My name is Yumi
"The Dramatic Story of Deception, Stumbling and Moving On."
My name is YUMI. I'm a writer, blogger and a hobbyist in Drawing. I like dogs and video games. I hate too many things.
There’s a man at my door. I didn’t want to tell anyone, but I can’t dismiss the fact that I could see him. He never truly says anything. All he does is stand there by the open door of my bedroom. The first time I could see these ‘non-existing entities’ (as my psychiatrist once said) I might have been younger – but since then, I learned not to tell anyone. When a child says they could see things that shouldn’t have been there, they’ll find excuses or simply question you; provoking your innocence into spilling what your mind could still recall from the night before. They’d then come to a conclusion that your imagination runs wild purely because you’re a child. When you’re a teenager, strangers will falsely accuse your sight for insanity. Because of this, I have learned not to tell anyone about the things I see now that I’m older.
I live in a house by myself. I find that being alone can be tranquil and I’m never bored with just me for company. I wake up early and work around eight AM and when the day is done, I drive back to my own home, arriving around ten PM. I sleep by eleven, sometimes twelve when my favorite show is on. I then proceed to lay down in bed and read a book before I decide to call it a night and turn off the lights. But what I never want to do is to leave my door open. However, a tired mind can begin to forget the littlest of things. Things like turning off the coffee maker or the lights in the kitchen; but tonight as I had for the past few nights – I forgot to close my bedroom door.
I fell asleep around eleven but had stirred suddenly. I felt completely uneasy under the sheets with my arms hugging a nearby pillow. You see, unlike most – my sleeping habits are terrible. I envy the people who can lay down and fall deep into slumber. I on the other hand sleep lightly. Sounds or movements can trigger my awakening and going back to sleep is a painful process. Call it stress, but I tend to lack a good amount of sleep and can still work on empty. If it wasn’t for the magic of make-up and the number of concealer sticks I have to buy every month, my co-workers would begin to question my health or my nightly activities – if you catch my drift.
Like I said.
I don’t tell anyone.
So around 2 AM, I woke and tossed in bed trying to get myself to sleep again. But that unnerving feeling of being watched crept up on me and I froze in bed. My eyes had darted to the open frame of my bedroom door and it remained there while I lay on the mattress that would soon go damp from the cold sweats of my back.
There’s a man at my door.
He stood there, silently, in his black silhouette form. Arms on both sides with his face angled towards me. Though I couldn’t see his eyes, I knew he was staring. I felt every inch of my body under that thick blanket go numb before it had gotten cold; my fingers clutched tightly at the fabric in my unrelenting fright. A few minutes later, my mouth had gone dry – an hour had passed and he was still there….
He easily stood out from the black of the night. I was too scared to close my eyes but I was too frightened to keep them open and with what little strength I had, my lids started to flutter close. I’m only seeing things, the doctor would tell me. There’s really no one there. A trick of the eye. An illusion caused by my lack of reasonable sleep. I was having a hard time trying to draw in a breath. My fear had numbed even my lungs. Slowly, I had pulled my blankets over my chin, my nose – till it had reached my forehead and with one strong tug; I was under.
Soon after, I forced myself to sleep. Waking from my slumber, I’d say it was a success.
Unlike my nights, the mornings were always good to me. I had my shower, ate a quick meal and drove to work. I conversed and helped guests into their rooms, I served people with ease. However, my mind was in a frantic motion of memories from the strange and disturbing morning. I needed to remind myself to close the door next time. Perhaps I was just… Dreaming and never noticed. Maybe I was just seeing things that weren’t really there. So when I came home I made sure to lock the doors, close the windows and turn the lights off before proceeding to my bedroom. Without a second thought, I shut my bedroom door as well. I had even locked it, just for safety measure. I took a warm bath, watched TV and as soon as the credits started rolling, I knew it was time for me to sleep.
Now in the dark, I lay there with my pillow fluffed and my lights off. Eyes closed, I begun the heavy ritual of sleep. To make things easier for me, I started mouthing words – recalling all the tiresome things I did in the morning and soon enough, that familiar weary feeling took over. Sleep was dragging me down and deep—
Sleep had let go and I resurfaced with a jolt. My eyes fluttered open from the sound of knuckles brushing against the wood of my bedroom door. My fingers tightened around my blanket. My eyes widened in horror to that horrific sound of—
I held onto a whimper that threatened to pierce through the night. I had resulted to biting down on my lower lip just to keep silent and my eyes had begun to readjust in the dark. There was a soft line of light from the cracks of my door and with courageous curiosity; I leaned over my bed only to freeze in such a uncomfortable position.
Two slender shadows stood against the light, like the shadow of feet - standing still and waiting. It was then that I knew…
There was a man at my door. And this time, he was knocking.
“Please.” I thought to myself, “Please stop. Please, leave me alone. Please, GO AWAY.” and I would have said these things if my throat had not gone dry. This continued on and on in three consecutive knocks and all I wanted to do was to drown it out. As soon as I could move an inch, I reached towards my bedside table, shaky fingers fumbling in the dark; I finally found my phone and had never noticed that I begun to break out in cold sweats again before I popped my earphones in and blasted music into my ears. Frantic as I was, my breathing became erratic and I tried to calm myself with open-mouthed breathing exercises. In the middle of loud violin solos and orchestral singing, I closed my eyes – swallowing hard to lubricate my dry throat and soon… I had fallen asleep.
The morning came and I felt the struggle to stay awake. My body was tense in sleep so it was normal for me to feel tired. Even so, I had to go through the day, yet again, dismissing any memories from the night of that horrid knocking. However, coming home was different. I no longer had the need to unlock my front doors and I sat in my car trying to make a decision of ‘Should I go in? Or should I just sleep in the car?’ and really… The latter became my option and before I knew it, I had passed out in the front seat of my Rio.
If it wasn’t for my neighbor knocking on my car window, I would have slept through the whole day. The morning light startled me more than it blinded me and I chuckled at the thought of me snoring in my sleep. My neighbor gave me a nervous smile as I rolled down the window. It made talking to him a little easier. He asked me if I was okay and I said I was tired from work. Giving me a doubtful nod, he pointed to his Labrador that he was walking this early morning and told me that he had to go.
I remembered him asking me once again if I was alright and with an assuring smile that I could muster in that confusing morning, I told him I was fine. With a wave of his hand, he walked away and disappeared from my rear view mirror with his canine. I was only lucky that today was my day off and I was more than happy to spend it with a good long bath, a book to read and perhaps a phone conversation with my dad.
So I did just that. The only problem is this: I just couldn’t shake off this uneasy feeling that now resided in my home. I continued to look over my shoulder – just waiting for a shadow or a man to be there but after a few minutes of realizing that my fears had turned to paranoia, I locked the doors of my home and headed to my bedroom where the rest of the day was wasted on reading books and watching reruns on television. Morning had turned into night and I dreaded it. But this time I was certain to wait on what was to happen. The man at my door, the knocking. Whatever the night was to bring I was going to face it. I checked my watched and noticed that it was around ten now. Around eleven, I was sure to turn the lights and TV off. Proceeding to lay in bed, I closed my eyes and pretended to sleep. I had forgotten to close my bedroom door.
The next thing I knew, I had woken from another unplanned slumber. The morning had broken in the windows once again. I couldn’t believe it till I looked to my watch and realized that I had to hurry with my shower. Somehow, my nights had turned from strange silhouettes and knocking sounds to absolutely nothing. I dismissed the strange occurrences as the result from my lack of real sleep.
This went on for months. My evenings were better. My sleep, longer – whenever I woke up, there was no one there. I didn’t care about closing my door anymore and I didn’t feel the need to argue with where I was to sleep. My once haunted house now reverted back to its serene structure, serving its purpose. This went on for so long that I had forgotten all about the incident. Until this morning.
Around 4 AM, I had awoken and because this was a common occurrence in my sleeping habits, I decided to toss to the right side of my bed to where my back was facing the door.
My unlocked door.
My open door.
Closing my eyes to try and wrestle my thoughts back into slumber, I took one heavy inhale before an exhale followed. My eyes now snapped open. Sometimes, we mistake the loudness of our memories for things that had occurred in present time – causing us to “hear things” that aren’t particularly there. But this voice… After minutes of debating whether or not I had just misheard my own voice for something different, I was certain… This exhale—
It didn’t come from me.
Now, I was horrified. Utterly frightened that tears begun to build up. I had to fight the need to sob as the nearby breathing became louder and I could feel an unwanted presence resurface from behind me. All this time I thought I had forgotten but this fear had once again presented itself to me and I knew, I could never really forget.
There was a man at my door. I could hear him breathing from across the room. Ragged and deep, as though he had gone on a really long run. His breathing had brought on a stench with it and as he had gotten louder and louder by the past minute, my body had begun to shake under the blankets. I just wanted him to stop. I just wanted him to leave. But his breathing continued on like a horrifying lullaby, a record broken, jumping back and forth from under the needle. I didn’t care if he could see me for I was certain he could but now I tugged at my blanket and covered myself in fear.
Even so, I could still hear him wheeze.
Even so… I could still smell that pungent odor that he brought along with him. It wasn’t the stench of rotting flesh, no. Something more familiar to me. But with the numbing fear that quickly overwhelmed me, it was a challenge to even think right.
I was cursing under my breath, in between silent sobs. Surrounded by darkness and pillow stained in tears, I decided that in the morning – I was going to leave the house for good. I knew that if he disappeared for nights at a time, the man by my door would still be there. Returning to hunt me. The next thing I knew, I was murmuring a frantic mantra under my breath: “Please let it be morning. Please let it be morning.” over and over and over again. I didn’t want to say it, nor did I want to confess – but even to my own ears I sounded like a woman on the brink of insanity. I was sobbing and mumbling and all I knew was to quickly fall asleep.
To be completely honest with you, I didn’t know how long I was awake. I didn’t know when he had disappeared or when that erratic breathing had left me to my frantic mentality. When I had opened my puffy red eyes, the light of the morning had broken through the curtains of my room and as soon as I had seen the ray of hope – I tossed my blankets aside, ran towards the door not bothering with changing my pajamas and jumped into the car before driving away, my eyes still soaked in tears.
I had no plans of going back again. I spent the next few hours driving to my father’s place and staying there for next few years – too afraid to live on my own. Scarred and traumatized, I was asked if I wanted to retrieve my things and I instantly declined. In the end, my brother-in-law and my elder sister took care of removing my belongings from my old home. When they returned from the long drive, my sister reassured me that everything was going to be fine and nothing was left behind. We both spent the next few hours looking through my things when I caught a whiff of something familiar. It was that strange, pungent odor that the man by the door carried along with him. If it wasn’t for my sister pointing out the name for that familiar stench, I wouldn’t have realized….
The man by the door smelled like dog.
have you ever seen a chicken strip
There are two kinds of people in this world.
wearing a blanket around the house like