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I'm nervous to write this, even when I know I'm safe at work. With the fluorescent lights and constant bustle of people in and out of the office. I worry that by the time I'm home he'll be there. He's always there.
He would never dare make an appearance in the daytime. He only appears when I'm totally alone, and he knows I can't ignore him. He feeds off my fear, and off my weakness and vulnerability. When I'm home alone, on the couch with the TV and the lamps on I often forget he's there. I'm totally engrossed in some crap TV show, sinking into my couch, completely relaxed and comfortable. But then I hear something, something that didn't come from the TV. A small shuffling noise that lets me know I'm not alone. I forgot I wasn't alone, forgot that he lives in my tiny basement apartment with me. I'm always paralyzed by fear when I hear the scratch or shuffle of him moving. I've never seen him move, but I hear him, I recognize the sound, and feel the shift in the room and in the air as he makes his presence known. I turn around and try to look at him but the room behind me is dark. I think I see him move in the corner of the room but when I look its just darkness. The shapes of my furniture in the dark begin to morph into the image of his face. Or at least what I think is his face, but it's nothing but bed sheets or a pile of laundry on a chair.
I get up to turn on another lamp. I always turn the lights on as I move through the apartment to ensure I'm never in the dark when I'm alone. When I go to sleep is the only time it is completely dark. But even then, the lights from the street shine through my window, providing me with some vision in the dark. I always face away from the door when I go to sleep because I know that's where he likes to stand and watch me. But sometimes I can't get to sleep with the overwhelming feeling of him there in the room. I turn over to try to see if he's there, but it's too dark. I can feel his dark presence standing tall in the corner. Shoulders hunched, head down, but his eyes up as he looks at me. It terrifies me. Why is he here? What does he want?
I turn the bedside lamp on quickly and he's gone. I'm alone. I get up to check that my door is locked. Again, turning lights on as I go. Inspecting every corner for his presence, but there's no one there. When I get back into bed I shut the lamp off, pull the covers up high over my head and try to forget about him. Try to ignore the impending feeling that he's standing over me right now. Is he standing over me? I can feel his hand reach over me, but never touch me. I'm too scared to move in case he's really that close. I tell myself to ignore him and go to sleep. I try to concentrate on another thought. Something lighter, something comforting, until I finally fall asleep.
It's still dark out when my alarm goes off. I shut it off and immediately turn on the lamp and scan the room for him. He's nowhere to be seen. It's too small of a room for him to be hiding somewhere. The lights follow me to the bathroom where I get ready. With the lights on I know he's not here. But then I think of the closet... What if he decided to hide in there while I slept, and now he's waiting for me? I open the double doors fast, but there's no one in there. He's gone for now. Until tonight.