If people knew about this habit of mine, they’d probably deem me obsessive, paranoid, overly dramatic, etc. You get the point.
See, the thing about me is that I absolutely need to, like I really need to, make sure everything is pitch perfect right before I fall asleep. To be truthful, I have no idea where this awful and obnoxious tendency of mine arose, but now I live with it as if it’s an itch I can never alleviate. Every single goddamn night, word to God, I drive myself crazy checking to see if the doors are locked, if everything in the kitchen is turned off, if nothing is left open in the cabinets so that the roaches accommodating my home won’t crawl up on my damn Cinnamon Toast Crunch. Last time I found an entire farm of them bastards munching on my cereal.
What makes this habit of mine dreadful is the fact that not only do I reassure myself of my house’s safety once, not even twice, but sometimes three freaking times; four if I’m really feeling peevish. It’s not even that I forget or anything like that. It’s just that I think I forget. When I stroll back to lock my doors again, I know I’ll find the locks just how I left them the first time—secured that is—even before I reach it.
But anyways, it’s always the doors I’m mostly concern about.
Home invasion ain’t my biggest fear, but it’s certainly up there next to clowns and being buried alive. Plus, I remember this one time when I was fifteen or around there—it’s hard to remember when you’re too busy being a sloth and worrying about your pimples—someone robbed my old house in the middle of the night. The next day my family and I found some of our jewelry missing, and whoever broke in also took the family’s computer in the living room.
I wasn’t even all that pissed off that some random asshole purloined most of our precious possessions. What really struck my nerves was the single thought that, as I slept defenseless and vulnerable, a person could’ve watched over my body and soul and done whatever he or she desired. I could’ve died in my sleep without ever knowing that I was killed in the first place. Whew. That shit freaks me out.
I guess some might qualify this event as the origin of my curse, but at this point I stopped questioning it. Fuck it, at least my furtive habit doesn’t consist of me rubbing my junk with furry gloves. You’d be surprise the number of people who actually get a turn-on from that business.
All these thoughts zoom through my head as I stand in front of my entrance door, my clammy hands enclose around the golden doorknob, locking it in place. I realize how creepy I must look staring outside the oval window, my eyes glaring at the dozens houses in the tenebrous night. I shake my head, and go to turn away.
I can’t wait to freaking sleep the moment my body lands on the bed. My eyes feel as if the dark bags under my pupils are carrying the weight of the earth. I glance around my living room and kitchen, the fluorescent light near the sink stinging my strained eyes. Before I go to turn the irritating thing off, I check one last time to see if the stove and kitchen is off. I find it necessary I pull the lever twice all the way to zero. I even peer my already exhausted eyes close to the thing to make sure the little mark aligns with the number zero. They do.
“Alright, now that that’s done…” I flick the switch off. Darkness suddenly blankets my entire setting. The only remaining light consists of the luminous moon blaring through the number of windows surrounding me. Either way, I can practically crawl to my room with my eyes closed.
I drag my feet out of my kitchen. My bones feel dense and sore, and my aching muscles only add to my struggle. I was so close to falling asleep in my bed, but last second I reminded myself that I never checked if the doors were locked. As much as I restrained myself from kicking my feet off my bed, and making the arduous trip to my living room, I caved into my habit; as always. Oh well…
Did I forget something? No, I checked the doors, searched through the shelves, did the kitchen shit… Nah, I’m fine. And for once, I seem close to stop caring entirely-
I hear a knock on the closet door. It sounded quick, but loud. I haul to a stop, my feet almost tripping on themselves. At first I’m too tired to make anything out of it.
Then I hear someone—or something—shift the door again, wood grinding against wood. My heart does all the racing now instead of my mind, which remains as blank as a clean sheet of paper. Suddenly the darkness becomes thicker, and the pounds sagging my eyes down disappear. I feel alert.
I stand as still as a statue, a part of me thinking that if I remain frozen, whoever infiltrated my house will not be able to see me. I’ll be invisible, and I will not get gutted or murdered.
“Ah, what the hell am I doing?” I turn around, and stomp back towards my living room. It’ll be nothing, as always. If anything, the worst I’ll fine are some damn rats digging through all the mess inside my closet. My neighbors have been warning me of them bastards entering houses, and fucking up the damn heating vents. As irritated as I feel at the moment, I wouldn’t mind whacking one of them rodents with a broom.
“Hell, the way I’m in debt, I might save you for dinner,” I’m only joking, of course. I turn on the dining room lights instead of the kitchen ones, and I raise my hand over my eyes. Yellow light spreads all over my dining table, and some areas of the living room.
I shuffle my feet towards the closet across from the entrance door. I wrap my hands around the doorknob, but feel a subtle hint of dismay at the core of my stomach. It tries to spread all over my body and veins, but I prevent it from doing so.
“I’m just wasting time,” I whisper as I turn the knob, and swing the door wide open. A rush of cold air traps my body for a quick second. I slightly shiver, and tippy-toe in order to reach the round bulb above. A while back my friend David broke the string that operated as the light’s switch, so now I’m required to turn the bulb slightly towards the left in order to illuminate my closet.
The bulb radiates a tenuous orange light, a pathetic excuse for a bulb in my opinion. I rummage around all the junk inside my closet, which consists of just a bunch of sporting bags and old coats that I never wear anymore. I always try to remind myself I’ll go to the Salvation Army in order to donate them bitches, but I seem to forget every time.
Nothing, as expected. Just in case, however, I emerge deeper inside my closet, and throw shit everywhere to accomplish a more thorough search. But, as always, freaking nothing. Waste a time, that is.
“Fucking shit.” I ain’t got no time for this, man. At this point, sleep seems more like a damn gift instead of a necessity. I slither out of my closet, trying not to think of how cranky I am right now. I know after doing all of this crap, I won’t be able to feel tired again until-
Bang! Downstairs. My damn basement? You have to be kidding me. I’m more cantankerous than anything right-
Bang! Bang! I jump out of fright, and fall on top of the piles of jackets. My heart seems as if it wants to launch out of my damn chest. Blood rushes into my head, my face tingling. All the air in my lungs depletes, and for a second I think I may need my inhaler. That second bang caught me by surprise. What the hell caused it?
This time I hear the sound of something sharp scratching the surface of the basement door.
If I felt fully awake before, then now I feel as if I just drank three Red Bulls under the span of two minutes. I pick myself up, and analyze everything through, despite the fact that I feel like a nervous wreck. I breathe in and out in order to calm myself down. Alright, I got this shit.
I have no other choice but to go downstairs, and make sure everything’s okay. Even as I repeat those words in my head, however, I can’t help but to feel trepidation at whatever danger may or may not await me below. I skip up and down like a goddamn fool, because for some reason this helps me relax my tense body.
Okay, I need to stop being a little bitch. The best tip I can ever offer a person is, when you feel like doing something daring, just don’t think about it. I follow my own outrageous advice, and nearly jog all across my dining room and hallway in order to reach the door that leads to the basement downstairs. I even ignore all of the lights turned on, even though I feel slightly annoyed doing so.
Let’s go baby, I ain’t scared. I don’t even allow my mind to ponder about anything as I slam the door open, and march my way downstairs. The light is always on where the laundry equipment are, so I don’t concern myself with the darkness.
I stop on my tracks right on the last step. That ugly and unwanted horror takes hostage of my body and mind, and makes me doubt my motives. Each breath I take only worsens my condition. It’s the unknown that finally gets to me, and the fact that I stand alone. Both factors tag-team in order to cause my knees to shake.
I slowly maunder closer to my basement’s door. I see the poster of a golden heart shining amongst dozens of clouds in what appears to be a representation of heaven. My mother suggested I put it there on the door that way a more sanctified vibe fills the house, even when negativity attempts to sneak inside my home. Boy, I sure hope that poster protects me this time around.
I don’t allow for the enervating anticipation to kill me, so I just barge inside my basement in a single shot. I already wasted too much goddamn time, and sleep seems like just a dream at this point. Hehe, get it?
Light from the laundry room pours inside, but it’s not enough to investigate around. I feel around the walls until I find the damn switch, and pull the lever upwards.
At least my basement isn’t as much as a disaster as my closet. I think I cleaned it with a bunch of my buddies last week since we plan on playing beer pong here later this month. Thank god too, because this place use to smell like shit and cigarettes.
I scan around with my eyes, and find nothing worth noting. Everything seems untouched as well. I still spot some of my moving boxes clustered all around the carpet floor. I swerve through them as I make my way towards the closet all the way on the other side.
I slide the doors open, and find nothing but dust and debris. Shit gets all over my nose, and I feel the sudden urge to sneeze.
“Jesus,” I gasp as I prepare myself for all the buggers to spray out of my-
Tap. Tap. Tap. I don’t sneeze.
“What the hell…” I barely hear my own hollow voice.
I stare at the exit door. I swear I heard it there. There’s a peephole towards the top. That’s my only option at this point. See, I say that to myself, yet my feet remain glued to the floor. Not even that, but my legs struggle to maintain my weight.
Terror sinks its teeth deep into my nerves, poising my veins and arteries with venom. Just the single thought of peeking into that hole, and finding some menacing bastard staring back at me with heartless and morbid eyes makes my mouth grow dry.
Before I know it, I’m only a couple of feet away from the door. I hold my two fists close to my chest, and take my time pacing closer to my final destination. I feel the floor want to hold my feet in place, and keep me still forever. I feel as if thousands of invisible eyes from the walls around me are studying my every move, and violating me with their mendacious looks. A yell is locked in my throat, but I don’t allow it to escape my lips.
Alright, I’m in front. I made it this far…
I reel my face close to the door, and peer one eyeball inside the lens. For a moment, I think that a blade is going to shoot through the door, and pierce through my skull. Why not, right?
I see nothing but my neighbor’s empty backyard. No, wait, and his annoying dog. The fucker always wakes up in the middle of the night, and barks at god knows what. Jesus, one day I wish to snap its little neck with my bare hands.
Nothing. Why the hell do I stress myself? Maybe this is a sign that I should stop being so overly dramatic with the safety of my house. I mean look where it brought me? Now I lost at least a half an hour worth of blissful sleep, and maybe even more since my nerves wish to keep me awake a bit longer.
“It stops now,” I say to myself as I walk back upstairs. Shit, I left the lights on.
I return to my dining room, and turn off the lights. I then see that I left the closet lights on as well. “Ugh! Will I ever sleep?”
I go to turn off the last and final light, and close my closet door. “Finally.”
My entrance door taunts me. It almost appears to whisper, “You know you wanna check me, baby…” Goddammit. I stand still, staring at it.
Hell, I’ll stop first thing tomorrow. One last time just for old time’s sake, right? Besides, either way I’ll find it lock-
Both switches are unlocked.
That terror in my stomach tremors and explodes.
Written by Thesplitpersonality710