The boy was walking alone in the late afternoon after his school bus broke down. Things took a different turn when an unfamiliar driver pulled over on the roadside and invited him to board his car.
A young man turned to Reddit's "Let's Not Meet" sub after the several spine-tingling stories he read in the community evoked a nightmare from his childhood.
Posting under usernameiskraken, the man went down memory lane and narrated an incident from his childhood that still sent chills down his spine. He left readers guessing about the ill-fated possibilities that could've happened to him that fateful day if he hadn't listened to his gut.
The Original Poster (OP) was a seven-year-old boy who attended a school nearly 6 km from his house. He usually rode a school bus to and from the institution daily.
His school bus broke down one day, so parents were asked to pick up their kids after school since no alternate solution was found. The school was over at 4 p.m., and OP knew his parents wouldn't make it.
The guy showed OP to the car, saying he was heading in the same direction and had no issues giving him a lift.
OP's dad was busy at work, and his mom didn't have any mode to pick him up, so OP told his parents that he would walk to his grandma's place, a kilometer away from his school. Although OP's dad was unwilling initially, he agreed. But nobody weighed the danger that was approaching OP.
OP walked to his grandma's house since his school bus had broken down. | Source: Pexels
OP assumed he was safe since he was surrounded by traffic and people. Moments later, he noticed a random car slow down near him. An unfamiliar man waved at him to stop and immediately pulled over on the roadside.
OP observed the guy and thought he was a kind man due to his modest outfit. Since owning a car back then was considered a great thing, OP didn't feel uneasy. Just as he guessed more about this man, the guy approached and spoke to him.
He sounded confident and trusting, especially after he convinced OP he was there to pick him up at his dad's request. The man addressed OP by his name and seemed to know his parents' names and that he was heading to his granny's place.
The guy showed OP to the car, saying he was heading in the same direction and had no issues giving him a lift. For some reason, OP felt something was dodgy about the man. He refused and invited the stranger to accompany him on foot instead.
A stranger in a car waved at OP & pulled over on the roadside. | Source: Unsplash
The guy was visibly disappointed and insisted OP agree to the ride. People around started to notice the boy backing away from the stranger. Since OP was dressed in his school uniform, it was easier for people to decipher that he was in some trouble.
The man was annoyed, and after swearing under his breath, he fled away in his car. Shortly after, OP reached his grandparents' house and told his dad about the "person he sent" to pick him up. OP's dad freaked out and immediately hurried home.
Later, OP described the stranger he met, and unsurprisingly, nobody knew him. His parents were horrified, and they contacted his school to find out if they'd informed anybody else about the bus breakdown. However, the man's identity remained a mystery even years later.
Recalling the incident on Reddit, OP said he couldn't imagine what might've happened to him if he blindly trusted the guy and boarded his car. However, the discussion online proved he wasn't alone in encountering strangers trying to lure children by offering a free ride home.
The man insisted that OP get into his car. | Source: Pexels
Redditor Perfect-Lawfulness-6 recalled a similar incident. "I basically did something really similar in first grade and just scared everyone (my mom, the school, the bus driver, etc.) because I told nobody…" the person said, adding:
"I was just like, "I got this" in my 6-7 yo mind, and some lady stopped and offered me a ride, and I said no, and I didn't even get a bad vibe about it until years later."
"I'm sorry, but what kind of school lets a 7yo walk home alone? Jesus Christ," added user copperpottedhimgood.
A Redditor recalled a similar encounter with an unfamiliar lady who offered her a free ride in childhood. | Source: Unsplash
OP was relieved that the incident never left any ugly scar on his childhood due to his quick thinking. "Whoever the man was and whatever his intentions, let's not meet again," he stated.
As for the stranger that tried to lure OP into his car, nobody found him after that. Even OP's dad tried to track him down but to no avail. "But I'm very glad my parents taught me to be wary of all strangers very young!" OP asserted.
Nobody ever found the stranger who tried to lure OP into his car. | Source: Pexels
Questions to Ponder:
Why is it crucial for parents to teach their children to be wary of strangers?
Although OP was just seven, he didn't trust the stranger when the man offered him a free ride in his car. OP's parents had taught him not to trust strangers who offered help out of the blue. Do you think OP could've landed in trouble had he been naïve to the stranger's deception?
Why is it important for people to comprehend children's safety around strangers?
When the people noticed the schoolboy was backing away from the man, they stopped whatever they were doing and observed them. The stranger who offered OP a free ride felt threatened and immediately fled the spot. In your opinion, what are the ways to identify a child/person who is in trouble, and what would you do to help them?
If you liked reading this story, here's one about how a mother had the shock of her life when a stranger who claimed to be her child's substitute school bus driver turned out to be a kidnapper.
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