Prompt Day #96: Choose a room in your abode. Try to sit or stand in a location most people often avoid or ignore. Now imagine you haunt this space. Write.
I spent my life trying to be invisible. An introvert with agoraphobia, I rarely ventured outdoors and avoided socializing. Did that make me happy? No. I was miserable. I hated myself and my life for all the fears that kept me from truly living. My bedroom had two small alcoves. It wasn’t enough for me though to lock myself away in the room, so I put up a beaded curtain in front of one alcove and put a big bean bag chair and a shelf of books and spent my days living other people’s lives through the stories I read.
The funny thing about life and death for that matter is, you can’t hide from it. One day, when I was in my third year at Hogwarts, I heard a window breaking. I put the book down and listened. Someone had broken into the house. My parents were at work, and any other kid my age would have been at school but I took on line classes because of my “affliction”. I was afraid to move so I scrunched down low in the bean bag and tried not to breathe. I listened to the footsteps meandering through my home and eventually coming up the stairs towards my room. My heart was beating so fast and hard I was sure the intruder would hear.
The door opened and soon enough I could see feet standing just outside of the curtain. That’s the last thing I remember of my life. I’m sure there were a few more things that I saw before the end but that’s all I have. After the feet, the next thing I saw was darkness. There was no tunnel with a light at the end. Just a massive cave of black. It was damp and cold I laid down and curled up in a ball and waited. Soon the blackness turned to grey and the air began to warm. The dank smell of nothingness began to give way to more familiar scents. I smelled onions frying and felt the comforting space of my alcove begin to develop around me. For a moment, I thought I had just passed out and the intruder had gone. I stood up, noticing my beaded curtain was gone.
I wondered out of the alcove and around the room. It had been painted. My faint rose covered walls, were now bright blue and covered in posters of football players and cartoon characters that reminded me of that old Speed Racer show. I opened the door of the bedroom intent on going downstairs to investigate further. Beyond the door however was the blackness I’d been in. The moist chill of nothingness rushed in as if the room I was in was a vacuum. I slammed the door shut. I went back to my spot. My books were gone. I wondered if I was a ghost, but if I was, why couldn’t I leave this room. I leaned my head against the wall and closed my eyes.
I heard someone in my room and opened them. There was a boy in pajamas, sitting on his bed watching TV. I stepped out of the alcove and stood in front of the television.
“Hello” I said. He looked through me. “I used to live here” I said but he didn’t respond. I got angry and turned off the TV on my way back to the alcove. He jumped up and looked around, clicked the remote and turned it back on. A lot of good that did me. Over the next few nights I tried a number of things; throwing a whiffle ball across the room, ripping down all his posters, willing the walls in the alcove back to my rose color. He would come in, see what I had done that day and quietly tidy it up. He didn’t seem scared, he didn’t try to connect with me. He would simply change into his pajamas, turn on the TV and stay there on his bed.
He was just like me. Just like I had been. An introvert, hiding away from the world; both this one and the one beyond. He only wanted to be left alone. I saw that now. But what he didn’t know was how lonely it is when you finally get what you want–when you are invisible. I wanted more than anything to get out, walk out that door and be with people, but that chance was over for me. But maybe not for him. Maybe I was here to save him. He needed to live the life I never let myself live. The only way I could do that was to become everything I had once feared.
Now I would make his life in this room a living hell. I would use my time here to force him to do the things he was afraid of by making isolation a thing to fear. He would live the life I never could or be forced to share this hell with me. I looked at my alcove one last time, stepped into the main part of the room and summoned all my paranormal strength.