I have been asked once to tell an incident from my life for which there was no rational explanation. Now, I’m not a very superstitious person. But writing being my hobby and passion, sometimes my imagination goes a bit out of hand. But of course, I’m conscious of reality and sane enough to tell myself apart from reality. Thinking back I can only recall one event that I could find no explanation for, or at least any reasonable ones.
This was back in my awkward years of middle school. I wasn’t the best in social interaction and spent most of my days talking to made up characters in my head. Don’t get me wrong, I still talk to myself but at least I talk to a few real people as well. My parents became super busy once we moved to New York. I was still struggling to deal with the absence of people in my apartment and mostly my mother’s love. She began to change. I felt like she loved me a little less than before, but I understood it was the stress of living in a new country that was getting to her. It was a faint throb in my heart; I’d feel a bit empty at times but I’d rationalize it saying that my family’s working hard to make this work, to survive.
Summer went by fast. The day would end later and my mom would be home by then. Then fall came around. It began to get dark earlier each day. The weather got colder. I had to shut the windows. It was all quite depressing. Not because of the weather, mostly because I was alone. I didn’t really have friends and didn’t quite feel like I belonged. I didn’t miss my country since its a corrupted land of filth. I had nothing to do and surprisingly enough even the internet failed to cheer me up.
That’s when I began to write. I started off with cringey pre-pubescent journal entries, but soon made it to fanfictions and then original stories. But even with my newfound hobby I was still alone. Usually, I would sit down to type right after I came home from school and would look out to see it was already dark outside. Even though it’s a small apartment in the bustling city of New York, it could often so silent. Nothing alleviated the emptiness from my heart. There was so little to stimulate my senses, so little to do. I began to take care of myself less. It was a steady decline to a state I didn’t want to be.
It was a typical chilly night. I was bored out of my mind, so I switched to listening to loud music. Anything to drown out my terrible loneliness. My ears began to hurt but at least the pain was something. Suddenly I felt like I heard a distant scream. I pushed down my headphones and looked into the dark hallway. Nothing was there. I spent a few moments in the deafening silence. Nothing. Man, my ears hurt. I hated everything. I hated how I couldn’t get out of my bitter state. I put back on the headphones and continued on my writing.
My worst part of the day would be when the sun set. I wasn’t afraid of the dark. I was just uncomfortable by the transition in between. The dark blue sky, the increasing darkness. The point where there’s enough light for me to not turn on the ones on the ceiling but dark enough for me to not see what’s in front of me. Typically that’s when my overactive imagination would begin. I liked it because it helped me write, but boy did I have some torturous visions. Sometimes I would stop to take a break from the screen, but that didn’t stop the voices in my head. At times I’d shoot out of the couch and run around the entire apartment. I would laugh and cry to myself thinking I’m talking to those in my story. I didn’t think this was helping me at all, but it was enough to take the dull pain away.
One evening, I was sitting on the couch and didn’t feel like getting up to turn the lights on. I didn’t feel like getting up to get the charger either so my laptop died on me. My files were saved but I felt like my laptop abandoned me. And soon enough, there it was. The voice. But it was a quiet whisper this time. Not a scream. It called out my name. I didn’t know how to react but it did send a shiver down my spine. Suddenly my whole body got cold. It was -10 degrees outside and the heater wasn’t on. Or maybe it was but it had little effect on warming the house up. I was wearing shorts. I continued to hear incomprehensible words coming from the hallway. I couldn’t see anything. It was pitch black now. I began to chuckle to myself. I didn’t believe in these things. I concluded that I have finally reached the nirvana of sensory deprivation. I have reached the stage where I have so little to stimulate me, I started to hallucinate. I am one step into insanity. What joy.
This continued for days. I have fully accepted the fact that I have gone crazy in sadness and it will help me follow the passion I had for writing. Plenty of writers back then were crazy. But it was just this one day. One evening, to be precise, I came home from school feeling extra tired. I changed, ate something and dropped in the bed. As tired as I was, I couldn’t sleep. I just rolled around on the bed. I checked my phone and it was late in the afternoon. Anytime now would me my favorite part of the day where it begins to get dark. It began to get chilly again. My odd friends will come to visit me soon.
Staring blankly at the room, I hugged my blankets closer. I was really tired. I began that transition into sleep, but wasn’t quite there yet. I could feel paralysis taking over me, but surprisingly enough I continued to stare ahead. The curtains began to swing a little, as if a soft wind blew on them. Could there be a small hole under the window? It is a worn down building after all. No wonder my bedroom is always cold. But it began to move more. The faint but soon a strong sensation of muscles numbing spread all throughout my body.. I struggled to keep my eyes open but I grew more tired as the moments passed by. It felt like a drug. The curtains moved higher and higher, the wind making it flap around the corners of the window. That’s when my half-conscious mind realized: It was still winter, and the windows were closed. There was no way the curtains can fly that high. I couldn’t keep my eyes open any longer. The unknown force of drowsiness took over me. I went to sleep utterly terrified and yes, frightened.
To this day I question whether fear and panic can drive someone to sleep. I thought a situation like this is supposed to jerk me awake. I can tell the difference between my imagination and reality, between the voices of my characters and the voices of real people. But it was so real. Were the curtains really flying? Who was in my room?
I assure you I know the difference between fiction and reality.