Why can nobody see him apart from me?

He's standing by the door and watching me with those gold-flecked eyes of his. I look away, hoping that he'll do the same, but from the corner of my eye I can see that he's still watching me. I bite down on my bottom lip so hard that I can taste blood. His booted feet are heavy on the wooden floor of my bedroom as he makes his way towards me.

Why can nobody else hear him apart from me?

'Look at me, Maria. Don't be afraid to look at me.'

I turn my head to look at him; he's smiling.

He sits down next to me on my bed and gently pulls a loose strand of my blonde hair behind my ear, into which he whispers, 'So soft.'

'What do you want?' I ask, shivering from his touch.

Why can nobody feel him apart from me?

Placing a kiss on my earlobe, he answers, 'I want you.'

I stand up and try to run away but he catches my wrist and pulls me back onto the bed. 'Don't go, Maria. I'm enjoying your company.'

I ball my hands into fists and throw punches at his face but they go straight through him as if he's nothing more than a hologram. Tears prick my eyes. 'Why won't you just go away?!' I scream.

His hands wrap around my throat and very soon my lungs tighten as they're deprived of oxygen. I stop punching him so that I can use my hands to pry his fingers off my throat but his grip only tightens.

'P-please... n-no. I'm s-sorry.'

He releases my throat.

I take in deep breaths in order to replenish my oxygen supply. I can feel him caressing my face as I do so.

'Don't make me hurt you. I don't like hurting you.'

The tears begin to flow freely down my face. What does he want me for? Why me? Why?

'Hush. It doesn't have to hurt. You just have to behave.'

I can't take it anymore! I just want him to leave me alone! 'Please... leave me in peace.' I whimper.

Before he can respond, the door creaks open and someone steps in.

'Maria! What's wrong?!' The voice belongs to my mother. She rushes to my side and asks me what has happened.

'Can't you see him, mother? He's right next to me?'

'Maria, there's noone else in the room.'

'Then why can I see him then?!' I hiss, no longer sad but angry.

My mother is speechless. She rarely sees me angry.

'I... M-maria, dear... H-how about we go see a doctor, eh? A doctor will know what's wrong.'

Now it's my turn to be speechless. My mother thinks I'm crazy.