The man visited me again. He's been appearing out of nowhere since I was five, just standing there, staring. I'm twelve now and he's still coming.
He's an old man, his skin is pale and looks like it's melting off his face. He wears a tattered white suit and his shoulders are slumped as if he has been cursed with the burden of carrying heavy chains. He has no eyes, just two empty white voids where they should be.
Before, he would just glared at me, as if in wonder, observing, but not interfering. Tonight, he walked toward me. His walk was slow, and had an eerie grace to it. Not making a sound. not even a slight rustle of pants rubbing together as he walked or his shoes hitting the floor, he made his way to the side of the bed. I felt a tear run down my cheek. He stopped and stared into my eyes with an empty look, as if to apologize to me for what he was about to do.
Abruptly, he thrust his hand over my forehead and started shaking violently. It was as if his hand penetrated my skull and touched my brain. I was blinded by a light that seemed to be emanating from my eyes and I could taste the blood flowing from my nose into my mouth.
Then, as abruptly as he started, he picked his shaky hand up off my forehead. He again looked at me apologetically, and as if the floor moved him, he slowly fell back into the shadowy haven of the corner.
It's been months now since he left, and he hasn't returned. Though I am relieved that he's gone, there is an emptiness in me that I can't help feeling. The part I understand the least is this strange new knowledge I've acquired since he left. It's like I know everything. Before the man left, he told me to use the knowledge. He said to use it wisely. 1
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.