The Starbucks Creep

I’m a fourteen year old girl from a small town in Northern California. To give you an idea of how small, we don’t have a mall and only have two seemingly nice restaurants. Suffice to say if you’re walking down a street, it’s unlikely for there to be more than three other people walking on it as well. I hope that gave you an idea of the setting this story takes place in because it comes into play with the behavior of my friend.

Yesterday we went to Starbucks, a daily routine for us since we’re AP students and like to get our studying and homework done there but instead of our normal 4:30 am to 6:30 am, we decided to go at 5:00 pm after school. This meant more people, an unknown staff, and too many distractions. We were sitting at our usual table after waiting for it to open for ten minutes when I saw a man park his bike next to ours outside. I would’ve deemed this as normal but he kept looking at our bikes and then back to us several times despite the fact that we were in the back of the store.
“That guy keeps looking at us,”
I say to my friend who mind you, is a freshman but looks like a fifth grader and was raised to assume all people are good.
“He’s just locking up his bike,”
She says and rolls her eyes at me. I say “ok” and then excuse myself to go to the washroom. Two minutes later I come out and see that this man is talking to my friend. I try to give her a subtle “wtf” look and sit back down.
“So what math classes are you both in?” He asks us. He’s tall, gangly, has glasses, lots of acne with slouchy posture.
“Integrated 1.” My friend, Allison we’ll call her, says.
“Integrated 2+” I say sarcastically as I try to do my homework to show that I’m busy and not to bother us.
He then proceeds to tell us about how he was 18 and had just graduated from our high school and how he’d failed high school math but was now very successful in math. (High school math is the low of the low math class at our school) My friend made slight conversation about having some struggle in math and I muttered an agreement since my math class is the highest one a freshman can take. His eyes then lit up at he said, “Oh, maybe you two can be my first clients! I’m starting a tutoring business!”

These off putting comments continued until his drink was called out so when he left to get it, I took a breath and figured that was the end of it. But no. He then came back and asked if he could sit down with us. My friend said sure and he continued talking to my dismay. The way he sat was even weird. He sat between Allison and I but was facing me the whole time with his hands on his crotch area. Fuck this, I thought as I tried to form a plan so my friend and I could leave as soon as possible. “Oh I’m so sorry I forgot to introduce myself. I’m Dominic and I’m eighteen. What are your names?”
“Laurel.” I said coldly. My name isn’t really Laurel but that’s what I said to answer the question.
I then looked at my friend, hoping she’d catch on and she replied with Allison. Close to her real name but not quite. Good enough.
“Oh, cool. And you’re freshman, right?”
We both nodded slowly.
“Well when I was in high school I only talked to freshman. They make better friends. Do either of you have Mr. Jay?”
“I do.” I replied slowly as I kept my eyes on my book.
“He’s a great teacher, isn’t he? I really liked his class but I sat in the back. Is he sill in room 6A? I’d really like to go see him and tell him about my progress sometime,”
Dominic said excitedly.
“He’s usually there after school,” I say.
“Yeah…but I can’t quite get on campus without going through the attendance office,” he said, sounding a bit nervous. I noticed him look over me and I’d had enough. I went on my phone subtly and set an alarm for promptly 5:41. Four minutes from now.
I began picking up my stuff and gestured for Allison to do the same and then the man gets up and puts his empty drink in the garbage just as my alarm goes off.
“Allison, it’s time for us to go over to Tyler’s to help him study for the AP exam.” I say,slinging my backpack over my shoulder. She nods and Dominic looks at his phone only to say “Oh, turns out my friend couldn’t make it” he says because apparently he’d been waiting for a friend this whole time – not that I bought that BS. We begin to walk towards the door and he says, “See you guys later! I’m here every Tuesday and Thursday at this exact time!”
I pull Allison out the door and begin to unlock our bikes. Once we got on our bike to leave, he came outside. “I forgot I had to go to my grandparents.” He laughed creepily. I ignored him. “I like you’re bikes. They’re very cool. Where’d you get them?” Dominic asks as he mounts his own bike but I’d already muttered to Ally to follow me. Instead of going down the street we needed to, I rode down several side streets until I was sure he was gone.

Today I asked my math teacher if he knew him and Mr. Jay said that if I see him again to just run. Apparently he’d behaved inappropriately towards the freshman female students so that’s the reason Mr. Jay moved him to the back of the class .

So, Dominic, let’s not meet again.

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