Summer of 2009
“I got your essays, Baby. Thank you for completing your assignments by the deadline. You find it easier to confide through writing, than by talking, don’t you?” Stalker’s voice is strong and authoritarian on the phone. This particular tone of his makes me uncomfortable, but somehow, I find it reassuring when he takes control of the conversation. As though I am in good, strong hands. Knowledgeable hands, the hands of someone who knows what he is doing. Maybe this alpha male nonsense of his has its good points?
“Yes what?” asks Stalker.
“Yes, I find it easier to write than talk.”
“That’s good. Address me in complete sentences. And who are you speaking to?” asks Stalker.
“er . . . Sir?” I’m guessing here.
“Yes, I find it easier to write than talk to you, Sir.”
What kind of annoying game is this? I feel like my father has risen from the grave.
“Then we will continue this way, until you trust, and can talk freely. Until then, I will send you more essay assignments. But, I have a request. Not a demand, but a request. Would you cut out all the female bullshit? I don’t want to hear about the color of the wallpaper. I am not Oprah. Just tell me the facts. I was a journalist before I was a DJ. Can you stick to the who, what, where? Can you do that?”
“I will try.”
“What was that? I can’t hear you.”
“I will try to stick to the facts. Sir.”
“Better. Now, I need a list. A list of anyone who ever touched you. What happened, when it happened. Where the two of you were. Starting with the first time a boy held your hand in kindergarten. You want novelty — I can do that for you. You will never be bored. And that is why you will always love me. I will fulfill your every dream, your every fantasy. But, first I need to know what you have experienced, so I know what you can handle. If I am to provide you with novelty, I need to know what you have already experienced. Do you understand?”
“Yes, I understand. Sir.”
“Good girl. Now get to work. Don’t make the list too long, but you better not leave any detail out. If I find you left anything out, I will punish you. We need to be honest with each other, so we can trust each other fully. I know that is hard for you, but I will help you. Can you trust me enough to give me the list?”
“Yes, I can trust you enough to give you the list. Sir.”
Maybe, I say to myself. Maybe. Boundaries: met and pushed against. What will give? And, how dare he talk to me like this?!! Punish me? Like I am a child! I didn’t think even my parents had the right to punish me, when I was a child! But my heart is beating faster; he has my attention. That much I know. I want so much to tell someone everything, but I am too afraid to. He knows he must force me, or I will never do it, even if I want to. A secret part of me is relieved to be forced. But, he knows that, doesn’t he?
“Then get off the phone, Baby. And don’t email me until you send me the list. And don’t spend your time emailing anyone else, or on the phone with your girlfriends. Oh, I better not catch you on Facebook. I will be watching. Get the list done, first.”
I figure an Excel spreadsheet is the best tool.
. . . to be continued
© Barbara E. Berger, 2011, all rights reserved. “Stalker” is a work of fiction.