My eyes consumed only empty darkness. I exhaled a long deep sigh of relief; he was not in the room with me. I was alone, at least for the moment. I turned and dangled my feet over the edge of my bed while drawing in long deep breaths and making a weak attempt to get a grasp on myself and calm my heart back down to a somewhat normal pace. I was not absolutely convinced as of yet whether or not I had just seen a ghost. I was still quite shaken, but shit, even if it was my mother, it was still a ghost.
My mind was trying to make some sense of the ordeal. Logic took over consoling me that perhaps I had simply been dreaming. It was quite possible that in those first waking moments when your brain is not quite yet functioning to its full capacity, I had simply imagined the whole episode.
I was suddenly pulled back to reality as I heard something from somewhere in the house. There was a strange tapping sound. It would tap continuously, and then suddenly stop again. I waited a few moments and it started again. I knew, despite my better judgment, I had better go check.
He could be doing something disturbing or horrible. I quietly crossed the room and ran square into the bedroom door. He had obviously shut it when he had left the room. He knew I hated it when he closed the door on me. I turned the knob slowly until I heard the latch click and then carefully pulled it open. I was trying to be very cautious not to make any sound at all. I knew that getting down the hallway without being heard would be the real challenge. The floor in the hall consisted of long wooden planks that had warped from wear and caused them to loosen at their edges just enough so when you stepped on the surface of them in specific spots they would creak loudly.
I kept my body tight against the wall doing my best to avoid them and moved smoothly and silently as possible down the hall. I finally reached the end of it and stood motionless holding my breath so I could hear everything around me.
I heard a sort of rustling sound that appeared to be coming from the dining area that was located just beyond the kitchen. I very slowly and cautiously moved my face past the corner of the hall just enough so I could peek past its edge and was able to peer into the big open room.
I could not locate him anywhere around the area where I had heard the sounds coming from. I crouched down very low to the floor, and using my hands and feet, I shuffled towards the breakfast bar that ran between the kitchen and the dining area. I was feeling just a little impressed with myself; being a normally slightly clumsy person, I had remained in perfect stealth mode. I felt like a panther in the night, at least for the moment anyway. I stalked closer, attempting to be absolutely silent so he would not be aware of my presence.
Now, on the opposite side of the bar that he was on, I slowly put my head just far enough past the corner so I could peek to the other side. I realized then why I was not able to see him from the opening of the hallway. He was sitting on the floor hidden from my view by the bar itself. I jerked my head quickly back out of sight and sat with my back pushed tightly against my side of the bar. I remained motionless for the moment, trying to breathe as quietly as possible. Even though I was a little excited over my professionalism, I still felt a bit sneaky and a little weird over my own behavior as I crouched there in the dark spying on my husband.
It hadn’t always been this way. He may have been a little strange at times in the past, he had always had little bouts of dark moods, but then his demeanor would always change quickly, and he would appear to be quite normal again. However, in the past month or so, this had been changing immensely.
For some inexplicable reason, lately he could turn ice cold mean in the drop of a hat. Suddenly, at that precise moment, his eyes would appear to turn from their normal shade of brown to coal black, as though a terrible storm had just rolled into his head and exploded. I had chosen to ignore the behavior at first, but his creepiness had become so intense it could no longer be denied. Something was going wrong in him. He was no longer the man I once knew.
Now as a result, I have learned to watch his eyes closely when he speaks to me and be constantly watchful for the darkness to flood into them. I was beginning to wonder if Satan may have fathered a son that he had adopted out.
Suddenly, I heard the clicking and rattling again now followed by a tap, tap every few seconds or so; I cautiously crept a little closer. I was trembling just a bit from either the night chill or nervousness, but I just had to know what he was doing. I felt that since he appeared not to be so well anymore, I had a responsibility to watch him closely, or perhaps it was more than that. I no longer trusted what he might do. I had to know just how far he had slipped. I slowly poked my head around the corner of the bar once again.
To be continued...