Thursday, February 19, 2009

The Stalker- Part One

Feb 2009
"still expecting a reply from you" read the subject line of the email in her hotmail account. She selected the message and clicked "Delete". 
Dec 2004
She was a freshman in college, on her way back to Pakistan for the winter holidays. She took the Dinky from P to P Junction and from there, took NJ Transit to NY Penn Station, lugging two heavy suitcases (over two-thirds of which were packed with gifts for family and friends).

Penn Station was crowded as always; hundreds of people waiting for the numbers on the boards to reflect the arrival or departure of the next train, rushing to catch the next train, grabbing a quick cup of coffee at one of the cafes or simply sheltering from the cold outside, munching on a warm Aunty Anne's pretzel.

Panting and puffing, she arrived at the 8th avenue, A C E junction and, holding on to railing with one hand, managed to hoist herself and her suitcases onto the platform, one at a time. She got in line to buy a metrocard from the vending machine, watching the people ahead of her to see how it was done. It looked pretty straightforward- a simple touch screen with easy-to-follow instructions and sure enough, a couple of minutes later, voila! the metrocard popped out of the slot and she collected it with her Debit card and receipt.

Next, she moved to the turnstile and swiped the card. The screen display read, "Please swipe again". She swiped the card a second time... "Please swipe again". She swiped a third time, and a fourth time, only to see the same message displayed on the screen over and over again. She was getting frantic now, the train was almost there! 

Finally, the guy right behind her in line, ran out of patience and, taking the card from her, swiped the card through the turnstile in one, smooth move. The screen said, "GO" and the slabs parted to let her pass. Mumbling a quick thank you, she pushed and pulled her suitcases through the turnstile and reached the other side just as the train pulled into the station.


  1. reminds me of a bit of stuff i have written... :)

  2. uh-oh.. is it bad that i can't keep track of the stalkers? -sh

  3. Actually, it's the same one :P