I don’t know how much time I have. Things have been getting weirder and weirder and it could just be that I’m freaking myself out, but I… I just want to get it all down. Make a record. Even if it’s sloppy because of how fast I want to get it down, I don’t care. Something. Before it’s too late…
I couldn’t tell you when the weird started. It was too many little things, all at the same time. I just sort of learned to live with them. Was it the chipping paint in the corner? Or the fog on the bathroom mirror that I chalked up to bad plumbing. Or was it the window that would never quite shut all the way. I don’t know. Like I said, I couldn’t tell you when it all started. What I can tell you is when I noticed it.
It was somewhere around two months after we moved in. My boyfriend and I. We moved into this shitty little single efficiency just far away from a school building to be considered off campus—Wyoming Rentals. To say the place was a dump was putting it lightly. The bed frames were unfinished plywood. The doorknob was just for show. The hot water picked and chose when it wan’t to warm your bones. And then there were the little things. I guess when you look at a place that you’re expecting to be a shithole, you kind of expect all those little things to be there. The outlets will spark, the bugs will bite, and the neighbors will always be too loud when you’re too tired to do anything about it.
It was actually a friend of mine who made me think of it. She had used the bathroom after me as soon as we got in the door and didn’t say a word. I was positive she would have, too. She was the type of person to complain about anything inconvenient, and a foggy mirror in her powder room would have been unforgivable. I asked her about it later and she didn’t know what I was talking about. She said it was clear, there was no fog. Maybe it was just you, she had said.
That’s what got me thinking.
My first thought was the window—the only window in the dingy, little apartment—and how it never shut all the way. I would go to bed, Tyler would be snoring soundly beside me, and I would see the window open. Now, I was sure I had closed it before I went to bed. But I never thought twice about it. It was just springy or something.
And the paint on the wall; it was by no means a professional job, but the spot where it was peeling and the rate the bald patch of wall was growing… I can’t believe I didn’t notice it earlier. My friend’s visit got me to thinking, but that’s not what got me to notice. I watched one night by the light of the street lamps outside as a thin strip of the cheap paint peeled down the wall. Tears ran down my face and it was immediately ten degrees colder. I shook Tyler but he didn’t wake up. I was too afraid to move any bigger. I closed my eyes and eventually worried myself to sleep. The next morning the paint wasn’t peeled and I passed the event off as a dream.
But I didn’t stop thinking about it.
This was two months after we moved in. A week later (last Friday, the 21) my stuffed bear went missing. I’ve had this bear since birth, literally, and I was devastated. I started bawling and told Tyler that it wasn’t funny. We had talked about the paint peeling and he told me it was weird, but I must have dreamt it. The evidence just wasn’t there. The next day my bear was in the bathroom under the sink. I was so mad at him. I screamed and told him he needed to go. We were arguing by the front door. The bathroom door slammed shut behind me, and the light turned on.
A draft can’t turn the lights on.
He left. He said I should come with him, but I didn’t. I had too much work to do and thought it would be fine. I was still so mad about my stupid bear.
And then last night…. o my god. I don’t wnat to even think about it, but you need to know. I was sitting at my desk, facing the window that wasn’t quite shut. I was working on a paper due tomorrow about Peter Pan. It was late. I felt the temperature drop again and I started shivering. My skin was crawling. I thought I heard something… like alow rumble, like Tyler’s snores or something, but softer and right behind me. There was nothing n the reflection.
I felt it breathe on me.
Was it even breathing? Was it even alive?
I don’t know.
The lights won’t work and I’ve got a bag packed to take home with me.
I hope that I
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