It was almost four PM before I was able to leave my supervisor’s office. I was exhausted and hungry and very nervous. While with my supervisor I had gotten 5 more messages from ‘Creep’ – appropriate name for him but I hadn’t opened the messages. I stepped out of Dr Korede’s office and scanned my surrounding to make sure I wasn’t being watched, the coast looked clear. I considered reading his texts before going to the hostel but decided against it. I needed a solution to him not text messages from him.
The sky began to darken as I got on the road. It was just after four, it shouldn’t be getting dark. I looked up, it was rain! No! I groaned. I walked faster but it was not going to help, the rain was already dropping. Should I brave the rain or wait? I thought. Creep came to my mind. Was he watching me? Stopping was very predictable and it would make it easy for him to approach me. I decided to keep walking and the rain took no pity on me, it got heavier.
I felt stupid, my fear was driving me crazy.My face was everywhere in the school, maybe my fear was legitimate. Better safe than sorry, I thought as I walked on, shivering. The rain was really heavy and I was soaked to my skin now. My hostel was still far. I was been foolish, I had to stop.
And just as I made up my mind, I heard footsteps behind me. Was it him? Oh no! I stifled a scream. I could not stop now. I walked faster but the footsteps got closer. My walk turned into a jog but still the steps got closer. My jog turned to a run. The steps fell behind as I ran, but it wasn’t long before I got tired. I slowed my pace and looked behind. There was no one!
I turned around and crashed into something. I fell to the floor and I was momentarily blinded by the fall and the rain. I felt hands hold me and attempt to drag me up. Oh no! I struggled against them but the grip tightened around my arms. Finally, I was up on my feet and the hands released me. Immediately, I bolted but I stepped into a ditch and fell again. I felt sharp pain in my left ankle. I tried to stand but it was too painful. I began to cry.
“Are you crazy?” I heard him say.
.He lifted me again, this time I didn’t resist. There was no point, I couldn’t go anywhere on my own anyway.
“What was that?”
.I looked up to see his face.
“Dave?” I said, shocked. Oh my God, I felt very stupid.
“Why were you acting so crazy?” He said. “Let’s get out of the rain first.”
I winced with every step I took. I hoped I had not twisted my ankle or worse.
“Are you okay?” Dave asked looking at my ankle.
I shook my head.
“Put your arm around my shoulder.” He said and lifted me up.
I felt slightly embarrassed that he was carrying me but I clung tightly to him. Maybe it wasn’t a bad idea to have a boyfriend. He carried me into a class and set me down on a chair. Fortunately for me the class was empty.
“Thank you.” I said, honestly
“Now, will you explain what that was about?” He sounded angry.
“I’m sorry, I didn’t know it was you. I thought…I’m sorry”
“If you had a boyfriend and you couldn’t be bothered to tell me, you will make it worse by running away whenever you see me?”
“Wait, what?” I asked, surprised. “Did you see the posters too? I thought you would understand.”
“What posters? Understand what?”
“The posters all over…wait, who told you I had a boyfriend?” I asked.
“Everybody who knows me apparently.” He said.
“Did you ask how they got to know?”
He paused, he didn’t look so sure anymore.
“Well, I thought I’d ask you myself.”
“Okay, remember the guy from last night?”
He nodded yes and I told him about the posters, the text and how I thought Creep was the one following me in the rain.
“Oh my God, I feel so embarrassed.” He said, bursting into laughter.
“Well, that makes two of us.” I said.
“What will you do?”
“Looks like he is a member of my department so I guess I will look for him and confront him. If he doesn’t stop, I’ll report him.”
“Confront him? Alone?” Dave asked.
“You ran away just now when you thought he was the one.”
Hmm,he had a point.
“I don’t know what I’ll do but I need to find him first.” I said.
I wasn’t sure if I really wanted to find him, he could be violent. Stalkers usually loved you but only for so long. Rejection could trigger violence. I needed a plan, one that left me alive.
We sat in silence for almost ten minutes staring into the rain. It could have been romantic if we were not both shivering.
Finally Dave broke the silence.
“You know we could really work if you allow us.”
“Well…”I started to say but my phone rang.
“I have gotten pictures of every level in your department, come to my room, maybe you’ll find him.”
“Ok, thanks.” I said and ended the call. “That was Dupe, she has some pictures she wants me to check, I have to go.”
“It is still drizzling, are you sure?”
“Yeah.” I said. I was wet already, I would survive.
I wasn’t so convenient with Dave bringing up my refusal to go out with him. I stood to leave and pain shot through my ankle, I sat immediately.
“Looks like I’m going to have to enter the rain too.” Dave said.
We left the class with my arm around his shoulder. He offered to carry me again but I said no, no need to fuel gossip about me.
We left the class with my arm around his shoulder.He offered to carry me again but I said no,no need to fuel gossip about me.
My phone rang as we approached the hostel. It was Creep!
“It’s him.” I said to Dave.
“Give me the phone.” Dave took the phone
I didn’t think it was a good idea for Dave to speak to him even though I was not going to.
“Hey listen pal, whoever you are, leave…He ended the call.” Dave said and handed the phone to me.
I didn’t like this, I didn’t like it at all.
“Just get me to the hostel.”
“If you need to go anywhere later tonight, let me know, okay? “Dave said.
He looked at me and for a few seconds I held his gaze.
I looked away and nodded. I got to the hostel and headed for my room as fast as my painful ankle and cold body would allow. Dupe was in my room waiting for me when I got in.
“What happened to your leg?” She asked.
“Nothing. Where are the pictures?”
“Okay…are you sure you are alright?” She looked at me again.
“I am.” I said and looked away from her. “The pictures please?”
She gave me her phone. “Those were taken at the end of last semester.”
I looked at each picture carefully but I didn’t see him
“He isn’t here, maybe he’s not in our department or he didn’t take the picture with his class.”I said
“Lemme check again.”
As I began to check, my phone rang. I paused, was he calling back? I picked my phone, it was Dave.
“This isn’t Dave!”The voice said.
“What?” I stiffened and held my breath.
“Why is he answering your calls? You said no to him, why are you shamelessly walking around with your arm around his shoulders? After all I did for you!”
“You crazy bastard,it is none of your business what I do or with whom I do it.”My voice shook with fear and anger as I talked.
“You don’t mean that.” He said.
“Oh yes, I mean it. And for your information, I said yes to him! He is my boyfriend now!”
“No, he’s not. You are only saying this to hurt me.” His voice was shaking now. “No, you will not do that to me. No you won’t!”
“Listen, leave me alone! I don’t want a stupid cowardly creep like you in my life!”
“Do you mean that?” His voice was grave.
“Every word of it!” I hissed.
“Love is as cruel as hate I guess. Guess which I feel for you and Prince Charming right now?” He ended the call.
How did he get Dave’s phone? What had I gotten into? What had I gotten Dave into?
Lord help me!