DEAR ABBY: I went to school with "Bert" from grammar through high school. It's no secret that he's been in love with me since seventh grade. After we graduated from high school, Bert remained in our hometown. I moved away and go back only to visit my family.
Bert got my phone number from a mutual friend and, in the four years since high school, has called once in a while. Out of courtesy I'd chat with him, thinking his calls would eventually stop. I was wrong.
For the last two months, Bert's calls have become so frequent, I have stopped answering my phone -- or if a girlfriend is visiting me, I'll ask her to answer for me and tell Bert I'm "on a date." I hoped he'd take the hint, but it hasn't worked.
Last Christmas he sent me an expensive present. I did not accept it and still have not spoken to him.
Then one night last week, while I was out with the girls, Bert called every 20 minutes and maxed out my voicemail with messages saying he loves me. I don't know what to do. This has escalated to the point I'm afraid Bert could become violent. What should I tell him? -- NERVOUS IN MAINE
DEAR NERVOUS: Stop evading Bert's calls. Tell him, "I know we're old acquaintances, but I'm not interested in any kind of relationship with you. Please do not call again." If he continues, speak to your lawyer and to the police about a restraining order. He appears to be unable to face rejection.