In light of a recent conversation with a taxi driver friend, I asked him to sit down with me again, to see if he would tell me about more of his experiences. The driver agreed because he felt that it was important for people to know about what’s happening to some of the young people living in their community. He recalled another incident from back in December that had stayed with him.
The driver got a call to go to an apartment in downtown Kemptville. He had given rides to the guys at that address before, though he didn’t know their names. Previously, the driver had only remembered picking up guys at that address, but this time there was a girl too. When they got in the taxi, the guys seemed excited, but the girl was very quiet and subdued. The driver guessed that all four of them were in their early twenties and had probably been drinking. He took them to a private home just outside of town and dropped them off. One of the young men told the driver that they would be calling him later to pick them back up.
Sure enough, the call came about 3:00 in the morning to come back and pick them up again. When the driver arrived, five people got in the taxi. There was now another girl in the group. Everyone piled into the taxi with the girl from the first ride “May” sitting in the front seat and the other four passengers sat in the back. The guy that usually paid for the rides and did the calling for the taxi, asked the driver to detour to a convenience store so he could pick up cigarettes and snacks before taking them home.
So the driver took them to the store and the three guys got out of the car and went inside to get their supplies. The two girls remained in the car, May in the front seat and the other in the back. May was very animated and energetic this ride. She talked very quickly and very openly to the other girl. The driver got the impression that the two girls didn’t really know each other very well, but May was talking to the second girl in great detail about her current situation.
May explained that she was living in an apartment with two of the three guys and that she was getting very uncomfortable with the situation. She said that one of the guys was pressuring her to have sex with him and that she didn’t want to, because she didn’t see him as anything but a friend. So the second girl asked what she was going to do about it. May explained that she was soon going to leave and go live at a friend’s parents’ house. They lived just outside of town. She said that her friend was away at school, but told her that she could go stay in her room at her parents’ house until she got back from school. The second girl asked if the parents really knew about the arrangements that were being made and May replied that her friend said that they did. The second girl asked how long she had been living with the two guys and May responded that she had only been there for about a month. The second girl asked if she felt safe with the two guys and May replied that she did, but that the guy who was interested in her was getting very moody towards her, so she wanted to move out before it got too awkward.
Just then, the guys returned to the taxi with their supplies and the taxi set off. When they arrived at the apartment, everyone quickly got out except for May. She kind of lingered in the front seat after the rest had got out of the taxi, so the driver asked her if she was sure that she felt safe where she was staying and she replied “Ya. I’m ok.”. So the taxi driver wished her ‘goodnight’ and reluctantly drove away with an uneasy feeling.
The driver said that he has picked up those guys at that apartment several times since that night, but he hadn’t seen the girl again. Had she moved to her friend’s parents’ house? The driver said he had no idea, but he hoped that wherever she was, that she was safe and hadn’t become a statistic.