Once upon a time, long, long ago, in a land far, far away, there lived a young woman who inherently thought almost all people were good. She came from a very small town where everyone knew everyone else and their business and there was no such thing as stranger danger or stalking. If you were going to be hurt by someone it was most likely going to be a close friend or relative!
She was living in what to her was a big city all alone for the first time and even though she had had that bad thing she didn’t talk about happen to her she still, for the most part, thought people were inherently good and not dangerous. One day she went to the grocery store. A normal every day trip to pick up a few groceries and personal items. Nothing out of the ordinary happened at the grocery store. She wrote a check paying for her purchases and drove home.
As she was getting out of her car she noticed a car pull into her driveway behind her (effectively blocking any exit for her) and a fairly nice looking young man hopped out of the car. She turned to the young man and asked if there was something she could help him with anything. He replied that he had seen her at the grocery store. She immediately looked in the car to make sure she had her purse. It was laying right there on the passenger seat. Then somewhat confused she turned to the young man and inquired “Oh, I’m sorry! Did I drop something?”
Young man: No, I just noticed at the grocery store that you bought ground beef and so did I so I thought maybe we could grill them out together!
WTH??? Now if that wasn’t the strangest pick up line she had EVER in her young years heard. Now, she started to get a little scared….
Me: (yeah, in case you hadn’t figured that part out yet… it was me) Excuse me? What did you just say?
YM: I noticed you bought hamburger and thought maybe we could eat together?
Me: You don’t even KNOW me. I happen to be married and my husband is waiting inside for me to come in and cook dinner…. And he’s a
YM: You’re not married.
Me: How would you know that? (Stupid me… can’t keep my mouth shut)
YM: You’re not wearing a ring and nothing you bought would suggest that you have a husband or even another person living in the house with you.
Me: OK… you’re creeping me out now. My next door neighbor IS a policeman and if I scream he WILL come running out.
YM: Oh…no, no, no…. No harm meant! I just thought you were pretty and thought I’d like to get to know you but maybe some other time.
Me: I don’t think so. How about you leave before I call the cops?
So he got in his little car and drove away. I took my groceries inside and locked all my doors. I was totally freaked out. My neighbor wasn’t home yet (he really WAS a policeman) so I fixed my dinner which I ate alone and waited for him to come home. I was watching television about an hour or so later when my telephone rang (this of course was in the days before cell phones) and when I answered it a man’s voice said “Well, was it good?”
Me: Pardon me?
YM: Your hamburger? Was it good?
Panic flew in me and I felt a cold chill go from my head to my toes even though it was summer. How the HELL did he get my number? I had been having trouble with prank calls so I had my number changed to a non-published number. The only people who had my number were my
family and the police department (who I worked with) and my work.
Me: Ummmm…. It was fine….. how did you get my phone number?
YM: I was standing behind you in line in the grocery store and when you wrote it on your check I memorized it.
OK! STALKER ALERT!!! I was paying so little attention that I hadn’t even noticed he was behind me in line! Had I nonchalantly smiled at him without really seeing him making him think I was interested? Do I really pay that little attention to my surroundings? I slammed the phone
down and backed away from it like IT was going to get me. It rang again. I almost jumped out of my skin. I answered and it was him AGAIN. I politely… well, as politely as I could…asked him to not call me again or I would call the police. For all I know, he might have been a nice guy. But he might also have been another Ted Bundy (although at that time I’d never heard of Ted Bundy).
I wonder now how many times heused that technique and if it actually ever worked for him?
This post was brought to you by Mama Kat’s and her Pretty Much World Famous Writer’s Workshop and prompt #1) The Police said it best when they said, “Every breath you take/And every move you make/Every bond you break, every step you take/I’ll be watching you”. Write about a time you believed someone was watching you.