I reached over to their door and knocked on it ever so gently.
I knocked again. This time a bit louder.
Still no response.
Could I blame them? It was almost 3 in the morning. As I waited there for the door to open, I felt really awkward about the whole thing. I mean I have argued with the guy before but never this late in the night. I kept wondering what I was going to say and whether I should sound humble or assertive. I stood there for what seemed like forever waiting for a response.
This is just too weird for me. No. I need to take a stand. What if I go back and the sound starts again? How many nights of this torture will I endure? I told myself.
KNOCK! KNOCK! KNOCK!
I knocked again. Louder and harder. Still nothing. Should I call them out? That’s just looking for a fight. I don’t remember exactly how long I stood there before I ran out of patience. Screw it. I’ll deal with this tomorrow. I convinced myself. Just as I was about to walk away, I heard something. But it was too faint for me to understand anything. Hesitating for a moment, I pressed my ears against the door trying to hear what was going on inside. Someone was talking behind the door. Whispering. But I couldn’t make out the words. I couldn’t even understand whether it was the man or his wife. Just low and muddled whispers.
As the doorknob started to turn all of a sudden, I quickly moved and stood back in my place. Realizing my anxiety was going wild, I took a slow deep breath. That’s when the door slowly creaked open ever so slightly. Instantly a gust of putrid warm air came out and hit my nose like a truck. The stench was unbearable, as if something had been dead inside for decades. I felt my leg sink into the floor as an indescribable sense of dread grasped me out of nowhere. As I peeked inside through the tiny gap in the door, darkness as black as death stared back at me. I felt this deep-rooted fear inside me that something worse than death was waiting for me inside. Everything inside me begged me to run back to my apartment that instant.
But for God knows what reason I stood there. I stood still with a cold feeling in my gut as I scanned the darkness inside with my rapidly moving eyes. But there was no one inside, just the stillness of pitch-black darkness. Suddenly I felt this burning shock inside me as my heart almost leapt out of my chest. It was then I noticed him peeking from the realms of the darkness that reigned over the world that existed behind that door. I was completely in the clutch of an overbearing sense of dread by now.
As my eyes adjusted to the darkness, I realized it was one of the kids. Something seemed really weird right away. He hid cautiously behind the door with only a part of his face peeking out, staring at me with awkwardly wide-open eyes. The terror I felt inside me kept growing exponentially. This kid…something was terribly wrong with the way he stood…with the way he looked at me. Although I couldn’t see the rest of his body, it seemed his head tilted at a freakish angle as he kept staring at me with cold empty eyes.
Is he on drugs? Why is he even awake at this time?
Desperately trying to get a grip over my fear, I barely managed to speak out.
Your..father. Um…is he…can I talk to him?
My confidence dropped miles as I realized how my trembling voice revealed my growing fear. But the kid just stood there without even uttering a single word in response. You’ve never experienced anxiety the way I did that night as his expressionless face & soulless eyes kept staring at me. I asked him again. This time trying to be a bit more assertive.