Looking back on that day he had pinned me in the hallway, I smack my forehead every time I realize I never asked what his name was. I figured he must already know mine, being my stalker and all, but to me, he was still just Mystery Stalker. Even still, I gradually came to think of him as MINE, just as he clearly thought of me as only his. It wasn’t a love thing, or some long-distance version of Stockholm syndrome; it was simple familiarity. I was a creature of habit. If something stayed a certain way long enough, I would become so used to it that it was normal.
He hadn’t cornered me again, but that didn’t stop him from stalking me as usual, following me to every class, smiling at me across the room in the art studio, and more than once I noticed him snooping around the dance rooms between warm-up and actual practice. Obviously I wasn’t happy with being followed at all times, but like I said, I had grown accustomed to fleeing across the campus at night after my final class. This game had been going on for three weeks, and I was treating it with the same indifference as I treated most things.
Unfortunately for me, while I was content keeping things the way they were, Mystery Stalker was not.
I was in the library, studying for an upcoming chemistry test, when I heard heavy footsteps climbing the stairs to join me. My first thought was the male librarian’s assistant was coming to check on me, but I wasn’t surprised when it was really just Mystery Stalker. Though I had recognized him in my peripheral vision, I did not actually look up at his approach, though I was wondering why he dared be so close now. I kept ignoring him, pretending to study… Pretending I didn’t see him striding purposefully toward me… Pretending I wasn’t imagining a thousand horrible things he could do with me tucked into my little library chair, surrounded by piles of thick, heavy books ranging from Atomic Structure to the Periodic Table Through History.
Mystery Stalker stopped right behind me and laid his large hands on my shoulders, making me shiver as their warmth leeched through my flimsy purple t-shirt. When had it suddenly gotten so cold in the library? I swear it should not have dropped thirty degrees in the last few nanoseconds.
He leaned down, his lips brushing softly against the outer curve of my ear, light and tender as a lover’s kiss. His voice was the same soft whisper as the first time he’d spoken to me, except this time, his voice was hard and full of venom. “You’ve been ignoring me. I don’t like it. It seems I need to up the ante a little in our game…”
I did NOT like where this was going.
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