In the summer of 2010 I got to experience my first nightclub on the Spanish island of Mallorca, renowned for its insane party scene. Magaluf truly did live up to its reputation. It was loud, rowdy, insane.
I was returning to the party resort a couple of nights later alongside my friends. It was the same crowd who visited last time, excluding Toni’s older brother. We had proven we didn’t need babysitting anymore.
Maybe we did.
Trust me to run into trouble.
Our night started with some drinks at the bar directly opposite from BCM nightclub called Panama Jack. Compared to BCM, it was quiet and laid-back. By quiet, the music was still absolutely blasting and the colourful disco lights were blinding but, certainly early-on in the night, the bar only had a handful of people inside.
Once we had indulged in some better alcohol than the free stuff served inside BCM, we headed over to BCM.
My heart was pounding with a mixture of nervousness and excitement.
Would tonight be as good as the previous night?
I’d certainly learnt some lessons from my first nightclub experience. Tonight I was wearing shorts. They were a far safer option than a dress which people could lift up. I also ditched the flipflops and went with some enclosed sandals. Those would not slip off my feet.
The ground beneath my feet vibrated as I made my way up the grand BCM steps. Entrance fee paid and hand stamped, it was time to push through the thick black curtains and enter the club.
It was still an amazing experience to appear in the club with lights flashing all around me and the musty smell of alcohol and sweat thick in the air.
The dancefloor was calling.
As seemed to be the protocol with our nights in Magaluf, myself and my friend Toni split up from the rest of the group to slink over to the dancefloor.
We pushed through the sea of bodies, their T-shirts slick with sweat. Satisfied we were well and truly immersed in the party, we began to dance.
I’m normally incredibly shy and don’t exactly like to put myself out there. Yet here, it was totally different. I felt like a different person. I was aware that I’d never see any of the blurred faces around me ever again. Therefore it really didn’t matter how much of a fool I made of myself. Alcohol also seemed to take the edge off my inhibition.
I loved the person who I was here. I was more confident. I didn’t hold back. I could just dance.
Almost simultaneously, myself and Toni attracted some dance partners. I felt warm hands on my waist and a body pressed against mine. I glanced over to see Toni in the same situation. I had been surprised by this the first time I had come here but now I no longer felt the urge to recoil in horror. It was time to party! So I swung my hips, I flicked my hair, I swayed on my legs. It was probably some god-awful dancing but who cared?
Suddenly, I felt a shove in the back of me and the guy behind me was flung away with a thud. What the? Out of the corner of my eye I was able to see his startled expression before he melted away into the crowd.
I had no time to think. Another pair of hands was now wrapped around my waist and a body was trying to echo my hip movements.
I risked a glance behind me to see a man, several years older than myself, with sweaty black hair under a huge pastel-pink cowboy hat.
He must have really wanted to dance with me. I thought to myself, slightly confused why he would be so keen. You see, I didn’t have any self-confidence.
So I continued dancing, not really thinking too much more of it.
A few minutes later, it was time for a change of scenery so Toni grabbed my hand and we began to push our way through the crowd.
We found ourselves at one of the club’s many bars and leant on the sticky black table, poised for ordering drinks.
Out of the corner of my eye, I noticed movement. The guy who I had just been dancing with was suddenly perched at the bar only a few feet away from me, staring intently. His brown eyes seemed to singe into me and I flinched.
The weirdest part was he didn’t speak.
Toni must have noticed him too as she began to squeeze my hand and shoot me concerned expressions.
Suddenly, he took off his pink cowboy hat and placed it onto my head. I smiled back politely, pretending to be amused. Curse my British politeness! Inside I kinda wanted to get as far away from him as possible.
Still he didn’t speak.
I turned to Toni and attempted to talk to her, trying to take my mind of the weird situation I seemed to have found myself in and was proving utterly useless at getting out of.
Our drinks had arrived so I picked up my plastic cup, feeling a little less awkward now that I had something in my hands.
An arm reach across and threw the hat off my head in a sharp, aggressive manner. I recoiled in shock and refused to glance back.
“Let’s move.” I nudged Toni.
We made our way across the club where we found the rest of our group: Elle, Lisa and Kay.
I felt something was off so risked a glance behind me. Oh shit! He was actually following me.
I started talking to Elle, Lisa and Kay, doing everything to keep my mind off the creepy guy who was standing next to me. I could feel his eyes burning a hole in my head.
I glanced. Yep, he was staring at me. Silently.
Under the blaring of the music, I managed to inform the others of my slight issue. To my surprise, they simply laughed. It’s not funny! I wanted to wail.
I downed my drink.
Then I heard a voice from beside me. “Do you want to dance?”
So he does speak!
This would have been the perfect opportunity to tell him that I wasn’t interested, or lie and say I had a boyfriend or liked girls or anything. But no. I agreed to dance with him. I agreed to dance with him!? Why on earth? Well, to start with, I’m painfully polite and secondly, I naively thought that maybe dancing with him would be enough to satisfy his creepy stalker needs.
I at least had the sense to grab Toni’s hand and drag her with me so at least I had some backup.
I followed my stalker to the dancefloor. I noticed his sour expression when he saw I’d brought a friend with me.
He put his hands on my waist and began to grind against me. I felt painfully uncomfortable. I wasn’t attracted to him in the least and he wasn’t showing me that he had the finest personality either. I did not want to be dancing with him. Oh, god! Ella why did you agree to dance with him?!
Suddenly, he leant in and tried to kiss me.
Oh hell no! Quick as a flash, I turned my head to one side and his lips planted themselves on my cheek.
I looked over to Toni, certain my eyes were wild with fear. I knew my stalker was within ear-shot so I mouthed to her let’s go.
She nodded. Thank goodness she understood me!
I turned to my stalker. “I’m just going to the toilet.” It was a great excuse to leave! He’d never follow me there.
I didn’t hang around to see his reaction, I grabbed Toni’s hand and we began to push through the crowd in the direction of the toilets.
I risked a glance behind me, fully expecting the coast to be clear.
My eyes widened in utter horror. He was following us to the bathroom!
“He’s following!” I yelped, unable to hide the alarm from my voice.
My heart was pounding in my chest. I was scared now.
We began to run, carefully dodging partygoers until we finally made it to the safety of the girls’ bathroom. Well, I say safety but nowhere felt safe now.
“What do I do?” I wailed, unable to keep a whine of desperation from my voice.
Instead of a verbal response, Toni started laughing. Why was everyone finding this so funny?
I peeped out of the bathroom door and laid eyes on a pastel-pink cowboy hat. Oh, for fuck’s sakes! He was actually waiting outside the bathroom for me.
Why couldn’t I have just told him I didn’t want to dance? You stupid, stupid moron.
Our solution was to wait in the bathroom for a while. Surely he’d get bored and leave?
So we waited.
I took another peep out of the door. But he was still there!
This boy just wasn’t going to give up.
It was clear he wasn’t going to leave so we waited until he was looking in the opposite direction before making our escape.
I ran faster than I’ve ever run before, back into the dark nightclub where I hoped we’d melt amongst the crowd.
I turned around, relieved for the first time not to see that stupid pink cowboy hat.
We found the rest of our group by the bar and I allowed myself to relax.
But it wasn’t over yet.
The horrific pink hat appeared on the horizon and my stomach sank.
My stalker was marching round the perimeter of the club now to look for me, his face red with anger and his eyes wide as they scanned their surroundings.
He passed us.
By some miracle, he hadn’t noticed me and marched on, continuing his search.
This was the turning point for the rest of the girls. Now everyone looked terrified and we bunched closer together in fear.
Only a few moments had passed and the stalker appeared again, on his second lap of the club.
This boy really could not take a hint.
This time he noticed me.
My breath caught in my throat as I met his wild brown eyes and he began to power-march towards me. I was frozen to the spot, like a deer caught in the headlights of a car. I felt utterly, utterly helpless to the mess I had unknowingly got myself in.
Elle grabbed by hand and screamed “RUN!”
It was just what I needed. In synchrony we all bolted, racing through the disorientating strobe lighting and pushing past sweaty bodies.
I turned to look over my shoulder to see he was running behind us. He was actually chasing us.
I charged through the black curtains, the sound of my companions’ footsteps all around me.
I’d never been so relieved to be racing through the foyer towards the entrance. I no longer saw him out the corner of my eye, suggesting he was trailing behind a bit.
I halted beside one of the club’s bouncers who was by the entrance. “There’s a guy.” I panted. “He’s been following me all night.” I needed to catch a breath. “Please don’t let him come after us.”
The bouncer nodded reassuringly.
I spotted pink out of the corner of my eye and raced down the stone steps at break-neck speed. I noted that the rest of my friends were with me. We were all here.
We dodged traffic as we crossed the road before finally stopping for breath at Panama Jack.
I turned to look back at BCM, spotting the pastel-pink cowboy hat standing at the entrance. The bouncer had his arm blocking the doorway in front of him.
My stalker bobbed aggressively, shaking his arms in frantic motions. I could clearly picture his wild, menacing eyes and bright red face.
What a night.