He “only” wanted to follow her

I was walking back home one night, in my lovely neighborhood in central Paris, it was around 8 or 9 PM. I felt a guy walking towards me and got tense. What effort would I have to produce to make him leave me alone in an efficient way?

The guy began talking to me, the regular bullshit. He was not aggressive but very insistent. I remained calm, didn’t make eye contact but still told him in a polite way I didn’t want anything from him and wanted to be left alone.

The guy literally walked me home – I was almost there when he first approached me. He was just a few meters away from me so I figured I would have time to open the door of my building and quickly get in. I rushed and panicked because I realized he had put his foot in the door. I lived in what used to be the superintendant’s apartment so I had no other locked door to cross, only mine.

The guy came right after me and as I was opening my own door, he kind of rushed and we both fell on the ground of my little apartment. He fell over me, to tell the truth. It was all dark and I was so scared I began peeing on myself – all kinds of visions went through my mind: “So it’s happening to me, now, the door is going to close back on us, the guy is going to rape me and nobody will hear me or even try to come to help.”

It all went very fast. The guy stood up and kind of backed off, I didn’t exactly pushed him or fought or anything like this. He looked a little puzzled and as he was standing there, already out the door, I told him he was crazy and he had to go. He said he was sorry, that he had thought I had entered a staircase and not my own home and that he “only” wanted to follow me (like it’s more honorable, or something.) He finally left in a very neutral manner, like nothing had happened. I was in shock.

I think, at a certain point, he got scared by the whole situation. Maybe he didn’t want to go that far and scare me that much. I don’t think he really knew what he was doing but still, all I really know is that, as is true of many men, he couldn’t take “no” for an answer.

– E. B.

Location: Paris, France

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2 Responses to He “only” wanted to follow her

  1. a person says:

    I feel very sorry for you.

    I have no words actually.

    That guy was a swine. I wish he’d die.

    (This comment applies to every story of street harassment, too anyway.)

  2. Claire says:

    Wow I’m so relieved for you that you were safe in the end. You must have been completely terrified. I had a man in Paris follow me and force the door to my building as I was trying to close it behind me-thankfully the caretaker’s husband yelled at him. I had a near miss too in the gay area of the Marais in broad daylight when I was supposed to be safe. The attendant of a brand new modern tanning booth on a busy Marais street (whom I actually thought was gay by his style, deep fake tan and muscles) tried to rape me downstairs. It was the most frightening experience of my life-your story reminded me of it as I somehow managed to get away and he suddenly hesitated as if not sure he would go through with it but he was so friegthening-his eyes were crazy like he was in the throes of some kind of violent sexual urge- I can’t word it. It was terrifying, something came over me -survival- I don’t know what it was but the running away part is all a haze. Anyway I’m glad we both came out safe!

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