If you are reading this, it means they found me. I don’t know how, but they found me.
The problem is, I’m not even sure who ‘they’ are.
I am hurriedly preparing this week’s entry, whilst hiding in my office on Tuesday 4th July (which, rather ironically, may prove to be anything but Independence Day for me). Once finished, I intend to e-mail a copy to my wife, with strict instructions that she is not to open the attachment until midday on Friday 7th July. Unless I contact her beforehand, she will then post this on my blog page.
If I have been captured, you must assume I am gone forever, and this will be my final entry. In the unlikely event I do escape, I plan to intercept this document before it goes live, and it will never see the light of day. Therefore, if you are reading these words, I fear this may be goodbye, my friends.
Let me explain (and, in doing so, I hope some of what follows can be used to track down my captors, and bring them to justice)….
Last Tuesday, as I travelled home from work, I noticed a black Volvo XC60 directly behind me. Nothing unusual about that, except the vehicle caught my attention for three distinct reasons:
Firstly, I am extremely fond of the Volvo XC60 and, if I ever get to own one, dark blue or black would be my preferred colour.
Secondly, the woman driving was potentially quite attractive, if a little older than me. I say ‘potentially’, because the sun was shining across her windscreen, so I could only tell that she was a brunette (my preference), nicely proportioned, and was driving the sort of car which showed she had taste.
Thirdly, and most importantly, the car was approximately six inches from my FUCKING BUMPER, so it was a little hard not to take notice.
As we approached Holmes Chapel, with the Volvo still so close I could smell her perfume, we came to some roadworks and stopped. Miraculously, she avoided hitting my car, but I still glared at her in the mirror, adopting my very best ‘back the fuck off’ scowl.
Alas, she didn’t notice, because she had already begun checking her phone (well, I assume she was, because I cannot imagine her crotch was that interesting, and she was clearly doing something with her thumb down there).
As you know, I despise the use of mobile phones whilst driving, but since we were stationary, I decided to give her the benefit of the doubt, rather than exit my car, take her phone, and launch it into the nearest hedge – as I might otherwise have done.
However, when we began to move, she continued to text/fondle herself whilst driving, so I started gesturing via my mirror. Naturally, she didn’t notice, as I was not gesturing from between her legs at the time, but I still felt I had made my point, and hoped – as I always do in such situations – that her failure to pay attention to the road, would ultimately see her embedded firmly into a tree before the day was out.
She continued to follow me, all the way through Holmes Chapel, Brereton and Sandbach (including all my little short-cuts, which not many drivers know about), and only turned off when I was approximately 200 yards from home. I made a point of remembering her registration number (I have no idea why) and continued home.
Nothing too unusual, so far. After all, she had only been behind me for around six or seven miles, and I encounter several dickhead drivers every week, so she was just another potential organ donor on our roads.
Except, here’s where it starts to get weird. As I drove to work the next morning, I approached the same roadworks, and again a large black car came speeding up behind me. It was only when I noticed the driver was on their phone/crotch admiring, I realised it was the same woman.
This time, she chased me all the way from Holmes Chapel to Alderley Edge (about ten miles), where I thankfully lost her in traffic, a smug grin creeping across my face as she grew smaller in my mirror. Go tailgate some other poor bastard (I, rather tragically, said out loud).
The odds of having the same driver travel so close to me, on two consecutive journeys, played on my mind throughout the day – so much so, I grew nervous as I approached Alderley Edge that evening. However, I then remembered that I leave work half an hour later on Wednesdays, so there was not a chance she could be…..
…. shit, there she was, three cars behind me! To make matters worse, she was nowhere near the driver in front of her, which meant she wasn’t just an inconsiderate moron – she had been intentionally tailgating me during our two previous encounters. Cold beads of sweat formed on the back of my neck, and trickled down my spine. Why was she following me? What did she want?
Within a mile or so, the two cars between us had turned off, and she was once again – for the third time in just over a day – directly behind me, so close it looked like I was towing her.
I struggled to focus on the road, and kept staring in the mirrors to try and get a better look at my pursuer; however, like the day before, the sunshine was obscuring most of her appearance.
I frantically searched the dashboard, looking for the controls which would deploy an oil slick or plume of smoke behind me, causing her to veer off the road. Nothing. All I managed to do was activate the central locking (twice), and heat my rear window. Then, it struck me: I was driving a Volkswagen, not a fully-equipped Aston Martin. I should think myself lucky there was at least a CD player and windscreen wipers.
VW Tiguan: Woefully Basic
I felt sure my pursuer wasn’t someone I knew, who might be following me as a prank, and she could only have seen my eyes in the mirror, so it wasn’t like she had caught a glimpse of the rest of me, had become infatuated (as so many have in the past), and was trying to initiate a roadside tryst. Besides, if she thought she could attract me by driving like a dickhead – whilst texting – then she clearly didn’t know me at all.
No, I was almost certainly being tailed by a deadly femme fatale, with unclear – but certainly malicious – intentions.
With that in mind, I tried slowing down, speeding up, taking different routes, but each time she remained inches from my bumper. She was relentless.
Ultimately, I had to resign myself to being followed, while I tried to work out a plan of action. After all, she hadn’t tried to ram into me yet, so, although I didn’t appreciate her vehicle being so close, at least she hadn’t made a move.
Was she working alone, or under the instruction of some crazed megalomaniac like Blofeld? And why follow me? I’m neither a spy (although, if I was, I would say that, wouldn’t I?) nor anyone of interest to the intelligence/counter-intelligence services. Maybe it was a case of mistaken identity, and she – or her employers – would soon realise their mistake and leave me alone?
Thankfully, she remained at her ‘safe’ distance of six inches, all the way to Sandbach, where she again turned off shortly before my road.
I hardly slept that night. Partly because of the three terrifying encounters with this mystery assassin, but also because Isaac was once again in our bed by 11pm, using my scrotum as a football.
The following morning, Thursday, it was my turn to take Ollie to school, so this time it was the journey to work which would take place later than the day before – by approximately an hour and a quarter.
Shortly after setting off, I glanced nervously down the road she had taken on the two previous journeys home, half-expecting her Volvo to race out and sideswipe my VW from the left.
I was about to chastise myself for being so paranoid, when I saw her further down the road. She wasn’t speeding towards me, as I had feared, but was simply waiting for my vehicle to pass, so that she could once again resume her pursuit. A game of cat and mouse. I was the Jerry to her Tom.
My mind raced, as I tried to eliminate possible organisations and motives. She couldn’t be a spy, because the whole purpose of being a spy is to remain clandestine, not drive a fucking great Volvo right behind someone. If she had been sent to tail me covertly, then she was atrocious at her job, and would surely be eliminated by her employers before she could do any more harm to their reconnaissance.
I then wondered whether she worked for the Inland Revenue, as I had a sneaking suspicion I had buggered up my tax return in January, and vehicular intimidation certainly seemed like a tactic those unscrupulous bastards might adopt. Then again, they would never have checked my tax return as early as June, so I quickly dismissed that thought.
The fact is, every possible explanation that my mind conjured, during our twenty-mile pursuit through the Cheshire countryside (until I again lost her in Alderley Edge), was fundamentally flawed for one reason or another, and so I remained – and still remain – oblivious as to her intentions.
In some ways, this makes me more terrified, as you cannot fight what you do not understand. They are holding all the cards. My only hope, is that I can work out the identity of my pursuers, and how to stop them, before it is too late (and before this blog gets published).
It seems pointless asking you to wish me luck, since if you are reading this then my luck has run out. But, for some reason, I feel better for telling you. I hope you never read these words, and that my blog will return next week in a more light-hearted tone. I would like nothing more, than to share a childish knob-gag with you all once again.
Farewell, my friends.
(p.s. This entry – and my paranoia – has absolutely nothing to do with the fact I got a collection of James Bond audio books for Father’s Day)