This is my worst nightmare.
I’m alone, in the middle of an alleyway, way after the sun has clocked out. There’s one street lamp, but it taunts me. “I can just choose not to flicker back on. I can just go out for good, and you won’t even be able to see a foot in front of you.” There’s patches of grass and dirt hugging the brick walls that are at my sides.
Thought: Ahead, or backwards. Your only two options. Make the right choice.
I reach up to adjust the glasses on my face, but of course they aren’t there. They’re never on my face. My mother would be judging me right now. “What’s the point in buying you glasses if you’re never gonna use ‘em? Who just likes not being able to see?” I always feel weird when she says that, like it’s borderline problematic.
I start walking ahead, to the street in front of me. And even though I know I have nothing, I feel around to take stock of what I have to defend myself. I wish my brain could’ve made me have a knife, or at the very least, pepper spray. But, it’s like I’m incapable of making sure I’m somewhat safe and ok.
I already know he’s right around the corner. I consider turning around, but I’ve tried this before. I’ve tried to find another way home, but there was no use. I have to go forward to get home. My legs threaten to stop working. Make a new decision they urge.
I continue walking. There’s a few whispers, but none makes sense to me. They may just be the wind. They have to be. Don’t scare yourself anymore than you already are.
I feel like I should run. I hate running. But, you run when you’re scared. You run when you have no self defense skills, or tools on you. You run when you need to get to get home in the middle of the night. You run when you don’t trust the light you’re dependent on.
There are certain people who can control what they see and hear. There are certain people who can calm themselves, and make sure they don’t have a panic attack. I’m not either of those types of people.
When my brain starts to stir up something, I’m at its mercy.
I start to run and try to pretend I’ll get to my house without bumping into the man. He won’t be there.
I reach the end of the alleyway and look to my left. There’s the sidewalk. I look to my right, there’s darkness. I look ahead, there’s a house.
“We’re all just forgetting things. The longer you live, the more you forget.” His voice sounds like gravel, and comes out almost like a wheeze. He’s what a smoker sounds like to me.
The man materializes about six feet in front of me. He walks on his hands, and from the way his body is positioned, I can tell he came from my right. My vision isn’t that good, but it’s good enough to make out his stomach has sweat dripping down it. I’ve never seen him sweat. Maybe that’s just my brain coming up with something new. Or maybe, I simply don’t remember it.
Thought: Smile. Be pleasant. Tell him to have a nice night, and keep walking.
No words come out, but I attempt to smile. I walk straight ahead; my knees knock and wobble. He moves slightly out of the way.
I notice the wind moving, and my body feels like when you lower your body into cold water on a hot day. The wind says something. Not a voice. There’s no one else around. “We haven’t seen you in awhile.”
I look up at the house. Three stories. Originally painted bright daisy yellow, but it has long turned into the yellow from a dried marker. My mother sleeps inside. My room is right above hers. My bladder knocks before I can knock. There’s no key, I lost it a few days ago.
Thought: I haven’t been here in awhile. I’ve been staying up late and passing out whenever I can. Nothing comes of my dreams. There’s only darkness.
I try the doorknob. It twists all the way, and I almost leap out of my shoes with joy.
“We love you.” The wind and the man say. I want to tell them to leave me alone forever.
When I open the door, my eyes open.
I know there’s no use in me trying to move. My legs feel like bricks, and my chest feels like someone is lying on top of me. Not the good kind though, like when my little brother was a baby and insisted on sleeping on my chest almost every night. He’d never admit to that now though.
Once when I confided in my friend Corrie, and told her all about my horrifying night, she cocked her head back and laughed so hard milk shot out her mouth and nose. As she cleaned herself up and tried to calm down she said, “You experienced BDSM with a ghost. I didn’t know you were such a freak.” Then she winked at me and all throughout the day she pretended to sling a whip at me.
I laughed and pulled my sleeves to cover my trembling hands.
Tonight, I can somewhat hear Russian. It’s one of those nights. The extra weird ones.
A lady says something that I can understand. I promise I can, but in the morning her words will not be Google-able.
I’ve considered taking a course of Duolingo, but figured I’ll never be able to remember her words anyway, so there’s no use in torturing myself.
Thought: What if she wants to sacrifice you?
My heart quickens.
Thought: heart attack?
Thought: can’t be
Thought: Move, try to move. How does your arm feel? If it hurts, you’re having a heart attack.
My mouth opens.
Russian lady says something.
I black out.
Whoever made Apple’s alarm clock needs to have the night I just had...a billion times.
I feel around the bed for my phone. My eyes haven’t fully opened because I’m afraid that once they do, my body will realize how tired it is.
My memory is blurred, but there’s no time to sit and think about anything.
I find my phone, and click the button on the side. I open my eyes completely. The brightness causes me to hiss.
There’s a text from Corrie.
Message: Stayed up all night studying for our math test. I better pass. I’m so sleepy!
What math test?
This is my worst nightmare