Last week, a stranger entered my home. They ate all of my food and left. Earlier this week, they entered my home and used my bathroom, but didn’t flush. The smell took over my well-kept house. They took my television and antique furniture before they left.
Yesterday, I woke up to the sun shining. I slept on my mattress, which was now on the floor. Who steals a bed frame? Maybe today I’ll contact the police. I grabbed my coffee mug and turned on my coffee machine. Hey, my coffee machine is still here. I made my coffee and took a sip. Thank goodness I had coffee to drink. I walked over to my stove. Hey..my stove is here too, phew. I leaned over to my pots and pans. Oh wow, my pots and pans are here, alarm the press! Click, click, click. The flames on my stove rose up and my eggs began to cook. I played music from my phone, so grateful for each item that was remaining in my house.
I took the last bite of my food and looked over at the cabinet in my dining room. My family’s china was gone. My family photos, gone. I sank into my chair. The toast felt sharp moving down my throat. I coughed. I placed my plate and silverware in the sink.
In an attempt to make my house feel less empty, I spread out the remaining pieces of furniture. The rocking chair sat at a 45 degree angle to the wall, just as I liked it. My cat, Sprinkles, would not be happy if her favorite place to sit disappeared. The first floor must have felt vacant enough to her. I opened my computer to review my bank account.
I desperately needed more furniture. The only problem, I was wiped clean. With a remaining balance of $150, I doubt there was much I could do.
I ran to the bathroom and looked in the mirror. What is wrong with me? Why would someone do this? Splashing water in my face I leaned over to dry it and noticed a towel that wasn’t mine. Scanning the room, I also noticed a toothbrush that was not mine. Then, I noticed a variation of curly hairs scattered on the counter, those were not mine either. The thief. They had taken nearly everything I own, and are now leaving remnants of their existence in my house. Why must they taunt and torture me. “I am not welcoming you in my house!” I raised my voice as if this stranger was hiding out in my walls. Clueless as to when they were entering and leaving my home.
I slapped all of the stranger’s belongings off my bathroom counter out of sheer anger.My frustration made the floor a maze of cheap hygiene products. I did not understand why someone would do this to me.
My phone rang. It was my friend, Angel. “They must’ve come back at some point in the past few weeks. I noticed evidence of them being here.”
“Why haven’t you called the cops yet?”
“Angel, I don’t know. My house feels so empty. I don’t know why this thief would do this to me. I have to figure this out. “
“Jackie, you’re not a detective. Call someone to figure out who it is.”
Click. I hung up on Angel. Understanding she was trying to help me, I refused to listen to her. Involving her was a bad idea.
Feeling more and more drained and lethargic as the day went on, it grew difficult to figure out what else was missing from my house. I was scared to leave in case the stranger returned. Pictures were missing in my house. These were reminders of my good memories. I guess I should just forget those.
Random items in my house were missing and there were random pieces of clothing in my closet that were not mine.
Ding dong. I peeked out the front window. Would a thief ring the doorbell? It was Angel. I opened the door and signaled for her to enter. She looked around and scratched her head. Then she looked at me. I had mismatched clothes that I had been wearing for a week now. My hair was disheveled. I needed to shower. What was left of my house was a bit of a mess. I was struggling to keep together what was left of me.
“Jackie, what are you doing? I came to check on you. You’ve been short with me on the phone.” Angel began to look around. “Jackie, I don’t understand...” She walked into the kitchen. “Hmm..Jackie….”
“What? What? Angel What?”I started to walk Angel through my house, showing her the items that weren’t mine. “Were you trying to tell me something?”
Upon walking into the bathroom, Angel looked at the toothbrush. “Oh, your ex left his toothbrush here.”
Jacob, Jacob. “He’s the thief! He took everything. My photos of him and I were gone.”
“Are you sure, Jackie? Because...”
“Yes, yes. Who else could get in my house and steal things with minimal evidence? I haven’t changed the locks” I frantically walked around my house. “I let him live here. I let that man live here. I thought I knew him.”
“JACKIE! Snap out of it! Everything is still here!”
“What do you mean?” I proceeded to show her the living room. “The sofa, MISSING. The food, MISSING. The photos, MISSING.” I cried as I touched each piece of furniture. “Wait, everything is here?” I continued to cry and leaned over to hug Angel. I ran through each room and quickly collected each item that was Jacob’s and brought them to the backyard.
We started a fire just to hear each belonging crackle as it was swallowed by the burning logs. “The Jacob you knew left a long time ago. The man that made you feel like this is in a place he can never leave.” Angel rubbed my back as she pulled me closer. “I will always be here. We’ll always be here.”