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  • I used to go to meetings, AA, Al-anon and OA. I needed meetings. It was in those meetings that I met Kevin B. Kevin B went to the same meetings I did, and so we became friends. Or, so I thought.

    I guess I define friends differently than Kevin B. did.

    It started innocently enough. An offer of a ride home when my car was being repaired. A small treat shared before of after a meeting. A tiny gift purchased while purchasing other things so that it didn't seem like a big deal.

    Then it escalated, a little at a time. Gifts left hanging on the flag of my mailbox, gifts left between the doors of my house. I wondered how that had happened. How had he found me? What happened to anonymity? Oh yeah, I'd allowed him to take me home once, months earlier. My first big mistake.

    The occasional gifts came more and more often until they arrived every day, even twice a day. The tiny insignificant gifts grew larger. Not huge. Kevin was married, and he'd buy my treats, he explained, while shopping for the family, and then drop them off on the way home.

    Then came the letters. They were whiney, complaining, demanding. I thought that was bad. But then they became pornographic and demanding. I started avoiding him at meetings. He started turning up everywhere. At home, at work, at the store. I'd find him parked next to my car waiting for me, and I started getting frightened.

    Then he wrote threatening letters and made threatening phone calls to my ex-husband and to my boss. I told him to stop it.

    That's when I quit going to meetings. I got a parking spot closer to work, just a few steps from the door, asked my boss to repaint the no parking signs around my spot. I had to admit I had a stalker. Embarrassing. Scary.

    One of the wonderful side benefits to marrying Keith and moving to Detroit was putting 400 miles between Kevin B and me.

    I've never wished harm on anyone, truly, not consciously, anyway. When I heard that Kevin B had died suddenly of a heart attack, I was sad for him and for his family. At the same time, I'm ashamed to admit, I felt a great deal of relief.

    I've never gone back to meetings.
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