“For the most wild, yet most homely narrative which I am about to pen, I neither expect nor solicit belief. Mad indeed would I be to expect it, in a case where my very senses reject their own evidence. Yet, mad am I not — and very surely do I not dream.”
(Edgar Allan Poe in Eleonora)
I saw him. Yes, I did. I wish I hadn’t.
Like I said before, I cannot sleep when there is someone lying next to me. I need to be alone in bed, or otherwise, I cannot fall asleep. Besides, I can’t stand the smell of another person on my sheets and pillowcases. I want my bedroom to be clean, fresh and smells like me. So, since the beginning of time, I have my own corner and later my own room. Even back then when I was with my ex and he raised hell because of it, I insisted to have my own private quarter and got what I wanted. The result was nobody could lock any room in our house. He made sure of that.
That particular (extraordinarily dark) night I was not in my designated space. I didn’t want to risk the chance of my ex-bothering me there so, I decided to hide in my son’s bedroom.
I could have put a dresser against the door in case__but experience taught me that it will only encourage him furthermore.
My son that time happened to be sleeping at my aunt’s house, but my ex-didn’t know it and that was good; it means my son’s room was the most unlikely place he was going to look for me. No matter how fucked up the man might be, he more or less still is a good father; unless it’s that time of the year again, then nothing counts.
My son had two clever annoying spoiled cats named Dulce and Snooze, they were mother and daughter. Both of them loved to swing themselves on my draperies and could open doors by themselves. I caught them in the act of doing exactly that. From a reasonable distance they would run at full speed, then jump; grab the handle and hang on there till the door opens. Hateful little pests. If only my son did not adore them…
I was already deep in my slumber when I felt some presence in the room (I sleep like a duck or a dolphin, with one eye open. With my ex in the neighborhood, you never know…) and I thought: Snooze. She was the favorite and treated the room of my son as hers, technically I was the intruder; I sighed and told myself for one night it didn’t matter, I could share a room with a cat.
After a while, I felt some weight pressing down on the mattress. She must have jumped on the bed with me. A moment later I felt something was on my chest so, I said: “Snooze, go away” and I swept her off me.
My arm must have fallen off the side of the bed because I realized that it was on the floor and the darn cat was licking my fingers. Once again I shooed the animal away.
But she continued sucking my fingers, biting at them tenderly, then harder and harder slowly swallowing my entire hand bit by bit.
I reached the top of my patience and retrieved my hand from inside her mouth and put it under the sheets. Yet for some reason, I could not go back to sleep. So, I opened my eyes and saw that the cat was sitting next to the bed watching me. I could see the top of her head and half of her body sticking over the guard rails of the bed. My uncle put it there to stop my son from falling off while sleeping.
That was when all the warning bells in my head started screaming at me: “Wake up! Wake up! There’s definitely something wrong here!” All at once I realized that it could not be the cat.
She wasn’t that tall. If it was Snooze who was sitting there, I would not see her at all; even in sitting position, the bed plus the rails were going to hide her entire form from my sight. So, I sat up and I saw him!
He was the most handsome man I’ve ever laid my eyes upon. His face wore a kind of indulgent amused expression one might wear when looking at something or someone he is very fond of, not threatening at all!
I could clearly see the outline of his perfect muscular naked body kneeling on the side of the bed. For the rest, he was shrouded in darkness except the tips of his horns; there was this sort of red illumination, like the kind of light you get when you put your hand over a candlelight or shine a flashlight from under your palm.
When our eyes met… he smiled.
That did it. I jumped out of bed, got tangled up in the sheets and landed face down on the floor. I got up and ran; hitting every light switch I passed by and ended up in the room of my ex. I dove under the cover next to him, put the cover over my head and hugged him from behind.
The next morning, he asked me what I was doing in his bedroom and why all the lights were on when he woke up, and why my son’s room looked like a tornado had been there. I didn’t know how to answer him so, I just cried and cried…
To this day, from time to time when I think about the whole thing, I question not only my sanity but the authenticity of the creature’s existence. Did I really see him? Or it was only my imagination. Did I dream the whole thing? But If I did__ weren’t I supposed to wake up in my own bed instead of running like mad to the very place I wanted to avoid at all cost, to someone I will never feel safe with hitting the lights on all the way through? I doubt it…