It was a breezy summer morning— the day of my cousin’s wedding. My house was filled with women, mostly aunts and cousins who slept over the night before. I was of course selected to make a supermarket run for everyone, considering that I was the youngest woman in the house. Aunt Barbara was preparing to make one of her famous breakfast spreads for everyone and I certainly wasn’t about to miss out on that.
It’s like he was there waiting for me to pull into that supermarket parking lot. Before I could even get out of my vehicle he was smiling and asking how I was doing. “I’m fine and you?” I responded, barely offering a glance, as I gathered my things and prepared to head into the supermarket. “You don’t remember me, do you?” he questioned with a smile as wide as the Cheshire Cat’s. I finally looked up at him. He was right. There was something eerily familiar about him, but I couldn’t place my finger on where I knew him from. Ironically, he informed me that his name was Sincere. You’ll find out why it’s so ironic later.
“How old are you?” I finally blurted out, hoping that it would serve as some sort of clue as to where I knew him from. “I’m 24,” he said without blinking, maintaining that same grin. “You’re 24?” I repeated. “Yes, I’m 24,” he replied.
Something wasn’t right. I felt it deep down in the pit of my stomach. He asked for my number. Call it a woman’s intuition. Against my better judgment, I gave it to him. To this day, I can’t really explain why I handed my number over, but I did. I walked away with no intentions of ever calling him and even less intention to pick up his call. Yet somehow, between naps, as I recouped from my cousin’s wedding the following day, I did. He captured me from his first sentence. He was very charismatic. He was funny. I love to laugh. Before I knew it, hours had passed and we were still on the phone.
The days to follow were pretty similar. We laughed and talked about any and everything, but still, I felt uneasy about something. “Are you sure you’re 24?” I asked him several times. “Yeah, I just had a really rough childhood, so I seem more mature than I really am,” he’d always respond. I honestly wanted to believe him, but something inside wouldn’t allow me to rest on his explanation. One day, he told me his last name and in no time, I was glued to my computer, combing the Internet for clues that could confirm what my gut was already telling me.
My search revealed one very disturbing fact. He’d lied about his age. It turns out that he was 27, not 24. While there isn’t a huge difference between 24 and 27, the fact he repeatedly lied about his age really creeped me out. Something inside told me that if he’d lie to me, at 22 years old, there was nothing stopping him from doing the same to underage girls. My search continued. I also found two of his social media pages, which he claimed he didn’t have. As you’ve probably guessed at this point, they revealed things that were even more disturbing than finding out he’d lied about his age. He was nothing like the person he presented himself to be and the epitome of the men you try your best to avoid.
And then, there was the gun. Fate would have it that the very same day I made these discoveries, just before I confronted him, he was attempting to show me that his phone wouldn’t send photos. He selected a random image from his cell phone’s photo gallery and attempted to send it to me. Somehow, the cell phone glitch stopped long enough to allow the photo go through. A photo that he never meant for me to see. A photo of him wearing a latex glove while holding a black handgun. I didn’t need to see anything else. I was convinced. I severed ties. But that’s when the harassment began.
For weeks he called my cell phone nonstop and filled my text message inbox with lengthy notes about why I was the only one for him and why he wouldn’t give up on me. Once weeks of his unanswered calls turned into months, the hate messages began. One night he even sent a message implicating that I was the devil. Then, one day, they just stopped. I considered calling the police several times. I was apprehensive about returning to the supermarket where I met him. It was a very frightening experience—one that could have been avoided had I simply taken heed to that little gift called intuition. I never did figure out where I knew him from or why he seemed so familiar, and maybe, just maybe, I never knew him at all. Maybe it was just my intuition.
Follow Jazmine on Twitter @jazminedenise.