During this time, we escalated from MSN to talking on the phone. She sounded very hot and we spoke many times on the phone. She was into me and wanted to meet, I kept putting her off. I was still in junior high, and she was a senior, although we didn’t go to the same school, my mum and dad were the overprotective type and the only time she seemed to wanted to meet was… at night.

This night, she really wanted to see me, she kept pushing. She told me that she had her friend with her, and they wanted to go out. She really wanted her friend to meet me, she wanted to meet me in person I kept finding excuses as I knew my mum and dad wouldn’t let me out unless it was to someone they knew. It was about 9pm on a Saturday night, I called my best friend to see if I could come over to his house, and if he would come with me to meet this girl I had been talking to and her best friend. He immediately obliged.

After negotiating with my mum, she drove me to my friend’s house in the next few suburbs over. I spoke to my friend, and we organised to meet her at the train station near his house, because they didn’t drive either. I was nervous and joked with my friend saying “what if it’s a really fat girl or a guy”. I am not proud of my immature, shallow self back then, but unfortunately this is my story and I apologise to anyone reading this who takes offence. My friend assured me saying that she sounded hot on the phone and it’ll be fine.

To give you an idea of the area, the station is called the Kenwick Railway Station in Western Australia and it was on a main road. My friend lived about two streets off the main road, across the road from the station. The main road was higher than the streets, so there was a metal barrier separating the streets from the main road. We walked to the metal barrier and hid behind it, crouched and peeping between the gap under it. My friend wanted to spy on the station, wait for them to come, to confirm they are who they say they are, and make sure we aren’t getting ourselves into trouble.

The trains were on strike that night, so busses were running in place of trains. I got a call from Anna asking if we were there waiting for them. I told her we were. She told me what they were wearing so we could easily identify them; a white skirt with purple top. Her friend was wearing a black skirt and silver top. She asked what we were wearing they could identify us. I hesitated. She kept pushing, but I told her I had to go. I guess nerves were getting the better of me. A few minutes later, a bus pulls up. My friend and I watch like hawks.

We see Anna and her friend get off the bus, and start walking up to the railway station. Moments later, a beaten up, yellow van pulls up into the station and parks. We pay no attention as we’re watching the girls. We saw them… they were extremely overweight, and extremely unattractive. My friend broke into laughter.

The moral of the story is —

I’m only kidding, what happened next is truly horrifying.

The girls stood around and I got another call from Anna and answered the phone on speaker phone so my friend could hear. She asked where we were. I told her that I had to go to the toilet back at my friend’s house, and I’ll be there in a few minutes. She said: OK, but hurry up, this place was scaring them. My friend could not stop laughing about the situation and found it very entertaining.

We continued watching the girls, Anna called again. I didn’t answer. Anna called again. This happened for a few times more. While this was happening, we continued to watch them and noticed that they were communicating with whoever was in the yellow van with body motions and hand gestures, signalling things like “I don’t know” and looking around, trying to find us.

She called again, I answered. I asked: Who is in the yellow van? To the best of my memory, she replied: What, where are you? No one, that’s no one. We don’t know them, they’re scaring us, please come get us. My friend said: No fucking way. They’re doing some dodgy shit, and I reckon we fuck these two off and get out of here. He was clearly feeling uncomfortable now, realising the situation isn’t as innocent as it seemed.

Luckily, we can walk back to his place without being detected. The next day, I blocked her from MSN and she never called me again.

I look back on that night as an adult I realise that if I didn’t have my friend with me, who know what could have happened to me, or to us if my friend wasn’t as cautious as he was that night. Unfortunately, we don’t keep in touch but I’m sure he thinks about that night and gets goosebumps thinking back on it.

Although there was no imminent danger, it was worth a mention.

The actual moral of the story is: Don’t judge a book by its cover.

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