I’ve had an Instagram stalker for years and every time I think I’ve managed to get rid of him, he pops back in my DMs. I didn’t take it seriously the first time since I thought it was just another guy on Instagram complimenting my looks. However, it got intense so fast. He’d leave graphic comments on my pictures then started being abusive to any other guy who commented on my pictures. I have to deactivate my comments which only prompted him to go to my DMs.
Every morning, I woke up to endless messages, forwarded posts, and more messages. I didn’t reply, not even once, thinking he would get tired and give up. However, the endless texts went on for a few more weeks until I blocked his account. This only made him angrier. He followed me with a different account and started hurling insults at me. Every time I’d block his account, he’d follow me with a new one and the cycle continued. At some point, his unwanted attention became part of my daily life.
“I see you have a new boyfriend? What happened to the other one?” he’d comment when I posted a picture with a guy.
Everybody insisted that I should simply ignore him. I tried to report him on social media but every time his account was suspended, he had a backup. Oh yeah, I also tried opening a new account with a completely random name but he found me somehow. After a year, I deactivated all my social media accounts. It had started being boring and the Instagram stalker didn’t make things easier. Additionally, I had gone through a horrible breakup and I needed a break.
Several months passed and I felt happier than ever before. I finally got over my ex and I didn’t have to wake up every day worrying about a crazy stalker. Both of them hadn’t crossed my mind in a long time and I thought I had gotten rid of both of them. I decided to celebrate by inviting my two best friends to lunch. They were both excited to see me since we hadn’t spoken in months as well.
“I actually have a surprise for you.” One of my friends replied.
“Nice. You know I love surprises.”
We met the following day at a café in town. After catching up, Sandra dropped the surprise.
“Girl, there’s a guy who’s been asking about you.”
“What?” I started having PTSD about the Instagram stalker. In fact, I almost had a full panic attack. “What guy?”
“Relax… It’s someone I know. Apparently, he saw a picture I posted of you during your social media hiatus and he liked you.”
I sighed audibly. The last thing I wanted to hear after going into hiding for months was that my stalker had tracked me down.
“Okay. What is he like?”
“He’s a colleague. He’s barely on social media but that day, he logged in and saw my post. I think you’ll like him. Plus, he’s looking for something serious just like you.”
“Oh, wow. He sounds dreamy.” I said sarcastically. “What does he look like?”
“He’s a bit nerdy-looking but he’s really smart and funny.”
Since my best friend seemed to like him, I decided to give him a chance. It would also be nice to be wined and dined after that long break. She set up a double date for the weekend and gave me his number so we could talk. I didn’t contact him till the Friday before our double date.
We had a brief conversation but something seemed off about him. It felt like I was talking to someone who knew me.
“I won’t do you like your ex,” He said.
“How do you know about my love life?”
“Umm… Sandra told me you had been through a bad breakup.”
I knew Sandra very well and she wouldn’t tell anybody about my life, let alone a colleague she barely knew. Anyway, I assumed she was trying to be protective and brushed it off. The next time I talked to the guy was at the date.
We got there before him and he texted me to tell him he was running late. After a few shots and a glass of wine, he finally made it.
“I think he likes you,” Sandra whispered to me.
“He can’t keep his eyes off you.”
Indeed, he stared at me all through dinner but he made up for it by showering me with compliments and keeping the table laughing. I started to like him with time.
“You know, you look even better in person.” He said.
“Relax, man. You’ve only seen one of her pictures.” My friend interjected.
He went quiet.
“I think I’ll head home now,” I said.
He offered to take me to my apartment but I was a bit wary of him. I, instead, asked my friend to walk me to my Uber.
“Babe, by the way, I didn’t ask you the guy’s handle. He might be a follower and I don’t know.”
She opened her Instagram to confirm.
“This is it,” she said showing to me.
I went numb for a few seconds. It was the same handle that had stalked me for years before I blocked him. It was him. He was my friend’s colleague. I got my composure and explained that that was the handle that once stalked me. Sandra only knew of the other handles since I hadn’t met her by the time he started stalking me. We decided to confront him face to face as the opportunity had presented itself.
He was still sitting at the table. I was so angry that I could barely speak. Sandra, on the other hand, had a few harsh words for him.
“You’re shameless, Dan. You knew who she was the whole time. In fact, you were the Instagram stalker, weren’t you?”
Once again, he was quiet. We thought about calling the cops but he assured us that he would never contact me again. However, Sandra did report him to the management and he was put on temporary suspension. I felt safer knowing I had confronted my stalker and that I didn’t have to worry about him anymore.
The singlehood series is a collection of real-life stories and opinions from different people. It looks at the current world of dating in Kenya and experiences that people have gone through. The views and opinions expressed here are those of the contributors and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of Potentash.com.