The digital clock humming quietly on my nightstand was the only sound my ears could pick up from my surroundings. The night was dead quiet, but I knew he was there.
Right on schedule, he would be standing outside my window. He would knock. I, for reasons I wish I could explain, would open the blinds. He would stare at me and I would stare back. He would leave soon after and I would stay awake until the sun began to rise. This was our routine. My mind was wandering a thousand miles away when he first knocked, though my eyes had stayed, lingering on the window.
I told myself I wouldn't open the blinds. I told myself that he wouldn't scare me tonight and I would get the rest I desperately needed. He knocked twice more. I held a pillow over my head and began humming an old song I used to sing in elementary school. He knocked again and, this time, he was less courteous than in the past.
I threw the pillow off my head and opened the blinds. His pale, wrinkly face leered at me. His lifeless, black eyes that shown, despite the darkness, peered into my own. His stringy hair fluttered a little in the wind.
He seemed to be breathing somewhat harshly and, though it was hard to determine his mood as anything other than emotionless, I could sense an amount of animosity I had never felt before.
After what seemed like hours, he turned around and went on his way. I faced the ceiling and wept. This had been going on for more than a month. I had tried to talk to others about it, but I could never finish my sentences. They'd degrade into quiet mumblings and whispers.
I was so tired, I had even begun to wonder if I was losing my mind. I had tried sleeping pills, but even those didn't help me sleep through the night. The weirdest part is that I always woke up about five minutes before he knocked. I knew, instinctively, he would be there. I was so tired.
The next night, I told myself that under no circumstances would I look out the window. I didn't even care if he was on the verge of breaking the glass. I would not give him what he wanted. I would not feed him. He'd have to find someone else to terrify. He'd have to leave me alone.
I woke up and instantly knew what was going to happen. It's funny; I was anticipating his knocks, yet I still jumped a little when I finally heard him. I lay in bed quietly, as if I hadn't heard anything. He knocked again and I hid under the pillow once more. He knocked again, even louder than the night before.
I whimpered, but remained under the pillow. He knocked twice more. After that, things got quiet. I no longer had the feeling I was being watched. I pulled my head ut from under my pillow and slowly looked out the window.
Nothing. There was just my backyard.
I laughed. I laughed so hard that little tears began to slip out of my eyes. He was someone else's problem now. I looked at the clock, noticed I had only been awake for about fifteen minutes, and turned over to go back to sleep.
I had just gotten to that area where dreams mingle with reality when I heard the distant click of a door - my back door. Someone had entered my house from the outside. It was something from my backyard. I knew it was he.
He was right outside my bedroom door.
He knocked on my door and I almost vomited. I wanted to do something, anything, but I was paralyzed with fear. He knocked again. Trembling, I pulled the pillow back over my head. All that could be heard was the sound of weeping, knocking, and a digital clock humming quietly.
I was so tired.