My family has always been normal, completely and totally normal. Absolutely nothing out of the ordinary could be said about us. My mother had an average job, waiting tables at some local
restaurant, my father a lawyer. I was an only child and there were no special talents or anything of interest to give me any sort of recognition. We always lived in a three bedroom house and every
Wednesday my parents would leave me with a babysitter while they went to bingo and dinner. Not even our looks were anything special; all three of us had brownish blonde hair and all three of us had
hazel eyes. No pets for my entire childhood and when I had a friend over the most we would do was watch a movie with my parents.
It was a quiet life, full of predictability and routine. That is, until my father died. That shook things up a bit and made our life a little bit more….well, more. Don’t get me wrong, I loved my father. He was a good man, a good dad. But I won’t deny that somewhere deep inside of me, I was thankful when he died simply because it meant that things weren’t sticking to “the routine”. Things were getting interesting. Things were changing. My mother got out more, she made more friends, had more fun once the schedule was rearranged. And me? Well something even more interesting than my father dying happened to me. Something that for the longest time I denied ever happened.
What I tell you might sound just a tad crazy. I know it would sound crazy to me hearing it from someone else’s mouth. But bear with me, this story is worth listening too. It’ll be long though, I have to start from the beginning. I have to start with the first time I ever laid eyes on him.
The first time I saw him I was seven. My mom had just tucked me in, kissed me goodnight and then turned out the light. I’ve never been afraid of the dark so she closed the door without any worry. I’m not sure how long I lay there adjusting to the dark but when I was finally able to see I was shocked to find a man standing over my bed. I blinked a couple times and rubbed my eyes thinking that it wasn’t real. The man was gone when I opened my eyes and although I was a little worried I went to sleep with no troubles. The next night I didn’t see anything and I suppose even at that young age I convinced myself he wasn’t real.
Then two weeks later I saw him again, standing over my bed staring at me. Since I had convinced myself he wasn’t real, this sighting didn’t even faze me. I sat up in bed and cocked my head to the side, looking at him.
He smiled, his pale skin seeming to glow in the dark at me, and his hair falling into his eyes a bit as his head nodded slightly. “Hi. You should really get some sleep; it’s a big day tomorrow.”
His smile fell a little bit and his seemingly black eyes looked a little sad.
“Never mind. Just go to sleep alright?”
I blinked before I said anything and in that instant he was gone again.
“Where’d you go” I whispered, looking around my room. I got up and turned the light on; I was determined to find him. I looked everywhere, in all my dresser drawers, the closet, even under the bed. The man was nowhere to be found. I crawled back in bed and waited for hours but he didn’t appear again that night.
The next day my dad died on his way to work. The neighborhood we lived in was frequented by gang violence, and that day a particularly nasty fight had broken out between two rival gangs. A lot of people died, some were gang members, and some were innocent bystanders. My dad was hit by a stray bullet while he was driving down the street. The bullet killed him instantly. The car kept going down the street before crashing through the front window of a house at the end, injuring a woman who had been sitting on the couch inside. She probably thought that she would be safe inside that day.
I cried, as any child would. But I couldn’t stop thinking about the man, how he had told me it would be a big day. How did he know something was going to happen? Why had something happened when he wasn’t even supposed to be real? I was scared. Nothing was making sense to me and there was no one I could ask, no one who could explain it to me.
The first few weeks after the funeral I stayed awake as long as I could, waiting. I had questions I needed to ask him. Who was he, why was he in my room, how did he know my dad would die? My mother was worried at the lack of sleep but he didn’t show up, and eventually I simply stopped waiting.
I didn’t see him again until two years later.
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