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Someone’s Been Watching Too Much “You”

, , , , , , | Working | April 25, 2020

My company recently announced that it was shutting down one of our sister satellite locations. As a result, a few employees they wanted to keep were at my location getting set up so they could transfer over to our office. This required them to move as the satellite location was a couple of hours away.

One of the guys, who honestly was a delight to work with, asked me if I might be interested in hanging out more once he was settled in town. I gave him a noncommittal answer thinking it might be nice if we got to know each other better first. He smiled and said he understood, and we went about our work without any problems.

After his move, though, some very odd things happened. He became very distant, often skirting away from conversations or coming and going without much more than hellos and goodbyes. This was not just with me, but with everyone in the office, so I thought nothing much of it but I did find it odd since I thought he’d been trying to hit on me.

There were rude comments made about him, as well, when it became known that he’d tried to ask me out and I’d turned him down. I didn’t know the guy, though, so I couldn’t defend him, but they were all of the sort saying his behavior was that of a sociopath and that kind of thing. 

I tried to pay no attention to it, but a week later, while I was working out at the gym a walk from my apartment, I saw him walk in and a thought went through my head. “How could someone so nice be stalking me?” And I realized that’s exactly what people think about sociopaths. 

Frightened, I immediately got my stuff and went home, trying to make sure that I was not being followed. I felt relatively safe about it and tried to do things as normal, but later that night as I was taking out the trash, I found him standing at the corner across from my building staring at his phone and the panic set in. I immediately dropped the bag and ran inside and called the cops. 

The cops came, knocked on my door, and talked to me. I told them everything about what had happened and they said they’d seen a man standing on the corner and would go talk to him. They came back in not too long and told me that there was nothing they could do to stop the man. Outraged, I ask if they’d stay while I confronted him as he was my coworker and I didn’t feel safe going to work if he was stalking me. They agreed and I went out and, without getting too close, loudly said his name.

He looked up and sputtered my name in surprise. Not wanting to give him a chance to say anything else, I shouted, rather more loudly than I meant to, “Why are you stalking me?” Panic came across his face, and he started sputtering about how he was not stalking me when I saw the lightbulb go off in his eyes. He turned toward my building, then toward the gym, then down to his phone, and then finally at the police, and he just started laughing.

As it turned out, by sheer chance, he had moved into the same apartment complex as me, albeit on the other side. Because of that and us working in the same place with identical hours, running into him at the gym was bound to happen. He was standing outside at the corner because, as he showed me on his phone, he was playing Pokemon Go and there was a gym there. Having never played, I never knew.

He had never even noticed me around, but acknowledged how it must have seemed. As for why he seemed distant all of a sudden? His cat had not taken well to the move or the new environment and he was worried about it. He was “distant” because he was trying to find time to call vets to get an appointment to bring him in ASAP. 

The whole thing just kind of washed over after that. We had a good laugh and agreed to be friends and workout buddies. I did meet his cat shortly after this, and it did seem to be coming back from being worse for wear. I don’t know if I’ll ever really take him up on an actual date, but maybe if I can stop feeling so embarrassed by this, I might!

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