The Man :
I always had a typical child’s fears while growing up. From the whole “I think I see something moving in the shadows!” to “I need you to check my closet for monsters, daddy!” It was childish, but everyone goes through it. After I hit my male pubescent years however, these fears started to disappear. I needed to act like a tough guy through everything, I thought. I was able to rationally think things through. Everything has an explanation.
That was my ultimate rationalization before I met the Man.
I was sitting with my cousin one night. She and I had nothing to do, and we somehow stumbled upon the topic of ghosts. I think we were watching ghost hunting or something on TV to trigger that. Anyways, she decided to entrust me with her biggest secret, that being a ghost that has been following her around since she was a young teen. She told me a few stories of her encounters.
This is the first encounter she had: she had just finished cheer leading practice and was waiting for her mother in the parking lot next to the football field. She happened to glance down at the other end and see some strange person leaning on the pole that supports the scoreboard. She decided to run home, thinking it was a stalker or something. He was wearing a yellow hat, white shirt, and jeans. That’s all she could possibly make out from that distance.
She had also met him once while driving home from work. It was around 9:00pm. She looked into her rear view mirror and saw him. Just staring at her. The description she gave was as follows: He had a yellow construction hat, a white t-shirt covered in blood and dirt around the abdomen area, blue jeans that looked dirty, tattered, and torn, and an expressionless face. He looked to be in his mid-50′s. The only thing that was really weird about him was his eyes. They were of normal human shape and colour, but they were wide open for no reason. Just staring at her intently. She screamed, pulled over, and looked back in the mirror. He was gone.
I dismissed her stories as BS, but sympathized with her (she started crying). I told her to just go home and get a good night’s sleep. I really should have believed her.
I awoke that night at around 3:00am in a pool of sweat. I went to check my AC unit. It was out. I cursed to myself and decided to go mope around in the garage for a fan to lay next to my bed so that the night would actually be bearable. I walked into the laundry room, opened the door to the garage and flipped on the light. There he was. Not even six inches away from my face.
In one quick motion, I lunged backwards, closed my eyes, and screamed. I heard crashing throughout the house (no doubt my family jumping out of bed to respond to my scream). I peeked upwards at him once more for a moment, then closed my eyes again. I didn’t want to believe it, but it was him. Every detail down to the wide eyes was there.
My parents ran into the laundry room frantically asking, “What’s wrong? Are you okay? Are you hurt?” and a bunch of other questions that I didn’t bother answering. I just stared at the spot. He was gone. I told my parents that I tripped and fell. My father left to go back to bed, while my mother have me some medicine to make me drowsy and help me sleep a little. I decided to sleep without a fan that night of March 24th.
I went the next few weeks without an incident. I eventually decided that he just wanted to see my cousin, and she and I hung out so much that he figured she was going to be in the house still. I thought he would leave me alone. I decided to never tell her of my incident.
My cousin had moved back to her home state to be with her husband. I told her goodbye as she left, but all I could think about was how I never had any chance of seeing that Man again. I really should have told her what happened. I regret it so much. Those eyes of his…
A mirror in my room shattered to interrupt my peaceful sleep. I shot up and immediately made eye contact with him. He was standing at the foot of my bed. Head cocked. Eyes open. Wearing all of the exact same clothing. He was mouthing words at me. I can’t read lips, but it looked like a bunch of profanity. His expression was angry, but nothing was moving except his mouth. “He looked to be saying, “You… Protect…” I couldn’t make out anything else. I tried to scream, but nothing came out. My family apparently didn’t hear the mirror shatter, and I was alone. I covered my head in the sheets and blankets, leaving myself in a dark little ball of fear and sadness. I started to tear up and eventually fell asleep.
I awoke to my mother entering the room and asking, “What happened to the mirror?!” I accidentally broke it. That’s all I told her. I called my cousin to ask her a few questions. Here’s the conversation:
Me: Have you had any experiences with Man lately?
Her: No, actually. You sound stressed, are you okay?
Me: He hasn’t bothered you at all?
Her: No. What’s going on?
Her: I haven’t had any sightings since around the 24th as I was leaving your house.
Me: Thanks. Talk to you later. Bye.
My cousin died a few days after that. I didn’t realize what Man’s intentions with me were for a long time. He is my protector. He never leaves my side. I don’t want any special treatment though… I’m tired of him looking over me every second of every day. I don’t want to be protected. I just want my old life back.
He’s prevented me from death all this time, then as soon as he leaves me, I will die. Maybe he only follows those who are about to die to buy them a little more time. Maybe he just follows you by choice then decides you must die after he leaves you. All I know is that I don’t want him to leave now. He can’t leave me until I’ve lived my life. I won’t let him. The reassuring wide eyes I see staring at me right now from the reflection of my laptop’s screen make me feel safe.