Well, after three months of truly memorable stalking, I felt it was time for my stalker to finally stalk my family. So I picked up the phone and called my dad:
The phone rings a few times.
“Hello?” my dad answers.
“Hi, dad. How’s it going?”
“What do you mean, what’s wrong?”
“You’re calling me in the middle of the day. Did you get arrested again?
“Jeeze, dad, are you ever going to let me forget about that zoo incident?”
“OK, then what is it?”
“Nothing. It’s just that, well, I met someone and —”
“It’s a guy, isn’t it?”
“What? No, it’s not a guy.”
“Yes, really. Why would you think it was a guy?”
“Oh, no reason. I was just, uh, joking.”
“I see. And why would it be so horrible if it was a guy?”
“Ahh ha! So it is a guy!”
“It’s not a guy!”
There was an awkward silence. Then my dad said something inappropriate:
“It’s not one of those interspecies relationships again, is it?”
OK, I have to explain something here. When I was younger (about two years ago), I sort of experimented with an interspecies relationship. But anyone who was at the zoo that day will tell you, that giraffe came on to ME! Fucking long-necked tease.
In any case, after a lot of awkward conversation, I finally convinced my dad that I was dating an actual woman. I then called my sister and had a similar talk. We all agreed that the most uncomfortable place to meet would be my sister’s home. I offered to pick up my stalker and bring her there, but she insisted on driving up herself. So I gave her directions and told her to be there no later than 5:30. She nodded, then got back into my closet where she continued to quietly watch me getting dressed.
Well, I showed up at exactly 5:30 that day and my stalker was nowhere to be found. My dad had arrived early and my sister and niece were busy preparing some gourmet snacks, i.e., carrots dipped in peanut butter. After about 20 carrots and 16 ounces of peanut butter, we started to wonder if my stalker was ever going to show up. Finally, we all agreed that we couldn’t wait any longer and should just go to the restaurant.
I called my stalker to tell her where to meet us, but as soon as the line started ringing, we heard the faint sounds of La Vie en Rose by Edith Piaf coming from the backyard. I looked at my sister and she looked at my dad, then I opened up the screen door and walked outside. As I listened to the line ringing through my phone, Edith Piaf’s vibrato voice continued to tell the story of the “Life in Pink.” Suddenly, something rustled around in the bushes, Edith was cut off and the line went dead. I called again. Edith started from the top and soon we were all standing in front of the source of the music: a nicely manicured bush in the corner of my sister’s yard.
“Stalker?” I said to the bush.
There was no reply.
“I know you’re in there. Come out and meet my family.”
“C’mon, it’s no big deal. They’re actually very nice.”
The bushes rustled a bit. I think she might have been shaking her head in disagreement.
“Hello,” my dad said to the bush,” I’ve heard a lot about you.”
More awkward silence.
“I’m bored,” my niece announced. “Can we eat? This is stupid.”
After a few more minutes, we all agreed that this was indeed stupid. So I told my stalker where to meet us and then we all got into our separate cars and drove ten minutes to a delightful little restaurant in the area called Islands.
Well, we waited for over a half hour for my stalker to arrive before we finally decided it was time to “get on with it,” as my niece so eloquently put it. I chose the veggie burger, while my niece insisted on ordering an island favourite called “cheddar fries.” From the first bite of this traditional dish, I felt myself transported to a tropical island, where topless natives work the deep fryer and pour molten cheese from coconut shells.
Anyhow, when I got home that night, I went straight to the fridge to drop off my leftovers. To my surprise, there was already a bag from Islands sitting on the shelf. That’s when I realised there was a lot more to this relationship than I thought. Yes, this woman was following me everywhere and somehow had managed to make copies of my keys, but she was truly committed to me and I really couldn’t ask for anything more.
I watched some TV for a few hours, then retired to my bedroom at around 11. Just before I reached over to turn out the light, I glanced over at the closet.
“Good night,” I said to the closet door.
To my disappointment, there was no reply. I turned out the light and I closed my eyes. And just as visions of Island fry cooks started entering my thoughts, a muffled voice spoke from behind the door: