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Viewpoints: Letters / Opinions

Just sat there...
By Sam Stouder


May 18, 2012

A few days ago I was sitting at a Ketchikan bus stop. The air was crisp and the day beautiful. I believe it was May day for it was a friend's birthday. Compared to the deary winter that has thankfully begun to pass; the ocean was bright and shining and the island hummed with the notes of spring. I was eating banana chips and ice cream, the crisp fruit slices perfect sized spoons for my tiny palm sized frozen treat. The day thus far had been rather enjoyable, then I saw her. Young, pretty, blonde, rather a tiny girl really; by the usual curvy Alaskan women I've become accustomed to. She was walking - no rushing down the opposite side walk. She was tightly gripping her purse glancing back behind her at the man who followed her at a determined pace. He scared me, that's the biggest thing I remember.

As I watched her continue down the block further down she crossed the street. Away from my view. The man marched with a cold fixation, he was white in his mid 20s to 30s, I am terrible at judging someone's age. He wasn't a large man, slim to average build but he was a skinny-lean also he was carrying a bottle.

I brought my concerns to the attention of my three male companions. They shrugged it off as 'probably nothing'. Then I turned around looking out the clear bus shelter's walls, there they were heading back towards us. Only the man had the girl by her tiny wrist pulling her back down the street and into the hardware store that over looked\ the coastline. The docks were not very far away, I could smell the ocean on the wind. Again I felt like there was something wrong. But she did not scream or fight him, she followed him like a hesitant child. At the same time there was a hard feeling at the bottom of my stomach, something was not right.

The bus ran late, over an hour I sat there. Glancing again and again at the hardware stare. I know they had a back entrance that lead to a parking lot near to the rocky Alaskan coast. Rock boulders and rotting sea life. They never came out.

Still my mind drifts to her. Where is she now? Who was he and what was their relationship? Is she safe?

Mostly I want her forgiveness. I could tell something was wrong but I just sat there. Trying to pretend everything as fine and willing the knotting ball of regret and guilt that latched inside me.

I don't know how or why but.. I wanted to help, but I didn't

And I am sorry.

Sam Stouder
Ketchikan, AK


Received May 15, 2012 - Published May 18, 2012



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Ketchikan, Alaska