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True Story - Alone At Home

20.11.2012 04:54 EST
Alone At Home

Ah, at last! The house was all mine…with my parents gone to work, my brothers in school, I and my holiday would experience a once in a lifetime epitome of freedom. This had to be the best thing that had ever happened to me since, well, since I was born. Yes, I had been home alone before, but I was a child who was still struggling not to eat everything I held in my hand. Now, now was the real deal.

“Kevin, make sure you lock all doors, try cleaning the house, and please let be in one piece by the time we get back,” my mother told me as she drove off. As soon as she was beyond sight and the gate was closed, I took off my shirt and walked with my chest puffed outside, as if I had just won a fight. There was no explaining what I felt at that moment: excitement mixed with the adrenaline of wanting to do something unexpected of you, and just a bit of madness, the one that got me to pull down my pants and walk victoriously into the empty house, devoid of human existence, for as far as I was concerned…

Ok, what to do, what to do: my mind was pounding over my indecisive nature and had tonnes of activities criss-crossing every part. But first, breakfast. I poured some cereal into a bowl, the usual cold milk and enjoyed every bite of the four or so table spoons of sugar dissolved in the cereal-filled milk bowl while watching a movie. I hadn’t noticed, but time flew past me as I got more and more engrossed in the movie. Only when I took out my phone to receive a text did I come back to reality. Two and a half hours? Really? Ah, the day was still young. With that reassuring thought, I went downstairs to clean up the dishes and to close the now open window.

“Didn’t I close that? Must have been the wind,” I told myself and started deciding on the next activity to do as I took out the trash. Only then did I realize that the door leading to the cleaning area that had a trash can was closed, but it never occurred to me that it was the only possible way through which wind could have entered…

As soon as that was done, I headed up the stairs to my room. Then, a banging sound broke the serenity of the house. I froze in my tracks, a cold shiver draining my body warmth and alerting my mind. I waited for a while before moving to hear it again, or confirm that I was slightly insane. No noise, just my imagination going wild. With a sigh of relief, I kept on walking, laughing at the idea that my home-alone situation would turn into one of those alone-with-a-serial-killer movies. Please, there was no conceivable way anyone could have entered this house without me hearing about it.

Once again, the silence had returned and my aloneness affirmed. I quickly got bored flipping through channel after channel and finding nothing interesting to watch, so I walked down again to make breakfast number two. To break the now disturbing quiet, I whistled loudly such that it could be heard from upstairs. And just as I grabbed two eggs ready for frying, a loud thumping noise caught my attention and rendered me motionless. It sounded like a fall, a careless one, but not of an object. I took a deep breath to rid myself of the fear gripping me and headed to the source, tip-toeing on each stair slowly, my heart pounding hard against my chest, hands shaking and a narrow bead of sweat finding its way down my face as I could only imagine what I would see.

I made it to the second set of stairs, and before my foot landed on the first one, my eyes caught a glimpse of a shadow on the wall directly ahead. I literally froze, nearly choking in fright. My mind was telling me what I didn’t want to know, my eyes were seeing what I never imagined I would see…company.

I did not move a muscle, out of reflex of watching movies, but also due to shock. Interesting enough, neither did the shadow. It was nearly stationary, blurry which meant I couldn’t recognise it and dark enough to conceal deduction. But it was a clear indication that I was not alone, so I had to do all I could to protect myself. I leaned slightly to the left to try see more clearly, and at that moment, the shadow moved at a fast rate, followed by a loud banging of a door. Never had I felt so relieved and so gullible when I realised that it was the shadow of the bathroom door that was banged shut by the wind blowing through always open window. Thank God, I thought as I held my hand to my chest to try calm myself down and went back to making breakfast.

The frying of the eggs was comforting in a weird sort of way, that I would eat them and be happy once again. At least it took my mind off thinking that there was someone else keeping me company, a thought I wanted gone from my head. Finally, I got to eating and as suspected, I was satisfied, and went up to my room to be truly alone. Before I got there, I discovered how the thumping had come about: the bathroom door had a stopper at the wall that the knob hit when the wind pushed it, thus the sound. Wow, I am losing it, I thought as I entered the room. Then, as unexpectedly as possible, I saw it… the shadow, this time on the floor outside the room. I was scared stiff, my body squeezing itself behind the room door, fear and trembling emanating from me. I couldn’t stop moving, couldn’t stop breathing heavily and couldn’t take my eyes off the shadow for one second. I slowly turned to look through the back of the door, but I couldn’t see anything, save for a sudden movement that turned the view into a dark one. My heart nearly ripped out my ribcage, sweat covered every inch of my face, my palms were slippery, my bare feet could hardly hold firmly to the ground, but my eyes remained fixed on the shadow. It didn’t move, not even an inch. It was almost stuck there, just waiting for me to make a move. I wanted to scream, but no sound came out of my throat, chock-full of fright. I wanted to know who it was, but common sense dictated that I shouldn’t move. It was still there, just waiting, almost mocking me, laughing at my fear, telling me to try being brave and move…

Suddenly, the sole of my left foot lost contact with the ground, and as a result, I slipped and fell forward, a scream escaping my vocal chords. I lay still on the ground as my hands covered my head, expecting the worst. Nothing happened. I slowly got up and turned even slower, as the shadow was still there. As soon as I saw what it was, I was stunned. My mouth opened, my eyes nearly popped out of their sockets, my head could not process it: the door to my brothers’ room was the person waiting for me, since the light from their window had hit the door, and it only moved because a breeze pushed it. I said a silent prayer in thanksgiving and walked out of there, opened all the doors and sat outside to calm myself down. What an experience that was! My own mind was playing tricks on me. I should write about this, I thought. Now, the sun was getting unbearable, so I went back in.

Just as I entered, another thought came to mind: I do not recall ever leaving the knife cabinet open.

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