Wow. Today I learned a great lesson in why you should be very cautious when you do not have an adult accompanying you. My friend and I were allowed to walk back and forth between her parents' shops today. (It was only a block at most, I'd say.) This is the first thing liek this I have ever done. I enjoyed not having an adult hovering over me, but it was a bit creepy. We had actually gone into her moms' store when we became aware that a guy(who claimed he was three years older than us) was hanging around. He told my friend's mother that we were cute. We didn't pay him much attention. He asked us a few questions about where we lived and where we went to school. General polite conversation. Or so we thought! At some point, when most of the customers weren't around, I asked my friend's other if she knew of any baby stores nearby. I love little kids and I thought I'd enjoy looking at stuff for kids. (Plus, I wanted to get ideas for a baby shower gift that I need for December.) She said she didn't know. Then the guy looked at us. "Oh, I know of a few around here. My family owns one not too far away. Who's baby shwoer is it?" We both exchanged a look. We were NOT looking forward to telling this guy what we had gotten ourselves into. "Well....it's for a teacher of ours." We finally explained. "Oh. how far along is she?" "Uh..." I stuttered, searching for an answer. I didn't know. "Four, five months, maybe? I honestly don't know." "Oh. I've planned three myself. One for my mom, one for my sister, and one for my cousn's boyfriend's aunt... (-or something like that. I don't remember exactly.) "Kudos." I said. I'd never heard of a guy who planend baby showers. It didn't dawn on me as a sign until later. There came a time when eventually my friend and I strolled out the front of the shop. I think it was an unconcious effort to get away from this dude. He followed us. We settled down standing right in front of the shop where her mother could see us very clearly. We somehow got into discussions of very inappropriate things which I refuse to repeat. We strayed to the topics of classmates and whatnot. Eventually we got back to the baby store. He offered to take us to one nearby. We had already searched the streets for one. We were pretty sure there wasn't one close by. We smiled. "Oh, no thanks. We have a few months. I don't know what I'd buy, anyway." I said. I had to think of some way to stop this. What self-respecting guy would take a group of "cute" girls into a baby shop (that probably didn't exist?) Especially one that I was beginning to think was a weid, stalker-type. So put we stayed. We kept chatting about casual things. (Which I can't for the life of me rmemeber now.) Soon he saw a dog. He must have thought it was cute, because he went over to see it without a word to us. We ran for it. We walked several shops down and tried to blend in. THat didn't work at all. He soon came back and reported the dog's name to us. Like we cared. As much as I loved dogs, I did not want to be near him anymore. I started jabbering about how we had taken a class trip to a place that was being advertised in the store we were standing in front of. I think it was my way of making up an excuse for running off so he wouldn't realise we were afraid. We began to talk nonsense again. More small talk here and there. Finally, he said he had to go and show his resume to some people down the street. He promised (or should that say threatened?!) to meet us again in front of my friend's family's store. As soon as he was a little out of sight and heading the other way, we started to run. We ran and ran until we had reached the mall where the other store her parents owned was. We went into a shop I was familiar with and told the owner (whom I know very personally) that a stalker had just come after us. He didn't seem to beliee us. Panicked as we were, we left and went to another store. This one was owned by one of our classmate's family. The guy had claimed relation to her (after my friend had not so-wisely provided said classmate's first and last name out of sheer panic.) We had to check. Evidently the two were not in any way related. Our classmate couldn't come with us, so after a while we left and finally arrived at her dad's other store. There we told out story once more. We were freaking out. I still haven't calmed down, and this was probably about 8 hours ago. Am I overly cautious? Are we not cautious enough? Did we do the right thing staying in sight and not going with this guy? (We wandered back into her mom's sight as soon as he rejoined us.) Are we paranoid? Was this nothing? I feel as if I may have made a mountain out of a mole hill, but at the same time I have a gut feling that this guy woud have hurt us if we had gone with him to the "baby store."