All In Your Head

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My heart is racing. I know he’s watching me but I’m not certain where he is. I peek around the trees that surround my house and I see him running towards me. I tried running the other way but my feet seemed to be nailed to the ground.

He lunged at me and I screamed.
I woke up in a pool of my own sweat realizing it was only a dream. ‘Damn,’ I thought, ‘I knew I shouldn’t have watched ‘Hush’ last night.’ I took a deep breath, rolling onto the other side of the bed where my husband usually sleeps. It’s nice and cool from the fact that no one has slept there for over a month. But that’s just the price I have to pay for marrying an international rapper. He’s mostly known for ‘Slim Shady’ or his more modern name, ‘Eminem’. I get lonely sometimes without him and people would think I’d just go out and party my loneliness away, but I don’t. I just prefer to enjoy the peace and quiet.
I get out of bed still thinking about my dream. ‘It’s scary to think that something like that could actually happen.’ I thought. As I make my way to the stairs, I check the cameras throughout the house. Which covers behind me, my sides and the front of me. Em believes that I have nothing to worry about, given where we live. But it’s hard to be reassured when you have Scopophobia.
I greet my two year old Siberian Husky, named Sara, at the bottom of the stairs. She jumps on me playfully waiting for a meal and playtime. While I make breakfast for me I prepare her food. Sara always loves to eat pork ribs. After she cleans off all the meat, she bites on it happily like a baby with a teething ring, and opens up the bone looking for marrow. Em wants to get another dog so I won’t be too lonely but I love Sara’s company. When I’m feeling down, she’ll bring me her favorite toy and place it on my lap looking up to me as if she was saying, “It makes me happy so I hope it makes you happy too.” I smile at that. She’s a good companion to have when I feel lonely. I smile at her and make my way to the kitchen. All of a sudden I hear a soft squeaking sound as if a shoe just scoffed the floor. But I know for a fact I’m home alone. At least I think I am. I look in the monitor in front of me and I see a shadow turn away. I look over my shoulder to see if Sara saw that too but she’s nowhere in sight. “S***.” I mumble under my breath. I grab a kitchen knife and slowly make my way to the doorway leading to the other room. I take a deep breath and turn into the room ready to stab anyone who was there. I jump up and scream when I hear my phone ring. I look into the next room to see my phone next to Sara ringing like crazy while she is just casually chewing on her squeaker.
“God dammit. I swear I’m going to sell you if you do that again.” I scold her. I look at the phone to see that Em is calling me and I take a deep breath in and answer.
“Hey Em.” it takes him a little bit to answer me.
“You sound out of breath are you okay? Did Sara scare you again?”
I look at the knife in my hand and throw it on the counter, “No I just went for a jog and you called right when I got back home.” I hear him sigh, he knows I’m lying. “I really hate leaving you alone. I feel like you’d go crazy in that house thinking that someone is always staring at you. I really think we need to get you some more friends.. Or I’ll just get Nate or Hailie I ju-” I cut him off getting irritated. “I don’t want you to be worried. And I don’t need any friends when I got Sara, Netflix, my books, and your CD’s so I can hear your voice everyday. Hailie is still in school and Nate has his own life, don’t bring them into this.” he goes silent for a little and he sighs. “I just want you to be safe. I love you, I don’t want anything to happen to you. I should be back from tour by tomorrow.” I smile, “I love you too, I can’t wait to see you.” We say our good-byes and hang up. I stare at the knife for a little bit and put it back into its place. As I’m making my way up stairs I smell our breakfast burning. “Great,” I think “I’m just screwing up everything this morning.” I go and turn off the stove looking at Sara. “Sorry baby, no ribs this morning.” I look down at my eggs and bacon, “I guess no eggs and bacon for me..” I mumble to myself. Sara looks at me sadly as I pour her a bowl of dog food. She always gives me this look like she wants me to feel like the ass here. I roll my eyes at her and decide to make up her burnt breakfast with an hour of playtime.
By the time I finished with playing with Sara, we were both exhausted. I made some cereal making sure I didn’t burn it. I laughed. I couldn’t burn cereal but the thought of me pouring milk into my bowl then it catching on fire was funny and kind of amusing. I walked towards the stairs gesturing for Sara to go up but she isn’t listening. Instead she’s staring at the door growling. I furrow my eyebrows and look in the peephole but see nothing. I grab her by the collar, making sure my cereal doesn’t spill in my other hand, and pull her upstairs to my room. “I guess you’re seeing things too, huh girl?” I said as I closed my bedroom door. She whimpers and scratches at the door wanting to get out. I try to ignore her as I pull out my favorite book of all time, The Weight Of Silence, and eat my cereal, but she keeps crying. I start getting really annoyed so I open the door and she scurries down stairs, barking and snarling. Usually I would be worried about it but I realized that it’s usually a racoon or possum in the front yard.
I roll my eyes and close my door then go back to reading my book. It’s about a seven year old, very bright, and a very loving girl, named Calli, who has been a selective mute since she was a toddler, after a tragedy that brought her into a deep silence. Her best friend is Petra. Petra seems to always know what she’s thinking. So she’s technically her voice. But one day they both go missing and the two families are torn apart. Now these families are tied by the question of what happened to their children. And the answer is trapped in the silence of unspoken family secrets.
I read for a few hours then I wake up with drool on my pillow and the lights turned off. I stretch thinking that maybe I got up to turn off the lights. I get up to turn on the lights but they aren’t turning on. ‘That’s weird. We’re always on time when it comes to our bills.’ But then I realized that Em paid them before he left so I wouldn’t be in the darkness. I grab my phone to call Em but I don’t have any wifi. ‘S***. If I didn’t know better I’d think I was in a damn horror movie.’  I laugh nervously and grab a blanket, since it’s negative fifteen degrees outside, and I walk down stairs. My heart drops when I see that all of my cameras are off and the front door is wide open. I take a deep breath and slowly make my way down stairs. I hear someone struggling outside. I furrow my eyebrows and slowly inch towards the stairs and gradually descend, I see a tall man dressed in black fighting Sara. She has her jaw hooked onto his leg and doesn’t want to let go. He kicks her off and closes the door. I can hear her barking, but she eventually quiets down. My eyes start tearing up, not just because of the cold but the fact that my Sara knew that something wasn’t right earlier and I didn’t listen to her. I slowly start moving backwards to go upstairs to hide and turn on the emergency lights on so someone can see something isn’t right. But I trip on the step and fall down. The man turns around and stares at me. He has big dark brown eyes that almost seem black, and he has no hair on his shiny head, and his mouth is twisted into a smile. His teeth are crooked and yellow as if he hadn’t brushed them in months. He puts a finger over his mouth and says, “I’ve waited a while to meet you and now here you are.” I stare at him wide-eyed and horrified. I want to ask why he’s in my home and why I can smell his breath all the way from the stairs, but I know he won’t tell me because why should he? “We’re going to play a little game,” He smirks looking at me up and down, “I’m going to cover my eyes and count to ten. And I want your pretty little self to hide. I will find you one way or another, so have fun with it.” He winked at me and I shut my eyes and I ran to my room. All of a sudden he starts counting. “Ten, nine, eight..” I have to find somewhere to hide. “Seven, six, five..” Then I remembered Em has a secret room in his closet for all of his childhood memories. I run to the closet, hitting the emergency light button, trying to not make as much noise as possible. “Four, three, two..” I go in the room, close the door and climb the shelves silently thanking Em for making this room, it’s small, but helpful. “One. Ready or not, here I come.” I start softly crying to myself trying not to be too loud. What if Em comes back from tour and sees me dead on the floor. I would never be able to tell him how much I love and care for him or tell him how s***ty MMLP2 was. I would never be able to give Sara her damn ribs that she loves so much. I won’t ever be able to see Matthew and Joseph have children, or see Hailie graduate from college. My mom would be heartbroken and she will never know how much she means to me.
I hear him walking around the room, opening drawers and breaking mirrors. “Damn, you really must be spoiled.” I hear him yell. “You got what seems like everything you’ve ever wanted.” He pauses for a moment. I hold my breath in, ‘What is he doing?’ I thought. I hear him open the closet door and he walks around knocking over everything. “God dammit!” I hear him yell. I try to hold in my sobs as he angrily stomps out of the closet and room. I wait until his steps are far away. And I start pulling myself out of the shelf. I carefully opened the small door and peered outside and saw my clothes on the floor, drawers open, my mirrors broken, and my favorite jewelry box opened. Tears started welling up in my eyes again and I contemplated on staying in the closet and waiting for him to give up and leave. But why would he leave? I roll my eyes at myself annoyed with how I’m questioning every little move. But I am a horror movie fanatic and all the people in the movies are idiots and don’t have and common sense. I finally leave the closet and look around trying to see if I can find anything I can defend myself with. I see BB guns that Em and Nathan use to play with as kids. ‘What am I going to do with this? Shoot him with little metal balls until he dies?!’ I put it in my pants trying to think what else I can get. The Garage. It has a hammer and buckets of paint I can hit him with.  But I then realized that I have to get him out of the house. Even if it’s for a couple of minutes, that will buy me some time to get something to protect myself with.
I slowly open the door and peek outside the room. I see him knocking things over in the room across the hall. ‘He can’t find me. Good.’ I took off my socks, ran down the stairs and carefully open the door to the garage and grab a paint bucket. I run to the front door, still making sure he doesn’t hear me, I swing the door open and run behind the couch. I hear him running downstairs. “God dammit!” he pauses. “Well she at least didn’t open the gate which means that she’s still here somewhere..” He looks around and grabs a small statue walking slowly outside. When he gets a few feet from the door, he looks down and I carefully get up making sure not to make any sound, “She’s ins-!” and as I’m right behind him I take a deep breath and hit him over the head with the paint bucket. I hear a loud grunt as he falls face first into the snowy concrete. I am not the type that is violent, and for a slight second I want to help him but then I remembered that he came here to hurt me. I quickly closed the door and ran to the garage getting the tool belt. I put a hammer in it searching as quickly as I can for other weapons. I find an empty spray bottle and fill it with bleach and ammonia. My mom had always told me to never mix chemicals because you never know what reaction it could have. But my mom isn’t here and this son of a b**** needs to leave. I get the knife that I used hours earlier and I stick it in a pocket. I quickly go and check the front door. He’s not there. “S*** s*** s*** s*** s***!” all there is, is a small pool of blood from when I hit him over the head.
I hear the back door open and he comes charging right at me. But this time he has a knife. I feel helpless. I look him up and down for a split second and realized that he must be at least seventy more pounds than I was and about a foot taller than me. My eyes start tearing up but I knew I had to at least try. Even if it meant dying.
He swings the knife at me, I crouch, and I grab the hammer from my pouch and hit his knee as hard as I could. “Oh you little fu-” he started as he tried to get up. I tried to hit him over the head with the hammer but he caught my hand. I started shaking but I knew that I couldn’t give up just yet. I grabbed my bottle and sprayed him in the eyes. He started crying and writhing like a baby. I got my knife and stabbed him in the back twice. I fell onto my butt and started crying as blood seeped from him. I tried running outside to get help but I was pulled to a deep sleep.
I woke up abruptly on the floor to the wood creaking above me. I feel like I should run but I must protect my home. “I really must be in a horror movie if I’m acting this idiotic.” I uttered under my breath. I reposition my belt and carefully head upstairs. It’s nighttime now and the power isn’t back on. But thank everything that I convinced Em years ago to have emergency lighting. I feel eyes staring at me and I quickly turn around breathing heavily. Nothing. I finally make it up stairs and go to what use to be Hailie’s room. I see a figure in the corner of the room and I charge at it stabbing it multiple times. I realize that nothing is happening to the figure so I look at in in the poor lighting. It’s just one of her old giant teddy bears. ‘Dang, he must be amused with me stabbing a bear.’ I keep looking through the room and move on to the guest rooms. “Oh Mercedes…” I hear faintly. I turn around and I’m barely getting any air because of how high my adrenaline is. I gasp for air looking around. “Oh don’t you want to play with me..?” it taunts. I start having a major headache and feel a million eyeballs staring at me. I look around and see eyes all over the wall just looking at me. “Stop staring at me! Stop staring at me!” I screech. I crouch down to the floor and curl up into a little ball. “Mercedes… Don’t you want some attention?” I start crying. “You’re not real! You’re not real!” I cry.
“Oh but I’m very much real..” it whispered in my ear. I hear the front door slam open and someone is running upstairs. I look up and see the man weak but standing over me, he seems infuriated yet pleased. At this point I’m too weak and scared to fight or even run. I continue to cry. “Mercedes! Mercedes!” I hear a familiar voice calling. I cover my head and await my fate. I feel someone shaking my shoulders and I open my eyes for a second. It’s Em. I want to apologize for everything and tell him I love him but instead I fall into a deep sleep.
I wake up to a bright light above me and in a small blue room with a little bouquet of flowers and a tray of food in front of me. I have many tubes in my arms but that isn’t what caught my attention. What caught my attention was Em right by my side sipping his coffee. ‘Damn he looks old’ I think. He has bags under his eyes, it looks like he lost some weight, and he grew his beard out which he never does. I try to say something but my mouth feels too dry. I smack my lips and Em looked at me and practically jumps out of his chair. He runs to me and gives me a kiss. “I’m thirsty.” He quickly gets some water and a straw and puts it to my mouth. It tastes so sweet yet so bitter. I want to keep drinking but I know that I have to talk to Em. “There was a man and he-” Em cuts me off.
“I came home early from my tour to surprise you but once I got out of the car I saw that the emergency lights were on. I went to the gate’s security but they were unconscious. Lazy wusses..” He looks at me and I smile and he continued.
“As I was running I called 911 and told them that someone knocked the guards unconscious, and you were home alone with the emergency lights on. I hung up immediately and went to find you. When I got inside I saw blood on the floor leading upstairs so I called out for you but you didn’t answer. I saw a man standing in the doorway of Hailie’s room and I knew you had to be in there. I ran to you and when I got to you, you were shaking and crying then you passed out.” He took a deep breath and had a sad look on his face. I knew he wasn’t telling me all that happened. I wanted to know what happened to the man. But by the look on his face, he doesn’t really seem like he wants to talk about it. A bubbly young nurse comes into the room and her presence already annoys me.
“Hi Mercedes! My name is Ava, I’m so glad you’re finally awake.” she joyfully says. I give her a fake smile and she comes to my bedside checking my vital signs and chart. A police officer comes into the room and whispers into Em’s ear. Em turns to me holding up a finger as if saying, “I’ll be back.” I frown as he turns away. Ava turns to me and says, “Your vital signs are looking good but you’re dehydrated. But don’t worry, I’ll get you back to normal soon!” she giggles and walks out of the room. I stare out of disbelief that that woman is my nurse. ‘God.’ I think, ‘I must’ve done some bad s*** in order to get someone like her.’ I roll my eyes at myself. ‘Just be glad she cares and is a happy person.’ I argue. Em comes in with a grim look on his face and sits next to me.
“What happened?” I squeak.
He looks up at me and shakes his head. “They just wanted my statement on what happened.”
I furrow my eyebrows. “Why not mine? I mean I was the one who went through it.” he shrugs and sips his coffee.
I take a deep and ask the million dollar question, “Em… What happened after I passed out?”
He stares at his coffee and says nothing.
“Em. I know something happened, please tell me what. You know I won’t say anything to anyone.”
He looks at me, studying my face as if trying to see if I was lying or not. He looks around and leans in.
“When I got up the stairs, and saw that man standing in the doorway I grabbed him by his jacket and rammed him against the railing. One thing led to another and he ended up downstairs on the floor.”
I stare at him wide-eyed. I could never imagine Em killing someone. I mean yes, he has some violent songs but he would never actually kill someone. I look out the door at the cop. Em shakes his head.
“The cops have an idea that I was the main cause of his death. But since the man broke into our house and tried to hurt you, they seem to just let it slide.”
I stare at him for a little bit.
“What about the eyes?” I say softly. Em furrows his eyebrows and glances at me.
“What eyes?”
“The eyes on the wall that were staring at me.”
Em sighs and kisses me on my forehead. “No baby, it was all in your head.”
 






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