Back at her apartment, she sat in the bathtub, fully clothed and the tub dry. She cried for as long as the tears would come. She couldn't wrap her mind around what had happened at the house. She knew it was just her imagination playing tricks. There was no way Joel was at the house with her.
After staying in the tub for two hours, she decided she needed another walk. This time in the opposite direction. She walked to the diner and sat in the corner with her notebook and pencil. Anything to drown out the voices raging inside her mind. She spent the rest of the afternoon there - no one paying any mind.
Once she returned home, around seven in the evening, she made her way into the bedroom, changed into her sleeping clothes, and crawled into bed. She wrapped the blankets around her as tight as she could get it. It was her only way of feeling safe. She finally drifted off to sleep, but it didn't last long. She had one of the most vivid of nightmares.
She was in her house. The basement door was open and the light coming from it was the only one in the house. She slowly made her way down the stairs. At the bottom, she found Joel lying on the floor with papers clutched in his hands. He was whispering to himself and she couldn't make out what he was saying. When he saw her, he stopped and lunged towards her. She fell backward and hit her arm on the railing. The pain seared more than it should. She clutched it as Joel held her down and gripped her throat tighter with every breath she took.
Just before passing out, she woke up. Her breathing heavy and shallow. She clutched the scar on her arm and tried to cry, but she couldn't anymore. Her tears had all dried up. Just then the closet door opened again. She sat up in bed this time. She wasn't hiding anymore. She tried to see in the dark; straining her eyes to make out any signs of someone in her room. As if someone was standing at the end of her bed, her blanket began to creep away from her. She grabbed it back, but it flew to the other side of the room. In one swift motion, she was pushed down back on the bed. She tried to fight back, but she wasn't strong enough. Screaming for help she heard her front door bust open. Her neighbor came running into the room. He switched on the light to find her still struggling to regain control.
"Help me!" she screamed. He grabbed her legs and pulled her off the bed. They landed in the doorway of the bedroom.
"What the fuck was that?" he asked.
"That's what has been keeping your wife awake," she said with a sigh.
After pouring them both a cup of coffee, he sat down on the couch next to her. "My names Matt, by the way," he said with a half-smile.
"Roselyn, nice to meet you."
"What a way to meet the neighbor. I felt bad after I saw you in the hallway. I didn't introduce myself before our conversation. My wife was getting to me about not sleeping."
"I understand. I haven't been sleeping well myself," she said while sipping her coffee. The blanket around her had shifted off her shoulders. He looked concerned when he noticed them.
"Something got you good. There's bruises on both your shoulders."
She turned to look. Two outlined handprints covered her shoulders and reached almost to her collarbone.
"I don't know what it is, but I want it gone." She told him about the appliances breaking and closet doors. She was sure he would think her crazy.
"I've heard stories, but I have never witnessed this in person. Not to use your pain as entertainment. I always had my suspicions that it was all fake. I want to help you. I know it must be hard to bring this up to just anyone. Do you know what or who it might be?"
"Not yet, but I intend to find out. It might take some time, but I will get to the bottom of it," she stated at she finished her coffee.
"More coffee?" he asked.
"Yes, please. Thank you."
Their talk continued until they heard a knock on her front door. She slowly got up to answer it. She peered through the peep hole with hesitation.
"Does your wife have red hair?" she asked Matt.
"Oh yes. I left her in bed when I heard you screaming. I'll get it. I'm sure she'll understand."