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By Gina Tron

Love is like a seed. Sometimes it blossoms into a beautiful yet flawed cheating flower. Other times, it blossoms into a restraining order. This seed of insanity was watered by my own stupidity, so I have nobody to blame but myself. Our romance began innocently enough; talking about drugs on the internet. Bob’s name was TrippingDude420 or some bullshit like that and he found my profile on AOL. He told me that it looked like we had a lot in common. That is because we both liked raves.  AKA both like drugs. Not really the most specific of matching hobbies but okay I figured I could meet him and see if he was my knight in acid armor. Turns out, what we had in common wasn’t even real, just hobbies he created inside his mind to impress girls. Geez, at that point just do the drugs then. Less work.
I met Bob and he was mildly overweight. Not fat, but far from skinny. Out of shape. I liked skinny guys. Bob did not meet this criteria. But I was only home for Christmas vacation, so I thought he might make for a short-lived pal. I had a few weeks off. I went to college in Montreal at the time.  I was only back in Vermont for enough time to work shifts at Kinney Drugs, so I could make money to spend on Pikachu pills above the border.
Bob and I had met up at a public place; probably a gas station. I could tell instantly that emotionally, Bob was a man-child. And, perhaps a leechy one at that. But I just had to give him a chance. At this point in my life, I was 19 years old, and I was still very much in denial of my intuitional skills. I was not yet able to differentiate between harshly judging a person and following one’s gut in order to protect oneself and the future. I wanted to be nice.
We went to a house party. And by house party I mean trailer party. I walked in and Bob introduced me to a group of girls on the couch. One was morbidly obese and sporting a “Tweety Bird” sweatshirt. Another was a chubby  redhead and was giving me a death glare with her ginger eyes. I knew instantly she either was fucking, had fucked, or wanted to fuck Bob.
I said hello and nice to meet you guys and all that and they just stared back blankly and did not utter a word. They were scanning me, like 3 white trash robots. I shouldn’t hate on them for it. They probably thought that I thought I was better than them. And clearly, maybe I do. Maybe I deserved the treatment. I’ll tell you what though: I’m not better than them. I had semi-successfully fit in more with “white trash” than any normies back in Vermont. At least they had more fun and didn’t deny the fact that they had fun. But, I didn’t fit in with them either. They often had little to no interest in the more scholarly shit.
As Bob and I exited the room, I could hear them giggling. Damn bitches probably calling me ugly. The one that was the nicest to me reminded me very much of another trailer park born girl I knew in high school. I liked her. She liked me. She had a homemade tattoo of a mushroom on her inner thigh. She had once threatened to assault me if I hurt her male friend who I dated for an hour. I broke up with the boy after the threat because I didn’t give a shit about him. He only wanted to bang me anyway, and it wasn’t worth getting killed over. Anyway, she looked like her, and her personality was like hers. Tough but she liked me. She was the nicest of the bunch. I don’t know if I would classify her as a nice person though. She spent the majority of the evening bragging about how her and the other girls would meet boys off Yahoo chat at the McDonalds parking lot to rob them blind. Most of the stolen money was going to their pill addiction.
Naturally Bob and I got into a car accident this night; our first date. Actually, there were two car accidents this night. It was an icy stormy night and my mother had warned me to be careful, to not be into an accident. Damn clairvoyant (or just possessor of common sense) mother!!
The roads were icy.  I didn’t trust Bob, and I sure as hell didn’t trust his friend  that was driving the beat up Honda Civic we were in. Though I trusted the driver more than Bob. We saw a car spun out in the Interstate on our way back to my living area. Bob went to go scope it out, bragging about his role as a nurse’s assistant.  “I have to go see how they are. I’m a nurse assistant. It’s my duty.” Turns out that was a fraudulent claim. He was unemployed.
Bob went to check on them. The people were fine. He walked back towards us, as the spun out driver struggled in the distance, while his tires screeched. Bob seemed distressed from the whole ordeal. “I need a hug,” he told me, while crossing his arms and sticking his outer lip out.. I could see right through his shit and it repulsed me. The rumors of me wanting to kill boys I was romantically interested in before was complete bullshit, but at this moment it was the ultimate reality.
I hugged Bob out of pity. Then he kissed me. I let him. And that’s when I signed the deal that I was his girlfriend, apparently. A contract signed in the spit swapped between our horrible cold pity-kiss. And I have nobody to blame but myself. It’s all due to my actions done out of boredom, and actions inspired by my award-winningly low self-esteem.
I hated myself for kissing him and I thought about that while we were driving back to my home. I wished to not be in my present situation any longer. We were almost back to my parent’s house, about half a mile away. A car came towards us, sliding around clumbsily. In a few seconds it rammed into us.
This was the first accident I had been in which I experienced some mild whiplash; my neck hurt immediately.  It was also the first one in which no driver tried to blame the other.  It was understood that it was no-fault. And it was understood, possibly, that we were all idiots for putting ourselves into this dangerous situation in the first place. We shared a cigarette with the kid who crashed his car into us while we waited for the police.
What was traumatizing to me was not the crash, not the trailer park, but the fact that now I was being called someone’s girlfriend and it was a label I didn’t want. How the fuck am I going to get out of this one? Well it’s only a few weeks before my return to Montréal I thought. What’s the big deal? And who cares. I don’t have many friends around here. Bob can be somebody to spend time with until I leave, right? I’ll just try to avoid any sexual contact, I promised myself.
He came to my house a day or so later. Within a few minutes he told my mother that his father died in 9/11. My mom didn’t believe him. I could see it in her eyes.
Funny enough, while he was over my family received a phone call from the police. Someone apparently called 911 from our house. This never happened before he came over and this never occurred again, ever. In my life, or my families’ life. I’d like to blame Bob and I do. Though I didn’t see him use the phone, I think he did dial 911. It blows my mind. Why would somebody do that impulsively?  Maybe it was fucking Satan calling.
Bob was very manipulative, or at least he attempted to be. Whenever I told him I had to go to work or couldn’t hang out because I had to work, he would whine and suggest that I call in sick to hang out with him.
One day he asked me to pick him up so that we could hang out. I told him I didn’t have much time. He then said that if I picked him up, he would apply for a job. I said, okay. It turned out that job was harassing the clerk at Cumberland Farms for cash. She was not buying it so he threw in the “my dad died at 911 card.” I could tell in her eyes that she too didn’t believe it.
We went back to his friend’s trailer where he essentially squatted. He was checking his email.  There was a letter from his sister. I saw it. And I saw in the email mention of Bob’s father. I asked him why his sister was talking about his supposedly dead father as if he were alive.
“She’s in denial,” he said.
Bob’s friend growled at Bob to, “tell Gina the truth.”
Eventually Bob said that he hadn’t spoken to his father in a while, and that the man did some work in New York City from time to time. So, naturally Bob came to the conclusion that he had died in 911.
It was that this moment I realized I had to rid my life of him because he was clearly insane. But hey, I’m going down to Long Island for a week to visit family for Christmas so perhaps I can just prolong it until then. Because I was a pussy.
While down in New York, I began to receive accusatory phone calls that I was cheating.

“What are you talking about? Why would you think I was cheating?”

“There are a lot of guys in New York.”

“I’m with my family.”
Okay. Break up time. I had to. We had reached that critical point, that stalker point. And I knew no matter what I did this would have some serious repercussions. The bitch was already telling me he loved me. I broke up with him on the phone, a pussy move but at least it was a move, a move to get him out of my life.  Needless to say he didn’t take the news well. You’d think we had been dating for 2 years based on his response. Rather than a week and half, most the time with me being in a different state.
*Gunshots* Let the stalking race begin!!!
The next week I was in Kinney Drugs, working the cashier.
“Gina, somebody just called to see if you were working,” said my coworker who worked in the photo department.
Bob came in not even an hour later. He didn’t say a word. Next thing I know the phone is ringing, only he called the proper extension this time, the one that calls the cashier.
“I just want you to know that I’m not stalking you.”
He continued to “not stalk me” for many more months and from afar. Imagine a world where country borders cannot divide you from your stalker. It’s quite romantic. He found my phone number from the phone book or some sort of search. He found my landline number in Montreal. He would leave me messages on my answering machine, stating how much he needs me.
The emails were non-stop too. Tag teamin it.  Some of them were classic. In one he claimed it was his birthday and that he was sad that I wasn’t there to wish him a happy birthday. In another he told me he wished to kiss away my sadness, kiss away my tears. I ignored the emails but I loved receiving them as they were true entertainment. Better than any sitcom I’ve ever watched. The phone calls were worse because I didn’t have caller ID and I’d often say hello? and get his craziness dumped into my ear. I told him to stop contacting me, but he ignored my demands.
Finally I got my ex and first boyfriend I ever had, who is surprisingly normal in comparison to most other guys I have dated, to help. I got that ex to call Bob, threaten him, and pretend that we are dating again. This stopped Bob from reaching out to me, as he now thought that I was the property of another man. Now that some guy has marked his territory and is barking at him, Bob backed down.
But Bob still called Kinney’s on a pretty regular basis, checking in on me. For years. The drugstore staff feared him. Are you 911, Bob? Because I could never forget you.

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