Have you ever felt alone? Ignored? Shunned? Unappreciated? Do you ever feel like you just don't belong here?
Well, that was me. I never felt truly at home no matter where I was. Not with my family, not with my friends. I was a stranger with all of them. I didn't belong with anyone.
That's why I was nearly ecstatic when I found my own place after graduation. I finally had something to call my own, where no one could make me feel like a foreigner. Everything here was mine, and I determined how things went. I could do what I wanted, when I wanted and how I wanted.
In order to keep up with bills and afford my own wants, I got a job at a nearby supermarket as a cashier. Of course, I didn't like it. I didn't like being around people. I wanted to be alone at my apartment in my room with a book or a nice game to pass time. I didn't like being around all of these strangers.
Eventually, I paid off my rent. I quit my job and sealed myself off in my room. Over time, all of my friends stopped coming over or calling. All but one. She was persistent; called every day at the same time for the same number of times. No matter how much I ignored her visits and calls, she still kept coming back. I guess that's what you would call a 'true friend', but I still didn't want anything to do with her or the outside world. All I needed was this apartment.
Then, it happened.
It was a cold, rainy night in the middle of autumn. What the date was, I don't even know. I stopped keeping track of that months ago. I was in the kitchen warming myself a nice, instant dinner in the microwave when I caught sight of something outside.
Amidst the darkness of the streets below, I thought I saw a silhouette standing across the street in the distance. It had the physique of a man… or so it seemed like it. He was facing me. Something about him, despite what little information I could gather about him, was unnerving. I wasn't even sure if there really was a man standing there - or anyone at all, for that matter. Nor was I positive that they were looking at me. They could have just been looking in my general direction at someone or something else.
Regardless of all of that, he scared me. I couldn't make out any details on him at all, just the fact that he was there. With a bright flash of lightning, he disappeared. I stood there for several more minutes trying to make sense of my sudden paranoia. Had there really even been anything there?
Eventually, I managed to convince myself that there hadn't been. I was tired and had simply imagined someone standing there.
After that encounter I found myself constantly paranoid. It wasn't enough to disrupt my everyday life - or what little there was in my daily activities - but it was still there, in the very back of my mind. I kept reminding myself how stupid it was to be this way, even if just a little. I was an anti-social nobody who holed herself up in her apartment and didn't have any contact with anyone. Why would someone be after me, of all people?
I convinced myself yet again that it had all been my imagination, and that the paranoia was all in my head. It would go away soon, and everything would be back to normal.
I saw him again that night, standing in the same place as the night before. I still couldn't make out anything on him, but that time I KNEW he was there. Just standing there. Unmoving. Looking in my direction. I know he was looking at me. Somehow I just do.
I stood there staring at him while he stared back. What was he doing out there in the cold? Was he waiting for someone? Had he mistaken me for someone he knew?
A car drove by, and when the headlights shone on the place where he had been standing, he was gone. I continued to stare at the spot even after the car had driven far away down the street. Once again, he had appeared. Once again, he had disappeared as soon as light touched his position. Did that mean that he was a figment of my imagination? Yeah, that was it. He had to be.
Once again the paranoia returned. All through the next day I felt as though I were being watched. It felt like someone was IN here with me, watching. Waiting. Waiting for what? I don't know. But I know that something is going on. I can feel it.
I dug this journal out and decided to start writing out my thoughts each day in an attempt to sort everything out. Maybe this way I can make sense of everything and shake off this ever-increasing paranoia. It never leaves. I never feel safe, no matter how obvious it is that I am. What's worse, I can't get my mind off of him. I think about him all day, every day. Just standing outside my apartment in that one spot. Watching.
What does he want? Maybe tonight I'll go out there and ask him.