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This is the true story of the man who wanted to kill me. I'm going to call him Luke. Throughout the story, I describe lots of disturbing events that escalate until the final horrific event occurs.
"Come over, come on."
"Look, I'm not coming today. I can't just sneak out. My parents would find out."
He called me. I felt that this was very odd, since we had only just exchanged numbers after messaging on Tinder.
"Just say you're going to a party in London tonight or something," Luke pleaded.
I stood my ground. "Look, I'm not coming."
The conversation was long and odd. He was desperate for me to come over, and tried to manipulate me in various ways. I made it very clear that I was not willing to have sex with him, and that I would prefer a coffee date. He accepted this, but demanded that we should meet at his house instead to chill out. I eventually gave in, and said that I would be willing to meet him when I'm next in London. We had some mutual friends, so I knew that the meet up would be safe. Also, he was a totally normal guy! Yeah, he had a big ego, but he was a rugby player, what can you expect?
A few weeks later, I woke up at my friend's house in London. It was 11 AM, and we had been out clubbing the night before. I was very hungover and keen to take the next train home. However, I had agreed to meet Luke that morning.
I tried to cancel our meet up, but after another persuasive phone call from Luke, I gave in and took the train over to his area.
Rather than meeting me at the train station, as most decent people would, he gave me complex directions to his house over the phone. After trailing through the isolated, rich neighbourhood, I finally arrived at his door, a five foot nine muscular figure standing in the doorway, with a serious expression. He greeted me and took me straight upstairs to his bedroom. We were home alone.
I awkwardly sat on the end of the bed and made small talk. After a while, he coerced me into sex, although I had previously made it very clear that I did not want this. It wasn't violent, but it wasn't consensual. I felt as if it was my fault because I went to his house in the first place. What did I expect? Just a nice chat and a coffee? I was naive. I was a teenager.
I managed to make him use a condom. However, he kept trying to take it off, and told me that I was "selfish" for making him use it.
At the end of the ordeal, he abruptly took out a large, professional camera and took photos of my unclothed body. I was not OK. However, he ordered me to smile, so I managed to muster a half-hearted one.
I wasn't happy with what had happened, but I didn't know that it was rape at the time. I always pictured rape as violent and forceful, with ripped clothes and blood. Now that I'm older, I know that I was sexually assaulted.
He then lay next to me and laughed, "I gave you chlamydia".
"What? Are you joking?!" I responded in a horrified manner.
"I think I have it," he laughed.
I had no other words. I was horrified. I was scared. I was angry.
I clothed myself and asked to leave. However, he had other plans. Luke begged me to stay overnight, but I strongly rejected the offer. In hindsight, I am so glad that I didn't give into his request. If I had stayed, I might not be alive today.
He led me downstairs, but not to the front door. He told me to come into his living room. I got a glass of water and sat on the sofa whilst he microwaved some nachos. He brought over the nachos and a bowl of grapes, and sat next to me. After finishing the nachos, he lay on the sofa, with his head in my lap. I felt uncomfortable, as this felt like something that only people in relationships do.
"Feed me grapes, like I'm a Roman."
I reluctantly fed him the grapes, one by one, until he didn't want any more. He sat up next to me and looked lovingly into my eyes. I had never felt such an intense gaze before, but I was wrong. It wasn't a loving gaze. He put his hand on my throat, and pushed down. His eyes lit up.
I was confused. This must be some kind of a joke, I thought, during the five seconds that he held my throat. He then took his hand off my neck and smiled. I was silent.
He then put one hand over my mouth, and used the other to pinch my nose shut.
I was terrified. I couldn't breathe. He could see the fear in my eyes, and he was excited.
I moved myself away from him, and he removed his hands. I edged away from him until I was at the corner of the sofa. "I have to leave."
I recently listened to the story of a Ted Bundy victim. She is one of the few that survived an encounter with this infamous serial killer. I was shocked by the similarities of our experiences. Bundy choked her repeatedly, and let her regain consciousness in between so that he could choke her again. He was excited to "watch her lose consciousness" each time. At one point, he put one hand over her mouth and grasped her nose with the other, so that she couldn't breathe. I was horrified to hear her story, because my experience with Luke, though less severe, was eerily similar.
Luke then persuaded me to stay, but I was set on leaving. I could't stay any longer. He insisted that he travelled back with me.
"Why?" I asked.
"Er... I need to help decorate a wedding venue and its en route to your town. Let's take the bus."
"No, I'm going on the train."
"Fine. I'll take the train with you."
I collected my belongings and we walked out the door. I didn't close his front door properly as we left, and he shouted "STUPID WOMAN." I laughed awkwardly. He proceeded to make angry comments, like "how are you so stupid?" I responded, "because I'm a woman!" jokingly. My experiences with him had been so surreal that I really couldn't comprehend them as anything but a joke. That's with exception for the sexual assault; I just thought that it was my fault for going, and that he was a dick.
As we walked through the quiet neighbourhood, he asked me about my chosen martial art. "So, you punch people, right?"
"Yeah," I responded.
The next question took me by surprise. "Have you ever killed anyone?" He asked this so seriously, and I was taken aback.
"Er... no. Have you?"
His answer was almost as strange as his question. He proceeded to make a long-winded answer, rather than just a simple "no". It went along the lines of: "I do not think that it would be a suitable thing to do because it is not legal,"...etc.
We carried on walking in silence.
We were nearly at the train station when he punched me, abruptly. I stumbled off the side of the pavement. I'm used to being punched, since I partake in martial arts. However, this was out of the blue. This was violent.
Before I had time to react, he noticed a train pulling into the station and grabbed me by the arm. He ran towards the train, drawing me along, and pulled me into the train carriage. The doors shut on my backpack but I managed to free the bag from their clasp. However, I was not free from Luke's clasp.
He pulled me towards a pair of seats, and I sat on the inner side, by the window. There were quite a few people on the carriage, but nobody knew that I was scared. I was scared amongst a crowd.
He started looking at his phone, and talking about geeky mathematical memes.
I turned myself towards the window and texted my friend that I had stayed with the night before. "Jessica, he's a freak." I was careful so that he wouldn't see my phone, and I put it back into my pocket.
When I looked towards him again, he lifted his arm suddenly. I flinched, and pulled myself away from him. I thought that he was going to hit me again. However, I had nowhere to go. I was trapped up against the window.
He put his arm down and looked at me, in an excited manner. His eyes were glowing. He genuinely enjoyed my fear.
Events got much weirder, and much more sinister, after this. He was boasting about the quality of his Instagram page, and showing me each picture and describing the captions, pointing out how witty they are. This carried on until he seemed to be distracted by something out the window of the moving train.
I looked to see what he was so enchanted by. I could only see some buildings and an orange crane.
"Cccccccrrrrrrrranes," said Luke. "I like cranes. They are so long and beautiful. They are also a bird! Ha ha."
I looked at him. I just didn't know how to reply, but I didn't have to.
"Cccccrrrrreps. I like to eat them!"
"Ccccccrrrrrocs. I like to wear them on my feet!"
His manner was almost childish. I genuinely cannot begin to explain how I felt. I just thought wtf?
The train stopped. It was at the next station. Abruptly, he took my arm and ran off the train, dragging me.
"This isn't where I change trains! I can't get to my town from here!" I protested.
"Yeah, this is your stop!"
The train station was isolated. It was 4 PM on a summer evening.
He proceeded to walk towards the steps that led down to the underground area of the station. This is the area in which you can buy train tickets, and get to other train platforms.
When he got to the steps, he didn't walk down. He hopped, with both feet, like a child. I felt that this was extremely odd for a 20-year-old man to do, especially since he had walked in a more macho manner earlier.
I followed him down the steps to the ticket machine. Since we hadn't had time to get a ticket at the last station, I bought one here. After much debating on his part, he chose not to buy a ticket as there weren't any barriers.
He insisted that we walked through the tunnel to Platform 2. I didn't know where we were, but he seemed to know where he was going. I assumed that I would be able to get a train home from Platform 2.
As we walked through the tunnel, I noticed that it led to an isolated backstreet. The street was filled with rubbish and large bins.
We turned left, and walked up the steps onto Platform 2. He was talking normally again, and seemed to have snapped out of his childlike psychotic episode.
There were two other people on the platform. Two women stood at the far end, having a conversation.
Luke and I waited for the train near the entrance to the platform. We were over 40 feet away from the women.
We waited for a couple of minutes in silence.
He leaned in and kissed me on the lips, as if we were a couple. He then moved his head slowly towards my ear, rather than pulling away after the kiss.
He whispered, "I'm going to kill you."
I froze. I saw him pulling away to look at my face. He was smiling, but it wasn't a friendly smile. His eyes were wide and glowing with excitement.
From then on, everything happened automatically. It didn't feel as if I was acting. I was on autopilot. Everything was surreal.
I walked straight on towards the women at the other end of the platform. I could hear Luke following me and and asking questions like, "where are you going?"
I approached the women and stood very close to them. I could feel Luke's presence just behind my right shoulder.
"Hi. Does the next train lead to *my town*?" I asked.
"Um, I'm not sure honey," replied one of the women.
I continued to stand very close to the women, scared of being left alone with Luke. They could sense that something was off, and looked very uncomfortable and worried.
I dialed 999 into my phone, and showed it to the woman. I made sure that Luke couldn't see the screen. She nodded at me, with a worried look in her eyes. I called 999 and a woman answered, "You have reached the emergency services. Do you need ambulance, police, or fire services?"
I didn't want to ask for "police" aloud, because I was concerned that Luke would get angry, and might throw me onto the train tracks.
"The second one", I said, alluding to police.
"Do you mean the police?" the operator asked.
When I was put through to the police, they said, "This is the police. What is your emergency?" Now, I couldn't beat around the bush.
"Someone has just threatened to kill me."
I proceeded to answer the police's questions, such as my location. I could hear Luke in the background, attempting to refute my accusation; "Of course I didn't! Why are you lying?" The police told me to notify a member of staff. However, there were no staff of the platform. The only member of staff was at the ticket office in the underground area, and it wasn't safe for me to walk through the isolated tunnel alone. I feared that Luke might follow me, and now that he was in a state of anger, I was in greater danger.
I asked the women to escort me off the platform. They were very kind and agreed to do so. As I was walking down the steps off the platform, I glanced back at Luke. He was standing still, arms by his sides, facing me. He looked furious and cold. As I walked through the tunnel with the ladies, I repeatedly checked that Luke wasn't following us.
I notified the train guard at the ticket office and he asked me to write my details on a piece of paper so that he could document the incident. The women waited for 40 minutes with me until the police came. In this time, I had explained to them that this was the first time that I had met Luke. I also thanked them for their kindness. They had missed their train home in order to stay with me.
Luke sent me a stream of Whatsapp messages in this time. "It was a joke", "Don't tell the police", "I was only joking," etc. I didn't reply.
The police eventually arrived, after two 999 calls, and asked me to describe the incident. They then drove me back to my town in a police van. During the journey, I texted my friend who knows Luke. "Sam, Luke just threatened to kill me."
"Haha! Sounds like Luke."
"No, it wasn't a joke."
He explained that he doesn't know Luke particularly well, and deleted him off all social media. I also found out that Luke has been known to harass girls. He once followed a girl that I knew around a nightclub, and even attempted to follow her home, despite the fact that she clearly stated that she was not interested in his sexual advances. Furthermore, Luke had shared naked photos of previous sexual partners with friends and acquaintances.
I also texted my mum to let her know that I was OK.
I said, "Hi mum. Nothing bad has happened but I'm in a police van. I'm OK!" It was hard to break the news without leading my parents into a state of panic. I explained that somebody had threatened to kill me but that I was unharmed.
However, my parents seemed a lot more concerned about me being kidnapped by strangers dressed as police rather than the actual incident. I took a selfie in the police van to reassure them.
When I was finally in my hometown, I was taken to the local police station. I gave a police statement at my local police department. This took five hours, and I wasn't able to go home until 11 PM. The police officer who took my statement said that Luke sounds like a serial killer.
My parents were very worried during this time, as they thought that I was not with the police for some reason. I called them and passed the phone over to the police officer to reassure them that I was with police rather than a kidnapper.
In the end, Luke was interviewed. He answered "no comment" to every question and he got away with it. There was no CCTV in his home where he tried to restrict my breath, none on the street where he punched me, and CCTV can't pick up a spoken threat.
Although I mentioned the sexual assault to the police, I didn't attempt to charge him for this because I wouldn't have called the police due to that matter alone. I called the police because he had threatened to kill me, with a sinister whisper. Furthermore, I felt as if there were a lot of blurred lines in the sexual assault. I'm still reluctant to call it rape because I can't help blaming myself for going to his house and giving into his coercion. I clearly said no at the time and on multiple occasions before I met him, but it wasn't sufficient to avoid his sexual advances. Furthermore, I told him to keep the condom on during sex, but he continued without one, until I managed to get him to put one on again. This was also against my consent.
I got tested multiple times after the incident and I did not have chlamydia, although Luke said that he had given it to me.
I had recurring nightmares for a year after the incident. I also became hyper-vigilant and felt scared walking anywhere alone. Luke never contacted me after the incident as he is blocked on all social media platforms.
Some readers may doubt the authenticity of my story. However, this is the truth and I have not embellished any details. I think that someone would have to be a literary genius to come up with such a unique and chilling story. Furthermore, I would rather that this incident wasn't true, because I have developed many symptoms of PTSD as a result. I don't trust men anymore because I feel as if they will hurt me in some way. On a more positive note, I now have an intense interest in psychology and criminology due to my experience.
Thank you so much for reading my story. I hope that you found it interesting, and I am sorry if you can relate to this in any way.