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I need to write this because I'm scared, and I don't know if this is even real. Let me explain:
I got married when I was 18, right out of high school. Now, five years later, we're still in love, still broke, and still in college. I'm in my last year of undergrad as an art education major. He started his first year of med school just two months ago.
And we're just your average married couple. Sometimes we fight, but that's just part of being together. Nothing too catastrophic. Just the regular name-calling, door-slamming, glass-breaking fights that end with "baby I'm sorry" when we make-up in a couple of hours.
We used to have bad, bad fights in the first year we were married. It was rough, you know? We were just two broke kids paying rent and tuition for the first time, coupled with the stress of keeping high GPAs to appease our parents, who were still dismayed at the fact that we tied the knot—not to mention that we had only given them one week's notice before having a courthouse wedding. We were bound to have some knock-down-drag-outs.
To make matters worse, I was contending with near crippling anxiety attacks a couple times a week. They were mostly brought on by our fights, or when I was cramming for school, but sometimes they would just happen. I thought there was nothing worse than that tight feeling in my throat and chest, the uncontrollable shaking and contorting, being completely drenched in thick, cold sweat, and the horrible, unbearable hyperventilation, that left me completely helpless. And then the aftermath—waking up exhausted, bones aching, and head throbbing. Until tonight, I was convinced that this was the worst thing that could ever happen to me.
Earlier today, I had a fight with my husband. It was about seven. We were just snuggling on the couch, watching TV in our underwear. That's when he made the face.
You see, my husband likes to scare me. He thinks it's so funny. And with me being such an easy target, he always gets a kick out of it. No, he's not violent or anything like that. It's just little things that make me jump and scream.
It started with the jump scares. We lived with my grandma in a gigantic, maze-like farmhouse right after we married. And every now and then, when I turned a corner, he'd jump out and yell "AH!" and laugh hysterically. It was so easy for him to scare me, that sometimes, when it was all dark and quiet, while we were laying together in bed, he'd suddenly jolt his body, squeeze me, and yell, just to get me to jump out of my skin. And I was ok with that—it was cute, and sometimes I could get him back with the same trick. It was a funny, scary game that was good for a cheap laugh.
But then he found other ways to get me. He could just make that face. I swear to god that he is a different person when he makes that face. I know I sound ridiculous, but it's unbelievably creepy.
We'll just be laughing, hanging out, talking, and then he'll do it just to scare me. His face will be a couple inches from mine. Just picture that in itself. As you might know, when you're that close to another person's face, it's all you can see. There's nothing else in your field of vision except for someones face, and just that can be slightly overwhelming. I'm really close with my husband, and I'm not bothered by having his face right in front of me at all, but not when he's doing this:
All of the sudden, he will smile. Not a happy smile. It's an ear-to-ear, full teeth, stretched out smile. A tense, unyielding, creepy-clown smile. Then his eyes, wide open but glazed over, would roll down and cross. And then, as he slowly got closer to my face, he would simultaneously tilt his head and roll his eyes all the way back until I was looking at the bloodshot whites of his eyes.
It really, really creeps me out.
Then he'll just snap out of it and laugh. And I'll laugh with him, but inside I'll feel all wrong. I know he loves me. I know he's just screwing around because he know I'm so easy to scare. But part of me thinks that when my husband makes that face, he's not the same. I just have this feeling, deep in my gut, that the part of my husband that compels him to twist his face into that evil smile, shouldn't be there.
I can think of a couple times that stand out above the rest.
One time I was laying on the bed. It was the early hours of the morning, maybe like three or four. He was standing in the doorway of the bedroom, and I was looking at him. That's when he did something horrific. He did the face, exactly as I described it. Then, he put his had on the light switch. While very rapidly flipping the light swich on and off, making his creepy face, my husband suddenly became a crouching demon that was moving an inch closer to me in every millisecond that I could see him, coupled with alternating milliseconds of complete darkness. This unreal horror scene ended in approximately two seconds when I screamed bloody murder, and immediately stared to hyperventilate. I'm surprised that the neighbors didn't call the cops.
Another time, I was showering. It was like three in the afternoon. The bathroom in our apartment is small, and I never close the door, because it makes me claustrophobic. Anyway, it was all quiet. I thought that he was asleep. The lights went out in the bathroom. It was very dark for the middle of the day. I pulled the curtain open, and there he was, making the face. I screamed and threw my bar of soap at him.
The creepiest time had to be this one time, when we were sleeping in bed. I had woke up in the night. It was mostly dark, the moon must have been out because there was a soft, blue glow about the room. I closed my eyes and rolled over, closer to my husband and snuggled up to him. I opened my eyes. His face was directly in front of me. He was making the face. My breath caught in my throat. I laid there for what felt like an hour, wide awake, looking at my husband's unwavering smile and the whites of his eyes. But the creepiest part, is that without moving his expression, he just rolled over and settled into the little spoon position. I was positive that his face was still contorted as I laid there, wide awake for the rest of the night.
Anyway, tonight, he made the face, and I snapped. I yelled at him. There would be no laughing at my fear tonight. I couldn't handle it anymore. I grabbed my keys and my wallet off of the counter, and slammed the door in his face.
I'm sitting in my car, fumbling with my keys and muttering under my breath. I know that really bothers him when I leave the house half way through an argument, but I need space. I can't look at him right now and see my husband. All I can see is that creepy face. All I can feel is just a bad gut feeling that something is wrong with him. I finally shove my key in the ignition. My car sputters as it starts reluctantly. I jam the car into reverse, put my foot on the gas, and glance in the review mirror. I immediately double-take and scream out loud. I saw my husband standing directly behind my car, head cocked, with that crazed, disturbed smile. I swear his eyes are looking completely opposite directions before they roll back all the way, and become only white pools streaked with red veins. To make matters worse, my immediate reaction is to slam on the gas, screaming at the top of my lungs. My blood is completely cold, my hands clenched on the wheel, completely unable to breathe, as I realize that the speed bump that I'd just ran completely over with my car, was the body of my husband.
I just sit there. I can't move. I can't breathe. My blood isn't moving. It's curdled in my veins.
I just hit the love of my life, my best friend, with my crappy Chevy Impala, and now I'm looking at his body and he's not moving either. I know he can't move. He can't breathe. His blood isn't moving in his veins. Its pooling around his body in the parking lot of our apartment complex.
And then, I slowly put the car into gear, and drive slowly out of the parking lot and up the road. I was numb. I couldn't feel anything.
It was getting light out when I pulled back into the parking lot. I was expecting crime scene tape and blue flashing lights. Nothing. I was expecting officers to jump my car and rip the Dunkin Donuts coffee cup from my hands and throw me into a cop car. Nothing. I pulled my car into my spot in front of our apartment. Nothing.
I was moving so slowly. I unlocked the door. I sat down on the couch. I didn't move. I was so certain that I had accidentally murdered my husband with my car for making a stupid scary face, and I was going to go to sit in a psych ward for the rest of my life.
I heard stirring upstairs. Footsteps. He walked down the stairs. He ran to the couch and hugged my cold, tense, sweating body. He was warm.
"Baby I'm so sorry. You were out all night. Why don't you take a nap before class and I'll make you breakfast. You must be exhausted from driving all night."
I just looked at him. He's my husband, no doubt about it. I have no idea who or what I hit with my car. I'm terrified he'll make the face again. I close my eyes and lay down on the couch as he kisses the top of my head. I can see it now. The next time he makes the face, I know what I will see. It will be that same twisted, creepy face, but with a broken, bloody nose and a raw, flesh-deep brush burn up the side of his face. I'm so scared.