Under the Street Light

Under The Street Light

Yes, you've all imagined it. Waking up in the middle of the night and peering out your window and watching cars go by. Or, if it's really late, seeing nothing at all but an empty, dark street. If you're lucky your street will have lights to illuminate the way for late night workers or the occasional lost soul. I, however, was not lucky.

One night I woke up and like all kids too active to go back asleep, I stared out my window and watched the street. I say watched because I never seemed to stare when I was a kid. Staring was just being fixated on something without giving notice that it is there. Watching was examining something in your vision. I loved my view from the window because my house was at the end of the street where it curved off into a turn. My window was on the first floor and faced down the street. Cars going by never seemed to bother me. But this time... something did.

While I was watching the street, I noticed something out of the ordinary with the view. Usually a row of street lights strung down my street and illuminated the smooth black pavement, alerting drivers to the curve at my end. But this time something was different. I couldn't figure it out at first but then I saw it.

About two streetlights down there was someone standing underneath the light, as if he was escaping the darkness to recover in the pale orange glow. Or coming from it. His back was to me and he was facing down the street just as I was before. Something was very odd about this as there was a bus stop at the end of my street where people could wait for it in a little glass and metal shelter out of the rain.

But this man was just standing under the light not doing anything but... staring. He wore a black fedora and suit with matching shoes that shined in the light. What was even more strange was that he wasn't carrying anything with him so I couldn't figure out if he was waiting for someone or just being weird. I had wondered what time it was and quickly grabbed my clock. It read 2:03 AM. This scared me a little more as seeing a random person in the street either waiting for someone or not doing anything at all. I watched him intently, waiting for him to make a move or do something, anything! But he didn't. I must have watched him for half an hour or so and was about to turn away to go to bed when I suddenly saw movement. A car was coming down the street. This struck me as even stranger but as I said before people were sometimes lost or working late at night. But then something else happened that is why you are reading this now.

The car came down the street and stopped dead center in front of the man. The headlights were off so that the driver wouldn't wake anybody up in the street. A door on the side opened up for the man to get in. But before he got in... he turned and faced me. I'm sure he knew I was watching him. He looked straight at me. He was too far away for me to see his face but he was close enough that I could tell he was looking straight at me. I quickly ducked and hid underneath the covers. Like the common child, I knew the indestructible layer of cotton would protect me from any evil that tried to get me.

I heard a car door slam and the engine slowly hummed as it started down and grew slightly louder and louder as the vehicle crept closer. I was so nervous and my heart was racing. Then I heard a sound that stopped my heart completely. Right outside my house I heard another car door close shut. Then an engine creeping and humming away. They obviously dropped off the man outside my house because I saw their weird engagement. I willed myself every second to get out from underneath my blanket and check to see if he was outside. I finally got the courage to do so. When I looked outside I was struck with a huge force of relief when I saw nobody was out there.

I told my parents about it and unlike a cartoon or some horror movie they believed me. "Probably just a business exchange," my father said as he munched on some toast. I was relieved yet again to have my parents on my side. But every night, before I go to bed, I check outside my window to see if that man is still there. He is. Every night he somehow gets underneath that street light and waits for the car to pick him up... and every time, he turns and looks at me.

I have moved from the area since, but today I still wonder who that man was what he was doing under that street light.