I haven't been sleeping well recently, and have pretty much started staying up reading, doing stuff on the computer, whatever I can until I pass out. This started about a week ago.
The Woman Behind the Door
I was lying in bed, listening to Dark Side of the Moon and reading a physics book. That's the only album I can listen to and still focus on something else, since I've heard it so many times.
I was really struggling through a section of the book that was a bit over my head, so I ended up reading a few pages over and over.
I started to lose my concentration, probably due to fatigue, and suddenly I felt like I was just looking at the words rather than reading them.
Something grabbed my attention out of the corner of my eye, but I didn't immediately see anything. I figured I was just looking for a distraction. I could hear the music again too. Tension crept up my spine, sort of a "too much coffee" feeling.
I tried to get back into the book for a bit, but all I could hear was the music, and I kept feeling like something was moving and I just could catch it in time. I had to take the headphones off - I needed to be able to hear my surroundings. I was very uncomfortable.
I usually throw my bath towel over my bedroom door since it never dries in the bathroom. When i go to bed, I also close the door a bit to block out some sounds from traffic and things. Not all the way, just most of the way.
I was in fight or flight mode, with no reason I could figure out. Just lying in bed, holding a book I couldn't even read, headphones buzzing away on my lap. I started looking around my room hoping to find a fly, or a spider or something just doing its business somewhere. That's probably what I saw, I figured.
Then I saw it. Sticking out from under the towel hanging from the door was a hand. Four fingers wrapped around the edge of the door, exposed just enough to be visible, but in a bit of shadow caused by the towel. I obviously wasn't prepared, and froze for a while while I was trying to think of a plan.
How long had this person been in my apartment? Should I say something, or...do I have something I can use as a weapon? What do they want?
I had an iPod, a book, a pair of glasses and a plastic water bottle. Maybe my lamp could be used as a weapon, but if I grabbed it - if I could even get it unplugged without making a commotion - it would be pitch black.
Then it got a lot worse. I realized I couldn't see any part of a person under the door, through the back where the hinges are. It didn't *really* matter, but it bothered me more. I couldn't size the person attached to the hand up at all.
There's only one way out of my apartment and it's through that door, past someone that...has at least one hand. That's all i knew.
I was still frozen. Hadn't dared to make a sound or a movement since I saw it. Could I open the window fast enough and jump out? It's a second story apartment, but I don't think it would kill me. I didn't know what was down there but it didn't seem like a bad idea.
I started to lean very slowly to my left, giving me a slightly better angle behind the door. I got to the point where I could almost see the door frame, and there was still nothing. Not even a shadow from the light passing under the door. But the hand was still there.
I weighed the possibility of someone playing a prank on me. I work from home and was there all day, but maybe...
Still leaning over about as far as I could without really moving, I started to pull the covers off so I could either get up and run out the door or at least back into the other end of the room and grab a candle holder I had in my closet. I hadn't really decided.
Then there was a thud on the floor. My iPod fell off the covers.
A woman's head popped out around the edge of the door, along with another hand. She had black eyes, black hair and looked right at me. She didn't make any noise, but I sure as hell did.
I jumped off the bed and grabbed the candle holder, doing my best to keep an eye on the door area. She was still there, just looking at me, head moving a little bit.
I threw the candle holder at the door and hit the thin edge near where the hands were. The glass in the holder shattered, the frame fell to the floor, and nobody was there. I immediately hit the light switch by the door, pushed the door open all the way and flung the towel on the bed. Two seconds later I was outside.
After a minute to collect myself, I turned each light in my apartment on as I made a quick sweep. I grabbed my unloaded 9mm from it's case on my way by.
My apartment is very small, there's nowhere to hide, other than the standard "behind the shower curtain" or "under the couch" type of places. I was reasonably satisfied that nobody was in there after at most a minute. There just couldn't be.
I came out of the bathroom, holding my gun up like it was going to do something, and went to have a smoke outside. I was shaking a bit, but felt pretty safe outside. The complex I live in is on a major street, people are always awake somewhere, and it's pretty well lit. I stood out there, against the railing, staring into my apartment.
The front door had a key in it. I have two keys to my apartment, the one on my key chain, which I could see in the little basket I keep just inside the door, and the one my neighbor has.
This one was gold, while the only two I've ever seen are silver. I grabbed it, sat inside with all the lights on, and just thought about what happened.
When I went to grab my phone out of my bedroom, I decided to toss the towel into the hamper. It was soaking wet. The whole bed was wet from the towel. I had taken a shower at 7am, and it was about 1am by that point.
I did not sleep at all that night. The next night I couldn't even try.
Friday night, I was invited to hang out with some friends. As I was leaving, I noticed something was under my doormat. It was a pile of keys, ten to be exact. All of them worked in my door. I don't know when they showed up.
I made a point of getting way too drunk that night to even consider coming home. I passed out on my friend's floor. I was so tired that it still felt good.
Locksmiths apparently charge more to change locks or any other house call on Saturdays, but I changed my locks. No more keys have shown up.
Still haven't slept in my own bed except for an hour or two when I literally just pass out.
I'm moving next month, but I don't know if I can last that long. What the hell was that in my house? Who was the woman behind the door and what did she want?
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