Avoid Doing These Things
Meeting 'Fred' - Lesson One
Lesson one: Don’t try to drop hints that you aren’t interested, instead be upfront and honest if you have no intention of ever catching up with someone.
It all started mid-July 2017 when I met a guy, let's call him Fred.
Also, this story should be a lesson to not only avoid being like Fred but also to learn that doing what I did was also wrong.
It was the first class of the year and Fred introduced himself. He seemed nice, so we had a quick chat at lunch break.
Now mind you I don’t like talking to strangers (because of my anxiety), but I also don’t like being rude, so I was polite and made conversation even though I wanted to avoid all human interaction and just focus on my studies.
Anyway, we ended up discussing Game of Thrones and how much I loved the show and books.
Side Note: In class, I actually stated that I didn’t want to make friends and that I was just there to learn. It started by me saying that I was new to Melbourne and the teacher said ‘You will make friends soon’ and my response was ‘I HOPE NOT’.
A few weeks passed by and the only time I would ever see Fred was in class. Every week he would start up a short conversation about the Game of Thrones episode that had just aired that week, and honestly, I didn’t think much of our interactions.
So after about a month of classes, I was walking to the train station taking my usual route and guess who I see walking there too?
How is that strange, you may wonder?
Well, after our class together he had another class to attend, so why would he be going to the station?
Anyway, I was walking quickly because the weather was getting pretty bad and all I wanted to do was get to my train ASAP.
I look over to the other side of the street and Fred is also walking very quickly. I see him glancing over at me like he's trying to stay at the same pace as me. I should have known something weird was about to happen.
Eventually, he crosses the road and ends up walking beside me and as we are going towards the escalators awkward small talk is made and all I can think is ‘can you just leave me alone’. That is when he asks if I would like to go out for a coffee that coming weekend with him.
I tell I don’t really like coffee, hoping he would drop it. I wish I had just said no straight away but I was too awkward to reject him to his face.
As we step onto the escalators he says, “Oh, well what do you like?”
I shrugged my shoulders and said “donuts.”
“Well, would you like to get donuts this weekend?”
“I actually can’t, I’m going on a snow trip with my friends,” I said. It was the truth, but I was hoping he would think I made up a lie and he’d take the hint to leave me alone.
We get off the escalators and I start walking quickly to my platform. I only had three minutes until the train arrived so I was in a rush.
Fred keeps up with me. “Would I be able to get your number so we can organise something?” he said, getting his phone out.
On the inside, I was screaming with rage but instead, I smiled and said, “sure.”
I blame myself for giving him the wrong idea, I should have said no thanks and left it at that. I should have rejected him and his friendship. Lesson learned, be upfront and honest if you have zero interest in being someone's friend.
So, he hands me his phone and I type my number in. I say irritably “I hope I haven’t missed my train.”
He then asks “Where do you live?”
For a moment I think that was a little odd to ask, so I lie to him.
When I finally arrive at my platform he then says, “Opp’s, this isn’t my platform. Bye.”
It was an all-round weird interaction. I’m a weirdo myself but that even made me question what the fuck just happened.
Lesson two: Don’t keep messaging people if they don’t reply, it’s annoying. And definitely don’t ring them after they ignore you.
The weekend goes by and I completely forget about the awkward situation, until he messages the week after. He sends a long message asking when we can go for a donut, what I thought about the new Game of Thrones episode and if I have started my assignment yet.
I barely respond, keeping my messages very short and blunt and after a few more messages I stop replying.
The week goes by and we see each other in class. I try to avoid him but he manages to bring up GoT.
I’m sure some people think I’m being rude but I hate being messaged repeatedly, especially if I barely respond. There is no rule that says I need to be friends with everyone who talks to me.
He continues to message me weekly. I respond with short messages or sometimes I ignore him completely. Then it gets to a point where he finally asks if I am interested in him. I ask him what he means by that because I wasn’t sure if he meant in a friendly way or romantically. Again I should have said no.
He tries to ring me, but I don’t answer the call.
I message him and say “I don’t like phone calls.” This is true, and I definitely don’t want to be on the phone with him having another awkward discussion.
He messages again and says “Can I ask you something?”
“Yes,” I reply.
“Do you have a boyfriend?”
I lie to him and say yes, hoping that would make him back off.
He then says “Would you be interested in being my friend?”
I tell him “sure.”
Why am I so dumb? I should have said “HELL NO!” But I felt too awkward to be mean.
Lesson three: Social media stalking isn’t cute. Any form of stalking isn’t cute, it’s super creepy. Don’t comment on someone’s social media if they have made it obvious they’re not interested.
Finally, the holidays were upon us. I was glad to get away from seeing Fred for a few weeks. But of course, I'm still getting messages from Fred.
One of the days he sends two videos of a character from Game of Thrones being killed. I don’t respond, so he sends crying emoji.
He then asks if we can go for a donut soon.
Stupidly I reply. “I can’t. I have too much homework to catch up on.”
He then explains that he also has homework to catch up but he still has time to socialise. He then tries to guilt me by saying “It can be really hard making new friends” and that if he doesn’t hear back from me he hopes I will enjoy my holidays and that he might see me back in class.
I don’t respond.
He messages again and says “I realise you have no interest in being my friend. I’m sure you have good reasons and I respect your choice.”
Again, I don’t respond.
He doesn’t message me for a day or two and I think finally I’m free of this bullshit. Until he sends a picture of a dog with a long text explaining that it is his dog, blah blah blah.
Again, I don’t respond.
He told he would respect my choice not to be his friend, so why was he messaging me? I should have blocked his number but I was scared that he would confront me in class when the holidays were over.
He then tries to call me a few times and messages again.
I ignore him.
A few days pass by again, I don’t hear from him but I do see someone named Fred commenting on my YouTube videos (I use to make silly videos). At the time I didn’t think it was him because how would he know my YouTube name when he didn’t know my full name. I was so wrong.
It wasn’t until he tried to follow me on Instagram that I realised it was Fred. He somehow found my Facebook, my blog, my YouTube channel, and my Instagram. I had a freakout and deleted and privated everything and blocked him on all of my social media platforms.
Lesson four: Just because you said sorry doesn’t mean you can do it again. Stop it, get some help.
The end of the holidays arrived and he had stopped messaging me but I knew it wasn’t over, unfortunately.
The first day back in class he sat right at the back away from me for the first five minutes, but eventually, he sat near me. I felt uncomfortable but tried to push it aside because I was sure this time he had taken the hint.
When the lunch break arrived I stayed in class hoping that he would leave to go eat lunch. The classroom empties but he stays. So does the teacher thankfully. I felt torn about whether or not I should leave or wait for him to go. My teacher didn’t look like she would be leaving any time soon, so I put my headphones in and watched YouTube. I shouldn't have gotten comfortable because the teacher eventually left and we were alone.
My heart was racing, the anxiety was overwhelming, I was too awkward to move or leave the room. I should have.
At the corner of my eye, I see Fred look at me. He says my name and I pretend not to hear. He says my name again and still, I ignore him. That is when he stands up and walks over to me. He stands over me and says my name once more. I pause my video and take one headphone out.
“I just wanted to say sorry for getting a little crazy. Is that okay?”
“It’s fine,” I say bluntly.
He must have thought that suddenly we were friends because he begins to talk about some book he was reading and the last Game of Thrones episode. I was blunt and put my headphones back in, trying to make it obvious I didn’t want to talk.
After that interaction, it didn’t take long until he was sending messages again and trying to call. Unfortunately ignoring Fred didn’t stop him from being annoying, I should have blocked him.
Lesson five: Block and report someone if they won’t stop harassing you.
The next week in class he must have been embarrassed because he actually ignored me the whole time. It finally felt like a weight had been lifted off my chest. FINALLY, HE HAd TAKEN THE HINT.
After class, he took the stairs instead of the elevator. I felt excited that he would no longer be pestering me.
It wasn’t until I arrive at the train station that I realised I was wrong. As I was waiting for my train I was scrolling through my phone and then I get a call from Fred. I was scared that he was somewhere at the station watching me so I pretended to still be scrolling through my phone.
When he cancelled the call he messaged me and said “You obviously hate me and don’t want to be my friend. I guess my apology meant nothing. I will leave you alone now.”
The end of the semester comes and he tries to talk to me once again. I show no interest in talking to him.
The November holidays arrive and finally wouldn’t have to see him for the next two months. It was only a couple of weeks into the holidays and I had finally forgotten about him. UNTIL HE MESSAGES AGAIN.
And this is what he said: “I’ll let you know when I am free and we can grab a donut and catch up :)”
Are you as confused as I was when I received that?
I had not asked him to let me know if he was going to be free, I had no interest in hanging out with him or talking to him so I replied, “Please leave me alone.”
“Obviously my apology meant nothing, you don’t want to be my friend. You obviously hate me. I will delete your number and you can delete mine if you haven’t already. Goodbye.”
Finally, I blocked and deleted his number which is something I should have done straight away. Actually no, I shouldn’t have given my number out and I never will again. Never again will I trust a stranger, even if they seem nice.