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Don't Look Back at Him

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You know that first day of school? That day you feared, the day you held your mother's hand in a tight grip, afraid to let her go?

What if that happened every single day?

Apparently, that's what happened to my friend, Jonathan, a few years ago. We were still in high school (freshmen) and lived your everyday life. One day, though, Jonathan got sick. He was away from school for about a week and I didn't hear a single word from him (which is kind of weird - we were and still are best friends). I didn't really have the time to focus on the fact that he had gone AWOL because we had tons of homework to do.

After that week had passed, I met Jonathan again - he was as healthy as ever, although a bit pale. When I asked him if he felt alright, he almost jumped and asked me,

"Do you know me?"

"Yeah, J, we've known each other for a lifetime, douche," I jokingly replied.

"So it's all over?" He asked. I saw tears in his eyes. He hugged me and ran out of the classroom. I was confused by his actions and went to his house after school. His mother let me in. Jonathan was in the living room, apparently having a chat with his father. Jonathan seemed cheerful and greeted me with a hug (which was very weird - he's never been the huggy person). After having a cheerful chat for about ten minutes, he suddenly went quiet. He stared out through the window at times and didn't really respond to all my questions. He asked me to follow him to his room and he seemed really anxious about it, so I followed.

He closed the door and asked me to sit on his bed. He pulled out the chair in which he usually sat in front of his computer and, facing me, sat down and stared at me.

"Errr," I said, trying to think of what to say, "Are you alright, man?"

"Yes, I mean, I don't know," He answered and seemed as he was waiting for something.

We sat there, quiet, for a while. I didn't really want to disturb him. I was almost close to opening my mouth again when I suddenly noticed how quiet everything had become. It wasn't only that I couldn't hear the cars or the wind. I couldn't hear my own breathing.

"Yes, yes, I know," I heard Jonathan say, which was fucking weird. That was the only thing I could hear. Imagine only being able to hear a voice and nothing else.

"What the fuck is this?" I asked. I could hear myself speak, but still couldn't hear my breathing.

"It's happening again. Fuck. It's happening again. No one remembered me," He said in the creepiest fucking voice I ever heard.

"Fuck it, I'm out of here," I said. As I was about to leave, Jonathan said his last words to me,

"Don't look back at him."

I shook my head and left the place as quickly as I could. I thought that Jonathan wasn't feeling well and what had just happened was just some weird mindfuck.

He never came back to school. He never came to visit me. His parents just couldn't find him; it was as if though he had disappeared into thin air. His parents gave up the search after about a year or two. A funeral was held in his name, but there wasn't a body. What was weird, though, was the fact that no one ever sat in his spot at school - not even the new kids. It was as though his chair remained sacred. It was though it was already occupied.

The creepiest thing of all is the fact that I think I see him at times, but it must be my mind playing tricks; it's almost as if he's walking around without a care in the world. The very next moment I realize I must've tricked myself. Right?

Recently, though, I have become more paranoid. It is as if I'm being watched. Could it be that I trick myself into seeing Jonathan and that's making me paranoid? Or is it the fact that his last words still cling to my memory? I saw a man watch me as I walked by the supermarket one day - after meeting his gaze, I have been feeling as if I was being watched every second.

So, I'm just telling you to watch your back - don't meet his gaze. I'm pretty fucking terrified right now. The worst thing, though, is that I can't hear a thing. I can't hear a thing except my own voice. And why the fuck is my mother pretending that she doesn't know who I am?

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