I Remember Her Eyes

I Remember

This week’s WordPress Weekly Writing Challenge is to spend at least ten minutes writing on a memory.  It could either be my earliest, my happiest, my worst or a freestyle memory.  I chose freestyle.  Beware, this memory is not for the faint of heart. 

Here goes.  Stopwatch…ON.

I was living in my old house that I’d moved into when I was ten.  I can’t say how old I was at the time…maybe thirteen?  I remember that I’d come home to Houston from an acting camp in New York, and was surprised to find that my friend Jon had come over to help my family paint my entire room purple for my birthday.  They made it two shades of purple and stenciled on words like “dream” and “imagine”.  They’d also replaced my bed with a canopy bed, all perfect with purple drapes hanging over the top.  It was awesome.

I later fell asleep on the bed after being worn out from the camp and the plane.  When I opened my eyes, the room was slightly fuzzy but I could make out an image of someone in the room with me.  I thought it was my little sister Emily so I sat up and turned on the light.  It was still light outside so I wasn’t sure why she was still fuzzy.  As I opened my eyes further, I distinctly remember thinking, “That’s not Emily” when I saw that she had long black hair.  She stood at the opposite end of the room with her back to me, and when she turned her head she was so pale.  She glared angrily at me and raised her hand up to the wall with one of the nails that had been left out for hanging up my photos.  She then began scratching the paint in one spot right off the wall without looking away from me.

I blinked several times, confused and thought that I must be dreaming.  As if to answer that thought my grey Persian cat began hissing like crazy from the doorway.  I looked to my cat, and then back to the girl who was continuing to bore holes through my head with her unblinking eyes, while scratching the purple paint off of the wall.  My cat arched her back growling, hissing and spitting; her hair standing up in all directions.  She stood on her tip-toes and wouldn’t let up.  My cat only ever hissed at people when they gave her a bath.  And at dogs.

I remember not being afraid.  I convinced myself that this was a very strange dream that my jet lagged, weary mind had made up.  I got up from the bed and walked towards the girl, but as I got up she turned to the door to go.   My cat backed out of the doorway still arched and angry until the girl got too close.  My cat bolted away and I followed the girl until she’d exited the room.  I remember closing the door behind her and standing there for a very long moment, trying to figure out what had just happened.

I craned my head back to the wall where she’d been scratching and saw the white of the primer under the purple peeking back at me through the lines she’d carved.  I remember frowning, looking back at the door and then swinging it open again to reveal nothing but the hallway.  My cat raced through my legs, running straight under my bed.  (which she only did when afraid, or when given medicine).

I went back to the wall, touched the scratched lines and then stepped on the side of the nail with my bare foot.  As I lifted up the purple tipped nail, I felt a coldness inside of me as I realized that I’d just seen a ghost in my own bedroom.

I saw her only once after that incident, and dreamed a reoccurring dream of her until long after we’d moved several years later.  (Incidentally, my sister Emily told me many years later that we shared that reoccurring dream.  She described it in details that matched mine  completely.  We’d never spoken of it before then, and neither of us had told anyone.)  I don’t know what the girl wanted, but I often wonder what I would hear if I went back to that house with a tape recorder in hand to ask her a few questions.  The several years in that house that followed confirmed her presence as my closet light would turn almost every night on its own, footsteps were reported often, and disembodied voices filled that house.  I don’t know what happened there, but something is still there stuck there.  It actually makes me very sad to think about it.

You can believe in the paranormal or not, I don’t care.  It’s your decision.  You could call it a dream, but I never “woke up” from it.  Something is out there, and when you have an experience like that, you don’t forget.

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