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Chased By Middle-Aged Men Trying to Flirt With us

It was a Friday night my friends and I were planning a night out in New York City, Upper East Side. It was the four of us, Shelby, Lydia, Nadine, and me, Alise. We were getting ready in front of Nadine's huge mirror in her tiny bedroom and apartment.

We made sure our eyeliner was on point, our lashes were as dramatic as possible, and we doused ourselves in perfume. We ran into Nadine's closet to pick color-coordinated outfits. The music was blasting, and we were looking forward to New York City's nightlife. When all of my girls were ready, I called an Uber. We walked into the packed restaurant that Lydia had recommended. The music was loud, people were laughing, and the air smelled of chicken wings, pizzas, and garlic knots. We were so hungry!

We intentionally ordered different appetizers so that we could all share. It was a little party of our own. My friends were the kind of girls that made every situation fun. The waitress brought our food over, and we devoured everything, double dipping our chicken wings in ranch and all other sauces. As we were getting ready for dessert, I noticed someone was looking at us. You know that feeling you get when someone is staring at you? I saw a guy staring our way. Shelby was sitting next to me on my right, and she noticed it too.

I remember her telling me a group of 5 - 6 guys were staring in our direction. The middle-aged men were trying to get our attention and were annoyingly persistent. They were way older than us. Among my friends, Nadine is the firecracker, the outspoken one, so she started getting irritated from the gawking. I saw one of the guys walking towards us from the corner of my eye. I gave Nadine the heads-up. Soon they would all come over to our table. The men introduced themselves to us. One was a professor, another was an accountant, and honestly, I couldn't remember anything about the rest of them.

My friends and I had confusion written all over our faces. They were weird, quite obnoxious, and very straightforward in a bad way. Each one of them tried to start a conversation with us individually. The night went from cake and ice cream to all of a sudden, one interrupted by strange guys. They were twice our age and were so aggressive ugh! They were trying so hard to get to know us, but we weren't interested. It was just plain awkward.

Lydia was no longer acknowledging the guy talking to her, and Shelby and I looked at each other annoyed. Nadine was losing her patience like the rest of us were. She became irritated and told one of them to back away from her face. When they asked us, we lied about our names and tried to avoid continuing the conversation. Lydia felt the need to explain to them we were on our way out, but they didn't care. They kept talking about their luxury apartments, their yachts, etc.

None of us were interested or impressed by them. I stood up and told the "professor" I was not interested and that it was nice to meet him. My friends were all trying to slowly get away from them. Shelby was trying to move away from one of the guys as he moved closer to her. I confronted him and told him to give her some space. For some reason, he got aggressive and violated her. He shoves her arm and pushes the right side of her face in anger. We were all in shock.

Everything was happening so fast that none of us had the proper time to react. Things got heated quickly. The men started obnoxiously yelling. I stood up and told them we'd call the police to get them kicked out of the restaurant. The guy who violated Shelby started laughing. I pulled Shelby to the other side while Nadine started to get loud. She called over one of the servers and told him we were being harassed. They wanted to change our seats and bring in the manager, but we decided to ask for the check instead.

The men were still loitering around us, and the guy who violated Shelby kept defending his action to the servers at the restaurant. Things got out of control when they tried to get physical with the servers. We rushed to the cash register, paid our bill, and ran out.

THE CHASE

The manager told the guys to leave immediately. As we were walking down the street, confused, we sighed in relief that we had gotten out of there unharmed. We found a stoop and sat on it while Nadine called 911 to report the harassment. Suddenly, the guys were standing outside the restaurant, waving at us sarcastically. We were scared and started quickly walking away. We didn't want to run and make it evident that we were terrified, but at the same time, we felt we were in danger. Nadine was still on the phone explaining to the cops what the emergency was.

We couldn't call an Uber since we were all running away from the creeps. Without even uttering a word, it occurred to us to run as fast as we could toward Nadine's house. She lived seven minutes away from where we were. We kept looking behind us to see if the men were still following us, and they were. They looked as if they were intoxicated. My girls and I kept running through the empty streets. It was borderline traumatizing, like something from a horror movie. To make matters worse, Nadine forgot she left her keys at home, so we would be locked out when we got there.

Our Friend, Audrey, Came to The Rescue

As we got closer to her apartment, I panicked but decided to call a friend of ours, Audrey, who lived in Nadine's building. She answered the phone, and I told her to come downstairs and open the door for us quickly. I didn't explain anything else. She hung up, and as we ran towards the block where Nadine lives, we saw Audrey standing outside the door. The men followed us to Nadine's, but Audrey opened the door for us, pushed us inside the building, and locked the door. The men finally caught up to us and sat on the stoop, mocking us. We went upstairs and explained everything to Audrey.

Audrey called her husband to come home. He was down the street at a friend's house. He confronted them and said he would call the cops to get them arrested. They finally backed off after cursing up a storm and insulting us. We couldn't believe what had happened that night. We were all so confused but so thankful we were all safe. The next day Nadine stopped by the restaurant and found out the cops arrived shortly after they left. They identified the middle-aged men, specifically the one who harassed Shelby. Apparently, they were regular customers at the restaurant. I'm not sure what happened to them, but there were rumors they got arrested. 

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