Monday, 17 June 2013


S is a relatively new team member. The far side of middle-aged; a friendly, maternal woman. Slightly overweight with greying hair, she lives alone with her two beloved cats. This lack of human interaction at home coupled with the need for social acceptance, she's the type you must set aside a good twenty minutes for should you be brave enough to ask the dreaded question 'How are you?'.

"How's it going S?"

"Oh the usual - I didn't sleep a wink last night"

"Oh dear, why's that?"

"Well you know I'm going on that solo cruise in a few weeks?"

How could that ever slip my mind...

"I was reading reviews online last night and they're full of horror stories. Older men stalking single women who are travelling alone"

"I really wouldn't worry - they always post the worst stories online and I'm sure they embellish most of them..."

"To be honest, I thought that, but then I came across this story of a single British woman who was persistently harassed by an American man who wanted her to go to dinner with him"

"To cut a long story short, she kept refusing and in the end, he tried to attack her in her cabin"

"That sounds like an urban legend if ever I've heard one"

"I hope you're right. I love my cruises but I could never bring myself to go on another one if someone tried to attack me whilst I slept"

"Like I said S, I really wouldn't worry - you'll be fine"

"Well it's like my Dad said last night: if someone wants to rape me in my cabin at my age, I should leave the door unlocked"

And with deadpan execution, amidst colleagues grinning at their computer screens, she shuffled away leaving me to contemplate the conversation we had just exchanged.


Ms. Moon said...

Sometimes someone will just completely shock the shit out of you. I love it when that happens! Beautiful.

Steve Reed said...

Ha! Talk about conflicted! :)