Standing On A Chair

Telling it like I see it…

The Masturbator Part Five and Epilogue

I’d been taking refuge in sleep on my daughter’s bottom bunk bed every night.  I don’t think she knew.  I crept in after she fell asleep, and crept out in the morning before she woke up.  It was really the only place I felt safe in our apartment.  The tedium of living with fear was really wearing thin.

I took a week’s vacation from work so I could focus completely on putting and end to the horror show.  It was necessary that I find a way to move into the role of romantic partner with The Masturbator.  It was necessary that I find a way to casually run into him, and then I had to figure out what to say to sound credible while in complete reversal.  I mean, the guy knew I was on to him.  And now I’m asking him out?  Will he buy this? 

It only took two days of hanging out on my back porch a lot to run into him.  He drove in and parked his mother’s car under the carport.  I spoke as he walked toward his back porch. 

“Jerome,” I called out with a wave and a smile.  “Please…truce, okay?  Can we be friends?  I’m so sorry for all the police involvement.  That’s going to stop now.”

I asked him to lunch.  Dinner was just too much, really.  He accepted my invitation like a virgin teenager on his first visit to a whorehouse.  He didn’t even act surprised.  Strange.  I suggested an Italian place fairly close to home, and we agreed to meet there the next day.

As previously planned, I met with Morales and two plain-clothes cops in the parking lot of a gas station not far from the restaurant.  As the detective had requested, I’d worn multiple layers covered with a blousy loose top to cover the wire device and microphone.  

“Just be sure not to lean forward too far,” he instructed.  “But stay close enough so we can pick up his side of the conversation.”

Jerome was already seated when I arrived.  He stood and motioned me into the booth, then sat down next to me.  My heart pounded so hard I was afraid he could hear it.  It was reassuring to see the cops being seated right across the aisle from us.  I can do this, I can do this, I kept telling myself.

I ordered a glass of wine.  He ordered Coke.  And for a few minutes, we just stared at each other.

“You’ve been treating me like shit, Jill,” he finally said.  “I loved you from the first moment I saw you, and you’ve been treating me like I am a monster.”

I flashed him my brightest smile and said, “But Jerome, I had no idea!  I’m twenty years older than you.  How can this be?”

“I like older women,” he said, leaning back and moving his eyes over my body.

My stomach lurched and acid climbed up my esophagus.  I had to hold my breath and pray not to puke right there on the table.

Again I smiled and made myself look right into his eyes.  “You really have been, um, spying on me, haven’t you Jerome?  Please tell me.  Because we can’t be true friends until we clear the air.”  With this I reached over and gently placed the palm of my hand on his thigh.  “Admit that to me, and I can promise you we can start over and be very, very close friends, Jerome.”

He touched himself.

I withdrew my hand and swiftly took a large gulp of my Chardonnay.

“Just say it.  Say you did all those things, made all those holes, hung out in my place while I was at work.  No more lies, Jerome.  No more lies.”

He stared into my face, a small frown forming between his eyes.  I could hear my blood pumping through my ears, I was so scared.  What if he won’t confess?  What if this whole thing is a total failure?  What if he’s on to me? 

Suddenly he spoke.  “You mean that, Jill?  We can really be friends?  I mean, more than that?”

“Yes, Jerome.  The truth is, I think I want you just as badly as you want me.  But I’m tired of being frightened.  Please, tell me I’m not crazy.  Tell me you are the one who has been doing these things, and then I’ll feel so much safer, knowing it has been you, and not some scary person, a stranger.”

“Okay then!” he said.  “Yes it’s been me!  I’m really sorry I scared you.  But I couldn’t help myself!  You’ve been driving me fucking crazy, never letting me get near you.”

“You stole things from me too, didn’t you Jerome?”

“What things?”

“My underwear, Jerome!”

“Okay okay.  If that’s what you want, yeah!  I’ve been in pain, bitch!  All because of you!”

There.  Done.  Now, how do I get us the hell out of here?

“Thank you, Jerome.  Now we can move forward.  Let’s not eat.  Let’s go somewhere more private, like my place?”

A kind of slow motion seemed to take over.  I asked for the check.  My hand shook while I signed the charge slip.  Jerome stroked my arm.  We slid out of the booth.  I glanced behind me.  Plain-clothes cops were getting up too.  Jerome opened the restaurant door for me.  I felt the heat of the sunshine on my face.  We took a few steps.  Jerome was suddenly facedown on the sidewalk.   Being handcuffed behind his back. 

And I was standing there, on the corner, under a tall palm tree with a bent trunk, balling my eyes out.

Epilogue

Not long after “the lunch date,” my next door neighbors moved away in the midst of eviction proceedings.  My wizened old landlord and I drove to court in downtown Los Angeles to testify, only to find that a plea deal had been established.  It seems Jerome had “misbehaved” like this in the past, up in New England somewhere.  He had a history of obsessions with “older, white women,” a fact which I felt was comforting somehow, in that it all seemed a little less personal now.  Anyway, the boy got help, as it turns out.  Court-ordered.  And still against the will of his psycho parents.

Truth be told, this unfortunate experience lasted for almost a year.  In the interest of story movement, continuity, and in the interest of performing within the confines of blog writing, I heavily condensed this account of actual events in Los Angeles, in the year 1984.

There were no anti-stalking laws in 1984.  But they slowly started popping up in 1991, and by 1993 all states, as well as Canada, put anti-stalking laws into effect. 

And of all things…after the nightmare was over, I started dating Detective Morales.  But that’s a whole ‘nother story for a much later time.

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February 8, 2011 - Posted by | Stalkers | , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. This kept me on the edge of my seat, I looked forward to each weekly installment, like a soap opera! Now you tease me with the detective?? You’re killing me , Jill!

    Comment by Terry Sexton | February 8, 2011 | Reply


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