THE MAN AT THE CORNER

You can call me paranoid, but I believe that even you would be scared. If you met a man at the corner who stares at you intently as you approach and as you leave, you’d be scared too. So, I have decided to move house. Tsk, hear me out.

I moved to Witness Suites a month ago. One week into the month, every morning as I left for work and every evening as I arrived from work, this man dressed in black jeans and a gray hoodie would be standing at the Witness Road corner, a hundred meters from Witness suite’s gate. For the first three days, it did not bother me, after all, I just assumed it was a citizen, hmm, let’s just say, living his life. My problem came in my second week of living in that area.

He would maintain eye contact as I approached and escort me with his eyes as I left. Sometime during the second half of that week, in the evenings, he started following me to the estate’s gate. He would stand there looking at me until I disappeared around the corner. I finally realized, be it morning or evening, he would wait until I disappeared before leaving. Spooked by all this stalking and the fact that his face was always hidden by his hoodie, I decided to immediately move out. So, I spent this entire week house hunting and will be moving out tomorrow, making this my last evening in this area.

Anyway, it’s 6 P.M. I have just alighted the mat and I’m now approaching that particular corner to my house. The man’s there. In different clothes but still black and grey. Today, he isn’t hiding his face and I can swear that the young man is most likely in high school, maybe form two? He stares at me as I approach but there is something different. Is he nervous? I’m not sure but something’s up. Maybe I really should have reported my concern to the police. I grit my teeth, grip my purse tightly and hasten my steps as I walk past him. Before I can get completely past him, he grabs my hand and everything stills for a moment.

My brain is yelling at my mouth to scream. It’s screaming at my legs to run, but none obey. It’s like every organ is trying to remember what their functions are but fail. I start losing my breath as a panic attack hits me. Ah, my brain has finally registered that people are going to pass by like they can’t see anything. No one will help me.

“So… Sonia”

His deep voice calls out making my heart decide to overwork its muscles by speeding up more than it already is. ‘Today is my day, huh?’ I can’t help thinking as I watch in numbness as the man pulls his left hand from his pocket. I wait for a knife or a gun, but he pulls out a crumpled paper instead.

“My… my brother said to give you this. He is the one with the shop near the butchery. I didn’t know how to give it to you, but then I overheard the women from your place talking about you and learned that you are moving tomorrow. It’s today or never.”

My heart pauses for a second as he straightens the paper to reveal ten digits. He shoves it into the hand he has been holding onto, mumbles an apology and quickly leaves. I don’t know whether to laugh or cry. My metal health has been tormented for an entire a month because a grown man decided to send his shy younger brother to deliver his phone number?

Tsk. I pull myself together and in a daze walk to my house. I better tell the moving person that I have changed my mind. I won’t be moving tomorrow at 4 P.M, I would like to move tomorrow at 8. A.M, please.

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