Nobody likes a stalker, even if he is 24 years old and sort of good-looking.
Alex lived right behind Beth, and their doors opened into a shared courtyard area.
Which gave him a perfect non-stalker excuse to get her phone number when he moved in.
“Just in case I see anything odd going on in your apartment, I can text you,” he said.
He seemed nice enough, and, well, sort of good-looking so single Beth gave him her number. FAIL.
By the time she met me for dinner that night, Alex had texted her EIGHT times.
“What R U up 2?” she showed me on her phone. “Where R U?”
In addition to the repeated texting, word abbreviations were like nails on a chalkboard to Beth.
She shivered and never wrote him back.
The next morning, even though he doesn’t have an 8-5 job, Alex conveniently left his house right as Beth was leaving hers. He waved.
“I’m sorry about last night, my friends took my phone and texted you a whole bunch,” he said. “They are sooo immature.”
“Um, it’s OK,” Beth said, hurrying away.
Alex wasn’t sorry.
“R U at home?” he sent THAT NIGHT, when he could clearly see that she was at home and her living room light was on.
Beth didn’t respond again, and shook her head at every message.
The next day, Beth was watching TV and her phone was refreshingly silent. Good, maybe he got the hint, she thought.
KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK.
Beth looked at her French doors and through the sheer curtains saw Alex standing on her stoop. He could see her, too, and was waving wildly.
Annoyed, Beth made a drastic display of getting up from her chair and pouring more iced tea into her glass and settling back down into the chair, clearly ignoring the company at her door.
After a few more minutes of knocking, Alex threw his hands up and walked back to his apartment.
Walking to her car in the mornings was always the most difficult thing with Alex around, since it was guaranteed that he would conveniently be leaving his house, too.
“HEY, HEY Beth! What’s up?” he asked the morning after his “visit.” He was getting less good-looking by the day.
“Alex, why are you still texting me every hour? I thought you said that was your friends who had texted and it happened again.”
“Yea, I’m sorry, I was really drunk. I think you’re really pretty.”
Silence. Then Beth looked at him, her body halfway in her car.
“Look, I don’t like getting texted that much, or people coming over uninvited, and to be honest, I think you’re kind of sketchy and a creep.”
(F.Y.I. from my friends’ experience and my personal experience, guys really hate it when you call them sketchy. It’s the guy version of the C word.)
“What??” Alex was somehow taken aback. “I definitely don’t want to come across like that,” he said.
“It’s fine,” Beth said, again, hurriedly getting into her car. “Just don’t do that again.”
She slammed the door.
As Beth describes it, she “wasn’t even at the end of the street and he could still see my taillights,” when her phone rang.
It was Alex.
She picked up with a, “REALLY? REALLY?”
“What?” Alex said. “I just wanted to tell you that I’m not creepy. I feel bad that you think that.”
“WHY are you calling me?” Beth asked. “What do you want???”
“I want to go out with you.”
“No.” Beth said, finally turning the corner. “No. That’s not going to happen.”
“Oh, I get it,” Alex said. “You’re a lesbian.”
Beth didn’t know if he was serious or just being creepy again.
“Yes, that’s it,” she said. “You got it.”
“Ok, I mean, I was wondering,” Alex responded. Then he hung up.
It turns out, that type of “rejection” is exactly what Alex needed to move on.
In his mind, her not wanting to go out with him couldn’t have had anything to do with HIM, it must have been because he was simply barking up the wrong tree.
No matter. It’s been five days and Alex hasn’t texted her or stopped by unexpectedly and life is back to normal for Beth.
She doesn’t rush to her car to avoid unwanted advances. She doesn’t peek out the window before she leaves the house. She watches The Bachelor in peace.
But she is worried to invite the new guy she’s dating to spend the night.
He might have to cross dress.