Could it be stalking? Just imagine it, I can’t! Who in heaven’s name would want to stalk me? Just what is it actually? I always feel like someone is there, watching me, checking meticulously my every step. Then, I falter, feel I’m paranoid. Why, you ask?
Well, for one thing, ah sorry, let me begin from the beginning. It, this weird feeling, started about six months ago. I first put it down to my sleeplessness. And, of course, it was the period just after Timothy’s passing. Naturally, I wasn’t really paying attention to any details at the time. In hindsight, there has to be some connection as to why I question this present day feeling that I always have to look over my shoulder.
Recently, due to this affair, I’ve decided that I must start by writing diverse happenings and feelings down and look for a time line. This way I’ll be able to better analyse myself and try to put reality first and foremost. The first incident occurred shortly after the funeral. I remember it, funny enough, we were having very hot and sunny days. My flat was boiling with temperatures in the high thirties. Having nothing special on, I chose to take my book and some proviants with me to the park for a cooler lazy afternoon. Once there, I laid my blanket out under a shady tree. It wasn’t long before I fell asleep. At the time I arrived at the park, quite a few people were milling about with children scrambling to catch their ball and dogs chasing them. All in all, the regular park activity. Well, when I awoke it was because someone had hit me with a ball. A young man, I’m presuming it was the child’s father as he was yelling at him and demanding that he apologise to me. This young man then winked at me. I have tried to put a face to this man but to no avail.
The second incident occurred while I was tanking my car with petrol at the Shell Station.
This was approximately two weeks later after the park. There was a young man at the till who greeted me as if he knew me and acting as if I should know him. Well, I didn’t recognise him.
I doubted it was the fellow from the park. I ignored the sudden spurt of fear. I had no reason to be afraid, did I? I soon got caught up in my daily doings and this sense of fear disappeared.
At least I thought so. Besides the usual fretting over the loss of Timothy, I was attempting to keep myself socially connected. This was approximately two and a half months after the funeral. So I met up with a fellow I knew from work, he took me to the usual Friday after work get-together at Barney’s. One thing led to another, so it was late before I got back home.
Well, I mentioned my insomnia before; I was determined to get a good night’s sleep. The doctor had given me some sleeping tablets allowing me at least 5-6 hours of a deep sleep. I awoke thinking: What a dream! I felt Timothy had been with me, I felt love-bruised, my pillow had his scent on it. My imagination? I had a red neck and some light bruises on my arms.
How can this be? I wondered. I then searched the house and checked the doors and windows. I decided it was a very heavy dream and I must have fought with myself. There was no other possibility.
It was still the weekend and stifling hot so I got myself ready for the park. Earlier than my last visit, the park wasn’t very crowded and I managed to park myself down in a quiet, empty area. I was deep into my book and not paying attention to life around me, when someone had crept up behind me and whispered in my ear: Watch yourself lady, you’re being watched! I went to turn my head but he had thrown my towel over my head. I only saw a man sprinting away as I peeled it off me. You can now imagine how I felt.
I spent the next few weeks constantly peering behind me. I let this fear take over and make me suspicious of everyone, you included. It was like the virus we had experienced except there was no disinfectant to be used for this fear. There was really no one I could contact for help because what did I have other than my own fear? No concrete evidence that someone was silently attacking me existed. I told myself to be more observant, concentrate on the before and after. Relating to all the crime stories I had read and watched on TV, I readjusted my line of thinking. Someone was playing a sad game with me. How I wished my life would return to what it used to be. I missed Timothy.
Shortly thereafter I was coming out of the supermarket with a loaded trolley. Intent on finding where I had parked, I plowed right into a gent who, very red in the face, mind you, started to berate me about watching where I was going. Of course, I immediately apologised. He no sooner moved on and I was practically run down by a car backing out of the parking place. Behind the wheel sat a somewhat familiar face but I couldn’t immediately place him. Then those whispered words in my ear: You’re being watched lady, came to mind. Once again I felt panicky. I couldn’t wait to find refuge in my car and home I sped.
Only later that evening did I recall where I had seen that man behind the wheel of the car in the park garage. It was my first scenario incident, the father in the park. Was this a simple coincidence? Granted a bit far-fetched to think so, then again how many faces remain familiar
once you’ve encountered them.
Something else happened there that I forgot to mention. Once at home and unpacking my bags, there was a tissue in one bag literally saturated with Timothy’s favourite scent. When did that take place? Now someone was really playing with my nerves. Why? Who? I had no idea. I did not know where to go to ask. A clairvoyant perhaps, if I believed in that. Was that young man responsible? Could I track him down?
I decided to arrange another date with my work colleague. I opened up to him and explained all that had such weird connotations. He suggested I get in touch with Timothy’s former boss
just to see if there had been any problems with Timothy’s sudden death, in short, if any loose ends were still present. If someone was missing something, perhaps they thought I knew about it.
Remember my wanted sleep incident? I followed the date up with that again. Once again, a dream awoke me. Once again, I felt bruised. Once again there was a lingering scent from Timothy in the room and on my pillow. And once again I search the house for answers. I was baffled.
Consequently, I followed up on my colleague’s suggestion; I think I opened Pandora’s box. The boss was friendly enough, he offered to take me to Timothy’s office and meet his work mates. Wouldn’t you guess who I met there? Yes, indeed, sorry not the father of the child, but that fellow at the petrol station, he explained he worked for his brother part-time. This brother was that father in the park. The work mates were closely knitted and were wondering how Timothy had gone missing. I had no answer for that. One mate asked if I had seen and identified his body. Well I had only identified him by the photo they had placed with the ashes. Supposedly, Timothy had been caught in a hotel fire in San Francisco at his last assignment. What were they implying? Timothy still alive? Why would he hide and from whom? Did they have any answers to those questions? Is that why they had been keeping their eyes on me? Hoping to catch a glimpse of my ‚dead husband’?
Timothy was a top notch journalist working on research for various community projects the world over. His work mates requested his notes from his last assignment so they could close it up. I told them I’d need to sort out his office first. I had no thought to be bullied by them. I left that office studying that simple theory that my husband was still alive.
If alive, why not come out in the open and tell me? Why frighten me? I settled down that evening to clear his home office. Well his desk top was cleared – not his usual mess, so that also made me wonder. How was I to attract him home? The search for recorded recent activity from Timothy proved to be fruitless. Surely, it was a waste of time. Timothy was dead, basta!
I took the next day off to spend it at the park. It was uneventful. The brothers were becoming pests. If they had been observing me, why hadn’t they caught Timothy? Perhaps they had not meant to frighten me. I hoped there wouldn’t be anymore encounters with strangers. If only, I knew what the missing piece of puzzle was.
I spent the evening reviewing my notes and reading my mail at Timothy’s desk. I stepped out to get myself a cup of tea. Odd, a letter I had missed reading. It must have been the last letter in the pile. Upon opening it, a ticket fluttered to the floor. Further examination showed a one-way airline ticket to New York with my name on it. And to put an end to my query, there was a CD rom inside. I believe his work mates’ theory would prove to be correct. I would soon be meeting my husband.
Submitted on 17 April 2020 by: