Sense & Sensitivity by Harriette Cole

Persistent Man Scares Reader Into Giving Phone Number

DEAR HARRIETTE: A man approached me while I was sitting outside at the public library. He sat down next to me and started to talk to me. A few minutes into the conversation, I began to feel uncomfortable. I started to pack up my books to make it clear I was leaving. There was no one else in sight, which made me feel even more nervous.

As I was getting up to leave, this man asked me for my number. I gave him a fake number, so when he called it, it did not go through to my phone. He accused me of giving him the wrong number and would not let me leave. I gave him my real number, and he harassed me over text until I blocked him. I have not told anyone, but I am nervous he is secretly following me. Should I tell someone? -- Stalkerdude, Santa Rosa, California

DEAR STALKERDUDE: I’m so sorry that you were intimidated into giving any number at all. You should have gotten up and gone back into the library as soon as you felt uncomfortable so that you would not be in a vulnerable place.

What you can do now is report this man to the police. Show the texts to prove how this man has been approaching you. Explain the whole situation, and tell the police that you feel unsafe. Ultimately, you may need to change your phone number. In the future, never give your phone number to someone who is trying to intimidate you.