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EST. May 2000 (AD)

 
 

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Stalked by Santa

by Elizabeth Hanes

(continued )

Still, I loved him. How could I help it? From the beginning, he showered me with little gifts. He almost always was jolly (except when he'd had a bit too much to drink). He was famous and rich. Everywhere we went, people flocked up to him excitedly, asking to have their picture taken with him. I thought he was the ideal man.

Nothing in our brief relationship would have caused me to think Nick would turn out to be a stalker. We only argued a couple of times. He'd been hurt when I'd gently suggested he could stand to take off a few pounds and that maybe we could go clothes shopping together. I mean, his red-and-white uniform was cute, but it seemed like he had nothing else in his closet. He left in a huff that night, and it was the beginning of the end.

The next day, I received a strange phone call from a woman who only referred to herself as "the Mrs." and insisted she was Nick's wife. I was stunned! Kindly old Nick, married? I would have been heartbroken if I hadn't already decided he was too old and fat for me, anyway.

At dinner that evening, I informed Nick that I wanted to break up. Naturally, he demanded an explanation. I told him about the phone call and that I thought our age difference was too great. I mean, I was only 19, and he wasat least 90 times my age. Gently covering his hand with mine, I looked him in the eye and said softly, "Go back to your wife, Nick. She loves you very much." He was devastated. For my part, I couldn't believe I was breaking up with a major international celebrity.

We returned to my place for one more round of love-making, sort of a "farewell tour." It was phenomenal, as break-up sex often is. As we lay there in my queen size bed, each puffing a Marlboro Medium, Nick seemed to accept that our relationship was finished. We reminisced fondly about the three great dates we'd had together, and then he gathered up his suit, red longjohns, suspenders and cap, and was gone with a wink.

Within a week, I began receiving strange messages on my answering machine. Always anonymous, but obviously in Nick's voice, the messages said things like, "I see you when you're sleeping." Creepy! Soon, I began to notice him wherever I went. At the mall, I'd see him staring at me from his oversized chair in front of the mock gingerbread house. On the street, he'd be standing next to a red kettle, ringing a bell. At sporting events, concerts and in office buildings, I'd see him, and he'd be staring, always staring. Everytime I turned around, there he was. Obviously, he was stalking me. Once, as I briskly walked past, I heard him mutter, "I'd like to stuff your stocking." It began to seriously unnerve me.

As Christmas Eve approached, I became increasingly tense. Before we broke up, Nick had promised me a "special visit" that night, and I was concerned he'd make good on his threat. In the end, I decided to spend the night at my friend Vicki's house, just to be safe. When I returned home on Christmas morning, I found a lump of coal under the tree. That's it. No card, no wrapping, no gift. A single lump of coal. Obviously, he'd managed to break into my apartment, and I was relieved I hadn't been there.

In the year since Nick and I broke up, I've managed to land some plum movie roles and modeling assignments. I mean, I've been on "V.I.P." with Pamela Anderson, and I appeared in the new "Charlie's Angels" movie as one of the stunt butts. I've heard through the grapevine that Nick thinks I used him as a springboard to the big time, but nothing could be further from the truth. I know I'm talented. And blonde. And large-breasted.

I hadn't seen or spoken to Nick since our break up. At least, not until this past weekend. When Vicki and I went shopping at the mall, there he was again, just as I remembered him, sitting in his big chair in front of the mock gingerbread house. He didn't see me, thank goodness. I watched him for awhile and realized I was sad. Sad about what might have been. Still, I felt very glad I had that restraining order in my pocket. I think I'll go to Mexico for Christmas this year.

©Elizabeth Hanes

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