You know how you can see things clearly with other people but you can't see it for yourself? It's funny how much of a sense of protection I had over other girls from a very young age, even when I should have been protecting myself but was not always able to. Still, at the time of this memory that came up recently, I figure I couldn't have been more than 16 when this incident happened. Most of the kids I hung around with at Rocky Horror Picture Show were older than me and pretty protective of me. One of the guys used to give me a ride home from Denny's every weekend and he never laid a finger on me or had the slightest interest in doing so. He wasn't even gay. He just didn't want to see me hurt. I was 13 when I started hanging around up there and I guess he was about 18 and the age difference seemed huge. He was mouthy and disrespectful but he always made sure I got home safely. Still, there were those other guys. By the time I was sixteen, I thought I was totally savvy about men. There were some guys who hung around at Rocky that were in their early 20's and basically looked for young girls to prey upon on a regular basis. You have to understand, we were a weird group of kids. Anyone was allowed to come up to the theater and hang around. No one was allowed to kick anyone out or ban them except management and basically we tolerated just about anyone. If someone was too awful, we could make it miserable enough that that person would leave but we knew we were weirdos and we didn't want to shut people out like we were shut out in our regular lives. At least, that's how I felt and many of my friends, too. So we put up with a lot. Now, the girls who had been there a while knew the predatory guys who hung around the fringes. They had already tried to get with us and failed, so these guys chased the new girls. The ones who had never even been out of the house at midnight before and were flush with new sexual freedom. Most of the time, we girls were busy protecting ourselves but we did get in groups to protect others. This one night I watched a known predator guy who was about 23 (I'll call him Terry) chasing these new girls. They were about 15 at most and I don't know what snapped in me that night but I had just had it. These girls looked like they had just fallen off the country milk truck. They could not have been more naive and innocent and they were lapping up every word Terry was saying. He was walking around bragging to his buddies about how he was totally getting laid tonight. I couldn't take it any more. I finally pulled one girl aside. "Hey, are you thinking about going home with Terry?" She giggled a little and started talking about how cute he was and how much she liked him. I knew I had to think fast. "You look like a nice girl, and I hate to have anything bad happen to you." I said. "Terry slept with a friend of mine last week and gave her the clap. I don't think he's even been to the doctor yet." The look on her face was really serious and suddenly she hugged me. I almost felt bad for lying to her. "Thank you so much for telling me." And that was the end of that. Terry was completely mystified as to why that girl avoided him the rest of the night. I told him to lay off the young ones but I doubt he bothered much to care about what I said or thought. There was some small satisfaction in saving that one girl from him. What's funny is how clearly I could see and tell the creepy predator guys and how much I could encourage the other girls to stand up to them and not fall for their lines. But I was victim to another predator anyway. No matter how smart we think we are, how savvy we think we have become, sometimes we need another person to help us out, to talk some sense into one another and there are the times we just don't listen. But I'm not sorry I helped that girl out that night.