|Time seems to stop|
on these shifts.
Kelly worked at a local restaurant and would get off work about midnight. She would drop buy most nights to grab a soda or sandwich before going home. Being one of the regulars I saw almost every night, we talked a little more each time she came in. There were several customers that I enjoyed conversation with, but she was the only one that would stick around and just talk. Being by myself all night, I was happy for the company.
In the beginning, she hung around an extra 10 minutes or so after making her purchase. Soon, she began to stay longer. She sometimes stuck around for over an hour before heading home for the night. I didn't think much of it. I had learned that she lived in an apartment by herself, so she had no one to get home to. She seemed to enjoy my company also. We were both happy to help each other pass the time.
The amount of time she spent at the gas station increased more and more. Being happy to have someone to talk to, I never considered it until one of the mangers said something to me. She had been seen on the security cameras and spent so much time their during my shifts they advised me that my girlfriend could not hang out there any more. I couldn't get them to believe that she was just a customer, but I understood their point.
She also said that if she couldn't hang out any more, then the opportunity for me to ask her out had come to an end. So, she asked me. I had enjoyed her company for the last several weeks. She was great to talk to, so I agreed. We exchanged numbers and she went home.
The following day, after getting a few hours sleep, I ran into town to do a few errands. She saw me and followed me back home. I was quite surprised when she pulled in my driveway behind me. I invited her in and we chatted for about an hour. When I started trying to bring the conversation to a close so I could mow my lawn and get some more rest before heading back into work that night, she wasn't picking up on my cues.
As time went on, I gave up on getting my lawn mowed, but bluntly said that I had to go to bed before going in to work. She stated she would be quiet and let me sleep. Notice that Kelly did not say she would leave. She would just stay quiet.
Not being as bold as I am today, I didn't object. I thought it was strange, but I said nothing and decided she was weird enough that our "date" was never going to happen. I went to my bedroom and went to sleep. I woke a few hours later, took a shower and walked into my kitchen to find her sitting at the table with a full cooked meal. I had forgotten she was there! I always appreciate food, but this was a little bizarre.
I was able to get her out of the house when I left for work, but didn't recognize this as the problem it was soon going to be. Had I made my reservations clear, I might have avoided what was to come.
She showed up at my house almost every day. I was always polite, but would try to get her to leave. Often, I would not invite her into the house, but she was happy to talk outside. Once, when she showed up, I told her I was on my out the door for a friend's emergency. I hopped in my car and sped off. She followed me.
Kelly started showing up at my favorite bar. I would be hanging out at a friend's house and she would pull in his driveway. She found out what restaurants I liked to go to. She started showing up at my friends' houses when I wasn't home looking for me. My friends put up with her for a while, but eventually grew tired of her coming around all the time. After several weeks of this, they started treating her like crap. A few of the girls went as far as to tell her that she was not welcome in the group. However, she never seemed to hear it.
One day, I woke up to find her sitting at the foot of my bed. I decided I would have to throw being polite out the window. I yelled at her to get out of my bedroom. Once I got dressed, I found her in the living room asking what we were going to do that day. I told her she was going to leave and not come back. She was confused.
I reminded her that we had never gone on that date because she freaked me out. I had never, not once, invited her anywhere; she just came. My friends hated her and no one wanted to see her around anymore. She started crying and left saying that she couldn't believe she was being treated this way. I was relieved to finally have her out of my life.
In the middle of this conversation, Kelly walks into the bar and joins us at the table, smiling like nothing had ever happened. One of the girls asked her what she was doing there.
Kelly replied with a smile, "This is where we are every Friday night."
She got up to go to the bar to get a drink. When she came back, she kissed me on the cheek and sat down beside me. She had never done that before. What was she doing?
We were all looking at her trying to figure out what was going on when she reached out and took my hand. Once again, this was new. I jumped up and said I was leaving. The rest of the group followed me out the door. We went back to my house.
We were sitting in my living room discussing what had just happened when Kelly walked in the door. I stood to say something to her when one of the girls got up, walked up to me and started kissing me.
This had been joked about a few weeks earlier. One of the guys had wondered what would happen if Kelly saw a girl making out with me. This girl decided to find out. She then sat next to me, curled up close and glared at Kelly.
Everyone froze staring at Kelly to see what would happen. Kelly stood still in the middle of the room for at least two minutes. Suddenly, her face turned red and she started screaming. She threw herself on the floor and sobbed. We all looked at each other. What do we do now?
I started to get up, but the girl beside me said, "No, we already know she won't listen to you. This needs to be a territorial thing."
She told Kelly to get up and get out. Kelly got up and started cussing at me. She called me every name I had ever heard, plus some new ones. Her voice was shrieking as she confessed how much she loved me, would have given everything to me, and would have been good to me.
Then she abruptly stopped crying. It was like a switch had been flipped. She was in full hysterics and then...BOOM!...total serenity. She smiled like nothing had happened. She picked up her purse, laughed as though someone had told a joke and said she would see us later as she walked out the door.
Not only did we not see her later (much to our relief), but none of us ever saw her again. She disappeared. I never did hear what happened to her. Of course, I never really tried to find out.
For the record, Kelly was NOT a redhead.