One man, a 40-ish bloke with ice blue eyes and tattoos all over was eyeing me from across the room. Something about him made my skin crawl.
I got up to leave, feeling suddenly very uncomfortable, and to my utter horror he followed. What do I do now? I asked myself. This was before everyone owned a cell phone, I might add. I decided to try and look busy and maybe he would leave me alone. So I pulled out my ticket and tried to look like I was reading it carefully, when he suddenly snatched it from my hand and said: ‘I’m on the same boat. I’ll have hours of your company then, how lovely’ in a voice that was an absurd combination of jovial flattery and hidden hostility.
I felt it very strongly that if I got on that boat, with this man who now knew my booking details, I’d be in grave danger. I can’t explain why the feeling was so overwhelming, but it was, and I decided there and then to not get on the boat. The ticket had been cheap anyway, I could get on the next one instead. I hid in the ladies room until I knew the ferry had left and then I went to rebook my ticket. The story could have ended here, a creepy encounter with a stalkerish man, but it doesn’t.
I was right in the assumption that getting on that ferry would have been unbelievably dangerous. Have you figured it out yet? The date was September 28, 1994, the name of the ship was M/S Estonia, and that cold night she sank in the Baltic sea, taking 852 people with her, resulting in the worst ferry catastrophe to strike Sweden to this day.
I still recall that day with horror, and wonder what would have happened if this creepy man had not taken an interest in me? If I had not listened to my instinct and gotten on board instead of waiting for the next boat... Would I have been among the survivors? Or would my dad have seen my name on the list of lives lost in the Baltic sea?”
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Kelly Peacock is an accomplished poet and social media expert based in Brooklyn, New York. Kelly has a Bachelor's degree in creative writing from Farieligh Dickinson University and has contributed to many literary and cultural publications. Kelly assists on a wide variety of quote inputting and social media functions for Quote Catalog. Visit her personal website here.
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