My Freshman year was the year a seed of mistrust was planted towards the male species.
At this point, I was old enough to recognize odd things about some men in my church and other men I knew through my parents. Mom never specifically said to avoid them, but I never got a good feeling in my stomach when I was around them. She even had to sit me down and warn me away from some of my cousins who were known child molesters, but my extended family members were too cowardly and afraid of offending each other to actually turn these disgusting male cousins in.
All my life, my mom has had a mistrust of men (the reason behind this mistrust I didn’t learn until I was a senior in high school). The only men she trusted in her life were Dad, Grandpa, and some of her brothers. I don’t blame Mom for my mistrust in men, but it definitely attributed to my own development. However, the real reason behind my mistrust of males in general is hardly ever—outside of my family—has A) men noticed me and B) treated me with respect and C) been genuinely kind toward me. I’ve had most guys consider me an inconvenience, and said I wasn’t worth their time. Two guys I thought I trusted even straight out told my best friend these very things. I will certainly say I do not mistrust men as a whole. I am merely VERY cautious about them. And honestly, to this day I’m still majorly surprised—even flabbergasted—when a man treats me with kindness (this does NOT include my Dad and Grandpa and some of my uncles—they are gentlemen, I’ll have you know).
This doesn’t mean to say I stopped crushing on boys. Oh no, I was just as boy crazy as any other girl my age. It was mostly older guys I began to mistrust.
I had a stalker.
Me, being stupid and naïve, was originally super excited that a boy was actually paying attention to me. I even talked to him once before things got really weird. Thank goodness I have a gut radar warning me away from creeps.
I still remember when he first noticed me.
He was a Junior and although we didn’t have the same computer class, ours was combined that day for a visiting presenter. She talked about the psychology of attraction. Gag, right? I was late to class for some reason, and everyone saw me walk in and sit by myself.
The presenter talked about how when people are attracted to each other, they start to sit in similar positions, and their pupils dilate.
The minute she said this, a shot of fire began burning on the side of my cheek. I slowly turned and saw my stalker staring at me. (Let’s call him Huff).
Of course, this was the first time I had ever seen him, and like I mentioned before, was excited an attractive boy was actually paying attention to me.
After this lesson, he started following me around at school. His friends started sitting close to me and my friends at lunch. When I got too stressed about my honors biology class and started studying in the library with a friend after we ate, he and sometimes his friends would come to the library too.
Our computer classes were right next to each other, and I finally had to hold my need to use the restroom during that class, because he would time when I would leave and he would go too. He would always smile and wave at me in the hallway, and I would get a gross feeling in my stomach. As it went a little longer, he started muttering stuff under his breath as I walked by. Again, I don’t remember what he said and I often didn’t hear him, but when I did, it was never good and often sexual.
Huff even had the gall to come and sit right in front of me when I was in the library. There were four seats at the table. It was just me and my friend (we’ll call her Amanda), until Huff showed up. His beautiful blue eyes just watched me the whole time. He never said a word to me, but Huff’s friends started talking about some raunchy stuff and cussing up a storm. Huff’s second hand man turned to me and said, “Hey you with the hair, why aren’t you talking?”
I was paralyzed with fear, because not only was Huff—who had been following me around for weeks (and I made sure it was actually me and not a friend he was following. I would be with one friend, then pause and go in the opposite direction back to someone else I knew I was safe around. And low and behold, no matter who I was with, Huff was there)—staring at me, but so were all his friends.
Amanda, thank goodness, was brave enough and aware of this kid’s stalking that she told them all to shove off.
Then Huff became best friends with my neighbor who was still an eighth grader.
Soon, his jet black truck with the bright blue Arizona license plate was commonly parked in my cul-de-sac. I knew what his car looked like because I had early morning Seminary, and he would watch me and my friends walk back to campus while he was still sitting in his car.
One night, I was hanging out with (we’ll call her Layla—she’s the friend I’ve had since elementary school I mentioned in Junior Hell) Layla who lived about six houses down from me. I normally just walk to and from her house, no matter how late it was. However, when I was getting ready to leave, Layla said she got a really bad feeling in her stomach about letting me walk. I shrugged—because at this point I didn’t know Huff was friends with my neighbor—and said she was being silly. She kept insisting and I finally let her drive me.
Thank the heavens I did. My neighbor’s parents were gone, so naturally, there was this huge party outside. Red solo cups, stereotypical, alcohol filled party.
Layla pulled as close into my driveway as she could without hitting my Mom’s van. The minute I got out of my car—because somehow Huff also knew I often rode in this car, how else would he know to watch for and not my siblings—he started walking toward me. I ran into the house, heart pounding. My parents asked what was wrong, but I thought I was making something out of nothing, so I shrugged and went to bed.
One day, when Mom was driving us to Grandma’s, he was sitting out in his truck. I screamed and ducked my head near the glove compartment. It was then she demanded I tell her what was going on.
She told me if he ever touched me, I needed to tell her and call the police.
Thankfully it never came to that. He started following me less and less my sophomore year—his senior year. My guess is because I also told my neighbor about him and what I would do if he kept stalking me. Thank goodness he also turned out to be a coward. I can’t even explain how relived I was when he finally left school. I don’t think he even graduated.
The reason I was so excited when he first started noticing me is because boys never do. Now I’m an adult, they still don’t, but I react far better when they do. I rather not have another stalker. My friends would always tell me how surprised they were I actually talked to a boy—yeah, that helped my self-esteem—but maybe that’s why Huff started to really stalk me. Maybe my talking to him encouraged him? I don’t know. I’m just thankful to this very day things didn’t get worse.
Always and Forever,
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