Someone Never Stopped Coming Home

While it was still just David, Hemi Monster and I, our house, the first and only house for which we made mortgage payments, still felt busy.

Even when any of us were by ourselves, we were never truly alone.

That can be comforting and it can also be terrifying.

On one afternoon, it was more the latter for me.

During the day, David was usually at work and I taught the class I designed from home. So Hemi and I spent a lot of time together.

Hemi was very little help when it came to handling all the crazy stuff that happened in our North Street home.

Yet, she did her best.

And she was accidentally spooky and at times resembled a Rancor Vampire

and a Cat Snake.

In any case, the things that happened most often in this house were unexplained sounds and noises which greatly uprooted Hemi’s quiet sloth life.

I’d often hear footsteps upstairs and on the stairs. But, usually, the footsteps were faint and could be dismissed and so we all tried to just ignore them. Even Hemi found a little inner strength occasionally and tried to maintain her priorities.

Thus, I usually looked to Hemi to see if she was hearing what I was hearing and she mostly preferred to sleep and not react.

Hemi was incredibly lazy so, if she was compelled to lift her head or even get up, you know it was either the garbage truck or something significant.

But things deemed “significant” started to happen more frequently.

As a shocking turn of events, Hemi started to bark and growl at the front door. Yet, when we’d get up to check, no one was there.

And Hemi would continue to growl and stare at the door.

This was so out of character for this dog it was jarring.

And, every once in awhile, the heavy front door would just unlatch and blow open with so much sudden gusto it even made Hemi get up.

But, when this would happen, I just assumed a phantom wanted coffee. I’d comfort the dog and, again, if I wasn’t seeing anything, I could play it down.

Our front door was thick and wooden and it had a beveled glass inlay. In fact, that door is what first made me love the house. It was beautiful.

It was also heavy.

It took a strong gust of wind to blow open that door but it happened. And, as the weather warmed, I didn’t turn the deadbolt of the front door as often if I was home. And so, without the lock inhibiting it, this could of course explain the front door and how it would randomly, dramatically, blast open.

Yet, there was something about the stairs and the entry area and its oval mirror which gave us chills.

Even in the bright daylight, that part of the house just buzzed with energy and it always felt like people we couldn’t see were coming and going.

Eventually, Hemi found a solution for all this activity which upset her:

hide in the upstairs bathroom.

Whenever she heard or saw something she didn’t like, Hemi would run upstairs and hide in the bathroom. She’d push open the door, walk in, turn around and close the door behind her.

She’d then push the door shut with her big head until she heard the latch click.

If you couldn’t find the dog, she was hiding in the bathroom.

In fact, Hemi and I both came to find that the safest place to be in the house was the tiny upstairs bathroom. After I brought Mom home and we had a team of hospice workers and respite caregivers, the bathroom was the place where I could find privacy and calm when I needed a break.

I’d put on my headphones, listen to music, open the bathroom window and breathe. Or I’d just sit there, clutching a glass of wine.


And Hemi would simply hide.

So it was in this tiny bathroom that Hemi the giant rancor vampire cat snake mastiff and I both spent a lot of time.

Yet, all the coming and going in the house came to a head early one sunny afternoon day.

At the time, I was standing in the bathroom, listening to music on my headphones with the bathroom door closed when I heard the front door downstairs slam shut.

I thought David was home.

It was early but he had a relatively flexible job.

I took off my headphones.

I then heard heavy footsteps lumbering their way up the stairs.

I didn’t feel spooked at all. It was so loud and normal-sounding. I heard the front door slam and heavy footsteps lumbering up the stairs often. This was David’s calling card.

So I called out his name but he didn’t respond.

Instead, I heard the heavy footsteps arrive at the top of the stairs and then stomp their way into our bedroom.

And then I didn’t hear any more footsteps. It was completely quiet.

I called out David’s name again, but this time I used a louder voice.

No response.

My heart dropped into my stomach. Someone had wandered inside the house. And my mind did a tailspin.

It was the middle of the day and someone had wandered onto our front porch and then just walked into our house and was now upstairs and… oh no oh no oh no oh no.

Since it sounded as if they were just standing in our bedroom as that’s where the sounds of the footsteps stopped and I didn’t hear any more footsteps beyond that, I assumed a confused homeless person had wandered inside.

We lived in a colorful neighborhood. It wasn’t “bad” but there was a regular pattern to when the nearby Walgreens and porn store would be robbed. And there were often people flying a sign on the busy street which intersected with our own. Also, conveniently, three bus stops were located directly in front of our house, directly across the street from our house and fifteen yards from the front of our house.

We lived near a hub of desperate activity.

It was perfectly reasonable to think someone got confused and wandered into the upstairs of our house and was now standing in our bedroom, wondering where they were.

I reassured myself with this line of thinking.

The rest of me assumed it was a sadistic killer and I was without my baseball bat.

I sat down on the bathroom floor and pressed my feet against the door, ensuring that whoever it was couldn’t just push right in with ease.

I had been texting with my cousin’s girlfriend before the all the ruckus and so I continued to do so, telling her that someone had entered the house and was now standing in our bedroom.

She told me to call the police and also said that my cousin would drive over right away but… never one to accept help very easily, I told her not to bother.

Besides, the police were always driving around our neighborhood and were probably outside already.

Also, while I would have loved my ridiculously large and muscular cousin to come over and perform some physical intimidation, he lived an hour away. And I wasn’t patient enough to wait.

And, by this point, I still hadn’t heard any subsequent noises.

Someone had slammed our front door shut and then loudly clattered up the stairs, stomped into our bedroom and then… there had been no additional sounds.

No more footsteps. No response to my calls. No shuffling. Nothing.

All I could hear were the birds singing outside.

I decided I would just face whoever it was. I rose to my feet. This was ridiculous.

I looked around for a makeshift weapon. I had barricaded myself in a small bathroom which was mostly filled with rolled towels. Thus, I critically reviewed my scant options. I considered the potential of my plastic hair dryer but figured it would shatter if I brought it down on someone’s head and I didn’t think it would do much damage and then I’d quickly be without a weapon.

I then decided my curling iron was the way to go. It was solid and sturdy.

If someone with ill-intentions was just waiting in our bedroom for me to emerge and they ran at me when I did so, I’d bash them on the head, pull the bathroom door shut, squeeze through the bathroom window and lower myself to the ground below.

It was a two story drop but, I’m tall, so I’d hang and then drop.

I’d be fine.

My jaw set and my plan intact, I wrapped my curling iron’s cord tightly around my wrist and clutched it above my head.

I carefully turned the bathroom doorknob, pressing the toes of my right foot against the bottom of the door to provide further stabilization, and then slowly pulled the door open so I could get a peek.

No one was there.

And nothing happened.

Yet, I continued to stand there, curling iron raised, waiting.

The birds continued to sing but there was no other noise. My heart raced.

And still nothing happened.

I stepped back to pull the bathroom door open wider.

The house was completely still. I had no idea where Hemi was but was sure she was hiding somewhere downstairs, playing dead.

I took a couple steps back. I crouched low, and braced for an attack.

Still nothing.

After a few minutes, I decided to move out.

I carefully stepped forward and crept out of the bathroom into the little upstairs hallway, my eyes fixed on our open bedroom door and my curling iron now clutched at my side, ready to be plunged forward into the stomach of whatever, if it happened to quickly move forward.

Now that I was officially out of the bathroom my plan was to rush forward, inflict a wound, and then fall back down the stairs so I could throw open the front door and run outside screaming bloody murder.

But nothing moved. The house was completely still.

Therefore, gathering all my nerve, I moved forward into our bedroom doorway, slammed our bedroom door against the wall, dropped the curling iron and grabbed the baseball bat which had been leaning against the dresser and raised it in an ideally threatening manner from my position, pressed against the bedroom door in the corner of the room.

I scanned our bedroom.

I could see no one else standing in our bedroom.

That was an epic relief. I had envisioned someone just standing there on the other side of the bed, unmoving, still, staring at me, waiting.

I had been fully prepared to run like I’d never before run.

But no one was there.

And then no one was in the two bedroom closets. No one was under the bed. No one was in the “secret passage” which led from my husband’s small bedroom closet to the closet of the small third upstairs room which had no heat. This third room had been the bedroom of the previous owner when she was a girl and also when she was over 100 years old. And it too was completely empty.

No one was in the guest room or its closet or its closet’s creepy extra room which was guarded by Traumatized Christmas Doll #1.

Thank God.

No one was on the first floor except for Hemi, who was cowering in her bed.

No one was in the basement or in any of the basement’s closets.

My fear relented as I worked my way through the house. My baseball bat and I scoured the entire place and found nothing except cowardice and dust.

I went outside and walked around our house. I looked up and down the street. I saw nothing out of the ordinary.

I went back inside and texted my cousin’s girlfriend that I was safe and had been mistaken as no one was in our house after all.

I sat down on the couch.

Emboldened by my company, Hemi joined me.

I was too worn out to explain how someone had crashed their way into our bedroom and then, somehow, left without causing a single floor creak,

opening the front door and securely latching it behind them.

They would have had to be a ninja.

And, honestly, they were gone and I didn’t care. I checked the locks for a third time and continued to treasure the flood of relief which continued to rush through me.

At the time, I was impossibly distracted by life realities and the state of constant dying and death which had fallen upon my most beloved family members, so if that construction worker ghost

(see previous post)

wanted to barge into the house after a bad day in the afterlife and go stomp upstairs to his room so he could stare into the bedroom mirror,

that was fine. I didn’t care as long as he didn’t jump out at me.

We could happily share our house with whomever had lived there before.

However, I’d soon change my mind about this.

This is because in the next month I would be bringing my terminally-ill mom home which would inspire the house to do the biggest and most dramatic thing it had ever done.

But, until that epic happening, which I’ll share in the next episode, Hemi and I continued to spend a lot of quality time in the safe bathroom where we drank wine and ignored/hid from whatever we could.

2 thoughts on “Someone Never Stopped Coming Home

  1. Omg I remember now that once I thought you guys were back home from being out because the front door opened and then no one was there! Scared the shit out of me.

    Liked by 1 person

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