I don’t know when it started, but in hindsight I remember vividly the first time I noticed, really noticed. He could have been stalking for weeks before then, months even. How would I know, why would I even suspect such a thing?

We were at the local pub, primed for a night of revelry. The season was over and we had taken the final in a cliff-hanger. The whole team was there and Marty was in fine form, holding court as usual. I was making good progress with Sarah, a Physics Major with a brain the size of a planet and a wicked set of dimples. It had taken me over an hour just to pluck up the courage to talk to her, but I was glad I had. Normally, I broke out in a sweat just thinking about what to say, but not that night. That night I was on fire emboldened by her easy smiled and attentive nature. I was having such a good time.

Then in the blink of an eye it all turned to shit. I can’t even remember what he said, what he did, just an angry little man with a chip on his shoulder. It ended with a fight, though, and lots of blood. We all survived to party another day, but I blew it with Sarah.

Weeks passed before I saw him again, it was at the pub again. He turned up halfway through the night and was in fine form, full of abuse and vitriol. Like a hate filled tornado, leaving nothing but destruction in his wake. A fight was only avoided by to the timely actions of the bouncers. God bless them.

This time he didn't stay away. Every time I went out he was there. I didn't know who he was or where he came from, but it didn't matter. He had chosen me. Within weeks, my favourite pastime had been poisoned beyond repair. I stopped going to the pub in an effort to stay away from him. It didn't work, though. He found me again.

I started to see him around the neighbourhood. Not every day at first and usually after dark. It was the occasional glimpse of his sneer at the local take-out or his acid tongue reverberating off the alley walls on the way home. At first I thought I was imagining it, lingering anxiety from the hurt he had caused. It wasn't.

He toyed with me for weeks, driving me mad with his cat and mouse games. Watching and waiting for me to let my guard down, catching me at my most vulnerable. I started to see him during the day on the weekends – in the common rooms, at the park, sitting too close at a café.

Then he invaded my work, appearing from time to time to arrogantly cut people down with his acid tongue. Before I knew it, it was all the time. Everything I did, he was there, staring over my shoulder, poisoning the office. Nothing I did was good enough, nothing I said. My father’s disappointment in me from my adolescent years echoed in my mind.

The click of the bolt reverberates like a cell door closing. Am I safe now - of course not. I didn’t lock the doors to keep him out. I locked them to keep him in.

I hate him. How could I not, after everything he is and everything he has done. Only now, as I stare into his hate filled eyes do I understand. Only now, after my life has been utterly destroyed do I see. A single moment of clarity to show what might have been, the path to salvation that might have been taken. He stands there, daring me to take it, if I’m strong enough. He knows I’m not. That’s why he’s daring me. One final taunt before he ends me.

Tonight he will finally end my misery and I will welcome it. There will be no investigation, though, no trial. With my passing he will simply move onto his next victim, with complete impunity. Oh, how I had such grand aspersions. What a legacy I intended to leave. That was before him, though, before he took control of my life. My legacy will be pain and pity, for those who choose to remember me at all.

Who is he? He is me, of course. A version of me I found first in a little pill. That was back when I thought I was in control, when I though this other me was fun to be. I was never in control, though. I realise that now.