So Victoria has been doing this amazing Making History project leading up to The Archived coming out in January. I’d been debating what to do for it ever since she started it, and a conversation with Becca made me decide this one was the one that needed told. I m far too camera shy, (and still skittish about the whole pen name/real name thing. Though it doesn’t take much for someone if they’re determined to figure out who I am.) to actually do a vlog. So I decided I’d blog this first, and if I get the courage, I’ll vlog it. Maybe in a way that you don’t really see my face.
Anyway. Names on this story have been changed to protect the innocent and guilty alike, and quotes are paraphrased, because even I don’t have logs going back this far anymore. (Also, bonus points to you if you know why I picked these names)
In college, one of my best friends, Christine, comes to me and tells me this guy, Erik, has been messing with her. It started with some comments on a message board, and when it turned out he lived in San Antonio too, he started stalking her. At first, it seemed harmless. A forum note mentioning where she went to school. A bag of candy left in her campus mailbox without any note, that we weren’t sure where it came from (and wisely, thrown away). He’ll get bored, she thought. But then she saw him, at night, sitting in his car across from her house. Now, someone knowing where you go to school is one thing. Our campus was small, and people would question you if they didn’t recognize you. A random guy fixated on you enough to find out where you live, though, is seriously creepy. She didn’t know what to do, so when he started pestering her on the message board’s chat room, she invited me in to see if I could figure out a way to get rid of this creep.
My screen name at the time had my name in it, but with other stuff around it. So when he misread my name, I didn’t bother correcting him. I didn’t want him to focus on me, after all. He starts mocking his misread version of my name. “What kind of name is that?”, he asks. I grin as I figured out exactly how to get him to leave Christine alone. “Italian,” I say. “My dad’s from there.”
“Italian?” he asks, “Then say something in Italian”. I popped over to Babelfish or googletranslate or something, and put in, “You are a jerk and you need to leave my friend alone.”, then pasted in the translation. He probably put it back in a translator, as after a minute, he came back with, “What are you going to do about it?”
“Well, I’m pretty sure you wouldn’t like me to tell my father what you’re doing. He tends to get a bit mean to people who annoy his little girl.” I hinted, throughout the conversation, that my father was a mafia boss. (My real father would be very amused. He did spend a few years in Italy, before I was born, but stationed at the military base in Sicily. And he’s really from the south part of the US.)
He stayed cynical, but I could tell I was creeping him out. I told him if she saw him again, I would take care of it.
He wasn’t there that night. Nor the next. The following day, Christine gets an email from him ranting that her “Mafia friend” sliced his tires and keyed his car. Of course, I’d done no such thing, as I was in the middle of a crazy busy Nanowrimo, and had better things to do. Besides, I’m not stupid. I know that you clip the valve stems, they’re far cheaper to replace if you DO get caught. I popped back in their chat, and told him karma’s a bitch, but I’m more of one. If he didn’t leave my friend alone, far worse would happen to him.
We never heard from him again.