Wednesday, April 9, 2014

The Stalker (Short Story)




He wasn’t really a bad guy, to be honest. I mean, I did consider him to be a friend at one point of time. Or at least an acquaintance. But how was I to know what he would actually turn out to be? And no, contrary to what he or his friends claim, it was not my fault.

For convenience’s sake, I shall refer to him as Rohit. I first met him at a party, where a mutual friend introduced us. Of course I didn’t really pay any attention to him at first, just a casual ‘Hello’, and some small-talk and all. I am a person who takes time to open up, and am a bit selective when it comes to making friends. But from a first impression wise, he seemed pretty normal. Probably around the same age as me, working as an Assistant Manager in some FMCG company. He claimed he was from a ‘top’ Bschool in India, was above average in looks, not that attractive, but was good at communicating. That day went without anything significant happening. He wanted to know my drinking habits, I somehow evaded the question.

I met him next at another friends Birthday party. We chatted for a while, and he was actually good at making conversation with others. He had this pleasant smile about him which made you feel that this guy could put you at ease. And he had a very nice sense of humor. I guess I was opening up a bit to him. Note, however, that I had no feelings of infatuation or whatsoever for him. At that moment, I just considered him to be another known face in the crowd.
He talked about stuff relating to Politics, Sports, and even the art of shopping, what types of guys girls like and all that. He claimed to understand the psychology of women very well. ‘Why are you still single then,’ asked someone from the crowd? ‘Because I haven’t yet met a girl who complements my personality type- ENFJ.’ ‘What’s ENFJ,’ I asked. And he went on to describe the Myer-Briggs personality test. I had to admit, I was a bit impressed by his knowledge. Or maybe just the way he talked about things.

Soon, we were having a common friend’s circle. Occasionally I saw him in some mall, or at some public venue. Slowly, and gradually, I started considering him as a friend. He was pretty nice to me till then, and I did enjoy speaking to him. Besides, he definitely seemed to be from a decent background, and had good manners(to my limited knowledge). He was well read, and decently fit physically.

Eventually I gave him my number, and accepted his friend request on facebook. There was nothing odd at first. He used to ping me on Whatsapp, now and then, and would like my pictures or statuses on facebook. There was nothing which I could label as suspicious, or weird or irritating. We used to meet in person around once a week or sometimes in a fortnight, in all occasions accompanied by at least one more mutual friend. He did not do anything which could give me a hint if he wanted to impress me or anything like that. He did ask me what my relationship status was and I told him the truth(I was single that time). There was no reason for me to say otherwise. I was beginning to trust him.

But before long, I found his behaviour to be getting a bit odd. He would get kind of irritated if I didn’t reply to his messages instantly, or didn’t pick up his phone calls. His frequency of messages had also increased significantly, and he would keep sending me pictures/jokes and other stuff. Soon enough, he started complimenting me on my looks, my fashion sense, and style of conversing with people. He told me that I was pretty intelligent compared to lot of other girls out there. I admit I did feel good inside on being complimented. Now I was not one of those drop-dead-gorgeous females who get 500 likes even if they upload a picture of their foot-nail or something. But somewhere, I started feeling that he was over-doing it. However, I didn’t tell him anything at that point of time. At hindsight maybe I should have.

One day he got angry, because I had not wished him goodnight the previous day. I found this slightly amusing, as I was not obligated to wish him. But it was just a matter of courtesy. And he kept dropping hints that we should meet more often, party more, and have fun types. I told him the truth-that I was running a bit short of money, and expenses were increasing. I just could not afford to eat or drink out every other day. Even once a week was getting unmanageable. He thought I was just making an excuse. He even offered to pay for my drinks and food, at times, to which I candidly refused.

Then one fine day, he bought me a bag. A rather fashionable, expensive one. I was shocked, to say the least. I told him, quite straightforwardly that I cannot accept it, and that he should not do such stupid acts. He felt quite taken aback, and perhaps felt hurt and annoyed at the same time. Nevertheless, he apologised later, and admitted that it was an immature gesture. I pardoned him and moved on. He used to message me, even while I was at work, and sometimes would call as well. I tried to patiently explain to him, that it was not possible to reply to every message or call of his during work. But it hardly made much of an impact. He also started commenting on each of my pictures, calling me stunningly beautiful, hot, amazing and all that.

Few of my close friends and I were planning for watching a movie. I told Rohit that I was going for a movie, and that I would not be replying to his messages for some time. He immediately said that he wanted to come as well. I was suddenly in a dilemma. I didn’t want to say No to his face, but our plan was already made. But he refused to listen, and imagine my horror when I came to know that he came to my place(a rented apartment I was sharing with 2 other girls), on his bike and offered to pick me up. Honestly, I should have made him go back. I really don’t know what made me accept his offer. Maybe at that time, I was still considering him to be a friend. And he was somehow very persistent that he sit beside me for the movie.

Later, I heard from some mutual friends that Rohit was boasting about the fact that we were both very close, and we would go out together often on his bike and all. I still dismissed this fact as a rumor, though somehow I suspected it might have been true. I did go with him on his bike a few more times, but I never officially dated him. I felt that he was getting too possessive about me. ‘Whats the need to go out with that guy? He’s a total drunk asshole, and he will try to take advantage of you in a party,’ Rohit tried to warn me. ‘Why do you have to speak to him on the phone for so long? Its just a waste.’ It was almost as if, indirectly he was trying to influence me to do what he wanted me to do.

I was gradually getting tired and irritated of Rohit’s behaviour. It was almost as if he was dictating my life’s terms to me. I wouldn’t even expect that of my boyfriend, and Rohit was surely no close friend of mine. I thought it was about time I talked to him about this. To my surprise, he was more than ready to talk. He invited me over to a local pub cum restaurant. When I reached there, he was already drinking(and he appeared to be slightly high already). I told him that perhaps this was not the best time to have a serious discussion. But he motioned me to sit and continue. However I felt that this conversation was going nowhere and Rohit just wasn’t paying any attention to it. Rather, he started flirting again. Openly! Maybe it was the alcohol in him speaking, or otherwise, I would not know. He told me how beautiful he was, what a great figure I had, and all that. I was feeling humiliated and embarrassed. I told him to stop. But he carried on. ‘You know what, beautiful. Maybe we could continue this conversation at my place. There’s nobody else at home. We could have some fun too. Are you a virgin?’

That was the last straw. I just stormed out of the place in anger, not even bothering to look back. This guy had lost it. I just went back home and slept. Imagine the shock I got when I woke up, to look at my phone and see 27 missed calls, and over 50 messages. The guy was a maniac, not just a loser. Throughout the day, he kept calling and messaging, but I did not reply. Eventually I switched off my phone, and went to stay over at another friends place(Afraid that he would come at my house). I was finding it extremely hard to believe that this was the same guy who I had assumed was my friend. How could he stoop to such a level? I blocked all of his accounts.

Soon I started getting threatening messages. ‘How dare you not reply to me, bitch. How dare you block me, you slut?’ Though they were from different ids, I had a feeling who they might have belonged to. And at other times, I would get direct messages from him-‘Hi. Please forgive me. I was totally drunk that day. Give me another chance, please.’ And all that stuff.

Finally, after almost a month or so, I had the courage to actually meet him. He was apologetic, and swore that he was extremely sorry. He begged for my forgiveness. And, he started professing his love for me. Told me that he couldn’t live without me and all that crap. I felt I had had enough of it. I just slapped him hard, across the cheek, and started moving away. Yes, in front of everyone, in the middle of the day. I was half expecting him to run after me. But he was just too dazed to move, and stood frozen in shock. I ran away from that place as quickly as could.

After that day, I never heard from Rohit again. Last I heard, he had taken a transfer to another city. Good for him. Do I still bear a grudge against him? No. Have I forgiven him? No. Will I think twice before making a new male friend from now on? Hell yeah.

Just because I am single does not mean I am dying to sleep with every second man who comes along and speaks to me. A No means a No. Learning to deal with rejection and your Ego will help you go a long way. You can never force someone to be in love with you.

And then they say- ‘Indian girls have an attitude problem.’



1 comments:

Amitabha Saha said...

Dis is great...nice reading.has a nice flow to it and feels personal...great going.

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