This is my mother’s story when I was an infant, my sisters were 3 and 6, and she was still married to my father.
My mother put us to sleep one night and went to bed as usual. My father was passed out drunk next to her. She wakes up a few hours later and gets the feeling she’s being watched and, without making it obvious she’s awake, scans the room. At the foot of the bed there’s a man crouched down on her side. She slowly reaches over under the covers and nudges my father. He doesn’t budge. Her leg is sticking out of the blanket and the man starts touching her feet, then her ankles. She starts pinching my dad as hard as she can. Nothing. The man is moving up her leg, taking his time since, hey, everyone’s asleep. He reaches her knee. pinch He’s running his hand up her thigh. pinch He’s almost to her lady bits and finally, with mighty pinching and persistence, she ‘wakes’ my dad up and he says “What are you doing?”
The creeper gets up and runs. My mom hears the sliding door open. She gets up and checks on us girls, fearing he may have taken one of us. We’re all there, so she shuts and locks the door and checks the front door, then goes back to bed. In the morning she takes a look around the house, inside and out. Nothing has been moved or taken but outside on her bedroom window sill is a tobacco can. That’s harmless right?
It’s full of Vaseline. Apparently this guy frequented my moms window to watch her do what should be private. He never came back, at least not inside.
In winter 2008 I was a seasonal worker at a major book retailer in a large Canadian city on the west coast. For background: Asian woman, about 5’3″, 130 lbs, and was 22 then. Not particularly pretty but possess an approachable resting face and a polite, friendly manner. You are surely shocked that I’m a creep magnet.
Store-opening shift, 9am. I usually worked as a cashier but it was slow so I was sent on the floor to shelve the History section. Ten minutes into my shift, a short and unremarkable man walked up.
“Can you help me find the book that Changeling [the 2008 Angelina Jolie movie about an old-timey kidnapping] is based on?”
I told him that while the movie is based on a real kidnapping case, we do not carry such a book.
“Well, could you recommend some books about other kidnappings?”
I don’t have any recommendations, I said. But I can take you to the True Crime section, and I’m sure you can find something there.
On our way, he asked me a lot of questions about books on kidnappings and serial killers. Strange small talk, but my read was that he was a socially awkward crime buff – the kind of person who thinks someone paid to give you good customer service is someone who will be nice to you and share your interests in any other circumstance.
I left him in True Crime, returned to History. At some point, the guy came back to where I was shelving. He showed me some books he wanted to buy – a small, gruesome stack on kidnappings, serial killers, school shootings. Then he said, “My name is Travis.” He stared at my name tag and said, “Nice to meet you, SleepyBee. SleepyBee. SleepyBee. Now I’ll remember your name.” Hairs on my neck on end, I excused myself and went back to work, cursing name tags. He disappeared.