Heather began her career in blogging several years ago, and over time she built up quite a respectable fan base. Heather was relatively familiar with most of her readers, so when a man named Martin began posting comments to her website about seven months ago, she recognized he was a new visitor to her blog.
Exactly seven months later, Martin would be in jail and Heather was living on a friend's couch.
From the outset Martin began to post comments to Heather's blog pretty consistently, if not obsessively. Even as her traffic ebbed and flowed, she could always count on Martin leaving at least one comment for every single post. She didn't think much of it initially, and figured he was just some odd character with way too much time on his hands.
But as the months passed, Martin began to send Heather personal emails, usually to expand upon the comments he had posted to her blog. Heather wasn't too fond of corresponding with her readers via email, but she answered a few of his questions out of common courtesy.
Three months after Martin found Heather's website, Heather attended a blogging conference to network with other bloggers and catch up on some new technology. Upon arrival at the conference, she was approached by a short, balding man with wire rim glasses. He knew Heather's real name, which took Heather by surprise. No one knew her real name, nor anything else about her for that matter, as she had long ago taken some rather extreme measures to protect her identity.
The short man then introduced himself.
His name was Martin, which immediately rung a bell with Heather.
It's that guy.
Heather was a bit perturbed this strange little man had actually come to a networking conference to meet her, but she stood politely as Martin asked her a few questions about her blog and her taste in music. After a brief and polite conversation, Martin indicated he had bought a few gifts for Heather. Heather explained she felt uncomfortable accepting gifts from a stranger, but Martin shrugged it off and left her gifts in a conference room.
Martin left, and Heather joined the conference in progress feeling somewhat confident she would never have to deal with Martin again.
And here we go.
Heather returned home from the conference and found her email inbox packed with emails from Martin. His correspondence had suddenly taken a turn toward personal subjects, and became largely incoherent and rambling. Heather answered a few of them, but as she progressed she realized she may as well have been writing emails to a sea lion. Disturbed, she sat down and wrote a post for her website about "obsessive fans," hoping he might get a clue and stop.
It backfired. Very badly.
Martin took it as a tutorial and absolutely deluged Heather with emails.
Heather blocked Martin from posting to her website and immediately stopped reading Martin's emails, instead filing them directly into a separate folder. Only a few days later, Heather's email server seized up. Heather checked into the problem, and found Martin had inundated her server with so many emails and music files that her server had simply shut down.
Frustrated and confused, she began to check what Martin had written in his emails.
What she found did not bode well for her.
And i bring good news. i have seen your waving hand from the abyss and bought a new modem from another provider so i can get online from home. i think i can now leave comments on your blog again :)))))
do not feel bad about anything. I like that I hvae to WORK fore this (i know you have done your best to give me acess but not even you could do that) because now i can repay you for the geneva mails you sent me from abroad 4 years ago!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I have been so troubled (and that virus was not from you, I know that 100 %!). this is sent from my new provider's email account. and it was the IP address which was blocked (and i am so happy that it was the IP address you did not like and not ME)
You still have many filters so my yahoo and gamil accounts do not work. You are guarding your body so well, my sun. But it is certainly also worth looking after!!!!!!!
And i will now send mail that bounced earlier tonight from my other accounts. so let's take a technical tea-break :)))))))))))))))"
Apparently Martin had concluded Heather was now in love with him.
In fact, Martin now referred to Heather as his "sun." Everything Heather wrote on her website related directly to Martin in some way, and her recent silence was now only a "test of his love." Martin knew this because Heather had arranged "secret puzzles" in her blog entries that spoke to Martin and Martin only, and he had been quite busy lately trying to decipher her "puzzles."
And the emails kept rolling in ...
Thank you for bridging gaps. A bridge can say so much. It has meant a lot to me.
And so I want to say that right now things are as when we met. No more. No less. We are both a little wiser, perhaps. I like that.
I'd really like to be able to comment on your blog again. Just like before we started mirroring. I want you to blog like you did before we met. Without all these constant hints and puzzles.
You are really good at these puzzles. You would make a great novelist. I think I have found most of your hints and puzzles - both the good and the bad ones. I can now laugh at your jokes again. Thank you for your TRUST and BELIEF that I can "get" them. Your thoughts are very advanced and I'm happy i understand you. But I spend a lot of time trying to "get" them.
I think we are now both standing exactly where we stood when we met except apart. Maybe we should meet again - has your sun started working so you can burn some sunshine?
In the future, please do not leave anymore puzzles for me on the blog. Have a lovely day with much sun!!!!!"
Now unable to contact Heather, Martin somehow located her home address and began loitering in local parks and grocery stores in an attempt to catch Heather out in public.
Yes, I know I sent you a longshot invitation in my thoughts. So I spent the day in the botanical garden waiting for my thoughts to reach you.
The sun was burning in there :)))))))
I was thinking about my life and what i know for certain about my life right now, i mean WHAT I KNOW and that is that we will be together and i will give the two of us the best chance ever amd we both deserve that!
And you are as right as ever. The Botinical gardens are very charming but I forget they are there. No longer, of course.
I understand why you are so hesitant towards me. i mean, you have so many prejudices to fight. But i have said this earlier. I FORGIVE YOU (FOR) EVERYTHING.
I hope you will show up soon because i am getting tired of walking around your parks waiting for you. So many people are there. Not that they are wrong people BUT THERE IS ONLY ONE RIGHT PERSON!!!!!"
Thankfully, Heather's "thought" phone was temporarily out of service.
For whatever reason, Martin also conjured up the idea that Heather had a wooden leg, and he frequently encouraged her to be open about it.
I never thought i'd write to you about this because the topic is so important that it need not be written.
I noticved your little game on the blog the other day and your reaction when "peg leg" was mentioned. I did not even notice it when we met but now I know. But i still will not notice it the next time we meet.
I DO NOT CARE that you have a peg leg because i look at the whole person whether they are family-friebds-colleagues-or girlfriends :) So i did not join in the debate and think that the response to the peg leg was .. primitive. Unlike YOU!
If you do have a peg-leg the only difference it makes is that you become all that more interesting and you are already interesting :)I wanted to say this to you in person but you get it in writing :(I hope you are better and not troubled and have been out in the sun :)))
Despite being quite a few croutons short of a salad, Martin was remarkably adept in locating Heather's personal information, as noted below ...
I tracked you to XXXXXXcbbler.com. Hmm, did you call yourself XXXXX xxxxx once and studied teaching in XXXXXX?
I don't know. I never answered you. My computer broke down and I lost your mails. In panic I tried to recue your mails but that only made matters worse. Perhaps I am off target? I have been thinking about your mails for a long time.
When we met in the coffee shop I already knew when I pressed your hand that we would have excellent fun and we did.. It was like meeting an old friend OR SOMETHING. It has to be Ying-Yang. Hmmm.. The sun has been burning inside me .. god, I must sound half crazy. But actually I feel relieved. I have been paralysed most of the day. Skipped work to come home and write you this letter and mail you the music.
Perhaps you are really pissed off and not playing hard to .. ?? No. But in that case .. anyway.
I sent you You Do the song to tell you that if you ever have a nervous breakdown i will be there for you and take good care of you. It also says that i want you to break down. I mean it when i say I will be there for you because you have something that most other people do not.
Once Martin started sending marriage proposals to Heather, Heather filed an order of harassment with her local police department.
Then, of course, Martin started showing up on her doorstep.
Martin was arrested, and deeming him dangerous, the police advised Heather to stay with friends until Martin was admitted to a psychiatric facility.
We'll let Heather close it out.
"I think I was a very very random target for Martin. It was never about *me* because he had no idea who I was. I met him once while surrounded by other people and even then I was conscious of being there as a blogger, not as *me*. I have since moved country - almost continent - and I've stopped looking over my shoulder to see if Martin is walking behind me."