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The Peacoat Man

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It was last fall when I moved up into the city with a bunch of my friends and boyfriend, and took a semester off to do pretty much whatever I wanted and have a job on the side to keep me under a roof.

As interesting as it was, I held a semi-okay-but-not-so-much job in the center of the city, and half of my shifts were until midnight or 1 AM. I am a small girl you see, I am 5' 0" and 108 lbs. Wouldn't take too much to scoop me up and run away. So I in turn, must be careful where I walk.

One night, my store was really dead, but of course my money hungry manager made me stay and keep the entire building open. I was by myself downstairs working as a cashier, doing nothing except bouncing some glitter ball I snagged from the novelty rack.

I heard the west entrance door open, and a man with a black pea coat walked in with his eyes fixated on me with the creepiest half smile I ever saw. He never looked away even walking over, and me, getting nervous kept looking away and every time I'd look back he'd still be walking in my direction looking straight at me.

Eventually I cracked a smile, but it was more of a nervous smile rather than a welcome. He then seemed to get extremely excited, with the craziest smile across his face and said, "Oh, well good evening miss."

I laughed nervously and asked him if he needed help finding anything since it was 11:30 at night, so wandering around at this time wasn't usually the case. People that normally came in at this time usually knew exactly what they wanted.

He did not. He said he did not, but as he walked by me he still had his head turned staring at me smiling like a little kid who just heard the ice cream truck and was heading off to get their share. I had my earpiece in, and let the other employees know there was a bit of a weirdo in the store and I thought it would end at that. About 20 minutes later, he came back around, creepily bouncing in his walk, on his tiptoes to look at me past the shelving with that smile on his face.

As I watched him literally skip over to my register, I felt kind of sick. Every so often Id get a random creep, but this guy stuck out for some reason. He came up to me and pushed a red journal in my direction. I tried to avoid making much eye contact with him, but as I was looking down at the journal I could tell he was staring at me.

He began telling me I was beautiful, and how I could be stuck working in a store like this, late at night, all by myself. He wiped his nose with his sleeve and asked, "So, you live around here?"

I said not really, and work was a bit of a hike for me, and left it at that. He then kept asking about where I lived, and tried to 'sneakily' ask how I got to work everyday. I avoided answering any questions directly, or gave him pretty vague answers, but he just wasn't having it.

He then began telling me about things he was going to do to his 'new wife' and I didn't really know what to say.

I was all by myself. Eventually he left, and there had been a customer behind a shelf that had heard everything and asked if I was alright. I said I was a little creeped out, but sometimes I'd get people like this, so I didn't want it to bother me very much.

But I was certainly wrong about this guy.

I got out of work at 1 AM, walked the same 4 blocks to the train like I always do, and waited underground for 25 minutes for the next train. I was all alone, with my oversized messenger bag and my phone in my hand.

Nothing really seemed out of the usual, but I was always on my toes when I got out that late because where I was located was full of great people during the day, but as soon as the sun went down it was like the zombies would come out.

I told my roommates and boyfriend about the guy as soon as I got home, and that I had to get to bed since I had to work the next day. So anyway, whatever, I wake up really late, get all my shit together and run out the door. I walked about 2 blocks to get to the train, and I realized that I had forgot my phone.

I neeeever forget my phone. I fumbled through my purse hoping it was just at the bottom somewhere since it was black and so was the inside of my bag. I groaned and rolled my eyes, and when I looked up, I saw the man in the peacoat across the tracks looking at me.

I was 6 miles away from work. Nobody would ever get on or off this stop unless they lived here. My stomach instantly dropped, and I began walking in the opposite direction towards the townline with streets full of people.

Alrighty. Well anyway, now I was kind of panicking but I didn't really show it. I just kept walking. Where I was walking towards was a very well-lit area with little shops up and down the street. My favorite Halloween store was only around a 15 minute walk, so I thought I'd head there for the time being. Halfway through, I tripped on a lopsided sidewalk block. I didn't fall flat on my face or anything, but I did look up to see if anyone saw me.

I looked across the street, and the peacoat man was there. But when I looked over, he turned around and was pretending to look for something with his back turned towards me. And at the time, I couldn't even think of what was 'the right thing to do'. I was just nervous. And I had no phone.

I got to the Halloween store and decided to stay in there for awhile, and put a bunch of baskets together for my family back home when I went to visit them. Halloween is bigger in my family than Christmas.

I was probably in there for about an hour and a half, and when I walked out it was nearly dark. I turned the corner in which another train stop was, and the peacoat man was standing in front of the store reading a newspaper.

Now I knew I was 100% in trouble. This had been a total of 2 hours now since I had left my house, and it occurred to me that I didn't contact work. And the way I had turned from the first train stop, there was NO WAY this guy 'just so happened' to be going the same direction and be waiting the same amount of time outside of each place.

I ran into a drugstore and just looked around a little bit more. I looked at everyone shopping in there and wondered who I should tell. For some reason I felt like if I told somebody what was happening, they wouldn't believe me or take me seriously. I just started thinking negatively while really starting to panic.

I walked outside, and there again, across the street was the man waiting on a bench looking straight at me. I started speeding up down the road, and noticed he was doing the same on the opposite side from the corner of my eye.

He had that same smile he had the night before, and I let out a little yelp that I tried covering up, and my eyes started swelling up. I ran to the closest building I could find, and it was some sort of closed doctors office. I shook the door handle but it was locked. I saw somebody behind the counter and I started banging on the windows telling them to let me in, as I see the guy getting faster on the other side of the street not that far down from me.

Finally I get the guys attention and he lets me in. I ran behind the desk and called 911, and through the blinds I could see the man standing there in front of the building. Two minutes later the police come, and just like that the man is gone. The only way I could describe the man was that he had a black peacoat. He was too generic looking.

The first cop I talked to thought I was just some girl who probably met him at a bar, while I'm pleading to get me out of there and I'm not even old enough to step foot in a bar, nor do I even drink. I had never seen this man in my life other than him coming into work the night before.

I get into one of the cop cars, and he starts driving around in the opposite direction of the other cruisers that split up.

We drove around, as did the other cruisers, and nobody of the description was seen. The cop lets me off at a stop and waits until the train comes so I can head to work a few hours late. I get on the train, and it was very obvious I had been crying. 15 minutes pass, and its finally my stop.

The peacoat man was sitting on a bench on the outbound. I remember thinking, 'No fucking way is this happening, you've got to be serious'. A good amount of people got off the train with me, and I wasn't sure if he was aware I got off the train. I knew there were only two options, he either had no idea I got off yet, or he watched as each car came in and was now pretending he didn't notice me, hoping Id be dumb enough to just keep going.

He looked up turning his head slightly sideways and just grinned at me, knowing exactly what he was doing, and also fully aware I knew what was going on. Again, in a panic, I didn't know what to do. I ran to the closest train possible, which wasn't even my line, and got on it anyway. I was the only one in the car, and I sat on the floor in the back by the stairs by myself and cried.

Eventually I had to switch lines to get back home, and I did not see the man. When I got off at my stop, I ran for my life up the street hoping he wasn't already waiting for me like he was the other 3 places. He was always a step ahead of me.

I got home, and all the lights were off. I started pouting up the stairs when one of my roommates appeared out of the corner and said all the others had left searching for me since work had called hours before saying I never showed up.

Anyway, skipping a bunch of dumb stuff, I still had work the next day, regardless of being completely exhausted. I made sure I had my phone, I was walked to the train stop, and luckily my shift started midday.

Work is fine, and then it got dark. The 'employee rotation' made it my turn to be at the front of the store. About an hour in, the stores dead again, and there I am standing and bouncing that same stupid ball blankly staring out the window. And who do I see meeting eyes with me all the way at the end of the street? The peacoat man.

My mouth dropped as I watched him look inside to see there were other people working. He had that stupid fucking grin on his face, but shook his head as if he were saying, 'you're lucky'. I told one of the supervisors, and he said he wouldn't call the police if I weren't 100% sure.

How in gods name would I forget that face by now? I ran out of work, 4 hours into my shift, took a taxi home and never went back. I lost my job, but I didn't even care.

Weirdly enough, I was right for the most part what I had thought earlier. Every person I had approached about the man, either didn't believe my story was what I claimed, or 'maybe' it was something else. I never went near that part of the city again, nor did I see the peacoat man ever again. :(

Just like last time I left out what the journal said by mistake. It said, 'I married a virgin, isn't that wonderful?'

(This story is credited to a person named Skella.)

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