Last Saturday I was working when a familiar, hulking figure came through the door. I recognized him immediately as a guy from high school who had terrorized me. Not in the way some people did, like tripping me or “accidentally” knocking my books out of my arms, or just making stupid jokes out of my name. This was a guy who, at about 6’3″ and 300 pounds, liked to push me, a five-foot, hundred-pound fifteen-year old, into lockers after school when no one else was around, detailing exactly what sexually explicit things he would like to do to me, meanwhile trying to put his hands up my shirt or down my pants. He also liked to call my house when my parents weren’t home and tell me he knew I was alone and would come over and hurt me, among other things. Certain things I’d rather not say, due to their offensive and disgusting nature.
I’m not going to repeat his name, if only because I don’t want him to Google himself and discover that I do, in fact, remember him. When he came in last weekend he was with his wife. There was no doubt in my mind who he was, even if I haven’t seen him in years. He’s an unusually large, unusually ugly man. He also had a creepy smirk on his face when he leaned over and asked Audrey if my name was Courtney and I felt his eyes boring into my back when I moved around. Audrey said yes, that was my name, because she had no idea who the guy was.
What’s worse is that he came back later in the week. This time he wasn’t with his wife. He ordered a drink and sat down at a table with a clear view of me counting down the drawers. I tried to stay calm and act like I neither noticed him nor had any idea who he was. It probably wasn’t all that effective since I think I’ve run into him once or twice in the past ten or so years.
When I was telling Charlie about it I said perhaps this dude doesn’t remember what he did to me or realize how I may feel about it, even today. I immediately stopped myself and said “No, he remembers.” Why else would he lurk around, staring at me like that, if not to try and hold or regain some power over me? Maybe I should say “Everyone deserves a second chance,” rather than assuming “Once a sexual predator, always a sexual predator.” But that’s how he makes me feel.
I recall very clearly how he made me feel back then. I recall that I never told anyone about it – at least no authority figures. I will not make that stupid choice again. If the guy does anything threatening towards me at all, I’ll scream bloody murder, tell him to get his ass out of my store, call the police, whatever. And, luckily, I have a huge husband who said if the guy so much as looks crosseyed at me, it will be the biggest mistake of his life.
I like the idea of being an independent woman who can handle herself better than the idea of having my significant other have to stick up for me to someone else. But I do admit I also like the idea of watching Charlie pound that douchebag’s face in.