Her Stalker

She’s attractive, athletic, smart. She has a huge circle of friends, and has just gotten an early acceptance into medical school. She seems to have the perfect life.

But she has a secret.

She’s crazy.

Or maybe that’s just what her stalker wants her to think.

He shows up whenever she’s alone. No matter how hard she tries – changing the lock, bolting the window, installing a new security camera – he always manages to get in. She tries to ignore him whenever he visits, but it’s so hard because he knows how to push all her buttons

He has a way of sucking every ounce of happiness from her. He does it systematically, relentlessly, regardless of how hard she cries or how long she begs. Sometimes when she’s too happy, she remembers him, and remembers to keep her happiness under control. He can sense it and it draws him to her, like a shark to blood.

She’s taken to suddenly jerking away from him, as if preparing for a physical blow. But he never uses his hands… those would leave too much evidence, and might prove to others that he had been there. So he just talks.

It’s because of him that she is terrified of being alone. Even minutes of silence terrify her, because she knows that he takes it as an invitation to slip back in. She’s taken to loudly playing the sounds of people socializing when she’s by herself… she takes comfort in their voices, and it keeps his at bay.

Showers are the worst because when she comes out there’s the silence again. She places her cellphone right on the edge of the sink, and as soon as the shower is turned off, she clambers out, soaking wet, to press the PLAY button.

Sometimes she wonders if other people also have an imaginary stalker. One time he showed up while she was walking down the street with Cindy, and she told him to fuck off like she always did. Cindy looked at her in astonishment, so she apologized. Other people must not have stalkers like her. They were so lucky.

One night she’s alone. She has never dreamed about him before, but tonight she does. When she opens her eyes, he’s there. With a strangled cry, she pushes him away. It’s the first time she’s touched him. For once, he has no words.

As he turns to leave, she awakens. Maybe she was asleep this whole time. Maybe she was asleep her whole life. She certainly has never felt more awake.

She chases him down the stairs, through the house. She’s heard his voice a billion times, but she’s never seen his face before. Now that she’s awake, she’s curious. As she goes through the kitchen, she grabs the pen knife. In the living room, she corners him. His hands reach out to touch the wall – for once he is the one who ran – now there is no escape – he turns – she screams –

The knife pierces her stomach. She is looking into his eyes… its eyes… her eyes.

schizophrenia

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