It is difficult to remember when he took over and tried to possess me.
I paid him little attention when I first met him; he had a rather menacing look about his eyes. They were green in color – maybe attractive on someone else, but illuminating and piercing on him. He had an air about him that was disconcerting. At once furtive, and just as quickly attentive with an intense stare.
I met him at my friend Carly’s house. Carly, bless her, has all good intentions, but sometimes, bad judgment. I know she was trying to lift my spirits, which were down a lot lately. Like the song, ‘breaking up is hard to do’, it’s true – that it was. But it’s been four weeks already, so I was hoping I was over the worst of it. Tired of kind of dragging around, I really had no desire to go out and meet new people or even talk a lot. So I hesitated when Carly suggested staying by her for the weekend, she was planning on having some friends in I had never met and we could go tag and garage sale hunting, etc. She is very bubbly and very insistent. I don’t know why I agreed to stay with her, but I guess that was a good sign I was feeling better.
He was at the house when I arrived at Carly’s. His swarthy, somewhat weathered look added to his ominous nature, yet even in my funk, I had to admit he was quite attractive. He was as aloof as I was intimidated, so after introductions – his name was Tom – we kind of migrated into our own part of the room. Which was fine with me. I wasn’t feeling very friendly or interested.
When some of Carly’s friends started to come by one by one, the room became a little crowded. I noticed that Tom had slipped out of the room into the kitchen. Maybe he’s having heart trouble, too, I mused. Looking back, I did not notice him anymore that night until much later.
Carly’s friends were upbeat, and although I tried to mingle and make an effort, my heart really wasn’t into it. After a couple of hours and a couple of glasses of wine, I feigned a headache and said I needed to get some sleep. They all protested, of course; they were kind people, but I suspect they were getting a little tired of me, too.
Carly showed me to my room on the second floor – nestled in the back of the house. At least I was away from all the laughter and good times downstairs. My room was really delightful. It had a queen bed (surprise!) and a small TV on the dresser. There was a small bathroom adjoining it. Carly loved Victorian, and she did it up quite nicely with lots of lace, flowers and frills. No man fitting in here, I thought somberly. Isn’t that fitting?
But I wasn’t going to be alone for long.
I sat on the bed for a while, listening to the fun times downstairs and became melancholy. It seemed like a long time since I felt like that. The best thing to do would be to go to sleep; forget TV or reading. I changed out of my clothes and put on my pj’s. After brushing my teeth in the tiny bathroom, which also had ruffles and frills, I shut the light and slipped into bed. After my evening prayer, I turned off the bedside lamp. My mind was turning over events of the past few days. So into my reverie, that it was a few moments before I realized that there was an almost imperceptible movement in the room.
Now I was at full attention. I had shut the door and knew that it had not been opened since I did that. Nervously, I flipped the light back on. Nothing there, I must really be uptight or something. Or too much wine. I leaned back and shut off the light and my eyes. Then I heard and felt a rustle on the further side of the bed. My throat tightened up and my heart started throbbing. Who was there? The sound was so close to me that I couldn’t bring myself to turn and flip the light back on. I was afraid to turn my back on that noise. Afraid that would make me more vulnerable. If I screamed, would Carly and her friends hear me above the music and laughter?
I felt and heard the movement settle on the other side of the bed. My palms were sweating. Someone was there sitting on the bed. I could hear breathing. I was holding my own breath, as if by doing so, I would be not seen, not heard.
And then, even in the dark, I saw the eyes. Those green eyes were staring and bearing down on my face. They came closer and I could feel breath on my face.
Warmth and weight leaned into my body.
When Tom started to purr loudly, I picked him up and deposited him outside my door.
© Marie Coppola Revised March 2014