Do I look like a stalker?

This is the question for you all to ponder today.

Think about my face, my pearly white girly smile, my big blue trustworthy eyes, my little bum-chin dimple that is cute in a little kid way – surely it all makes me look very un-stalkerishly.

The reason I ask is due to not one, but two similar experiences today. I was running late for uni and desperate to find a car park. I tried for the carpark across from the sports field – its closer to my lecture room but still only $3. After countless laps with no success, I gave up and headed for the dustbowl-now-concreted-car-park that adds an extra few minutes to the walk to class. Again, countless laps with no success.

And then I saw her. A fellow student clearly walking back from uni. I could see her head bobbing up and down through the row of cars that separated us. Popping my car into gear, I maneuvered around the corner and followed her along the hot black bitumen. She was like an angel, a guiding light, leading me as a gentle shepherd might lead a lost sheep. I followed slowly behind her for a good few minutes, weaving in and out of cars to reach the car park destined to hold my darling big blue beast for the next three hours.

At least this is where I thought we were going.

But no, after driving painfully slow, never getting out of first from one end of the car park to the other, my angel, my guiding light, my carpark shepherd scooted past the very last car and continued strolling down the street. Across the field. Into oblivion.

At this point of the day, my question wasn’t ‘Do I look like a stalker?’. Oh no. It was ‘What kind of person are you to flippin’ lead me on a wild goose hunt through this huge car park, not once stopping to inform me you didn’t even have a freakin’ carpark to leave for me!!??” I began to experience symptoms not unlike the early stages of road rage. I prescribed appropriate treatment for my self-diagnosed state, taking deep breaths in, deep breaths out. I paused, collected myself, and moved on.

A few more laps around the carpark. No success. My lecture had now well and truly started. And then I saw him. A fellow student clearly walking back from uni. I could see his head bobbing up and down through the row of cars that separated us. Popping my car into gear, I maneuvered around the corner and followed him along the hot black bitumen. He was my new angel, a guiding light, leading me as a gentle shepherd might lead a lost and now disillusioned sheep. I followed slowly behind him for a good few minutes, weaving in and out of cars to reached the car park now destined to hold my darling big blue beast for the next three hours.

At least this is where I thought we were going.

Mister Shepherd guy started getting twitchy. He shifted his pace, sped up, slowed down, keenly aware that my car was but metres behind, following him slowly. But not once did he look back. Not once did he give any indication that he too did not possess the carpark I so desired. Not once did he wave me by, kindly apologising and sending me on my way. It was now when I began to question myself – ‘Laura, do you look like a stalker? Would you follow a random soul through the carpark just for kicks? Are you not clearly looking for a carpark – an activity wildly different from purposefully hunting and following a helpless individual? What does he think I want from him if not a space to park my car?!

Yes folks you know what happened. He walked past that very last car and continued strolling down the street. Across the field. Into oblivion.

Do I look like a stalker?

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