Your fingers, numbed by the cold of the hospital room, flip through the yellowed pages of the journal. After Hannah leaves, Darren clearly goes mental. From that page on, his writing becomes sloppy and his tone of voice becomes self-deprecating.
“I’ve never felt this alone. When your only company is a two-year-old, there’s only so much to talk about.
Hannah has left me devastated and I don’t know how to move on from this. I can’t even watch TV without thinking about her.
The nights are silent, I miss listening for her breath to assure me she’s still there. I miss the sleepy smile she would give me in the mornings we shared.”
The entry ends there and your heart plummets. You feel for this broken man in a way that you’ve never felt for anyone. You didn’t think it was possible to feel connected to someone so closely through loneliness. Even being in this hospital room, you feel suffocated and depressed. No one but the nurse that brings your food has visited you during your three-night stay.
Thankfully you return home tomorrow, though you’re not sure you should be thankful. Judging by the journal pages to come, you fear something might be wrong with the house itself.
“I didn’t leave my bed today. Josiah has been crying for hours, and I need help making dinner. It’s taken every ounce of energy I have to keep him fed, but I just feel like staying in bed all day.”
The sketchy writing style seemed lazy and strewn over the pages without care. It grew worse on the next page.
“I saw something, maybe someone today through the window as I was coming home from the store. It was up on the third floor, staring down at me through the curtains.”
You bolt upright from resting against the pillows behind you. The journal is within inches of your face as you continue to read the entry.
“When I went upstairs, there was nothing there. I thought I might be seeing things because I haven’t been sleeping well, but when I turned to go back down the stairs, I was pushed.”
A wheeze escapes your lips as you struggle to breathe. Your face turns red and the room feels as if it’s closing in on you.
Something is in that house, and tomorrow, you must face it.
Last Week’s Story: Independence Part 2
Next Week’s Story: Independence: Part 4 (Finale)
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