This took place in late November of 2017. I'm almost 21 now, but at the time, I was 18, and in my freshman year of college. I had just gotten out of a whirlwind, 3-year, traumatic, off and on relationship. My ex had fled in an out of my life for 3 years, but the last time, I was done. He had gotten too deep into drugs, and after I had dropped everything; school, work, friends, and even family, to get him to rehab, I decided that I wanted to move on with my life.
After one failed attempt after another, I just wanted to have a relationship I could give my all towards, and move on from my headache of an ex-boyfriend. That's when I turned to Tinder. I never really dabbled into the realm of online dating, especially with all of the controversy that circles around it. To set up the scene, I'm blonde, blue eyes, 5'9", and just over 100 pounds. Not trying to feed my own ego, but I'm often called "Barbie" which makes me blush, since I'm not really one to flaunt my looks.
Anyways, I tend to have a "type". Tall, dark hair, light eyes, tattoos, piercings, I definitely have a grunge style, and gravitate towards people with similar attributes. I ended up matching with this guy who we will name "Mark". Mark was my type to a tee. Dark floppy hair, tattoos, into the whole "punk rock" and "grunge" vibe I have and that I'm into. I'm not going to lie, I was a little bit of a shit in high school. Fell into the wrong crowd, after my ex-boyfriend who was mentioned earlier, and I broke up for the first time. I lost my way, I guess you could say, and I fell into some shit I really shouldn't have at 16-years-old, or even in general.
I made a recovery and got my shit together and I definitely wasn't that person anymore. Mark had gone through and struggled with similar things, it's how we connected. He was so sweet, but fiery and passionate at the same time. He had these puppy dog eyes that could make anyone melt, at least by his pictures. We were talking for about a week and decided that we wanted to meet up. I meant to mention earlier, Mark had surgery on his chest due to a car accident he had been involved in, so this required him to have a metal bar placed under his ribs.
With surgery comes pain medication...an evil habit I had gotten rid of years before. I was aware he was on this medication, but he assured me he wouldn't be under the influence of them while he was around me. We decided to see a movie. It's been so long, I can't even recall what we had planned on seeing, but it didn't matter, because that's not how this story ends. We live about 45 minutes to an hour away from each other, due to traffic in such a popular area.
He came to get me, which I instantly regretted. I'm pretty reserved and I usually don't give out a lot of information about where I work/live to really anyone, including friends. As soon as I got outside and opened the car door, Mark looked nothing like his profile. He looked like a completely different person. I don't know if he was a wizard when it came to photoshop, or if he truly was someone completely different. I didn't say anything, though, as I didn't want to hurt his feelings. I tried to make up reasons in my head, telling myself he just had surgery, so of course he's gonna look and be a little "off".
The awkwardness just progressed from there, though. He was incredibly quiet and honestly, just gave off an uncomfortable vibe; I couldn't quite put my finger on it, but he just seemed off. Again, I wrote it off, and truly did try to give him a chance. Who knows, we could've made great friends. We pull up to the center where the movie was playing, only to find out that it was sold out. The theater is right across the street from a local shopping mall, so we had decided to go there. As we pull into the parking lot, he pulls out a baggy of blue pills, and explains that they're his pain medication that was prescribed to him after the surgery.
I'm not a dumb girl, by any means, and I obviously know what his supposed "pain medication" looks like, as I'm studying in the field of medicine. Not only do the pills not look like prescribed medication, but he also decides to take them in an odd way. Instead of taking them with water, he crushes the pills and snorts them right in front of me on the center console of the car, explaining that snorting the medication "takes away the pain faster". Again, I may have been a lot of things at 18, but stupid was not one of them. I played it off as if nothing was wrong, as I didn't want to aggravate him, but I was officially creeped out and uncomfortable.
So I texted my best friend my location, and just said, "SOS play along with whatever I say. Meet me at the mall". My best friend is a total badass and she has saved me one-too-many times from stupid situations I've gotten myself involved in. Mark and I head inside the mall, and this is when I visibly start to get upset. Something about Mark, that I also had forgotten to mention, he had a lot of money, or at least that's what he wanted me to think.
I thought he had just came from a wealthy family, which did not encourage me to talk to him, might I add. While shopping aimlessly through the stores, awaiting for my best friends arrival, Mark decides to steal merchandise from the stores, and make a mockery by drawing attention to himself, but also starting to act erotic. Not to mention, I've worked in retail since I was 16, and became a manager by the time I was 17, and now, at almost 21, I'm the store manager of a retail store in a popular shopping center in my area, so it all enraged me, since I know the consequences a company suffers from loss and theft.
It was as if whatever drug he had just snorted had taken full effect, and he honestly looked and was acting like a crackhead. About 10 minutes go by, and my best friend tells me that she's near a certain store, so I lead him in the direction of that store, telling him I wanted to look at something particular in there. I "bump" into my best friend, and we create conversation. Fortunately, Mark went into some watch store, so it gave me a mere 2 minutes to devise a plan with my best friend on how to get me the fuck out of there.
Now, I'm not proud of this, but Mark just wasn't getting the hint that I wasn't interested, and I was honestly terrified to have him drive me anywhere, especially now under the influence of whatever he took. So we made up a story that wasn't completely fake, but definitely exaggerated. My sister was in town visiting with her boyfriend, so my parents decided to take them out on our boat that night. My dad, an ex-Navy Seal, doesn't drink anymore, due to a disease called, "crohn's", or in other words, stomach ulcers, basically.
When Mark returned, I had told him that I was so sorry, but I had to go, because my dad had just called, saying he was too intoxicated to drive everyone home, and that he needed me to get to the dock, so I could safely drive everyone home. Mark still didn't get the point, though. He was very adamant on taking me, even though I was making it very clear it was a "family matter" and I needed to be with my best friend and family. After much convincing, he finally agreed that I needed to go, but made it a point that he wanted to hang out after I had gotten back home.
I told him I would keep him updated and then my friend and I were on our way. Obviously, shaken up and scared, I didn't want to go home, and we actually drove to the dock, incase he were to follow us. On the drive there, I blocked his number, unmatched and blocked him on Tinder, and on every social media site. Not too long after, he discovered this, and I then got a text from an unknown number. I don't remember everything it said, but basically, it was one of Mark's friends, saying I was an awful person, and how could I do this to him. More texts came through, reiterating the same shit this friend had already said, and my friend had enough.
She grabbed my phone, called the number, and went A1, balls to the walls, off on this guy, explaining how Mark had lied about who he was, and royally scared the shit out of me, and to leave me the hell alone. Do I condone that type of speech towards anyone? No, but my best friend was just being protective at the time. After she hung up, she blocked that number, and we continued on with our night, trying to stay occupied. After about an hour or so, just trying to relieve some anxiety, we decided to head on back to my house, all while forgetting that Mark had my address, and had picked me up not even 2 hours prior to all of this.
With that now in mind, my anxiety shot through the roof. "What if he's there, sitting outside?" "What if he randomly starts to show back up at my house?" I start psyching myself out and I felt like my heart was going to explode out of my chest. Thankfully, when we pull up to my house, my parents, along with my sister and her boyfriend, had just gotten home, so I felt way more at ease. I tell my parents what had happened, and they could see how visibly shaken up I was.
I could barely sleep that night, I had extreme paranoia. My dad must've checked on me at least 4 times that night, and didn't go to bed himself until about 3 or 4 AM. About a week goes by and I start to forget about the whole experience, until I see a familiar black car pass by the end of my street, blasting some music that I felt I had heard before. I grabbed whatever I was getting from my car and bolted back inside.
I still don't know to this day that if it was Mark. I mean, who would drive an hour just to drive past someone's house, in hopes that they may catch a glimpse of them? Honestly, I wouldn't put it past Mark. Stage 5 creeper. My point of this is, don't be naive when it comes to online dating . The Internet is not as innocent as it may seem, and neither are people. Be aware of who you're talking to and always make sure to meet in a public area. I am lucky and do not have a horrible ending to my story, but it was definitely an eye-opener.