“Run! The Silent Stalker is here…..”
“Itna jaadu Harry Potter ki saat (seven) kitaabon main nahi jitna tumhari aankhon main hay”
Nope, we weren’t proposing anyone. Nor was anyone complimenting their significant other. Just two single students, chilling together, narrating all of the cheesy pickup lines they remembered, joking how they would complement their future girlfriends-something considered impossible-spending quality time with each other as the weekend was just around the corner. As the bell rang, Owais went his way towards the gate, a sassy teenager with a fashion sense similar to Sherlock Holmes and a sense of humor worth paying for, while I headed towards the cycle-stand. On the way, I reminded myself how lucky I am to have a friend like him, a friend who’s completely unaware of what’s happening in the world, a lad occupied in his world (mainly due to social shyness), preferring to stay alone at times. But our banter sessions revolved around the cheap pick-up lines we find on Facebook and mock the other over how they’ll die single as with such personalities even arrange marriage looks unlikely.
While eating lunch on a Sunday evening, my WhatsApp, at an instant, was bombarded with messages. This was very unusual as seriously how many of you get 28 messages from one chat in the evening? Unbothered, I continued with my meal and checked my phone after half an hour. Shockingly, it was Owais, even odder because our interaction on social media was limited to tagging each other on embarrassing posts.
Owais: Zia……..I am in trouble!
Me: What happened?
Owais: Bro there is a girl who has fallen in love with me.
Okay, I have to admit I thought it’s one of those pranks where I would express interest in knowing, provoking him to carry on talking, only to be told you have been fooled. Therefore, I started joking on the chat by commenting on their expected marriage, the number of kids, while repeating some of the cheesy pick-up lines I remembered.
Owais: Stop messing around, I swear I am not lying and take a look at this if you have doubts.
This was the part where I was meant to act seriously as I sat on a chair, eyes fixed on the phone, brain cells working at their maximum capacity as I tried to make sense of what was in front of me. The following screenshot sent by Owais depicted the confession and to double-check if it was a prank or something, I even checked the mobile number of the girl from my phone. WOW! Damn! Should I congratulate him or express my sympathies? Nevertheless, I still had the audacity to start my match-making jokes along with fantasizing a time where Owais would leave all of his friends just for her company.
Owais: Shutup! It’s so messed up as I said “NO” and you would like to see what happened.
As the screenshots came on my mobile, my heart began to sink. The lad was being emotionally and psychologically harassed and threatened just for his refusal. The threats were so brutal and inhumane that I failed to make sense of what was to happen. Apparently, her response to this rejection was that she has brothers who look after her. Therefore, she would commit suicide, leaving behind a note with the name of my friend clearly stated on it for the reason she committed the sinful act. Moreover, she accused Owais of breaking her heart and placed all the responsibility of what was to occur on that lad while narrating that ever since the refusal, she has started to face medical disabilities. The fiasco did not stop here. From another screenshot, the persistence level of the lady was visible as within 30 minutes, she had called Owais 34 times. MORE THAN 1 CALL PER MINUTE!
Despite the usual calmness visible on Zia’s face and his ability to maintain his cool even in the most daunting circumstances, this was something he had never come across ever in life. After several deep breaths, I finally came with a plan to drag his pal out of this situation.
Me: Dude! No one dies because of someone. You weren’t even together! She asked and you just said no. STOP FEELING GUILTY AND PRESSURIZED! You have proof that you never gave her false hope or manipulated her. JUST BLOCK HER FROM EVERY PLACE YOU HAVE CONTACT WITH HER! FACEBOOK, INSTAGRAM, EVERY SINGLE ONE!
Despite the initial protest of Owais regarding the fact that what if she does end up committing anything she claimed to do in the chat, he eventually agreed as a part inside him told that this was necessary. The drastic measures we adopted provided relief to Owais as he was finally free of the emotional manipulation, threats, and psychological harassment he was constantly facing. Ironic how people adopt such measures just to ensure the person you love, loves you back. A relationship formed based on fear has no future whatsoever and I partially blame the content of our media who depict in their movies that the other half disapproves of the lover at the first instance yet overtime manages to love them back after continuous insistence and provocations. LIFE DOESN’T WORK THAT WAY!
Anyway, turns out that blocking someone from social media does not privilege you with the luxury of having them blocked in real life. Back at school, the fanatical girl was ready to make the school walls a living hell for Owais. What do you do when someone doesn’t like you and wants to avoid you? YOU STALK THEM IN A VERY CREEPY WAY AND MAKE THEM STAY WITHIN YOUR VISION THROUGHOUT THE DAY! She was adamant to follow Owais all over the campus at all times, mentally exhausting the bloke, forcing him to hate the very school he called ‘home’ for more than 6-years. Stalking him at the library, ground, and classroom wasn’t enough as she even followed him to the washrooms, staying outside the door of the “Male Washroom” as Owais begged for help. He would text his friends to come and save him as our arrival usually prompted the girl to change her plans. Owais was forced to avoid staying at the campus, would leave for home as soon as his classes were over, and avoided coming to any social event of the school as her mere presence traumatized his existence at school.
As time passed on, we noticed a difference in her level of stalking and became slightly curious. Simultaneously, another friend of ours told us that a girl has proposed him and said, “You’re my only love since the first day of school”. Curiously, we asked who she was and weren’t surprised to know it was our “Silent Stalker”. However, a difference between someone who values their friends and someone who believes that love is the only important relationship in life is how they react to such situations. Deciding that it is best to inform him of what he should expect to face, Zia and Owais informed him of everything that unfolded over the last 6 months. To validate their claims, they even showed the screenshots so the friend doesn’t get a feeling that they were just jealous. The friend viewed everything with a sense of amazement, and won’t lie that he was jolted from his core. He was speechless, perplexed and in anger asked us to leave him alone. Meanwhile, he made us the scapegoat by clearly mentioning our names to the “Silent Stalker” and elaborating on how they told him everything. She played the “Emotional” card in return, claiming how wrong she was then, how she’ll die while involving religion into the equation. They came up with the term “Halal Relationship” to define themselves.
Nevertheless, in the eyes of Zia and Owais, on that day they had lost a friend who used them as scapegoats only for his gain. At the end of this fiasco, they learned some lessons which were valuable for years to come. Earlier, they had a stereotypical assumption that only boys are involved in pressurizing their loved ones to force them into a relationship. This assumption was shattered by the introduction of the “Silent Stalker” in their lives. When someone is in love, even if he was your friend, they generally tend to become jerks, letting go of their logical thinking, using you for their motives. Being at the receiving end continuous emotional manipulation, creepy stalking and psychological harassment made them realize how crazy it is to be on the receiving end of such maneuvers and in the future, they ensured that if someone around them accused someone of such behavior, they tried their best to deal with the situation.