Back in 2009, I had an account with an online dating website. I didn’t take it seriously to hook up with anyone for love and marriage as my account was set to pen pal when I signed up. The experience was fun for the most part, emailing and online chatting with new people from all over. One guy, though, was hard to shake. He was the type that would inundate with emails, chat requests and flirts. The picture on his page was of him sitting at his computer, sans shirt, blowing a kiss to the screen with lipstick on and holding a “toy”. He sent me a chat request asking for a full body picture of myself. My response was “no, not interested in all that, take care”. That brought on a barrage of inflammatory emails about misusing the website if I am not serious about hooking up. Yeah, that’s why I marked my account pen pals only. I reported this guy to the webmaster, but his account remained active. In the girls only chat room, this guy had a reputation for being aggressive, combative when rebuffed and having a weird vibe. One lady in the chat room actually met up with him for drinks one night and had to literally run from him when he exposed himself to her. About a year later, I closed that account.
Fast forward to 2013. I volunteer on Saturdays with a group who sorts through clothes and ready them for thrift store sale. We work in pairs and Amber and I always work together. We are not close friends, but are acquaintances. Last Saturday, the day was winding down and everyone moved toward the front of the store to prepare to lock up and leave. Amber was staring out the door saying she was waiting for her ride. It was a guy she met online a month ago and today they were going to lunch for the first time. She asked that I stay with her until he arrives. My first thought was she is getting in a car with a guy she is meeting for the first time, from online. I asked her was she sure she wanted to do this citing this was her first time meeting him and the potential hazards that could come from it. She said yes, firmly. So I didn’t say anything further.
While there were still a few other workers in the parking lot, a car with black-tinted windows pulls up at the far end. The guy gets out, Amber waves and he walks over. Yup – it’s him. I. Could. Not. Believe. It. He looked the same. She introduced us, but he grunted and never made eye contact. He’s never seen me before, so I wasn’t concerned about me. I was concerned about her. Before I could say anything, she said goodbye, took his hand, walked back to his car and they pulled off.
If I see Amber tomorrow at the thrift store, should I say anything? I gotta tell you, I worried all week about her. I emailed her on Monday and Thursday, but received no response.