You know that feeling when you walk through a door and forget why you came in? I’ve had that.
I mean, yes, that’s happened to me, just like anybody else. I’m not unique in that regard. But, have you ever wondered why that happens? I have, every day of my life. It’s terrifying when you think about it. How our brains can apparently be switched off by an act as simple as walking through a door. Are we really that fragile? I shudder to think.
There was one time, though, that was a little different. That day went just like any other day. I worked, I went home, I watched T.V., and I went to bed. Walking into my bedroom that night, it happened. I forgot why I had even entered that room. I looked around the room, trying to figure out what I was even doing in there. Things seemed… off. I can’t really explain how. The bed looked like mine, but it definitely wasn’t mine. So, I couldn’t have been there to sleep, I wouldn’t sleep in a stranger’s bed. The dresser also looked like mine, but it was different too. I stood there, in that stranger’s room that was so similar to mine for quite some time as I tried to figure out what I was doing in there.
Finally, I gave up and turned to leave, but I couldn’t. There, in the doorway that looked like mine but wasn’t stood a person. I must have forgotten to turn the light on, because I couldn’t make out any features of the person, just a shadow, silhouetted against the light pouring in from the hallway. They turned, letting the light fall across their features and I saw… myself. The other me looked as clueless as I had felt just a few moments earlier, an expression across his face that made him look a bit like a lost puppy.
‘What am I doing over there when I am right here?’ I thought. Apparently, my brain hadn’t caught up yet.
He looked around the room until his eyes landed on me. He smiled, a little, a small upward curve of the lips that grew and split into a wide, toothy grin. When his smile had grown much wider than should have been possible and showed more teeth than I could possibly have possessed, he took a step into the room. I took a step back, nearly tripping over myself in the process. Then I saw something new on this other me, something that made the mad smile even more unsettling. I didn’t notice it before, but now that I had adjusted to the dark, I saw. He had no eyes. He looked right at me as if he could see, but where his eyes should have been was nothing. There were just two pits of darkness there. He wasn’t bleeding, they were just… gone. He cocked his head to the side and I swear his grin got even wider, if that was possible. The darkness that should have been eyes bored into me. He took a step forward.
I must have blacked out, or maybe it was just a dream, because the next thing I remember is waking up in that stranger’s room. Things still didn’t seem right. I had a splitting headache, right behind my eyes. I went to the bathroom and looked in the mirror. Both of my eyes were puffy and bruised. It looked like I had been beaten senseless, with a distinct line exactly following my eye sockets. I gave myself a sympathetic smile. Huh. Did I always have that many teeth? Must have. I dismissed it. Trick of my over-worked eyes.
I carried on with my life. Beat up or not, I still had to work. Things still felt off though. This time, I didn’t feel so much as the things around me were strangers’, but that instead I was the stranger.
It’s been several months since the incident now, and I can feel my eyes sinking into my head. I’ll have to find another bedroom soon.