Things had been tough for my mom and I, ever since my dad left us two years ago. At least I was old enough to get myself to and from school and I new my way around a microwave, but I wasn’t old enough to get a job and the bills were piling up. My mom decided to get a second job. A night job. Maybe part time and not something to brag about but it would keep our heads above water.
I remember the first night like it was yesterday. My mom apologizing up and down for having to leave me alone. I told her I’d be fine and honestly I was pretty excited. She wouldn’t be home until late and that meant I could stay up late. There was a monster movie marathon on so who would complain?
It was just around nine-thirty and I was right in the thick of some Japanese gore fest when I swore I heard something outside. Maybe it was my mind playing tricks on me. Maybe the movie got to me. Either way, I HAD to check it out. I hesitantly peered out of the living room window, looking to the left, then the right, and nothing. Then, I noticed, directly across the way, a man, standing in his window, just staring. I couldn’t really tell what he was staring at but it freaked me out anyway. I stood at the window for at least a minute, as long as my heart could bare it, and he didn’t move. That was it for me that night. I was done with the monster flicks, done with the freaky dude in the window and tried to fall asleep.
The next morning I told my mom about the man. First, she was upset I was up so late and then she asked if I’d been watching scary movies. Needless to say, I got the “it was all in my imagination ” thing and that was that.
That night, after my mom left, I didn’t feel comfortable alone. It was like that feeling of someone watching you and just after nine again I swear I heard something. It was just like the last except there was no horror movie marathon. Against what my brain was screaming at at me I pulled myself again to the window. There he was! The man, just staring out of his window. This time I darted away as quick as I could and ran to my room. It was so weird. It got the hair on my neck standing on end. The next morning I told my mom but she just brushed it off, saying he was probably just a nervous old man and it had nothing to do with me.
I wasn’t so sure but what could I do? My mom left for work that night even though I begged her to stay. I tried to take my mind of the man. I watched t.v., I played music, I even did all of my homework, but still I wondered if he was out there, staring from his window at me or God knows what.
My curiosity got the better of me and I made my way to the window. My fear was realized in that moment because there he was, the man in the window, just staring. I tried to keep my presence a secret and see just how long he would stand there. My heart felt like it was going to leap out of my chest but I stayed there at the window, in some sort of weird staring contest. Then it happened. He moved away from the window and I breathed a sigh of relief. My mom was right. I was worried about nothing.
Suddenly, his front door opened and my comfort changed to dread in an instant. I watched from my window, trying my best not to be seen, watching him walk down his driveway, then across the street, then up my drive way. I choked in fear and ran for the telephone. I dialed 9-1-1 and waited, my heart jackhammering a million miles an hour. Finally, an answer! I explained to the lady that I thought someone was trying to break in my house and she said help would be on the way and asked for my address. I managed to get out the first three numbers when I was grabbed from behind! I dropped the phone and felt these dirty, greasy hands wrap themselves around me. I screamed as loud as I could and shook myself, trying to break free but I was lifted from the ground. I could feel the hot breathe on my neck, smell the stale, rotten stench of my attacker. I couldn’t help but start crying, screaming my lungs out for my mom, for anyone, for help.
Then there was a a thud and I was falling with the man towards the floor. We hit and his grip loosened. I rolled away and scrambled behind the couch. Then I heard a voice say “It’s ok, You’re safe now.”
I looked up, shaking and bewildered. There were two men. One on the floor, who wasn’t moving and another, standing there with a baseball bat.
“You’re ok.” he said again. “I’m your neighbor from across the way.” My jaw dropped in confusion. “I’ve noticed a strange man lurking around your house, every night for the last few days and was concerned you might be in danger. I noticed your mom leaving and knew you were here all by yourself.”
The police arrived shortly afterwards and between our two stories the mysterious assailant was taking into custody. I thanked my neighbor as much as I could and from that day I always felt safer when I looked outside and saw the man in the window across from me.