The South Bank Review Winter 2017 | The Stalker
1996
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The Stalker

Walking home from work on a frosty Friday evening. He takes the long route home for the view and with Christmas approaching, he enjoys the lively atmosphere. He turns left into the road, with a line-up of bars, restaurants and clubs which are lit with blinding Christmas lights. He is met by a large enclosed tree decorated in icy blue and pearl white lights with a reindeer to the left and a snowman to the right. As he continues down the festive road, he notices the mistletoe above the door of each restaurant. He smiles to himself, reminiscing the times when he would fight with his siblings to decorate the Christmas tree.

 

The Christmas parties have started, suited men holding glasses of cold sparkly champagne in their hands, whilst engaging in idle chat. Whilst the women are dressed like they’ve just fallen out of the set of Gatsby, in glitzy party dresses, topped with a strip of fur, taking you back to an era of extravagance. The young man seems comforted by the people around him, as though he is enjoying the company he’s been lacking. As he continues down Forth Street, he approaches The Alchemist, as he gets closer he can hear Mariah Carey’s ‘All I Want For Christmas’. This excites him and he thinks to himself ‘what is Christmas without Christmas music?’. Approaching The Alchemist, he turns to the left, spotting a girl. The girl. The girl he saw at the bus stop for the first time 6 months ago. The girl he admires. The girl he cannot stop thinking about. All of a sudden, his face drops, he puts on the furred hood of his coat and begins to walk faster with his head down, hoping he doesn’t make eye contact with anyone.

 

Feeling anxious, he gets home and sits on his bed with a blank face. Deep in his thoughts his thinks about ‘the girl’. The girl who he didn’t expect to ever lay eyes on again. He had barely thought of her today, but his thoughts are triggered and it starts. ALL. OVER. AGAIN.

Nobody understands. He’s in love with her, but they think he’s a stalker. 2 months ago, he was caught outside her house. Not once, not twice but three times. It is understandable why she was alarmed, but she didn’t give him a chance when he’d tried to speak to her. She rejected his flowers but took the gifts which left him confused. He admired her, he still admires her. She finds him weird, she says hurtful things like, “you’re a stalker, you’re a freak, you belong in a mental asylum, stay away from me!”. Which he thought was ironic, because she was the one screaming like a lunatic. On the other hand, he was perfectly sane, with a good job and a beautiful house which he worked for himself. But, “no one values that anymore”, he thought to himself, because he had once punched the girls’ boyfriend at a party. Everyone had just mistaken it for jealousy, they didn’t believe he had caught the boyfriend hurting another girl, they assumed he was lying.

The ‘he’ is me, I am 26 years old, my name is Justin, I love boxing and I don’t believe I’m a freak.

 

The girl is Lisa, Lisa Adams, she is beautiful, she turned 23 in August. She works at an accounting company called C H Accountants Ltd, she is smart, she has mid-length curly brunette-coloured hair that falls so gently over her shoulders. She loves cats and has a taste for good food. These are just a few of the amazing things about her. I keep pictures of her in my wallet. I found them on Facebook and printed them. They keep me at ease, stop me feeling lonely and bring me peace when I have had a hard day at work. I usually just open up my wallet to the photos and there I am once again feeling the same way that I did the moment I laid eyes on her, mesmerised by her beauty.

The three times I was caught outside her house were three times she needed me. She was on her way home from work at 10pm, a time when it is dangerous. She walks through 3 alleyways to get home. Alleyways full of people poking dirty needles in themselves, alleyways known for fights, known for rape. How could her boyfriend, even her parents let her walk through such danger at that time of night? I took it in to my own hands, I didn’t want anything to happen to her. I knew where she worked, I knew what time she finished so I was there, she didn’t know I was there but I was, but it was for her own good. I was looking after her, I followed her home to keep her safe. One night she was walking through the alleyway, just three meters ahead of me and two peculiar looking men started walking behind her, whispering amongst themselves they got closer, she didn’t realise and she carried on at a leisurely pace. The men stepped closer to her, at this point I raced ahead and grabbed her, I pulled her forward and when I glanced back they were gone.

 

“What are you doing?” she breathed heavily.

 

“I’m sorry. There were two strange men following you and you didn’t notice and I saw them get closer and I didn’t want them to hurt you and I’m so sorry” I looked down at the ground, unable to meet her gaze.

 

“The only freak following me is you, I want you to leave me alone”, she walked away. I let go of her. She hadn’t told anyone about this. I know this because no one had said anything, like they usually did whenever I had an encounter with her.

 

As for the time I punched Lisa’s arrogant, obnoxious boyfriend, it was not out of jealousy. Hard to believe I know, but I was on my way back from the pub late on a Saturday night and I had seen him. He was drunk and pulling a pretty young looking blonde girl by her arm, it wasn’t Lisa. I stood behind an overgrown oak tree and watched for a while. He grew violent towards the girl as she tried to break away from him, he slapped her across the face and she froze. I was angered but I held back, I didn’t want Lisa to think wrong of me. He had both hands around the blonde girls’ neck and pushed her against the wall, I ran over and punched him until he fell to the floor, the girl thanked me and ran off into the darkness. So that is it, it wasn’t jealousy, I was stopping him from harming an innocent little girl. But of course, no one believed me, I was supposedly ‘after’ his lady. Which I was, but no one knew that.

 

I was going to make raspberry cheesecake so I went to the supermarket to buy cream cheese and butter. As I was returning home, I turned into my road, where I was met by 3 male figures, one of whom was holding a baseball bat. It was Lisa’s boyfriend. I’m not quite sure what happened after that. But when I woke, I was home and in bed, with bruises and cuts all over my body. My wallet and cake ingredients were gone. A friend would be nice right now, who should I call? There’s no one I can call, everyone thinks I’m a freak for following Lisa around.

Early hours the next morning I was woken by three loud bangs on my front door, “Police! Police! Open the door!” I got up as fast as I could, my body aching. I opened the door and I was violently handled by 2 officers. One pulled my arms behind my back and instantly cuffs them while the other screams in my face. I couldn’t decipher the exact words because I was still dazed. He holds up the pictures of Lisa from my wallet. He also mentions something about that time I groped Lisa and claimed two men were after her.

So here I am months later, sitting in an empty cell. Just me, my thoughts and a criminal record for being in love with someone.

Aruba Mariah Abbas
abbasa6@lsbu.ac.uk

Aruba Mariah Abbas, a student of London South Bank from Essex found her love for literature quite late in her academic school life through the thorough study of the works of William Shakespeare.