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Why We Need to Look Out for Each Other Now More Than Ever

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

This story is not, by any means, meant to bash a girl’s actions or call her out on her questionable decisions. It is meant to share this experience and what went wrong or right. It was a bad situation that should not have happened in the first place. However, it did, and there’s a lesson to be learned on both sides.

My roommate got off work around 2 a.m., having to walk to her car alone in the dark in a “sketchier” part of Richmond. While holding her keys in the way all women do to keep safe from the shadows, she finds a girl slumped against the wall on the side of the road. She is wearing a short black silk dress and high heels, trying to sleep on the sidewalk in 20 degree weather. 

My roommate has no idea who she is, or where she came from, and quite frankly neither did the girl on the ground. Having to help her up and basically carry her to the car, the helpless girl ended up at our apartment. No idea who she is, her having no clue about us. We put blind trust in each other for the sake of the girl code.

Upon talking to her, we learned everything we needed to know. She was freshly 21, new to Richmond and wanted to go out on a Saturday night. Her friends changed their minds last minute about going out with her, but she felt she could be independent enough to go on her own. 

Five bars later, only remembering the first two, she has no idea how she ended up where she was found. She was attempting to find her car where she was going to sleep off the night but quickly gave up for the pavement beneath her. Her plan was to sleep on the side of the road in the middle of the night in a dress.

4 a.m. now, and my roommate and I are trying to decide if she needs to go to the hospital to see if she had been drugged. She then says something that will stick in my mind forever.

“I really hope nothing bad happened to me tonight,” being that she had no recollection of what her night entailed. 

Sitting on our couch eating pretzels, a grilled cheese and drinking water that we pushed her to have, we realized the true weight of the situation we were in.

This is where I still don’t know if we made the right decision or what more I could have done. She wanted to leave.

She told us there was a guy wanting her to come over even though it was 4 in the morning. Apparently, they had been on a couple of dates together in the past. 

Of course, we insisted not to. She was much safer on our couch than pretty much anywhere else, but she insisted. She said specifically she would walk or take an Uber to get to this guy’s house rather than sleep at our place.

So, I did the best thing I could think of. I called him. My roommate and I FaceTimed him to tell him the situation, but it wasn’t enough. She was still going over.

So, it’s 5 a.m. and we are dropping her off at this random guy’s house, praying that she will get lucky twice tonight in not ending up in the wrong person’s house. We knock on the door with our newfound friend, and I casually threaten him if I find out something happened considering she legally cannot consent in the state she is in. 

She walks in and he shuts the door. I look at my roommate with the most guilty and scared feeling that we just let her go into a dangerous position, but then I am reminded that she is an adult. She can make her own decisions and if we kept her there against her will that would be holding her hostage. So what is the right thing to do? Did I do the right thing? 

The next morning we text her to make sure she’s okay and honestly still alive. She says she is fine, but quite frankly I doubt she would tell us if something bad ended up happening. 

I wish I had a really good ending, or that this story is fictional to use as a lesson, but it’s real life. At the end of the day, take this as a lesson for everyone involved.

People like my roommate and I won’t always be the ones picking you up. Please never go out by yourself if you are going to be drinking, please keep an eye on your drink at all times and always have a plan to get home. Lastly, please look out for each other. It makes me sick to think about the likelihood of what would have happened if we didn’t find her.

Krista Corson is a broadcast journalism major at VCU. Her passion of communication takes many forms including a personal YouTube channel, her own crime podcast and a budding modeling career. Krista’s drive to create leads her to the unexpected, which is where she feels most comfortable.