I was obsessed with stranger danger—
A girl goes missing, holed up under a house in a room that nobody can find and not even the loudest scream will be heard.
I think of the secrets that will never be revealed, held by the pale blonde girl floating down a Canterbury riverbed.
These stories made me afraid of men in cars that stared as they drove past: would they lure me to stand beside an open door, with a smile and a snickers bar?
I have always felt like a stranger in a strange land, especially since the night the guys sprinted off ahead, leaving me for dust when a car full of skinheads slowed down and threatened to park up.
It was the first time I smelled my own fear; staring face-to-face at hate in the eyes of men.
The night I became a stranger in my head…
I was sixteen and drunk in the back of a car, as the guy I half-liked sped backwards in circles on an inner-city street, after dark.
Beneath four other screams and screeching tires, I whispered, “I’m going to die…”
Then I closed my eyes tight, not knowing whether to laugh or scream—I did both.
Today, I am always never not a stranger.
Style File: Wearing Salasai sweat (no longer available) but keep an eye out for Salasai’s AW16 collection due out soon.