It all started off like any other mid September day. The air outside was cool and crisp, and the colourful leaves littered the ground. It was Friday, and I was getting antsy. As my French teacher droned on about simple phrases and verbs, stuff that I already knew, I kept staring at the clock. After what seemed like ages, she finally dismissed the class. After leaving the classroom, and putting my textbooks in my locker, I rushed outside to catch the bus.
Since I didn’t live close to my school, I had to take a city bus to and from school. After showing my Student ID card to the man operating the bus, I chose a seat near the back. I waited, looking out the window, for the bus to reach my stop, and when it finally did, I ran to my house. Unlocking the door, I stepped inside. I threw my backpack onto the couch, before rushing to my room to do what I looked forward to every day; playing Xbox.
Grabbing the controller, I sat down on my gaming chair; which was really a folding chair with a pillow leaned against it. I selected the game that I wanted to play, and waited, fiddeling around with the controller as I waited. Once I was in the main menu, I swiftly joined a lobby. The lobby that the server sent me to already had 5 people in it, however, only one of them had a headset; a user named RazorM0nkey146. I turned on my headset, then spoke into the mic, “Hello?”
“Hey! How’s it going?” the other person responded. His voice sounded slightly deep, but it wasn’t as a deep as a grown man’s. I assumed that he must be around my age. “Good, I guess,” I responded. RazorM0nkey146 paused for a moment, making me wonder if I had said anything wrong. I watched as two more people joined the lobby, making it full. Neither of them had headsets. It was then that he responded, “Are you a girl?” By now, I was used to people asking me this question, so it didn’t really bother me or affect me in any way. “Yes,” I answered, watching as the intro cutscene to symbolize the match starting played. “That’s cool. I don’t really encounter many girls in this game.”
We then played a couple of matches together, and I had a pretty good time. He was pretty good at the game, and he was generally fun to play with. He was a good guy. After our 6th match together, he told me, “I love the sound of girls’ voices. It’s so… nice.” A sensible person would be a little bit unnerved, or maybe even creeped out by this phrase, but it was different for me. I was used to getting weird compliments, so I responded like I usually did, “Ok…” “Your voice is the most beautiful voice I’ve ever heard. I bet you’re very pretty. Send a pic.”
My breath caught in my throat. This was the first time anyone asked me to send a picture of myself. I didn’t know how to respond. Thankfully, my mother managed to solve that problem for me. “Dinner!” I heard her call, muting my headset. Turning it back on, I said, “Well, I’ve got to go now. I’ll play again with you later.” “Alright,” he said. He then sent me a friend request. I turned off the Xbox before I even accepted it.
After that, I didn’t turn on my Xbox for the rest of the night. If I had turned it on, he could invite me to play the game with him again, but I didn’t feel like playing with him for a while. It was 11:30, 6 hours since I turned off my Xbox, when I received a text message. I assumed that it would be my friend, so I opened it. I was surprised when it said that the text was from ‘Unknown Number’. “Why didn’t you accept my friend request?” it read. I felt my stomach clench, as I knew exactly who it was. How did he get my number? Nobody except people I personally knew had my number, and I never posted it online. I quickly deleted the text, and contact, before putting my phone on the bedside table, and falling asleep.
A few days later, I had nearly forgotten about the incident, until my mom called me downstairs one Wednesday evening. I was alone at the house, when I stumbled upon a package that was meant for me. I frowned. I hadn’t ordered anything recently, and my birthday and Christmas was still months away. Not saying anything, I took the box to my room, and opened it. Inside, was a yellow envelope, and three pieces of paper. I picked up the pieces of paper to examine them, nearly screaming. They were all pictures of me. The first one was me at the grocery store with my brother, the second was a picture of me in class, and the third, and the most horrifying of them all, was a picture of me sleeping. I instinctively looked out my window. No one was there. I closed the curtains, before lifting up the envelope. Trembling, I opened it, and read the letter inside;
“You really are beautiful. I can’t wait to meet you in person, and to hear that voice again.” Tossing the letter aside, I grabbed my phone. This was the first time that I had ever felt this afraid. I dialed 9-1-1, and put the phone to my ear. “9-1-1, what’s your emergency?” the operator asked.
“I’m being stalked,” I declared, trying my hardest to keep calm. I heard the sound of my window operating. “OH MY GOD! HE’S HERE!” I screamed into the phone, cutting off the operator. The curtain opened. “What’d your address, miss?” the operator asked. I told her my address, fighting back the tears as I saw a tall, skinny man approach me. He looked exactly my age. Screaming, I dropped the phone, not hanging up, and, opened the door. I ran down to the kitchen, not bothering to turn my head back to look at my pursuer. I headed immediately to the kitchen, and grabbed a knife. Turning around to face him, and holding the knife out in front of me, I declared, “Leave now! The police are coming, and I am not afraid to stab you!”
He took a couple of steps towards me, and reached his hand out and stroked my hair. I shivered, shaking my head in protest. “Beautiful. Just, beautiful,” he whispered, before taking a step closer. I hesitated, before plunging the blade into his chest. He screamed, before stammering backwards. The blood stuck out like a sore thumb on his white t-shirt. I watched as he collapsed to the ground, screaming and clutching the knife in his chest. I heard the sirens outside, and I ran past him, outside, finally feeling safe.
I don’t know what happened to that man, as the police never managed to retrieve him. He was gone when they entered the house. After my family learned of the incident, we moved to another town. I threw away my Xbox, and got a new one, and created a new account. I barely played it, though, as I found it hard to play after what happened to me.