I was staying with my friend Xye. She lived in a shop. She and I and various members of her family played a computer game. It was a text adventure, but if you typed "hang (player's name)" it produced an ASCII graphic of them with a noose around their neck, which I found amusing. If you succeeded in it, you won a chocolate-y fudge-y bar that tasted quite nice. But most of Xye's family members only unwrapped and didn't eat theirs. Later, Xye wrapped them back up again, ready for sale in the shop. As she did so, many people (including a boy in my school year) kept asking her to do things.
I encouraged her to buy something frivolous in the shop that cost £1.05. She put it on the cash desk, and asked if I could pay, as she didn't have any money. I gave the cashier a five pound note; as change, she gave me a ten pound note and Xye £3.95. We didn't complain.
Markone (an online acquaintance) visited me for one day. I was struck by the ease with which young people were able to cross the Atlantic.
It was a Friday afternoon, when I arrived back to my university for a second year. A lot of things were strange. I was living in a college (in reality I'll be living in a house) that didn't look like any at UKC. When you went in, you went through a small hallway where notices were pinned up, then found yourself in a huge café.
My corridor was behind the café wall furthest from the entrance. I was in room five and put a label bearing my name on the door. On the desk, I found a few pieces of paper and birthday cards. I read them; in some I found tickets which gave me free entrance to nightclubs. The nights didn't look particularly interesting, but I was touched by the kindness of the people who'd sent them. There was one puzzling card without any contents and from someone I didn't know.
I went to sign in with my tutor, then busied myself with other tasks. At 9.30pm, while walking through the café, I encountered Will (a friend from school, who was presumably a student here). We greeted each other and he said, "I was at Ibid's earlier, you should have been there." I had heard about the gathering in my friend Ibid's room and I wished I'd been present. I spotted Ibid across the room; she came over to talk to us. Then Smill (another friend from school) joined us.
But a man started dragging me across the room, by my arm. "You feel like someone at Slimelight [a goth nightclub]," he said, complimenting the fabric of my leather jacket.
"You haven't seen me in my PVC dress yet," I said. We reached the wall of the café I lived behind. "I live through there," I said, pointing.
I realised he was dragging me into a corner. "Look," I said. "I'm not interested. I've got a boyfriend, in case you haven't noticed."
It was then that I realised who the man was: a guy who looked like one of the Maths lecturers (but wasn't) who had been stalking me for a while. I broke free from his grip, and ran through the café screaming. A lot of people ignored me, even those who I knew. A few people tried to help, but couldn't do anything. Luckily, the man's dog left the building, and he was compelled to follow it.
I returned to my room. I felt tremendously stupid for telling him where I lived, especially when I had my name on the door. Did he know my name though? I thought, "Well, I can lock my door, both while I'm in my room and out, and if anyone knocks, I'll look through the peep-hole to see who it is." But I was still scared by the prospect of him coming here, and me being trapped inside.
It occurred to me that I wasn't often alone in my room at this time of night, and I decided to phone my boyfriend a bit later, if I didn't hear from him.
I looked through my birthday cards again, to see if the mysterious one was from the stalker. It was a while before I found it; then I realised it was supposedly from Chris (a friend from school), but written in the handwriting of Helen (an online friend). (Actually, it was Helen Wi's handwriting, but I still knew Helen No-Initial was responsible for it.)
I decided to talk to my tutor about the stalker. The problem was, I couldn't even remember who he was, never mind where he lived (I knew it was the first floor of this building, but there was a labyrinth of rooms there) or what his office hours were. I looked through the papers that would tell me, but it was very hard to find my name. At first, I couldn't find second years on it at all, and when I came across us, we weren't listed in alphabetical order. We all had codes like MA408, as if we were modules. Eventually, I found my name, but I knew I wouldn't be able to see my tutor until at least Monday.