I wish I never went to the bathroom...

It has been over a week since I last left the apartment. I was meant to return to work the other day, but have been avoiding my boss’ calls. She’s out there now, watching me. I can see her through the window. She’ll leave soon, but then she’ll be back tomorrow. If not tomorrow, then the day after that. Same time. Same place. Always watching.

It started in the bathroom of a McDonald’s just down the road from where I work. It had been a long shift and I had to stay behind two hours as a coworker called in sick. My legs were tired from standing all day and my eyes were drooping from exhaustion.

I washed my hands at the sink. The mirror reflected my awful features. Bags under the eyes. Acne scarring on my face. I felt icky.

“What are you doing here?”

A woman called from behind me. I flicked my hands in the sink to quickly dry them as I turned to face her.

“Excuse me,” she continued, “What are you doing in here?”

In front of me was a 40 something year old woman. Blonde hair and wearing sunglasses indoors. She looked furious.

“Just washing my hands,” I said.

“You’re a man,” she said.

“I’m not…”

“What are you doing in the female bathroom you freak?” she raised her voice over mine.

“I’m just using the toilet...”

The woman pulled out her phone and, presumably, started recording me, “This pervert is in the ladies bathroom checking on women.”

I lifted my hand up to block my face from the camera and walked brusquely out into the restaurant. I could hear the woman’s heavy footfalls trail behind me.

“Look at this groomer walking off now he’s been called out,” she said.

I walked up to the front counter. No doubt she was there too. A member of staff was standing there putting an order together.

“Hey,” I leaned over, “Can you stop her?”

“Oh yeah! Call the cops! We’ll see what they have to say when they arrive!” she said behind me.

“Sorry ma’am?” the staff member said, “What’s going on here?”

“I don’t know,” I said, “I’m just trying to use the bathroom and she’s harassing me.”

“Go on! Call them! They’ll kick this freak out!”

“Ma’am,” the worker said to her, “I’m going to have to ask you to stop or leave.”

“Stop what?” she said, “I’m just calling out this pedophile so they’ll stop creeping on little girls!”

The worker sighed, “I’ll just call the cops.”

“Yeah, they’ll get this sicko out of here!” she said.

I sighed, “You know what, I’ll just go.”

“Are you sure, ma’am?” the worker said.

“Ma’am?” the woman said, “That’s a dude!”

“Yeah, I just needed the toilet anyway,” I said, “I don’t want to make a fuss.”

“Run away!” she said, “Run away like the freak you are!”

Apart from the shouting woman, the place was completely silent as every bystander watched the situation unfold. I pulled my hoodie over my head and walked out the building as fast as I could. She followed.

I walked across the McDonald’s parking lot over to the supermarket next to me where I parked my car. The entire time, the heckler followed me, her phone still up and recording. I tried to ignore her as she kept screaming absurd shit over and over.

It didn’t take long to make it back to the car. I jumped in and locked the door. The woman pulled the handle as soon as it clicked. Luckily, she was too slow. My hands choked the wheel as the adrenaline started to fade. I didn’t realize how fast my heart was beating until it began to slow. She stood outside the window still filming and shouting her obscenities as I got control of my breathing.

After a minute, I started the car and reversed out of the space. She followed still recording from the window. Once on the road, I put it into drive and sped out of the parking lot. I saw her standing in the rear view mirror, phone in hand. Still screaming.

A day later, the experience still left a mark on me. I dreamed about it overnight. Her face was vivid in my mind. All day I was filled with regret that I didn’t let the police take care of it and hopefully get the woman taken away. Everything I didn’t say to her floated in my head.

I noticed it first when I took my dog out for a walk. A banged up blue Chevrolet. Must have been from the 70s. The paint was peeling, replaced with rust. I didn’t get a good look in from across the street. The glare from the sun was too strong. But it left an impression on me. I’d never seen a vehicle so distinct on this street before.

Throughout the day, I kept looking out the window. The car was still there. Down the road. I couldn’t make out any features from the distance, but there was someone sitting in the driver’s seat. It was freaking me out. I closed all the blinds in my apartment and tried to put it out of my mind for the time being.

I was working the next day. It was at a cafe franchise in the same complex as the McDonald’s. Most of my shift was spent making coffee and wiping down tables. The same old shit every day. Customers ranged from okay to horrible. I was just happy to get a paycheck.

We closed later than most cafes at around 10pm, though we were usually out of there by 10:45pm. I noticed it when mopping the front of house. It wasn’t so easy to see in the dark of night, but there was a blue Chevrolet—same model, same rusted coat—in the parking lot just outside the store. Again, I couldn’t see the person sitting in the driver’s seat, so I wandered out back and checked the cameras. Also not good enough, even when zoomed in.

My coworker kept asking if I was okay. Even though he tried to hide it, he was clearly annoyed that I was slowing down the close for no reason. I got on with mopping, but kept my eye on the parking lot. By the time we got out, the car was gone.

It was back outside the apartment the next day. The car would arrive at around 10am and leave at 9pm. A few times throughout the day, it would leave and then come back an hour or so later. I could see the person sitting there for hours and hours. But I didn’t want to confront them out of fear of what they might do.

When I went in for my next shift, my coworkers were all staring at me. I greeted them with a good afternoon, but everyone returned it with a harsh glare. As I was stuffing my bag into a locker in the back office, the store phone began ringing. My other coworker in the back quickly shuffled out of there, ignoring the ringing. After a couple of seconds, it stopped.

I closed the locker and put the key into my trouser pocket. The phone began ringing again. No one from front came out back. It was company policy that the phone must be picked up, but I wasn’t to start my shift for another five minutes. I sat down at the office, and listened to it ring until it eventually stopped.

10 seconds hadn’t passed before the phone started to ring again. I picked it up. “No CallerID” was displayed on the screen.

“You’ve reached…”

“Who is this?” a woman’s voice commanded on the other end.

“This is…”

“Is this Amy?”

I was shocked into silence for a moment, “How do you know me?”

“What’s your real name?”


“You need to stop playing dress up, it doesn’t suit you well.”

“Who is this?”

I looked at the monitor and saw the blue Chevrolet parked outside.

“Is that you following me?” I asked.

“Stop pretending to be a woman then I’ll leave you alone.”

She hung-up.

I watched the Chevrolet pull out of the space and exit the parking lot on the monitor. I didn’t see her again all day.

When I got home after closing, a notification appeared from Facebook Messenger. It was a random account—no photo, fake name—requesting to DM me. I opened their request:


You don’t know me, but I’ve been following this random page for a while. A handful of people are sharing your photos and private information around. Sorry you had to find out this way."

They attached screenshots of posts from this group. All of them had my photos, ripped from my Facebook and Instagram accounts, posted along with disparaging comments and personal information. One of the posts even shared my address and work place. Some screenshots of comments showed people taking glee in the idea of hurting me. All of them made fun of how I looked. Picking apart all my insecurities one-by-one.

He’s too tall

Look at those big hands

Why is he caked in makeup in every photo?

The anonymous account linked the group, but it was private.

I called in sick the next day and took everything I had seen to the police. I told a detective about the Chevrolet, the online posts, the woman in the McDonalds. Everything. I printed off the screenshots, I gave them the link to the account, I noted the reg number of the car. All the detective did was assure me everything was going to be okay and made a report. Although the lack of immediate action was concerning.

I got home two hours later. The car was parked up on the same spot it had occupied for days. I called the police then, wanting to make sure a tangible incident report was made, hopefully creating a paper trail if it ever escalated. However, before the cops could arrive, the car was gone. They somehow knew the police were coming. I made my report to the officers and they scolded me for wasting their time before driving off.

When I got into work the next day, my manager pulled me aside before I started my shift. He sat me down next to him in the office.

“We’ve been getting reports,” he said, “From employees here and head office of someone harassing everyone? And they keep naming you. I just want to make sure everything’s okay and know if I can do anything to help.”

“What?” I was taken aback, “What about the head office.”

“Well,” he said, “HR have been getting floods of calls from No CallerID numbers and emails spammed to them. It’s clear they’re getting put into spam databases and stuff. We’ve had to turn the phone off here because people keep calling at all hours of the day. Head office have made reports to the police but they’re still investigating and want to make sure we give you the proper support.”

My heart sank. Everyone in the store had heard the women’s rants. Even the middle management that know of me through the paperwork they receive. All of them know the embarrassing comments some random woman made about me. All of them knew I was being stalked.

The surveillance monitors were open on the desk. I looked up at them and saw the blue Chevrolet was in the parking lot. Something broke.

I got up and walked out the door. My manager called after me, though I can’t recall his words. There was a sizable chunk of concrete broken off the sidewalk just outside. I took it in my hand and made for the car.

I got a close look at the driver. The same blonde, 40 something woman that had harassed me in the McDonald’s. She saw me coming and immediately started the ignition and drove for the exit.

“Leave me the fuck alone!” I screamed.

I arced my arm. The concrete left my palm and flew towards the Chevrolet. It missed the roof by a few inches and kept flying until it hit a black BMW parked behind it. The concrete broke in half as it left a massive crack on the windscreen.

I fell to the floor. The emotions had finally hit me as the adrenaline wore off. I began crying and didn’t stop for an hour.

The police came. When the customer eventually came back to their car from the supermarket, he was pissed. Luckily the two officers were able to keep things relatively calm. My manager spoke for me as I sat in the cafe. The two officers came in and informed me that he wasn’t pressing charges so long as I covered the damages. Even though I had little money to my name, I agreed.

My manager then told me to take a couple days off and said he was there if I needed help. All my coworkers stared at me in complete shock as I left the cafe. None of them said a word.

I drove home by myself. Even though he needed it, I decided not to take my dog for a walk. I didn’t want to be outside by myself at that moment. Instead, I made a cup of coffee and sat by the window. The blue Chevrolet is parked down the street.

Always watching.

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