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Fiction Mystery

I am well aware of my paranoia. I’ve always known that I was overly cautious, when I was peeking around the corner before exiting my room or questioning the teachers when they were trying to help me. But now, no one can tell me that I’m being dramatic or being paranoid. They cannot deny the fact that there IS somebody following me and somebody plotting my demise.

The past few months, something has been off. At first, I would just hear footsteps behind me when walking around at night. I never saw anyone, but I could sense another presence. Then, it got worse. I would see the same figure every time I walked around, a similar person when taking the T. Two months ago, I woke up to find that the tape I put on my door every night was broken. I panicked. I called everyone I knew, asking if they went into my room that night even though I already knew the answer. I thought more. Maybe I was sleepwalking. That day, I installed an old fashioned security camera that I had gotten in a vintage shop. Right before I fell asleep that night, I thought I could feel someone breathing onto my face.

I woke up the next morning hoping that I had imagined the person next to me. During breakfast, I checked the security camera only to find that it had shut off. It was old, but this shouldn’t have happened. I thought back to the hot air next to my face last night and knew I couldn’t have imagined it. Someone was following me, probably watching me right now. My breath hitched, and suddenly my scrambled eggs felt sour in my mouth. I thought back to the person I thought I kept on seeing on the T, the creaks I would hear on the staircase when I was changing, the tape broken on the door. But nothing could’ve prepared me for what would come next.

Last month when I got home from university, I crashed. I was exhausted, but I remember all the details even now. It was around 5 pm, and I didn’t have time to do anything before I fell asleep in bed. When I woke up the next morning though, I saw a piece of tape in my bedroom doorway. It wasn’t the kind that I usually used, but it was there. I remembered thinking back to the broken tape, security camera, and the last evening. Somebody was trying to trick me, and it was the same person who had been following me. I took a shaky breath and walked over to my bathroom to take my morning shower. I turned on the hot water, hoping that nobody was watching right now. Halfway through, I thought I could hear footsteps by my door. All my thoughts jumped to the same place. Someone was still here, outside. My heart leapt into my throat. I tried to keep silent until the footsteps went away, just like I had practiced all those times before when I was scared of being killed in my home. Looking into the mirror after I stepped out, something was off. There were lines in the mirror, forming into letters, forming into words. Words that spelled out You can’t hide.

My heart skipped a beat. I tried to take deep breaths, but it was harder than expected. Calm down. You’ve prepared for this before. Trying to behave as usual, I stepped out of my bathroom, changed, and went to my phone. Quickly, I texted my mom.

-Mom. Someone’s here. Please come quick.

-Stop it, Lily. Don’t be paranoid. It’s not that big of a deal.

-Mom, I’m not kidding. It’s real this time. I got out of my shower and saw words in my mirror. They said “You can’t hide”. What does that mean, mom? I’m scared. Help me.

-Lily, this isn’t funny. Stop trying to prank me. I’m serious.

-I’m not trying to be funny. I’m not trying to prank you. Someone is actually here. I don’t know if I’m going to make it out alive. Please, mom. Please.

-Don’t be foolish. I’m not going to go over there just because you’re scared again.

-Please

-No. Don’t text me just because you’re paranoid again.

That was it. I wasn’t going to survive the night. I went through my emergency plans. I could go over to someone’s house, but what if they were this person here with me or what if they got hurt too? That couldn’t happen. All I could do was write my last wishes and hope for the best. Just like I had planned all those times before, right? Nothing big. All of a sudden, my vision went dark.

Two weeks ago, I woke up in a bed that was not mine. I stretched, trying to recall the details of what had happened before. Had I been kidnapped? Where was I? I looked out the window of the tiny apartment bedroom I was in. There was a beautiful city skyline backlit by the midday sun. I didn’t recognize any of the buildings, but there were skyscrapers all around. What had happened to me? I got out of the bed then walked into the bathroom to look in the mirror. When I saw my reflection, I almost screamed.

To me, the face that reflected back to me was unknown. Its eyes were blue and hooded, unlike my small brown ones. It was angular and model-like, while mine was round. I was confused. How did this even happen? The body I was in did not resemble my own in any way, and I had never seen the city I was in. Then someone knocked on the door of the apartment. I went over, trying to quiet the thoughts in my head. I opened the door. The man on the other side greeted me as Angelica, and asked for help on next week’s quiz. I was confused. I told him that I didn’t have time and closed the door. Throughout the next week, people kept coming to the door asking for help. I didn’t know what to make of this, and turned away each one. The people started coming less and less.

Now, I am lost. I still do not know who I am and where I have gone. My memory has been strange the past few days. I have been forgetting the things from when I was the person named Lily. I remember the figure in her house, stalking me. I remember waking up in someone else’s bed and not knowing where I was. But, I can’t remember much else. I have been tracking my memories to make sure that I do not forget everything, to make sure that I can still go back. It has been two weeks since I woke up here and it has been 5 months since I first sensed something off. I need help, but I do not know who to ask.

I will wait patiently until a solution or culprit presents themself. Until then however, I am content with staying in this tiny apartment, collecting my thoughts. I hope to reconnect with myself again someday.

January 27, 2023 20:40

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5 comments

Sylph Fox
11:16 Feb 07, 2023

Hi Sophie, My name is Sylph Fox, and I am a new audiobook narrator with a mission to bring the most amazing stories to life for our listeners. Your writing style is engaging, truly captivating, and thoroughly entertaining. I host a podcast where I narrate great stories for the audience, and I would love the opportunity to bring your work to life. Your writing style is so vivid, and I believe it would translate beautifully to an audio format. I believe that this would be a great opportunity for you to reach a wider audience and to showca...

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Sophie F
00:15 Feb 12, 2023

Hi Sylph, Thank you for your kind comments! I am looking forward to hearing your podcast episode. Sophie

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Sylph Fox
08:32 Sep 29, 2023

Hey Sophie, I have published the story on my podcast. Thanks for the lovely story! Apple Podcast: https://podcasts.apple.com/au/podcast/codename-sylph-fox/id1667146729?i=1000629621962 Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/episode/3PEcUtApfpY4myFsJgwdz7?si=c75e97c98c5c49e6 Thanks, Sylph

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Wendy Kaminski
13:41 Jan 30, 2023

Mysterious! Definitely a story that leaves you wanting to know more! Welcome to Reedsy!

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Sophie F
20:46 Feb 07, 2023

Thank you!

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