After returning home, it felt as though I had never left and Thanksgiving had never happened. I hated that feeling. It seemed like all time ever did was take things away from me. I returned, again, to my tedious, daily routine.

I walked to school that morning. My house lied inconspicuously down a couple of long roads with an office building my dad worked at. We had bought the house from his boss upon hiring.

As I reached the end of the road, I ducked under the dead-end gate and began trekking across the middle school's football field. I looked toward a cul-de-sac extending from a neighborhood. About halfway through the field, a car pulled out of the neighborhood and stopped at the end of the cul-de-sac. The door opened, and Joan Davis stepped out. She shut the door. The car pulled away and disappeared in the neighborhood. Joan looked at me for a split second, and then made her way hastily up the sidewalk toward the school.

I first saw Joan about a couple of weeks into the school year. Yet to find my place among the social masses, I stood leaning against a column in the cafeteria before first period began. Gazing absently into the swarm of students, I happened to look toward the stage where she jumped and laughed so energetically. She spun around, and the straps hanging from her baggy, black pants danced with her. Her long, shining red hair mingled with the air like wisps. Over a black tank top she wore a long-sleeved sheer shirt. Short and petite, she had milky-white skin, baby blue eyes, and a body so slender that Michaelangelo himself could not have carved a more beautiful figure. She could have held me with her smile for as long as eternity.

From that moment, I knew I loved her. I did not know her, but I knew I had to. Following her that morning so as not to lose her, I could not take my eyes from her. She had so captivated me then, that I could not think of anything else. I followed her everywhere. Originally, I did it so that I could work up the nerve to talk to her, but every time I got near her, I froze. Then one day I saw her walking home. Curious about where she lived, I attempted, unsuccessfully, to ascertain that by walking ahead of her, fooling myself into believing that no one would consider it stalking that way. Eventually, I found out accidentally, as I walked with a friend to his house one day and happened to see her go into her house. For three days then, I sat at the corner of her street, hoping she might come outside and initiate a conversation – another unsuccessful attempt at contact.

Finally, about a couple of weeks before Thanksgiving, my friend realized he had a class with one of Joan's friends. Desperate, I gave him the clearance to tell Joan's friend to relay my interest to her. The next day, they told me Joan wanted nothing to do with me, and I didn't blame her.

Joan's own feelings aside, I selfishly continued following her. I couldn't find the ability to stop. Joan noticed and rumors spread fast throughout the school. I knew what people said behind my back, and I knew especially what people said to my face. My friend soon grew so tired of it that he dragged me to Joan's house after school one day so that I could explain everything to her.

Joan and I spoke only for five minutes. My friend knocked on the door, told Joan that the two of us needed to talk, and literally held my head up so I could look at her. We spoke only of irrelevant matters. "What music do you listen to?" "What electives do you have?" We could think of nothing else to say, as we stood there terrified of each other. The next day, Joan's friend told me again that Joan wanted nothing to do with me. Thanksgiving break started a few days later.

I never meant to stalk her; I never meant to frighten her, but I had lost all control. Something took hold of me and left me with no choice. Like a drug, I became addicted to her. Every thought and feeling I had revolved around her, the center of my universe.

When I reached the sidewalk, Joan had about made it between the tennis courts and the track. Her eyes remained on the ground. She wore the same tank top and sheer shirt as the first day I saw her but with orange camouflage pants.

I felt I loved her despite my inexperience with attraction. At the sight of her, I went numb. She had an infinite control of me, however oblivious she was to it. It almost seemed unnatural, as though something else entirely beyond me had forced me to follow her. I could never explain it, but a whole part of me was she.

By the time I reached the track, she had rounded the corner at the end. She glanced at me a couple of times as I watched her through the fence. I could scarcely see her but for the lights along the sidewalk. My heart skipped a beat then, and an epiphany came to me. She feared me.

Frustrated with myself, I stopped. Berating myself, I faced the fence and kicked it. Grimacing, I calmed and looked again toward Joan. I watched her cross the street and enter through the school's PE hall. Sighing, my gaze fell to the ground.

I had lost count of the times that had happened. Every time I followed her somewhere, I'd see her reaction, and the guilt would strike at me like lightning. It would leave me feeling horrible, like some disgusting monster that needed doing away with. Though I had told myself the same thing a hundred times before, I resolved then never to follow her again. When that chance would arise, however, and that urge would kindle, I would lose control. Everything I had told myself before about never following her again would slip my mind completely. All intelligent thought within my head would cease to exist, and I would again succumb to that enchanting spell, that unrelenting curse.

I trudged on.

Every step I took left me feeling more nervous than the last. My eyes remained on the ground. I didn't blame the many that condemned me as a stalker. The glares and contemptuous glances, I felt I deserved. With that feeling, I wondered how I could continue doing something I knew so terribly wrong. I did not know the answer. I knew only of my unquenchable thirst for her attention and the irresistible urge to see her.