Gee hid behind George Hennings Hall. This time of night very few students or faculty were around. George Hennings Hall had been around since Kean University first established itself as one of New Jersey’s top institutes of higher learning – tonight it was a hiding spot. Gee had a problem like most young men in college – he parked his car whether the spot was designated for parking or not. Gee felt with the amount of tuition he forked over each semester, why should he have to walk so far to class. He permitted himself special parking privileges. Gee’s propensity for being late is what sparked his necessity for special parking privileges. His special parking privileges racked up countless parking tickets. Said tickets were the root cause of hiding behind George Hennings Hall at this very late hour.

One morning a few weeks back, Gee was attempting to park illegally when a young nondescript man with tan skin, glasses, short dark hair and wearing an official blue Kean University uniform jumped into his car before he could park. “Good morning,” said the young man to Gee. “I’m your new parking buddy. I’m hear to make sure you find a proper parking spot. I have it already picked out and waiting.” The parking buddy had all the proper Kean University credentials. On a personal tablet, the parking buddy brought up a list containing dozens of parking offenses Gee had accumulated during the semester. The parking buddy guided Gee to a proper parking spot that morning.

In the days following, no matter how hard Gee tried to outsmart the parking buddy to park somewhere illegal, there he was. Glasses on, smiling and on one occasion holding a cup of Gee’s favorite coffee. The parking buddy told Gee that they knew what flavors he purchased from the data taken during his spending on campus. “We know everything about you,” said the parking buddy.

The parking buddy entered Gee’s personal life more and more each day – whether he parked illegally or not. One evening after class the parking buddy was waiting for him by his car. “I thought you might forget your books.” The parking buddy had them. “I also contacted your mother to let her know you might be late to dinner due to traffic.   Shame … her diabetes and all.”

Gee was hiding behind the dumpster near George Hennings Hall because the parking buddy was now engrained in his life. It started with parking tickets and now he was embedded in every facet of Gee’s life. Gee was only trying to make it home. He parked legally had had been doing so ever since the parking buddy refused to go away.

Gee raced out into the open from behind George Hennings Hall, sprinting for his car in the parking lot. Once exposed, the parking buddy appeared – and he wasn’t alone. Gee looked about. He recognized some in the surrounding crowd from class. “You’re all parking buddies?” Gee asked aloud.

“Yes…and you will be too.”