I just went home on break and pulled into the driveway just as Hannah and Sam were pelting down the sidewalk; out of breath and flushed from heat and exertion, they both started telling me that yes, they think they saw Crazy Stalker Guy. We have a canal two blocks from our house to the west, and the kids were up there swimming; a white Ford F-150 was driving along the canal and slowed way down to look at them, then when Hannah pulled out her cell-phone, he took off north, gravel flying everywhere. When asked, she said, "I can't swear it was the same guy, because it was dark when I saw him the first time, but he has the same hair and goatee, and he made me feel scared when he slowed down to look at us..." Seems reasonable to me, under the circumstances.
I came right back to work (I live just two blocks from where I work) and reported it, and within seconds, four police cars tore out of the parking lot. I work right across the street from the Cop Shop, and I would normally be all nosy and shit, wishing I had a scanner so I could know what is going on and who they are after. Yes, guys, I am a rubbernecker, too, slowing down at the site of accidents (and I don't want to hear the lecture. Yes, I know it's wrong, yes, I know I am a sick person, thanks.). Somehow, though, it is a lot different when you look outside and know they are responding to a call you have made. It isn't exciting at all; instead, I feel sick. And grateful that they DO have such a quick response time, grateful that they are taking seriously this event which has shaped so much of our lives these last two weeks or so. In the past, two weeks ago, I would have laughed and made not-so-subtle fun of the requisite Pudgy Cop as he ran out to the car, commenting about whether or not he would make it without having a heart attack along the way, but today I thought, "Damn, for a fat guy he sure can MOVE!" and was so goddamned GLAD.
They didn't catch him. Detective M. called a few minutes later to let me know that they didn't see him anywhere, which I didn't really expect anyway. Probably ten minutes passed between the kids seeing him and me calling it in. Ten minutes doesn't seem like a long time, but it is long enough if you are running from someone. And we live in a rural, mostly agricultural and manufacturing; do you know how many new white Ford F-150's there are around here?
If this IS, in fact, him (which, like I said, seems a reasonable assumption given his behavior), he is clearly getting MORE brave, not less so. It is full daylight, the kids go swimming there all of the time and there are usually a dozen or more kids around at the same time. Did he just plan on scaring them? I don't' know-but now I know we are going to be on High Alert again for a few days, just when things were seeming to calm down some.
I have to go to an AA meeting tonight. HAVE to. It has been two weeks without any meeting, which is really difficult for me even when things are running smoothly. So the kids are all being carted over to Jacquie's, even the teenagers (Eli is pissed), because it seems CSG might be escalating and I am not taking any chances. At the same time, I can't stay home another night; these are the kinds of times when I need my own support network, because I can't keep giving the kids what they need if I am not getting what I need, either.
Then another long night at home....send up good thoughts, please. I am scared.