My Best Friend
All my life since childhood I have lived on the edge of the paranormal.
I could see things as a child as did my siblings. My mother always taught us growing up that there are things we might not see or understand but that doesn’t mean they are not there. I think that’s why spirits were always drawn to us, we were more open and willing to listen to the other side.
This was an event that happened around 1998, I was living in a two-bedroom fourplex townhouse with my three-year-old son and his father Mike. Money was tight so I was thinking about renting out one of the rooms to help out. Mike had a friend who in my opinion lacked compassion for others and would brag about how he would get one over on them, he often talked about this one particular gentleman whos name was Bill and it saddened me.
One night we were having a get-together and he asked if he could bring him over, I was curious to meet him so I said yes. He was a middle-aged balding man who worked at the college as a teacher, he wasn’t shy about his sexual preference but it didn’t bother me. He was kind but seemed lonely so he captured my heart and we became very close friends.
He spoke about his rich parents and how he disgraced them, they wouldn’t even give him a key to the front door having to always enter from the back so their friends wouldn’t see him. All he ever wanted was to feel their love. He told me that every time he went to get a haircut he would close his eyes and try to imagine his mother’s hands stroking his hair. This broke my heart and brought me even closer to him.
I asked him why he was living with them and he told me that on a teacher’s salary that’s all he could afford. “This is your lucky day!” I told him, you can rent my room for considerably less than what you pay them and I would be proud to have you walk through my front door. He was elated and moved in right away.
Things were good. My son loved him and I loved him too! He would sit on the floor and play with him all the time. Bill said that he had never laughed so much in his life. After a while of living there, I noticed he was getting closer to Mike’s friend. I tried to warn Bill about his character and his probable intentions but he told me that he was a big boy and not to worry about... but I didn’t listen.
Behind his back, I went to Mike’s friend and pleaded with him to not hurt Bill, If he didn’t share the same feelings I wanted him to back off. I knew he had others and was just trying to get whatever he could from Bill in his sensitive state but he just laughed at me like I was stupid saying: “I wouldn’t think of hurting him.”
Time went on and I noticed a change in my Bill, he was more withdrawn and he stopped joining us for dinner downstairs but when I asked him what was going on he simply told me it was nothing, he was just tired and he would be fine.
One night we had been gone all day visiting my mother three hours away, it was a long day and we were exhausted. Bill called me while I was driving because he wanted to talk to me about something important. I assured him we would talk when I got home but by the time we arrived, it was very late. We were so tired we never even made it up the stairs, we fell asleep on our big couch in the living room.
It was about 5:00 am when I heard muffled sorrowful moaning and crying upstairs, the sounds were mixing in with my dream state and reality wasn’t set in. I then got jolted up by my name being called out. It was Bill standing on the stairs looking and calling out to me, I felt so groggy that it didn’t seem real.
I could hardly open my eyes (one of my greatest regrets) he was trying to not wake my son sleeping next to me so quietly he asked if we could talk, looking at the clock I remember saying “sweetheart can we talk later?” he stood there for a moment then gave me a half-smile and said “Yeah.” and walked out the front door making that the last time I ever saw him.
He drove his car to his parent’s house and parked in their driveway and took his own life leaving a note that read: ”YOU WERE BOTH RIGHT!“-- I was informed of this later that day by his father who said it so nonchalantly like he was ordering a meal. He wanted to arrange a time to pick up his spare keys to Bill’s car and their house that was located in his room.
So many regrets and what-ifs and in my mind I know that they didn’t deserve his love.
His room was at the top of the stairs and it was locked by only a deadbolt with no handle, so we had to remove the hinges to get in. His room was in disarray, tear-soaked journals speaking about the destruction of his relationship and the infidelity of Mike’s friend. There were self-loathing comments etched on the side rails of his wooden bed frame and his clothes were in piles everywhere.
I felt a deep sadness all around me in that room and the guilt that if I had just not been so tired the night before we would be talking right now.
We managed to unlock the deadbolt but his parents took the key so all we could do was to prop the door closed using a small book and we planned to change it later, I couldn’t even bear to be in there.
Weeks had passed and it was the first of the month so Mike and my son and I were going shopping for food when there was a knock at the door and it just happened to be Mike’s friend. I was about to slam it in his face when he urgently said: “PLEASE HELP HER!“-- I opened the door a little more and standing next to him was a girl I had never seen before and she looked desperate.
“Please?” he said, “She is in a bad situation and her boyfriend was beating her so I got her away from him so now she needs a place to stay for a short time.“-- I knew all too well about abuse having formerly been a victim myself. I questioned why she didn’t just go home to her family but she said it was complicated so I agreed to let her stay for a while.
I told her that she could wait in the living room until we got back because I had to clean up that room seeing that all his belongings were still in there. I also told her that I would pick up a new door handle because the deadbolt was in the open position and we didn’t have a key so the door didn’t shut so she agreed to wait there. A couple of hours later I received a frantic call from Mike’s friend asking me where we were, I told him we were picking up a doorknob and he said: “You’re not here?” and hung up. (weird) As we arrived they were both standing in the carport white as a ghost. He was holding her and they both looked terrified.
He told me that they went up to that room and laid on Bill’s bed with the door propped closed and started to make out. (I was appalled! All my friend’s stuff was just as he left it.) He said that they heard the door lock then the bed started shaking. There were bangs on the door and the walls, some cassette tapes he had recorded of love songs that were dedicated to Mike’s friend crashed against the wall.
He went on to tell me that he ran to the door thinking we were playing tricks on them but he couldn’t open it because it was locked and no matter how much he tried it wouldn’t open. He said that the banging continued until the girl cupped her ears and screamed: “PLEASE STOP!” At that point, he said the door lock clicked and the door fell open as if nothing happened.
I was shocked. She exclaimed that she was going to her mother’s because no matter what her situation was there was no way she was ever going to go back inside that house. There was a little bit of disbelief but at the same time they were both so adamant that this happened and to tell you the truth, in the back of my head I told myself: “YES, JUSTICE!”
Time went on and Mike’s friend no longer came over and I was fine with that. I notice that a few months later my son started laughing at nothing as if someone was making funny faces at him and he demanded I put an extra plate out for dinner. I was always losing my keys because I never put them in the same place but they would miraculously show up on the hook when I knew they weren’t there before. (One of his biggest pet peeves.)
One day the doorbell rang and it was Mike’s friend. He wanted to sell me something but I knew it was probably stolen, he was always trying to rip us off. As I was standing in the doorway I felt the back of my hair move and slight pressure on my shoulders, his eyes got wide and he stopped talking. He was looking above and behind my head then grabbed my arm pulling me forward. Surprised I said: “WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING?” He explained that a large dark fog like mass rose behind me and was lurching towards him.
I told him to leave and went back inside. “Always my hero.” We had been living there for a while but once again they raised the rent so we decided it was time to move. I miss him so much but he will always be in my heart and I am haunted by this even today.
(It takes more muscles in your face to smile and brighten up someone’s day then it does to frown and be part of the problem.)
If you feel like no one is listening... talk to someone else.
Never try to solve a temporary problem with a permanent solution.
If someone comes to you... Listen. Taking a few moments out of your day won’t kill you... But it might kill them if you don’t.
We might not always like or understand the choices our loved ones make... whatever they are, but they are not you! They have to live in their own skin, you don't!
It doesn’t matter how people look or what name they want you to call them or how they choose to live their life, it’s what’s on the inside that matters. Whether it be your child, your sister or brother or your friend. We all matter.
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