I wake up in the middle of the night.
I mean, I’m aware I’m home, lying on the bed and facing the pillow.
It’s been a weird night, waking up every ten minutes feeling cold, then warm, then cold again, maybe there’s something wrong with this damn weather, maybe there’s something wrong with me.
Anyway, I’m awake again but, before I can move, this time I feel there’s something or someone watching me. Not through the window, not from far away. Someone is standing in my living room right behind me and watching me.
“Shit”. I don’t say it out loud. I don’t know if the stranger knows I’m awake. Now that I think about it, it MUST know I’m awake, I’m pretty sure I’ve made a sound, moved somehow, blinked my eyes.
“What can I do?”. I start to plot a plan. Turn around, see who’s there, scream for help, I’m scared as hell, there’s a fucking unknown person INSIDE MY APARTMENT WATCHING ME SLEEP. I try to turn my head towards its gaze, maybe it’s someone I know. No, it can’t be anyone I know, this feels way too strange. My head doesn’t move, anyway.
Actually, I can’t move at all. I’m not tied or anything, but my body simply won’t obey. I know I’m awake, I know I’m home, I can see the little green leaf pattern on the white bed sheets, I feel the pillow under my head and the blanket I grabbed when the cold feeling started.
I try to yell at this person, anything to scare it away, to let it know I’m awake and I’m angry there’s someone here that shouldn’t be. Maybe it will leave in a hurry, knocking down the bike in the hallway. This is still my place and I’m the one in charge.
Just as I can’t move, I can’t make any sound either. Not even a muffled “hmmmmmm” in my throat. I’m trapped inside my body, being watched by some unknown thing behind me.
The anger and strategy turn into fear. I’m definitely NOT IN CONTROL of this situation. I keep running a thousand questions about who is this thing or person here. Why is it here? Why me? Why now, dammit? What is it going to do with me? Is it going to do anything to me? Is it gonna reveal itself? Come closer?
Suddenly I can move again and I roll towards the table, towards the stranger’s gaze. For half a second I’m lost, I mean, I was facing the bed, turning towards the bed, but I end up seeing the opposite wall, with the tree decal and the photographs. No time for messing up with where I’m looking at. I jump from the bed and hit the light switch. There’s no one here. I felt the presence disappear around the same time I got movement again. Just to be sure I check the locks and every room (including the bathtub).
“Fuck”. Was I dreaming?