I was a young and naive 19 year old girl working at Circuit City back in 2004. I was the gaming specialist which I loved, I got to test out new games, and often got free swag from the manufacturers.
I loved the job and my coworkers, but some of the customers I could do without. My department was in the back corner of the store, the most secluded spot. I had everything from creepy older married men with sons my age asking me out for coffee and “we don’t have to do anything you don’t want to do” type of situations, to drunk idiots straight up asking me if I put out. But all of those will never be as bad as Kenneth.
He was around my age and would come into the store nearly every day, or at least every day that I worked. He was taller than me, broad shoulders with dark hair and wore glasses. It started out inoccently enough he would ask my advice on games and controllers, and soon he was asking me out on dates. I would politely turn him down and go about my business. There was something off with him that I just couldn’t put my finger on. He made my skin crawl, but I was always polite and helpful.
I soon started dashing to the warehouse if I spotted him entering the store. But I realized he knew I was at work because he would recognize my truck. It stood out like a sore thumb, it was a 1983 Ford Ranger my Dad and I had painted bright yellow with black racing stripes up the hood. He would ask for me and most of my coworkers knew about the situation so they would say I was on lunch or had gotten a ride home.
One female coworker I didn’t get along with knew I didn’t want him to have my phone numbers. She helped him out one day and gave him both my house and cell phone numbers, She was later fired for doing this. He started calling me at all hours, at both home which I still lived with my folks and on my cell. I finally gave in and agreed to ONE date.
I only agreed if we could meet in a public place as I didn’t want him to know where I lived. We met at the movie theater, we watched a movie and had ice cream after. He tried to kiss me and I pushed him away and said I didn’t want to pursue a relationship with him.
I went back to my truck, relieved it was finally over. I drove straight home I just wanted to go home and shower. As I pulled up in front of my house I hadn’t noticed the car that pulled into my neighborhood. I almost make it to the front door when I see his truck driving by slowly… he had followed me!
I rushed inside and my cell phone was ringing as I ran up the stairs to my room. It was him. I shut my phone off and resolved that I would go change number in the morning. The next morning I told my folks about the date. My Dad was repulsed and my Mom said I needed to give him a chance as he sounded nice. Nice? He’s stalking and harassing me! But I agreed with my Mom after she was badgering me about it for a few days.
I went on a second date with him. He took me to meet his family, they were overly excited to meet me. His mom blurted out “we finally get to meet the famous girlfriend you’ve been dating these 5 months!” Big NOPE! She asked when we were planning on getting married, I just sat in shock. He was living in a fantasy all his own and his family was believing him.
The ride home was an awkward 45 minutes. I again told him I didn’t wish to pursue a relationship with him. He blew up in rage! His face went red and he was yelling at the top of his lungs that he would make me love him, that he deserved a woman like me and nothing less, and that his mom was dead set on planning our wedding. I told him to drop me off at the next gas station, he refused. I told him I would call my Dad and the cops if he didn’t.
He stopped on the side of the highway and told me to get out. I jumped out and he peeled out leaving me in the dust. I called my Dad crying and told him where I was. He and my 3 older brothers showed up about 20 minutes later. I was a blubbering mess. I wish this is where the story ends. But it gets worse much much worse.
I changed my cell phone number, as a result he would call the house repeatedly. Dad took the phone off the hook. Then we would see him drive by the house multiple times a day. He would come to my work, they would escort him out. I finally moved out of my families home in hopes that this would help.
This worked for about a month. I had moved into a coworkers basement and I could walk to work. There was a tall wooden fenced in yard I could park my truck in. I felt safe, my family said the phone calls stopped when I wasn’t home visiting. So I was hopeful that this was coming to an end. He found me. My safe space was no longer safe. So back home I moved to the safety of my family and 3 big older brothers.
We sold our home, and moved to a rental home as we were building a new house. We shut off the family home phone as there was no point to it being active at the rental for 4 months. He came into my work one day and stormed up to me demanding to be told where I was living because he needed to keep tabs on his future wife. And he was furious that the family phone was off and demanded that it be activated. I told him he needed to leave now, he had no clame to me. He slapped me and said “if I can’t have you no one can, you’re mine if you want to be or not. Remember that!” And he left.
I was so shaken up by this, my coworkers offered to take me home. I wanted to finish my shift as my family was out of town and I felt safer at work. My shift finished and I hesitated to leave but I knew the dogs needed to be let out to do their business and I had to take care of them.
I walked out to my truck and there was a destroyed red roses on the hood. I didn’t bother knocking it off I just got in and started the engine. I was leaving the parking lot and there was a big truck right behind me so close I couldn’t see the headlights over my tale gate. My stomach sunk to the pit of me and my heart started racing. I knew I couldn’t go home because then he would know where I was living! I continued down the main road in town and he followed right behind. A space next to me opened up and he went for it. He pulled up next to me and stared me down, his face was expressionless his eyes cold. He jearked his wheel towards me and I went up onto the curb to avoid being hit by the much larger and heavier truck. I made a sudden right turn and he cut off traffic to follow me.
I was turning up and down random streets and alleyways as my truck maneuvered much better than his big f350. I found a driveway I had been looking for I knew it had a wooden gate I could close. I backed in and dashed to close the gate to conceal my truck. I waited, I could hear his truck trying to find me, the diesel motor racing and then idle driving slowly down the road. I held my breath just wished it to be over. I kept my foot on the klutch so I could start my truck and go when it was safe. I waited until I wouldn’t hear him and opened the gate and sped out of there back home. I called my dad as I was driving now that I could since my truck was a standard and I wasn’t trying to run for my life. He told me to go straight home and pull Moms car out of the garage and pull my truck in. He would call the cops and have them meet me there.
I did as he said and sat in the living room with the dogs and the lights off until an officer showed up. I told him everything that had happened over the last 8 months. The two officers told me we should have called them months ago as they take stalking very seriously. They could confirm my story of that evening as they had several traffic calls about his truck and mine when he tried to run me off the road and he cut off traffic to follow me.
They were searching for him and issued a no contact order against him for me. He tried several more times to come into my work, but the cops were called as soon as we saw him. He gradually stopped coming around. I hope he wasn’t stalking another girl! I hope he learned that we get to choose who we date and don’t just follow blindly what we are told to do by some controlling jerk!