If some days my life looks like an “I Love Lucy” episode, the other days must resemble something more like The Twilight Zone.
It all started as a normal Tuesday last week. I went to work. The boys had soccer practice. A couple of teammates came over to spend the night afterward. While the boys were all in the back of the house, I settled into a comfortable position on the couch with full control of the remote and an entire season of “Damages” on Netflix.
At 11:30pm, my comfortable evening was disturbed when my neighbor knocked on my door. He was holding a small garbage bag and I thought, “On no, he’s killed one of the cats.” (Or maybe that was just wishful thinking.) He told me that he was taking some trash out when he saw a guy looking in one of my bedroom windows. He said that he looked to be about the boys’ age and he was on a 10-speed bike. He made sure that I knew that fact, since the bike was in HIS driveway and he almost tripped over it on the way to the garbage.
He asked the kid what he was doing, but he was having trouble understanding him, or so he thought, until the third time that the kid repeated, “I’m watching the soccer players.”
My neighbor promptly state, “Well if you know those kids, go ring the damn doorbell,” but the boy chose to hop on his 10-speed and ride away.
Listen, if you know me, you know that despite all of the weird and crappy things that have happened in my life, I’m still…optimistic? Okay, stop laughing. I just like that word more than the accurate term, naive. I told my neighbor that it was probably one of the boys friends trying to scare them. I promised to talk to them to make sure that the bike thing didn’t happen again.
I summoned LoverBoy to the living room and said, “The neighbor just caught one of your friends looking in your window, probably to scare you. Find out who it is because we don’t need the neighbors calling the cops AGAIN.” I described him as the neighbor did – an African-American teenage boy wearing a peach shirt driving a 10-speed with the old-fashioned curly handlebars.
LoverBoy’s mouth dropped. He said, “OH MY GOD! You know who that is, don’t you? It’s the guy that’s always taking pictures of me at school while I’m playing soccer!”
Okay, so let me back up right here and tell you that LoverBoy is convinced that the boy on the school Yearbook Committee has a crush on him. If the number of pictures of LoverBoy included in the yearbook is any indication, he might have a point. But still, let’s not get all paranoid over here.
“No, Mom, really. And you know he knows where we live because during school last year he saw me when he was at the neighbor’s house for a bible study.”
“Did you hear your statement? BIBLE STUDY. Knowing where you live and saying hi to you from across the street does not make him a stalker.”
This is where MonoBoy interjected and said to his brother, “He texted me last week and asked for your number, but I wouldn’t give it to him.”
“What? Oh my go, NO! Don’t give it to him! I can’t believe this is happening. Mom, I sleep naked!”
“Wait, what? Since when do you sleep naked? That’s just gross. That’s TMI for a mother.”
By this time, all of the boys were sufficiently freaked out, so they headed out to sit in our car to watch for him. (It was past curfew by then and one of the kids had a bat, so no one was going anywhere, Mister!)
I chuckled to myself because why on Earth would the kid come back if he wasn’t just one of their friends playing a joke?
See what I mean? Ever the optimist.
[Sigh] Or naive. The kid came back, and sure enough, LoverBoy was right. It was the boy who really must have a crush on him. LoverBoy stepped out of the car to confront him (gulp), but the kid screeched to halt and did a 180 turn to get the heck out of there. The boys came running back into the house to give me the news. Somebody mentioned calling the cops. Boy, have you lost your mind? They’ve already been here enough this year.
So they moved the security camera for our alarm system into his bedroom window and taped the curtains to each other and to the wall. There you go! Problem solved.
It wasn’t until later that the reality of the situation hit me. My boys have wooden blinds and black-out curtains. (Teenage boys love their sleep.) There is usually no way to see in, unless a cat forces its way into the window, which let’s face it, with four cats happens OFTEN. That kid only had a sliver of space to see through, probably the size of a stick of gum. He must have had his face pressed to the window. He said that he was “watching the soccer players.” I initially thought that the boys were playing FIFA Soccer on the X-box, but no, they were watching a Disney film that had no reference to soccer. That meant that he was really just watching THEM.
I find myself conflicted. Part of me feels sorry for the kid. He’s different. He isn’t part of the pack. My boys are lucky to be surrounded by a great supporting group of friends. I don’t know if this kid is that lucky. There is a chance that he will suffer scrutiny at school next week because of this foolish act. Word spreads quickly in a small town.
However, can you say CREEPY? How long has he been peeking in the windows? And who does that? I called my friend that is a therapist, and described the kid and the situation. I pointed out that he has never really approached LoverBoy other than the recent text request for his phone number. Her response gave me the chills. “I hate to play devil’s advocate, but this probably wasn’t the first time he did it, just the first time he got caught. Stalker type people are usually meek and passive, so don’t let that fool you. His calmness doesn’t translate to compliance. You never know what a stalker is capable of.”
So now I am officially freaked out. Whenever the dog lifts his head or raises his ears, I’m on high alert. (Once again, with four cats, do you know how often that happens?)
I worked at the school for registration all of last week and I was hoping to run into the kid, so that we could have a frank knock-that-shit-off-or-I-will-call-the-cops conversation. I never saw him.
Who knows? He could have been outside the school peeking in through a window. Or maybe he was at my house peeking in there.