The False Life
I come back from office, unlock the door and as soon as I step inside my house, I feel the cold … not the chills-ran-down-my-spine and shiver-went-through-my-body cold, but the creepy feeling-of-being-watched-and-followed cold. After a quick supper, I go into the bedroom, climb into bed, and immediately, my mind is attacked by thoughts. This coldness has become an everyday thing now, ever since my wife has died.
When she was alive, I had a peaceful life- she would cook for me, keep my house clean, wait for me to come back from office, ask about my day, take care of my needs, and yet, never complained. I was so used to her that initially her absence felt like nothing, but a gaping wide vacant hole ready to devour me into its depth of nothingness.
But after a while, the nothingness gave way to uneasiness. I couldn’t sleep properly at night, lost my appetite and started noticing things that never were there, in the first place. The first thing which felt odd was that awful burning smell that seemed to linger everywhere, no matter where I went, and then there was that tapping sound that came from under the bed whenever I lay wide awake at night. Also, I noticed hand prints, quite a few times, on the bathroom mirror. Sometimes, I swear, I could see shapes floating through the corner of my eyes, but when I took a closer look, it would just be empty spaces. Often, I found clothes upturned and my room in a mess, and could have no recollection of doing that.
Things worsened when the stalking started. I couldn’t understand why anyone would follow me. But I was being followed! I always felt like a blanket of heaviness was surrounding and binding me. I never really saw anyone; I just felt its presence. I could feel its harsh breathing when I would be lying on the bed. I could feel its eyes on me, every passing moment. Even my own reflection seemed to be staring at me with an evil look.
Maybe, I was hallucinating. Sometimes, a definite amount of time would pass and I wouldn’t remember what I did during that time and sometimes, I’d stare at the wall continuously as if it was a fascinating sight.
I became a prisoner within my own body. Often, I would wake up from nightmares at midnight and my body would be stiff. Sometimes, I would wake up because my hands would be clutching at my throat, making me gasp for oxygen. At times, I had thoughts about killing myself, but they were so foreign that I felt as if someone else was making me think that way.
I felt like I was losing my mind.
At seven, I wake up with a sore finger. I notice a fresh cut and wonder where I got it from. Absent-mindedly, I walk into the washroom and immediately, let out a scream. There, on the mirror, was written ‘YOU WILL DIE’ in blood. Someone was there…in this house! I lock myself in the bathroom, terrified of the person who had written the death threat for me.
I smile gleefully as I see him crouching behind the door, shivering in terror, hiding from me. Little does he know that I am there only, feeding on his fear, getting stronger minute by minute. I wait in excitement as he turns his face and looks me in the eye. But…but, he cannot really see me. All he can see is his own reflection in the mirror.
I am his own self.
I am his hidden identity.
I am his alias!
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