I have always been somewhat interested in things like psychology, philosophy, and metaphysics. It started from a very early age and my interests only grew with time as I researched more on the subjects of the afterlife, ghosts, spirits, demons, etc. One concept I came across a year ago in a Creepypasta was the creation of Tulpas; beings created out of thought or belief. In layman terms, it's like creating an imaginary friend, but taking into consideration that this being was capable of sentient thought and emotions.

This particularly interested me for one particular reason. Though my social life was OK, I had no girlfriend. Well, I had ex-girlfriends, but as the title implies, they either cheated on me or just broke up with me. All sorts of weird reasons were given, like "we don't have anything in common" or that they found someone better looking or with more money than me. Who was I kidding anyway, I'm a loser.

But perhaps with this Tulpa concept, I could change this. I had done all sorts of mental exercises and meditations since I was young, so I needed very little help to initiate this process. I simply sat cross-legged on my bed in the dark of my bedroom, and cleared my head of all thoughts. I played my song of choice, "Half a World" by Volta, to set the mood. I chose this because it was a trance song that I really liked, and because I found it clever that my soon to be new girlfriend and I were, in a sense, two worlds apart. I began to imagine all the things I would want in a girlfriend. After all, she was to be my "dream girl".

I imagined her about 5'4", a few inches shorter than me, and having an hourglass figure. I didn't want an anorexic supermodel figure. I gave her long, straight, sandy brown hair. Her face was round, and her pale flesh was almost as radiant as her emerald green eyes. She had a soft, soothing voice to match her shy but bubbly personality. And being that I was a major otaku and gamer, she shared these traits with me. I had it to where she dressed casually, but wasn't afraid to accentuate her curves. "God I need a life," I thought bitterly, but quickly pushed that out of my head so I wouldn't fuck myself up while inventing what was supposed to be my soul mate.

Fortunately, my thought process was interrupted by a soft, sweet voice. "Cheer up, you have me now!" I then realized that I was actually having a lucid dream, and that the product of my imagination was sitting in front of me, smiling. I was ecstatic, but I almost couldn't bring myself to move out of fear that I might somehow mess this up or accidentally wake up. But then she, as if reading my thoughts again, giggled playfully and wrapped her arms around me. I thought my heart was gonna try to jump out of my throat with my excitement. I could only muster these words: "Are... are you real?" she replied, "All you have to do is name me, and I will always be with you."

I answered her with a name that rolled off the tip of my tongue. "I will always love you, Serena."

Serena smiled and her green eyes twinkled. "As will I, Joseph."

After we kissed, well, I think it goes without saying what happened next. It was amazing. She not only knew exactly what I wanted, but she made me feel more like a man than I had ever felt. And I felt a deep and spiritual connection with her as we did so. After what felt like hours, we finally cuddled up to each other in my bed. Her sweet voice as she sighed happily to sleep made my heart skip a beat, and I almost felt like crying. I held her tightly and actually felt the warmth of her body next to me as I drifted off. When I awoke, I was almost heartbroken to find that my bed was as empty and cold as it was all those nights before. But then I remembered that every night, she would always be there waiting for me. Or should I catch a nap or two during the day, perhaps.

Over the next few months I lived day to day with a new pep in my step, if you will. I greeted college with an optimistic attitude, and became more productive at my part time job. Knowing that I had the love of my life to come home to, so to speak, filled me with the same joy and confidence that a newlywed husband would have. I would come home everyday to the same routine: get dinner, get a shower, and go to bed at around 9 PM. The rest of my night would be spent in my dream world, doing whatever I felt like doing, with my beloved. We would play videogames, watch anime or read manga, even reading Creepypastas or watching YouTube. She was my goddess, Serena. She was everything to me, and the apparent lack of a social life I had held no bearing on my good mood. I never wanted it to end; I wanted the rest of my life to be this way, even after I left my corporeal form.

As this continued though, I think I got used to it. I'm sure that this sort of thing happens to all longtime couples, or newlyweds that settle down. But with her being confined to my dreams, and my schedule changing, my social life started to change. My confidence was bringing in more friends, and I started hanging out with people and coming home later. I would still see Serena in my dreams, but over time I had grown accustomed to the dreams. This led to less play time, less cuddling, even less lovemaking. This was met with Serena's understanding, albeit disappointment. But over time, as I became busier and more involved with people, I even started dismissing the dreams themselves as normal people did. As I started to attract female attention in my waking life, it didn't take much time for me to forget Serena entirely.

The fall of the following year I started dating a girl I was talking to for a few weeks prior named Melissa. She and I had a few things in common; We were both gamers and we liked Creepypasta. She was nice and we had a pretty decent physical relationship previously established. I think these things were enough to outweigh our differing political views and all that, which seemed trivial in comparison. I spent a lot of time at her place, because her apartment was a heck of a lot nicer than the dump I had made for myself. Things were getting pretty heavy for us, and we were getting pretty close on more than just the physical level as the days went. In fact we were considering having me move in to her apartment with her.

I finally went back to my pad one night, hammered from a night out drinking with Melissa and a group of our friends. This would be the last night I would spend in this wreck, because I was packing my things and moving out tomorrow. As I closed my eyes I heard a familiar, soft woman's voice ask, "Where have you been all this time?" I opened my eyes slowly and cleared my blurry vision to see a meek looking young lady with an hourglass frame and sandy brown hair sitting on the floor in front of me, her twinkling eyes watered and her lips quivering.

In my drunken state, the only reaction I could manage was, "The fuck?"

Then my heart sank, as she whimpered, "You don't remember me...?"

Oh shit, I thought. That's the dream girl I made! I didn't know what to say or do, and my inebriation wasn't helping my thought process. I said, as sensitively as the alcohol would let me, "I... I'm sorry... I'm with Melissa now...." I actually felt Serena's heart stop as her eyes widened and her jaw dropped. I saw her shaking as she started to sob uncontrollably. I felt like shit. I knew I was an asshole.

And yet, thanks to good old Jack Daniels, I managed to come out with this gem: "I'm so sorry... this is my fault. I shouldn't have created you in the first place." Oh yeah, that's just what she needed to hear, I scolded myself as she wailed, burying her face in her hands. But her reaction after I finished that thought surprised me.

She looked at me, sniffling and wiping tears from her baby soft cheeks, and said, "It's OK... you're right... I don't blame you. I'll be going now. You're happy now, and you don't need me." She managed a weak smile, which tore right through my chest to see. But I hugged her.

I found myself tearing up as I said, "I'm sorry. I don't regret making you."

She whispered, "It's OK... I'll move on. Be happy, OK?"

"OK, Serena" I said, as I opened my eyes to find that it was Sunday morning, and I was still dingy and hungover on my couch.

I packed my things, which only took an hour, and moved it all into Melissa's place. The night before was kind of a blur to me, but certain parts stuck with me. Unfortunately I wasn't sober enough to recall much more. Either way it wasn't enough to distract me from the sense of completion I felt when all my games and clothes were moved in, as well as my gamer's chair and my laptop. Life was perfect now. Melissa and I celebrated by playing each other in games like Super Smash Brothers Brawl and watching silly fail videos on YouTube. Naturally we consummated this new found living situation, and finally fell asleep in each others arms in the wee hours of the morning. My dream that night was strange, to say the least.

I entered my apartment and tried to flick on the light switch. For some reason, no light came on. This didn't faze me much, given how run down the place was, the power was probably out. I walked in with my key chain flashlight, and was mildly surprised to see that the apartment lay completely bare. The living room had nothing in it, the kitchen was empty, hell even the bathroom was vacant. It then hit me; What am I doing here? I don't live here anymore. I stood there, feeling like I was a character in The Sims who just had their action canceled, when I heard something coming from my empty bedroom which I hadn't gone into yet.

It was a soft female voice, crying quietly. The hair stood up on the back of my neck, and I immediately started awake. Relieved, I found myself back in Melissa's bed, with that voluptuous body lying peacefully next to me. My heartbeat started to slow down as I smiled at this sight, and kissed her on her forehead. Though, as I closed my eyes, I heard the crying in my head again. I tried to shake it off as a lingering afterthought as I dozed off.

This dream became a recurring nightmare. As it became more prevalent, I started to lose sleep. The paranoia had afflicted me with insomnia, but my curiosity made me lapse out of consciousness during the day. Concerned for me, Melissa would try and snap me out of it when my eyes glazed over. I confided to her about the dreams I had. She was understanding, but she had no idea of what to say to help me. We tried all sorts of new age sleeping remedies, and when that didn't work I started taking pills just to sleep. No matter what, I still had that same fucking dream, and each time, I would hear that crying.

That poor girl sobbing that drove its way into my very soul and hollowed me out. The way my hair stood up on end and how queasy I felt when I even looked at my darkened, empty old bedroom. My concentration suffered at college, and my grades dropped. I got fired from my job because my performance was slowed. Melissa, frustrated with me not being able to help with rent, gave up on me. I had to move out. I would have moved into my old apartment room, but I couldn't bring myself to even step in there. Every time I did, I felt sick to my stomach.

So I moved into another building in the same complex. I figured I would try to distance myself from that dump as much as I could while still trying to stay in the cheapest apartment in town. As I finished my unpacking that night, I undressed and went to take a shower. I looked in the mirror and saw a shell that I didn't even recognize. I saw a gaunt, pale version of me with messy hair and stubble.

The exhausted facial expression that stared back with empty eyes made my soul go cold. Fuck it. I need sleep. I need to get my life back on track. If I had to experience that nightmare again, I would suck it up and go into the room this time. To confront, or just to find out, where that crying was coming from. Maybe then I could end this and start my life back over. I was too young to let my life go like this.

I don't even remember falling asleep. I just remember being in front of that door again. That same door, with the number "14-A" in brass numbers. Here we go again, I thought with a surprising lucidity. I opened the door with my shaking hands. I didn't even turn on the light switch. I knew it wouldn't work. I just clicked on my flashlight. I checked the living room. Barren. I checked that kitchen. Vacant, of course. The bathroom was also unoccupied. And then I heard the crying, as always, coming from my old bedroom. I fought back the feeling of dread and sucked in a breath and walked slowly into the room. The sobbing became more agonized, and the empathy I felt was hard to fight back. It felt like her soul was falling apart. I nervously turned my flashlight toward the sound of her weeping

I saw a young woman, huddled in the fetal position and naked, where my bed once was placed. Her face was hidden by stringy, frizzy hair, that once seemed to be sandy brown, but now was greyish white. She had pale, greying flesh that had scratches all over her arms and legs. Her sobs softened as my bluish flashlight beam hit her. I choked out the words, "Are... are you OK...?" This must have shocked her because her whole body spasmed at my words and she went silent for a long, dread filled moment.

She then mumbled, weakly, "I've tried... I've tried so hard to move on..."

I fought back a tear and gulped as I asked her, "What do you mean?"

She sobbed and moaned, "You were better off... without me... I've tried.... I've tried so hard... to die...." She began to convulse as her tears stopped. Then, she stood up, and I could see her emaciated and quivering body had a hole in her chest that seemed as if she had ripped it open herself. She was gripping her own heart in her hand, black as coal and withered... but still beating, slowly. Then, with a jolt she snapped her face up to look at me. I saw her grey taut skin with sunken, clouded eyes that leaked thick, bloody tears. In that instant she shrieked at me with a pitch that made my entire soul wretch. "But I can't!"

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