I don’t know. Have you ever had that feeling that you’re being watched? Like, someone’s following you, or every time you turn around someone just looked away? It’s strange, but that’s how I’ve felt for the past few weeks. At first I thought it was flattering. Maybe I had a secret admirer? And who doesn’t like it when people seem to start noticing you more? It’s a big boost to your confidence. I was walking taller, a skip in my step, a smile on my lips, but still, it seemed a bit odd to me.
It started off simply enough: people would wave and say hi to me on Locust, people I didn’t even know. I thought they were just being friendly or had mistaken me for someone else, but sometimes they would address me by name. “Hey Pete, how’s it going?” “Uh, fine, I guess. I’m sorry, do I know you?” I mean, once or twice might be normal, but this was happening over and over again. I was really getting confused, but didn’t think much of it.
And that’s when the gifts started. One day I went back to my room and there was a tiny chess piece keychain sitting outside my door with a note addressed to me: “A King for my King. XOXO.” I still don’t know who put it there. Other things too: movies, a sports jersey — they would just show up in my hall sometimes, each with a different note, each in different handwriting. I was really starting to get freaked out. I was being Punk’d, right?
Apparently not. In class, there would be notes written on the desks I usually sat in. “Pete is 2 cute!” “I heart Pete.” “Marry me, Pete.” One time, I saw a dark–haired artsy girl taking pictures of me after class. I had finally had enough when an outspoken blonde girl and a Spanish–speaking senorita started giggling at me when we were in an elevator together. “What is it?! Why are you laughing? What do you people want?!” They just laughed and got off at their floor.
Maybe all this attention isn’t bad? Was I the new king bee? Penn can be cliquey, but I never thought of myself as one of those people that everyone knows. I think I’ll take my newfound attention in stride. Being one of the most sought–after people on campus is great! Parties open to me, compliments fall at my feet. It’s exhausting.