You don’t remember, do you?
About the window, the bathroom, the things… You don’t remember.
Did you forget already? You must have. Maybe you’ve tucked the memory away. I couldn’t blame you.
You do not recall the shadow stretching from behind you. You saw it for just a second, a glimpse in the flickering light of an old lamp. Trust me, you did see it. It was not that long ago, you definitely thought you saw it… and then of course you dismissed it as late night paranoia, it is something that happens after all – walking the street at night, going back after an evening out, and feeling like you should watch your back, feeling like you’re being followed, like you may get mugged, or worse, within the next few minutes. But then we all dismiss it, it is just our irrational part taking the wheel, when the mind is tired, isn’t it? And so you did. You even dismissed the memory afterwards, so little a threat it proved to be.
Do you remember now?
Don’t sweat it; I will help you remember.
You got back home that night and immediately any trace of fear disappeared as you shut the door behind you. You put the thought aside and enjoyed the rest of the time that accompanied you to a good night’s sleep. Even the day after went decently well, it was a day like any other. You probably don’t remember much of it anyway, so mundane it has been.
It was in an hour of darkness, when you looked away from your screen, that you saw it. Saw the shape behind the glass. Still just a moving glimpse of a dark figure. Do you recall it scaring you? No? Of course not. You forgot that too, after you saw that it was clearly just one of those trees or bushes, or whatever they are, in the chilly wind out of your window. Light does those tricks. You look at a lamppost behind the leaves during a windy night, and you see the light moving, and dancing – but you know it isn’t moving. It’s just the leaves trembling in front of it, frantically, like a writer’s or pianist’s fingers, that give your diurnal eyes and brain the illusion. Much in the same way, you thought of the shape. And much in the same way, you shrugged it off. You were tired, after all. You went to sleep not too much later.
It was not unusual, like that time you went to the bathroom in the morning, and couldn’t find your toothbrush. Then of course you found it, and chuckled at your clumsiness and forgetfulness. You really didn’t recall that you’d carelessly placed it on the sink, rather than back in the glass, where it belongs. Or when you woke up having a bad dream, convinced of weird skulking noises in the other room, and cautiously went to check, finding nothing – again, of course.
And the worst was possibly the time you heard – no, felt someone… or something breathing on your neck in the darkness of your room, with your headphones on, and you suddenly started, twisting in your chair with a gasp to see… nothing. Just that empty, friendly and terrifying darkness.
Maybe you should take more care of yourself, you probably thought? That you needed more rest? You certainly looked like you did.
Then, when you finally came home one day, ready for a good night’s rest, and took your nice hot shower, and came out wrapping yourself in your towels and whatnot… then you saw it. You glanced at the mirror, looked at the glass, cloudy with steam, and saw the words. You did not write those words. You would remember doing it, wouldn’t you?
The steam was quickly dissipating, and the words faded with it, only a small hint of them appearing when you tried bringing them out again by clouding the surface your frantic breath, a confused mess of fingertip traces in a finger-written maze on the not-so-clean bathroom mirror.
You might just have imagined that. You probably did, in all honesty. You really must get a good deal of sleep. Only, this time you weren’t sure that you could as easily… nor that you’d want to. But sleep you did, in the end. Because after all, this is all those little things are: paranoias. Pesky little thoughts that settle in the back of your head and uncomfortably nibble at your brain like a cat: not hard enough to hurt, but hard enough to not let you forget they are there. But that is all. Thoughts. Produced by your own mind to trick itself in some twisted mechanics of human nature.
And sooner or later, all the small doubts, the little fears, the petty insecurities… they may cumulate, but in the end, they all leave the stage, and you are left with your reason ruling over them and keeping them tucked away, where they cannot hurt you. You sweep them under the rug to protect yourself; and so you did, hiding those doubts where they could do no harm. You realised it was all you. You thought you saw a shadow behind you. You thought there was a dark shape out of your window. You thought you had placed the toothbrush back in the glass, or left the pen on the table, or given back that old disc your friend lent you and you forgot about for who knows how long, and you thought you heard and felt the breath of an unwanted visitor on your nape, shrouded in the darkness and safety of your own room. You thought you didn’t write with your fingers on your mirror, but maybe you did. Maybe it wasn’t even actually there and you were just stressed out of your mind and imagined it. You even thought there was someone in your house one night, when all you did was having a nightmare. It was always all you. You might remember now, it being all your own mind’s twisted creation. Isn’t it fascinating? How one can create their own fears out of nothing, even create their own memories!
Which, come to think of it, is quite funny, because you should have questioned one particular thing right from the beginning –
How do I know all of this?
Thanks for reading!
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