By Oyuky Bahena | Writer
September 27, 2018
When I had risen from bed in the morning, I had expected the heaviness of my eyelids, and the gradience of the blue and orange in the sky due to the early hour.
Getting up, the cold tore at my bare skin as opposed to the protection the two blankets had given me only moments ago. Ironic that I was wrapped up for hours but only felt it for a few minutes. I had followed my routine, brushed my teeth, packed my lunch, everything. It had all been in order. Everything was just as it had always been, but then again, maybe it wasn’t, and maybe it never had been. Anyway, I had gone to school. I had gone to all the same classes, talked to all the same people, ate all the same foods. It had all been normal.
After I had gotten home and flung my backpack and binders and books into the corner by my desk is when things began to feel strange. There were no words to describe it other than upsetting. There was a tense feeling in the atmosphere, something ominous and vulnerable. It felt odd. It genuinely made me upset. I felt stiff, unwavering. It seemed as if even the world felt it too. The sky was gray, if even that. When I looked out my window, I’m not sure there was any color at all. It all seemed bleak and stale, almost as if there had ceased to be any life at all at any point in time, at least here on Earth.
There hadn’t even been any talking, at least none that I could hear. All that could be heard was the rustling of the trees and bushes and the faint howling of the wind in a haunting remedy. I had ignored it as I prepared to make myself something to eat, but I felt a loss of appetite so sudden and so prominent that I feared an illness had been accumulating all this time and it had waited to strike exactly now.
I had sat down to watch some TV show that I wasn’t even interested in, and I had only done it because I wanted to get my mind off of anything and everything. At least this way I could drown everything else out and just watch some mindless program that didn’t require me to think, I had thought. Not thinking is the most thoughtful thing a person can do.
However, about 2 or 3 minutes into watching, I was struck with a wave of something terrible. The only way I could describe was a feeling of terror. A plague. It felt like something so terribly awful and unbearable that I couldn’t even bear to think about it.
The phone rang.
Partially, I had been relieved. More sounds filling the air created the smallest sense of comfort. At least with noise, I had known I was not alone. But when the phone rang, the feeling was still there, and it seemed to only grow as each ring sounded out. I had gathered all the courage I will ever know and managed to pick up the phone and press the button of mystery.
In between shaky breaths and static filling the crevices of space, there had been an all-too-familiar noise on the other side of the line. It was the same pattern of the howling wind, the same rustling, and the same unstable and deeply upsetting noise that came from the silence. Before I had the chance to ask who it was, I heard a stronger, more clear rustling, almost sounding like papers being crumpled up or something.
“I need your help,” the voice stated, clear and yet uncertain.
I distinctly remembered that my breathing had shallowed, and there was a persistent thump of my heart in my throat, for the voice I had heard was none other than my own. Without a twinge of doubt it was my voice. I had known for a fact that it was. And so I had done the only reasonable thing I could think of.
I had hung up the telephone.
Feeling as though I was in a dream of some sort, I had decided to go back to my room and rest. I had sat on my bed then later decided I would sleep for a bit to try and escape the strange feeling I had.
When I awoke maybe an hour and a half later, it was already darkening outside, and the pane of my window was foggy and cool. For whatever reason, I had felt strangely better, but I still felt plagued by something, and so I decided to write down my thoughts. Letting it out was always a good idea. It is never a good idea to bottle it all up.
When I had finished writing, I felt immensely better. The wind outside picked up, the familiar pattern sounding in my ears, but it felt comforting now, in a peculiar kind of way. I had decided to call a friend just to talk, because it’s always nice to talk to someone, even if it is one-sided. Sometimes it’s not necessarily comforting to talk but rather just have someone who will listen.
And so with that, I picked up my cell phone and, without even thinking, dialed a number that my fingers had recognized. But as soon as I had clicked the green button to send the call through, the same feeling returned, and I was frightened all over again.
There had been static on the other side of the line, and it felt so oddly familiar, but I could not remember from where. In between my shaky breaths, I felt deeply unsettled and disturbed, and so I had leaned back on my elbow, accidentally targeting the piece of paper that I had released my feelings into, and it crumpled.
Feeling completely overwhelmed and afraid, I mustered up all the strength I had and swallowed hardly, and, just as the other line was about to speak up, with my voice full of fear mixed with uncertainty, uttered the only words I could think of.
“I need your help.”