Ok, I know am not the only one who thinks following someone right behind is creepy. Very creepy. My heart skips a beat everytime my instincts tell me someone is right behind me following me. How scary can it be? How disturbing? Especially knowing that it’s late and I need to be home. Mama is on her way. Hmm, that food better be ready before she knocks the door…
Of Stalkers – By Dama.
Its 9:00pm. You are not home yet. Mum will be home in an hour’s time and you haven’t cooked her dinner. That spells trouble. We all know how empty stomachs can make lousy company out of people. You are walking home. Just one more turn, you console your lazy self. You shouldn’t have spent that much time listening to Grace give you all that gossip. That’s what phones are for. You guys would have just whatsapped each other all night and catch you up with all the latest drama that went down while you were away. But you are not the best time conscious person. In fact, you are a lousy timekeeper. You cannot keep time to save your life. Calling you an African timer is an understatement. Your mum will be so mad at you. She will call you lazy and annoying and unreliable because one cannot rely on you to eat on time, which makes them angry which means you are lazy. You are not in the mood for the verbal outburst. You want to please her today. God, you want to please your mum every day. Who doesn’t want their mother to be proud of them?
So you hasten your pace. It’s a really quiet night and the road you are on is lonely and dark except for you and the sound of your footsteps. Wait, there are more footsteps. You stop. Nothing. Maybe it’s your anxious mind playing tricks on you. You start walking again. There’s definitely another person on the road with you. But when you turn, all you see is a blanket of darkness engulfing the road. The shops are already closed and someone tampered with the security lights. At least there’s light on the next turn. You begin walking again. But the footsteps begin again. This is scary for you. The person walking behind you is definitely up to something. Something not good. You begin walking faster, the footsteps are faster too. They are heavy, the kind that someone wearing boots would have. It must be a man. Maybe he is a thief, or a rapist. What if he is a sociopath who preys on tall ladies who are in a rush to get home to prepare a meal for their mum? Does he have a knife? Maybe he will use chloroform to get you unconscious. Or he will just punch your lights out. By now, you are half walking half running. You can hear your heartbeat racing. You do not know what to do. Oh God, you mumble, please let me get home safe, I promise to make mum the most delicious meal she has had in her lifetime. I promise to be home on time in future. I promise to resist meaningless gossip and to be more time conscious.
Dear God, I…
The voice startles you. You jump. And when you land, you freeze. You can’t move. Shit.
He’s closing in. You can feel him getting closer. Move. You will your scared feeble self. Dammit, move! The only movable part of your body at the moment is your neck, so you turn your head to look at him. A really huge silhouette of a man is getting nearer. You cannot see him clearly as much your eyes have already adjusted to the dark .
“Nimekuona kwa umbali. I’ve been following you since you parted ways with that friend of yours…”
Oh, she speaks! Hallelujah. You are angry. He has been following you all the way? How come you didn’t notice?
“I just want a minute of your time.”
He stopped about a meter away from you. Even psychos understand the concept of personal space. At least before they attacked. And this one followed you for the last forty five minutes just to get a minute of your time. For what? To ask your name then drug you with whatever drug he has in that long coat of his? Who wears boots and trench coats at this time of the year anyway? With this heat wave that has had you releasing gallons of water per day through your sweat pores? Please, this man is up to no good.
Convinced, you turn and resume walking.
He calls out. You really hate that name by now. You hear him begin walking. You walk faster.
“I just want to know you. “
How? The biblical way?
“Just a minute siste..”
Again with that annoying name.
“I don’t have a minute.”
You yell back. You have to get home and begin cooking. You already wasted enough minutes on the creep.
Whoa. Is he dying?
“Really, I can’t. I’m late”
“I understand. But I did not come all the way for nothing. I want you. Simama.”
You walk even faster.
“Unajua, am faster than you. If I want, I can easily catch up”
What? Your anger comes back. So now he is threatening you? You are scared. And angry too. You stop and turn. He stops too.
“What did you say? Are you threatening me?”
“No. hapana siste…”
“Nataka tu kukujua. Unaitwa nani?”
The nerve! This man angers you. This huge man who says he can easily subdue you. You have no idea what is the best course of action at this moment. So you throw in a threat of your own.
“Unajua naweza kukuitia watu. And you will be beaten a good one. Then, you will be taken to the police. I have brothers. But you must already know that since you are a creepy person.”
“Hapana sist…madam, si hivo. I’m not that kind of person.”
He sounds hurt. Maybe you shouldn’t have called him creepy. But these are desperate times people.
“Then if you are not that kind of person you should know that you are making me uncomfortable. And I do not want to talk to you. Rudi kule umetoka sahi.”
You decide you won’t move an inch. Maybe he doesn’t know where you live yet and you are not just about to generously give that information out.
“Sawa. Kesho basi?”
“Hapana. Nikikuona kesho hautapenda.”
“Aki hapana. Naenda. Niambie jina yako tu”
By now your patience has run out. And you are already late. What will you tell your mum took you so long? That you were busy talking to someone you don’t know? She taught you never to speak to strangers on the road. You have to go home. Now. You whip out your cellphone.
You state matter -of- factly as you pretend to dial a number. He raises his hands in the air and turns. He begins to walk away slowly.
“Harakisha!” you shout at him and turn on the flashlight app in your phone. You watch him as he walks until he turns at the end of the road. Then you turn and run.
Whoever said girls can only run as fast as their boobs allow them should have done their research extensively first before making such a preposterous conclusion.