52 Weeks 500 Words
This is how it began: Justine (not her real name) decided to write 500 words (or as near as), anything goes, per week for 52 weeks. She would then submit it for anonymous posting, via me, her friend. Perhaps a pattern will emerge from her words, but at this stage it’s more an experiment I have agreed to share in. I’ll attempt to draw conclusions at the end of this. Stay tuned if this resonates with you.
Due to circumstances, Justine could not write for us last week, and therefore is this post somewhat longer than 500 words. You will understand why after you have read what she has to say. Stay strong, Justine!
'I don’t know where to begin. Some strange events in the last two weeks have entirely unseated me. I know I asked Elaina to post my weekly ramblings and I did so because I knew it would force me to sit and write about my thoughts. This would enable me to not only divest myself of negative influences, but also to become aware of how my mind operates in different situations and during different emotions. Let me tell you it isn't easy to be honest with yourself, and it’s even harder to share.
Allow me to put to you the facts. Maybe the recording of those will help me come to terms and be open about my feelings.
It began when someone ran into my car and trashed the back end. We swapped details and went on our way. I did report it, because you have to for insurance purposes. One quote later, I made contact with the driver of the other vehicle, and that’s when it began. He would have paid from his own pocket, why did I go to the cops, and now his premium will go up (well, so will mine!) and how dare I insult him? Insult him? This is procedure, as far as I know. At least he did give me proper details, I know realise, so he wasn’t entirely an idiot. It got quite complicated, but eventually it was sorted. My car went in, was fixed and is back on the road.
So what, you say? It didn’t end there, unfortunately. This man began to harass me. It was no longer about our cars, about who was at fault, about insurance premiums or a bad rap. I received a call at 3 a.m. and saw it was his number, and ignored it. I was sleeping, for heaven’s sakes! Next thing I know, the sms’s start coming. I’m ignoring him, he needs someone to talk to, what’s wrong with me, am I not just as lonely as he is?
I can tell you now, and it feels good to get this off my chest, that it totally freaked me out. This man knew where I lived, what car I drove and, obviously, had my number. I ignored the messages, eventually switching my phone off. In the morning, when I powered it up, it was to find a host of images, the rude kind. Things he wanted to do to me. It scared the living daylights out of me. I was a bundle of nerves and fear.
Elaina told me to change my number immediately, and I took that to heart, heading down to the local for a new sim card. It takes a while to get on air with a new sim, but that didn’t worry me, because I knew he could no longer get hold of me. There was some relief.
Next morning, I head off to do some grocery shopping, and when I get back there is an envelope attached with sticky stuff to my front door. My heart went mad. I was ice cold. Looking around the way you see others do in the movies, I grabbed it, unlocked and then engaged every bolt I have on the inside. Yes, you guessed it, rude pictures.
I phoned the police and all my friends. The police took hours to arrive, while I sat there in fear of my life, but my friends rallied round. At least they knew, if anything happened to me, who to go looking for first, and where to find him. After opening a case, when the police eventually arrived, and signing the statement at the station (I asked them to drive behind me), I changing my locks and I barricaded myself inside. I was too frightened even to fetch bread and milk from the local.
Long story short, the police spoke to him, he denied it all, and then threatened me. Unless I drop the case, he will find me one day when I least expect it … you can imagine. Did I drop the case? Yes, but ensured the cops were aware of why, and so were my friends. I haven’t heard a word from him since, but continue to live in fear. Elaina suggested a restraining order, but I am too afraid that will stir the pot again.
Those are the facts and some of my feelings. I cannot actually find the words that will explain to you how I really felt and continue to feel. All I know is this: we live in a sick society and one must always be aware of danger. I also realise this will eventually make me stronger. That thing about tribulation building your defences, or something. That is my hope anyway.
Thank you to all my friends for their support. Without you, I would probably still be gibbering under my bed. Thank you for reading. Please do not comment – I don’t think I am able to cope with compassion, pity or kind words. I will be fine, but need to do it my way.'