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I Thought I Was Alone

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I was about five at the time and was one of the best in my class at reading and writing as my mother often would work with me on it after school. I had come home from school that day excited; during the car ride home I told her about all the things that would happen to me the rest of my life, but they seemed fantastical to me as just a little boy. I told her of my new friends, my old friends, and the coloring that we had done that day.

My sisters are both older than me, so they had a full day of school while I had only half of a day. I got home and my mother made me my favorite sandwich, a peanut butter and marshmallow fluff sandwich. I ate it and was finishing my milk when she said that she was going to the store and then would go to pick up my sisters. She said goodbye and kissed me on the forehead and said she loved me. I told her I loved her, though I'm not sure she understood through all of the peanut butter that had filled my mouth making it very difficult to swallow. I heard a small *ding-dong* as she drove away (we have a motion sensor in our driveway).

When I finished my milk I climbed onto the counter and put my milk in the sink, then I grabbed the remote for the TV that is in our kitchen. I watched something, I'm not sure what it was but I think it was animated and about animals that were secret agents or something else childish like that. Anyways, I thought I heard someone walking around upstairs, I called my mom but the line was busy so I was only getting her voicemail, I thought it would be pointless to leave a voicemail as she probably would not even see it until after she had gotten back home. I tried again, but got the same. I decided it was probably just the house settling or whatever it was that my parents told me when I said something similar at night.

About an hour later she got home. I tried to scare her by popping out from around a corner, but that probably did not scare her, though she pretended that it had, she always did. She jumped back, let out a squeal, then picked me up and hugged me and pretended to eat my face while kissing it. I screamed as she tickled me and squealed. She asked me what I had done and I told her that I had watched tv pretty much the whole time. She asked if I was still hungry to which I replied no.

My mother went upstairs to get changed since she and my father were going on a date that night. I could hear her walking around and I thought to myself how much it sounded like before. Eventually the walking stopped and was replaced by clicking. I could tell she had put on her heels by the little skiff before the click. I returned to the couch to watch my show. I heard the sounds of my mother's heels drift away, until I heard her call me to her room. She asked if I had taken her bracelet. I asked which one even though I already knew, she told me that it was the one made of silver with the three bands that interlocked. I had always liked this bracelet because I thought it was fun to play with while wearing it and I occasionally would take it to play and forget about it when I set it down somewhere.

However, I had not taken the bracelet and told her so. She did not believe me for some reason which I soon found out. A little spin on her heels and she was at my desk opening a drawer. She pulled out the gleaming metal band and held it, just looking at me, waiting for an explanation, but none came. There was no way that bracelet was in my drawer, I had not put it there. Annoyed at my deceit, she whipped me around and spanked me until I cried and covered my rear to protect myself, she asked again whether or not I had taken it; keep in mind I was only five and was raised in a Christian home where, "honesty is the best policy", so I again insisted that I had not taken it. She spun me around a second time and lit me on fire, I must have been red and brown for weeks before I could sit down properly again. She angrily stormed out of my room and went into hers with the bracelet.

She told my dad and he sat down and had a quiet conversation with me about it, my dad has always been more rational and willing to hear the entire story and innocent until proven guilty and all of that.

We talked for awhile, he threw in a few jokes about monsters, I said it was probably my sisters, how wrong was I.

My parents went on their date after the babysitter got there, my sisters both went out to their friends' houses that night almost immediately after they had gotten home, so that had not been an option. This was not her first time sitting me so she already knew my likes and dislikes along with her way around the house. I believe her name was Amanda or Miranda, however I am not too sure and am not ready to bring this subject up to my parents yet.

The night went on fairly uneventful until Amanda came into the kitchen for a snack when she seemed almost taken aback at my presence, I asked what was wrong, however she just continued to stare at me quizzically. She began to point upstairs and mumble something, then she spoke up saying that she heard me upstairs as she was leaving the living room, how did I get down here so fast, turn on the TV, and not be out of breath? I told her she probably just heard the house settling, but she insisted that it was definitely footsteps. I offered to go up and look, but she turned pale and said no. She called my parents, but they had gone to the theater and had most likely turned off their phones.

She grunted with some anger at them for having been irresponsible or something like that and turned back to me. She asked if I was sure it was just the house, I said I heard them all the time and was positive they were not to be worried of. She asked if I was hungry, we ate macaroni and cheese for dinner.

When my parents finally got back, Amanda was definitely ready to go. She looked very tired, though it really was not that late. She looked around for her car keys, but was unable to locate them. I assisted in the search, and offered that she had possibly taken them upstairs. She said she had, but that they had been in her purse the whole time, and that she had set her purse in my desk while looking for the source of the footsteps.

My parents looked alarmed, "What footsteps?" they asked, she said that she had discovered they were only just the house settling.

I was slightly upset that she had not mentioned I had told her that, as though it would make me look like a hero or seem smarter. I only stood there in silence though. My parents relaxed and payed her. We, as a family, all sat around for devotions and then we prayed.

I went to bed and lay there, eyes closed, listening to my own heartbeat, when something overcame it, slowly. At first it was so dull I thought it was just my hearing was slightly distorted from the pillow, but it soon grew into footsteps that I could hear quite clearly, they were at a normal pace crossing the hallway. I woke up as they neared my room and held my breath as they paused, then kept walking. I sprinted to the door but opened it and saw no one there. Perhaps it was just the house, or maybe it was my sister getting a towel, then going to say goodnight and deciding not to wake me up. I crawled back into my bed with a somewhat sunken heart, these explanations were too logical, I wanted a monster or a ghost, not my sister getting a towel.

I woke up the next morning to my mother's wrath. She must have been brewing all night, because when I saw her, she was steaming mad. I tried to calmly make conversation, but could feel her wrath, as though it were an aura that was heating my cheeks and the palms of my hands. I wiped my hands on my pants and asked how her date was, how the play was. She said it was fine, I asked if she was alright and she said she was fine. I was smart enough to know when my mom was not "fine" and this was one of those times. I asked if she was upset about the bracelet, she said no. I asked what she was mad about, she said it was that I had been walking up and down the hallways all night, keeping her from sleep. I calmly, yet fearfully, told her that I had not been pacing the halls, big mistake, she erupted on me. She was screaming that I was a sinner and that I was a liar and a scoundrel. I had no idea what a scoundrel was, but I did not ask her. Finally she calmed down, well as much as she would.

I was picked up from school less than excited that day, I kept thinking that I was going to get another spanking after I got home. In the car, my mother said nothing, so neither did I. I walked from the car to the door before she stopped me, and hugged me. She said she was sorry for being so loud that morning and that she was just upset that I had lied to her two days in a row. I said that I had not lied to her either day. She began to sob, I hugged her, she just sobbed without even acknowledging the hug.

I ate my sandwich, which was not peanut butter and marshmallow fluff. I sat down on the couch to watch TV, my mom snatched the remote from me and told me no TV for the week. I said okay and she left to get a massage with my sisters.

I want to be clear that I was certainly home alone, we did have a housekeeper, but she was not here this day.

I went up to my room to get some toys, but as I neared the top of the stairs I could hear someone walking; they were walking fairly quickly actually now that I think back. They did not seem to be coming towards me or away from me, they were just there. As though someone was just walking in place. I kept going anyways though. I got in the hallway and thought I saw a shadow dart into my room, as though I had seen the tail of a coat, or the last flick of a scarf. I shook it off and went to grab my Power Rangers. I got into my room and grabbed the small plastic figures. I could not help but feel that someone was watching me.

I ran out of the room and sat down stairs on the floor under my room. I was beginning to think that I was just being silly, until I heard definite footsteps. These were much louder than there had ever been before. I put down the Power Rangers. I stood up, and turned back to the stairs as I heard the footsteps nearing. I could see someone's shoe poking out just a little past the wall.

"Hello?" I called out, but the shoe did not respond.

I saw the foot pull up and back, as the footsteps started again, this time receding until it was just above me. I heard a kind of scratching that I would soon find out the source of.

I heard the driveway alarm that signaled my mother's return, I was very near the point of tears here and ran out to meet her. She got out of the car, my sisters behind her when I told her what had happened, she told me that she was very upset that i had been lying so much recently and that she was going to have to start having meetings with my teachers to see how I was doing in my classes. I told her not to, that I really was telling the truth, there was a person in our house. I had seen his shoe on the stairs! She went upstairs and into my room, she came back holding a paper. She asked me,"Anything you want to tell me?" I responded that I had no idea what she was talking about and I asked her what was on the paper that had made her so upset. She began to cry a little. She told me to go in my room. My mother also told me that I was not allowed to do anything but sit.

A few hours later my mom came in and said that my dad had arrived home, I was unable to hear the driveway alarm since there was not a wall monitor in my room and they were not very loud. I was slightly relieved, perhaps he would be more rational. My dad came into my room holding the paper. He sat down in my chair and scooted along the floor to face me. I could tell he was mad, I had never before seen him the way I did then. He calmly asked me why. I asked him why what. Wrong answer, he was livid. He screamed at me asking where I had learned to write and draw like that, I was lucky I was from a Christian home, otherwise he probably would have cursed at me until I was crying. I sat there and looked slightly down as his hot breath continually beat down on my neck and face. Finally, he asked where I had learned those kind of words, had I heard them on TV? Read them in a book? Seen them online? I replied I had no idea what he was talking about. He turned the paper around to show swears and curses and extremely graphic drawings in crayon.

I said I did not know what that was or where he had gotten it from. He said I had written it and mom had found it on my desk with the crayons and pencil still out, it also appeared I had not finished as there was still space at the bottom and the last sentence had been cut off; if you could call it a sentence. They were really more like phrases, none of them seemed to relate other than their graphic content. Suddenly I noticed something, something that made my dad think hard. He normally had an answer for everything, however, when I pointed out this one flaw, he picked me up and we got in the car to stay at our neighbor's house.

Next to every picture were either my initials or my name, but my name was not Lucas. My name is just Luke, I have always known that and have hated it every time someone calls me it. This happened a long time ago, so I am certain some of the details are a little fuzzy, however it is as accurate as I can remember. Perhaps I will be able to remember another life story, who knows, maybe some of my childhood fears come true were related. I will, maybe, talk to my parents and ask them about my earliest years, they will likely remember better than me.

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