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Personal Essay: An Elementary Stalker (Winner, Lee County Aspiring Author Contest)

Jeritza Alvarez

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When I was in Kindergarten, Victor stalked me.

He was short, rotund, and curly haired with dark brown eyes. He followed me, in the schoolyard, in the cafeteria, into the bathroom, and I always ran and hid. He wouldn’t leave me alone.

Eventually I switched schools because of Victor. But, after two years, Victor moved to “La Planta,”  my new school, and the stalking resumed. Now we were in second grade. Nothing had changed. He followed me everywhere, stalked me every day and tried to talk to me all the time.

He was my shadow, a noisy shadow, and I couldn’t take the following, stalking and staring. The whole school witnessed Victor’s harassment of me, yet no one did anything. I was supposed to accept his spying eyes.  It’s unbelievable that sexism surrounded me in second grade.

One day, my best friend Dexter approached Victor in the schoolyard and told him to leave me alone, I didn’t like him, and I was Dexter’s girl.

Wait, whaaat? Dating in second grade? Yeah. It was a cover story we hoped would work.

Victor reacted wildly to this news, and he screamed, cried, pulled his hair and attracted way too much attention.

The look in his eyes was clear:  “I want to kill you both.”

In fear, we ran to the restrooms.  Dexter didn’t duck into the boy’s restroom, and instead joined me on the girls’ side. Meanwhile, Victor, screaming, sobbing and stomping, made a total drama about the situation around the schoolyard.  

It was showtime.

Within minutes, 200 elementary school children surrounded the bathrooms and chanted, “COME OUT!  COME OUT!” I could see my classmates sitting on top of the trashcans, and even adults were joining the fray.

It sounded angry in some way, and Dexter and I cowered in the corner of the dirty tiled room,  embarrassed. We remained in our hideout for another twenty minutes, but when we crawled out, the chanting crowd was suddenly silent.

Victor was standing among the crowd of spectators.  I told Victor in front of everybody I didn’t like him and I didn’t want him close to me, either. I felt empowered.

In that moment, he just turned away and cried in anger. I could hear the voices of adults saying to me, “Shame on you!”

Shame on me? What?

“You have no heart”

“He’s hurt because of you.”

I absorbed the cold stares of my fellow classmates.

My heart collapsed.  They didn’t understand.  Even in second grade, I knew I was being stalked, and it was wrong. They supported Victor’s side without even listening to me.  I was judged, and my voice wasn’t heard by anyone.

But at least he stopped stalking me.

Back in second grade, the moment of my most extreme bathroom drama, I was an innocent girl in second grade, a victim.   In my mind, for the next four years, and I sexism’s casualty.

But, to others, I was the bad guy of the story.

In middle school, I found out Victor had autism and several mental disorders. Nobody knew.

Wait.  At least I thought nobody knew.  Was I the only one who didn’t? Or did I know and not think about it what that meant?

Victor still stalks me.  He hovers in my mind and reminds me to always give people the benefit of the doubt, and to doubt my own assumptions of other people.  This shadow is one I greet with gratitude.


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Personal Essay: An Elementary Stalker (Winner, Lee County Aspiring Author Contest)