14 seconds later . . .
She was young, maybe in her 20s. She had long dark hair that looked flat, almost wet. She was searching my face with wide wanting grey eyes.
Her face was somber, lifeless.
Her arms were at her sides, her shoulders hanging off of her body as if she was the saddest creature on Earth.
Everything about her was cold and dead. She didn’t say anything. She didn’t move. Just inches away from my face, she might have been a mannequin. A life-size poster of a girl. This is pretty much what you imagine when you’re thinking about hauntings.
Nothing moved. Nothing at all.
And then she blinked.
I felt myself not being able to breathe. I felt flush and dizzy. This was way beyond anything I had bargained for. I needed air, but I was too afraid to move so much as a muscle. But she wasn’t going anywhere. Just her silent, probing glare. And all around us it’s freezing cold. Like, frost-on-windows cold. Your-breath-making-mist cold.
The back of my jaw is starting to quiver, and I’m worried she’ll see my fear. Feel it. Feed from it.
And my only choice is to close my eyes, hoping she’ll be gone when I open them. So I squeezed every muscle in my face, as if it was my only protection.
My barrier of safety.
My safe zone.
And when I finally open my left eye, just a fraction . . . she’s gone.
I glance around the kitchen, then out into my apartment. But it’s clean. Well, relatively speaking. I take a moment to catch my breath, her image still very clear in my mind.
There was something about her that stuck with me. And it was much more than the fact that a ghost—for lack of a better explanation—was just standing inches from my face, in the middle of my kitchen. It was more than that she was as cold and dead as a corpse. Her face was somehow, I don’t know . . . familiar.
Somewhere, at some point, somehow . . . I had known her.