So you still be a pod. About half a mile away from my old house that I would commonly go fishing in. It was nicknamed Darryl’s pond. I still have no idea who Daryl was or why it was called that, but nobody owned it so people would once in a blue moon and go fishing there as well. It was usually me by myself though I had took a pole into the ground where I would tie a noose to and from my small Kayak. I’d say it was about three in the afternoon when I wrote out to the middle of the pond, the sweet spot for getting a decent catch. There was another person coming out from the trees. I waved at him and gave him a smile. He hopped into a small boat floating by the edge of the pond and began to roll over to me.

As he got close enough. We’re trying to speak to him. When you come off as obnoxious. I gave him a friendly: “Perfect day, isn’t it?”. “Yes, absolutely.” – He said. He didn’t say anything after that and I started to feel a bit awkward as if I were obligated to keep some kind of conversation rolling now. “So, you come out here to throw some lines?” – I asked. “No, I don’t actually fish.”. “Oh, well it’s never a bad day to relax on the pond.” – I said. He continued to roll closer to me until this boat collided with mine. Creating a big thought. I was genuinely uncomfortable. Now I didn’t feel threatened, just weirded out. I was only 24 years old. This guy looked like he was late forties or fifties. There was an awkward silence. I tried to just act like I was focused on trying to make a catch, but by now that wasn’t even on my mind.

This guy was weird. I didn’t know what he wanted and I was uncomfortable being so close to him. I felt him looking at me or at least in my direction as I face halfway to the opposite direction of him. I took a quick glance to my right. Yeah, he was staring at me. I decided to be ballsy and lock eye contact with him. After about four seconds, he looked away.

“So, uh, where are you from?” – I asked him.” Up there.” – he pointed behind himself in the direction of the woods. He hill leading pest, the dirt road. “Oh, you live by suffic?” – I asked. “No, no I’m not.” – He said. “What made you decide to come out here?” – I said. “Why not?” – he said.

I continue to try and uncomfortably fill the awkward silences that kept coming up. His responses were dry. He didn’t contribute anything to what, so what was barely a conversation. He just sat there and not doing anything with half a smile on his face looking either at me or in my direction throughout. I was creeped out. My heart was racing at this point. I’d go as far as seeing that I was nervous for my life. We were surrounded by trees in all directions in the middle of the pond. I started to roll a bit closer to land, but in a very low key kind of way. Trying to play it off as me just trying to find a better spot to find some fish. I was horrified when I saw he was following me. “What a Great Day, Huh?” – I felt the shaking my voice. I got close enough to the edge of the pond where I finally told the man – “I think I’m going to call it a day”. I turned to see his reaction. He was still staring at me, but his smile was gone now

“I can’t let you leave.” – he said. He lifted his flannel to expose a hand gun sticking out of his jeans pocket.

As soon as I could process what I was looking at, I dove out of the boat for land, ran the whole half mile up hill through the woods, back to my house and locked every door and window. As soon as I made it home.

I pull down the blinds to the dining room window, leaving it open, just a crack for peaking outside undetected. It started to get dark out and I left every light in the house off, still peeking out to the front yard, making sure I wasn’t followed. The time came when I finally decided I wasn’t followed. I realize now like you that not calling the police immediately. He was a huge mistake. I kept in my bedroom windows open to let the room air out. My bedroom was on the second floor, so I wasn’t worried about being watched through the window about half an hour after shutting the light and falling under the covers, I heard the sound of leaves crunching from outside.

I sat up to hear it more clearly. It was definitely something walking around out there. Normally I would assume that it was a deer or a bear, but after what just happened, I was still in paranoia mode. I sat up as still as a statue except for my shaking out of fear, waiting as the sounds of the steps stopped.

“Hey Buddy, you are up there. Are you trying to sleep?” Sorry, I didn’t mean to wake you up.

I felt like a hundred pounds just fell directly onto my chest. It was the same voice. I knew it right away. I didn’t make a sound. A crept out of the room quietly downstairs to the kitchen and grabbed the phone practically crawling on my way out to avoid being seen through the open blinds. I called nine one one like I should have earlier in the temporary safety of my bedroom.

I made sure to whisper into the phone as I was still hoping that he hadn’t. He had heard or spotted me. 20 minutes felt like an hour as I sat behind my bed waiting for the police to arrive in constant fear that I would hear glass breaking from downstairs or a thought on the back door, or even just the voice again from down below my window outside. The police did a thorough investigation of the property in nearby woods turning up nothing. They suggested I stay with a friend or a family member for a few days, and so I did. I never heard from or saw the man again, but I still moved. A month later. I couldn’t deal with the constant fear and paranoia of being watched through my windows. I feel much more comfortable fishing out by the bay now.