I was 23 when it first started. I was interning at a publishing house. There were only 30 of us in the entire office, and each of us knew everyone else well. That’s the beauty of living in a small town; you’d know every single person on the block.
One day, our office received a pretty bouquet of peonies and roses. It was addressed to me. Guess what? It wasn’t my birthday, and I didn’t know any person who would do that for me, since I wasn’t dating anyone. There was no note and the delivery guy said that the transaction was done online. Although my desk was adorned with these flowers and their fragrance lasted for a little over two days, the sight of that bouquet left me with an uneasy feeling.
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The little office was abuzz with talk of how I now had a secret admirer. Not knowing how to react to this, I would often just smile, trying not to encourage the conversation any further. A few days later, I was still curious and really wanted to know who had sent me those flowers. So I went back to the only florist in town who carried peonies to try my luck and investigate the matter further. But no luck. They said the same thing the delivery guy had said.
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Slowly, the episode faded from my memory, I had moved on, and so had my colleagues. But what happened next really shook me.
It was a Thursday morning, and we had just finished our team meeting. As I walked to my desk, I saw an envelope which was addressed to me placed right on top of my keyboard. There was no name or return address on that envelope. My heart was beating faster than usual, as I tore open the envelope quickly and found a handwritten letter. That was it. I panicked, scared, and anxious as I read every sentence that leapt off the page at me. It was true that I had a secret admirer, but from what I could comprehend, he seemed more like a stalker.
He had mentioned of how he had seen me in the supermarket and had followed me home, and also learnt where I worked. He not just knew my name, but also knew a lot of other things about me. He knew the names of some of my close friends, and how often I’d meet them and where. It seemed like he had been following me for almost a month now, from his ramblings in the letter. And not just physically either, but virtually too. He had made references to the clothes I wore and in what outfit he liked me best. He seemed to know it all.
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Stifling the urge to scream in fear, I ran straight to my boss, almost crying as I showed her the letter. She read it and was equally spooked. But to calm me down, she asked me to be more vigilant of my surroundings and notice if there was indeed someone who was following me or perhaps a few friends playing a prank. That evening, I called up all my friends and showed them the letter and they all denied doing something as stupid as this. I knew it wasn’t any of them; I trusted them all.
I was now scared to step out of my house because at the back of my mind, I knew I was being watched. I often looked over my shoulder to see if there was anyone indeed following me. Regular faces, same people, every single day. I was now paranoid about every single thing. It seemed like I could trust no one.
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Then one day, I got a call on my office landline. I said, ‘hello,’ a bunch of times and could only hear rather loud breathing coming through the line. I listened for a minute and then hung up. And I instantly knew that it was him – my stalker, my secret admirer. I was shaking, I was so scared. Again, I ran to my boss who said that things were now getting a little out of hand. But we didn’t know what to do. She assured me that maybe I didn’t have to worry because the person hadn’t done anything to threaten me or harm me. But how could I be sure?
I wasn’t convinced, so I made up my mind and decided that I would walk straight to the cops if I received any other funny messages from this unknown admirer.
And it happened again. The very same night, I got a text message from an unknown number, and my stalker had now mustered enough courage to actually come out and tell me who he was.
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After a few exchanges of text messages, he called me up and his voice was that of a timid but sweet guy. At first I threatened to report him to the cops on charges of stalking, but when he spoke again he apologized for his behavior and explained that he just wanted to talk to me and didn’t know of a better way to do it. He assured me he meant no harm and was only trying to get some attention from me.
That night, I slept feeling a little relieved. I now had his number and had heard his voice, which seemed harmless enough. I thought he was one of those slightly goofy characters who couldn’t approach women because of their extremely shy nature. He was sweet indeed, but he just didn’t know that he had been creeping me out, nearly giving me a heart attack in the process.
The next day, he began messaging me again, and funnily enough, I found myself responding to all of his messages. He was courteous, kind, and a little shy. It was unlike me to do something like this, because all that my parents had taught me about not speaking to strangers, let alone my stalker, was going down the drain now. I learnt his name and looked him up online. He looked a bit odd, but was cute in his own way. He was an introvert and socially awkward to boot. I didn’t know what was happening between us, but whatever it was, it felt great.
A week later, we decided to meet, and the rest was history.
As we met more frequently and went out on dates where I got to know him more, I was sure I was falling in love with him.
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Yes, I fell in love with my stalker. It was equally hard for me to digest this fact as it was hard for my friends. A lot of them even warned me that this guy could be a psychopath for all I know. Someone who would befriend me and then kidnap me and torture me to slow death. Perhaps he was a rapist, maybe someday he’d cut me open and sell my kidneys. I kept hearing all of this from my apprehensive friends, but my heart wouldn’t listen to anything they were saying.
As days passed by, I was drawn to him like a moth to a flame. We connected on so many levels that as I got to know him better, I knew he loved me deeply as well. He had adored and admired me from the start, and I felt like the queen of his heart. A part of me still feared all the things my friends had warned me about, but he proved them all wrong as we went further along.
It was strange in the beginning, but all of his goofiness and shy personality was something I was drawn to. He was different, different than most guys I had dated. He was sensitive, caring, and looked at me like I was his blessing.
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One day, he told me how it all began for him, and that how he had been so infatuated with me that all he could think of was me for the next several days. He had followed me around like a hopeless romantic. When he found out my name, he had looked me up on various social networking sites and got a lot of information from them. He was snooping on me the whole time. He wanted to talk to me but knew very well that I would turn him down. That’s how socially awkward he was. He didn’t know better than to first send me flowers, without a note or so much as a card saying ‘hello’. I fell in love with his simplicity and innocence. His ways weren’t perfect, but his heart was in the right place, I just knew it.
A year later, we would tell people how we met and laugh to see their reaction. Most of them had their eyes wide open in incredulity, and couldn’t believe what they had heard. From a stalker to a lover, he had come a long way.
It was unlikely of me to do something like this, because as creepy as it sounds, I fell in love with my stalker and was head over heels in love with him. And I couldn’t be happier.
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