The Man Behind the Door

Let me tell you a story; a story of a young woman whose life was taken away. A life of an innocent, striving woman, in the wrong place and the wrong time, robbed by a selfish cowardice man who was in no way had a right to take away someone’s life, especially after he gave me everything I had ever wanted in life; the prospect of love.

I have to be honest, I was naive, I was a hopeless romantic. I longed for a love story like those in fairy-tales, a happily ever after. The minute I moved into that apartment, I sensed something wrong. This man, the one I loved and I hate, the only thing I ever see of him is his silhouette, yet I fell in love with him.

It was on a cold July night, I moved to a new apartment. Like usual, the landlady gave me a key and briefed me on some usual things; where to wash my dirty laundry, curfew, and all other things one must really understand to live here. But one thing was curious.

“You don’t disturb the room across yours, don’t ever even knock, he likes his privacy.”

That was the man’s room, the one that I am talking about; the jerk who took away my precious life. I couldn’t help but wondered. What was it about this man that he deserved a special treatment from our landlady?

“Mr. Freddy, he likes his privacy.” She repeated herself.

My naive self kept wondering. As I walked to my apartment, I automatically looked at his apartment. The door had small framed windows, dark ones. The room was dark too. I supposed he wasn’t home that time. But when I turned my keys to unlock my door, I heard a clicking sound that of a light switch. It was his apartment, the light turned on and I could see a silhouette of a dashing figure of a man. He was standing right behind his door. I knew he was looking at me.

Like I said, I was naive. I swear at that time I saw him smiling at me. Yes, I know, it was a silhouette and there is no way to tell whether he really smiled or not, but that was what I saw.

The next day after work, when I was setting a piece of poisoned cheese for the mice in my apartment, I noticed there was a bouquet of flower on my coffee table. A note was right by it, it read, “Freddy.” My heart skipped a beat. I didn’t think he would notice me, let alone sending me a gift as romantic as this. This mysterious man, he had really gotten my interest that day.

After that, gifts and letters kept coming to my room. His words were like a music to my ear. Every sentence was connected to each other, as honest as a man in love. I was flattered. No man had ever written to me like this, adored me they way he did.

One day, I decided to meet him. After all he had done, that was my only logical choice. How could I not meet him, right? I knocked on his door, no answer even after my seventh knock. But I was unlucky, my landlady saw me knocking.

“What did I tell you about not to disturb that room?” she exclaimed while trying to stand between me and his door.

“What is it about him? I just want to meet him. He gave me all kinds of gifts, for all I know it is only polite if I say thank you, or even as simple as a hello.”

“You said he did what? Sent you gifts?” She looked really shocked, disbelief. Her eyes got really bigger, blood pumped into her head. It made her wrinkled face skin look like bacon.

“Yes, what does he do anywa . . .” she cut my sentence.

“Listen young lady, for your own good, I suggest you’d better move to another room. I will take care of it.”

“But, why? I like my room!”

“Just move, or else . . .”

“Or else what?!”

She sighed, looking desperate as I had my will fixed. There was no reason for me to move. Besides, I thought I already had a feeling for that man. His flowers and his letters, his words made me fall for him. And that dashing figure of him I saw the first time I moved here, he must be really attractive. I was ready for anything coming at me.

“Alright, I am only suggesting what’s best for you. Just . . . be careful.”

I didn’t understand what she meant by that. Then, when I was on my way back to my room, she stopped me, “One thing for you to know. You really looked like the late Mrs. Freddy.”

I hadn’t known he had a wife, and she died. At the same time I felt sad and happy. The fact that his wife had died sparked my sympathy, but knowing the other fact that I looked like his wife, whose appearance clearly the type that Freddy liked, I blushed. My heart beat really fast like a war drum in the brink of battle. I knew for sure now why he sent all these gifts, and it made me happy.

One evening, after I ran some errands, I arrived to a decorated table, ready for dinner for two. “Courtesy of Mr. Freddy” the note on the table said.

“This man . . .” I mumbled. What did he want? I presumed he would eat with me. I sat down waiting for him. A second later, I felt this chilly wind right through me. I got excited and nervous waiting to see my love for the first time.

After I waited for ten minutes, I couldn’t see him. I walked to his room and knocked. Like usual, no answer whatsoever. I then decided to open the door, turning the handle down; locked. Curious, I peeked into the keyhole. Everything I saw was pale blue. What happened here? Was he painting his room?

Eventually, I decided to eat the steak alone. I did not want it to go to waste. Besides, I was really hungry.

After I finished dining, around eight o’clock I went to my landlady and asked her why his room was all blue. She looked stunned. She just stood there for like a whole minute. The way she responded after that, all the things that poured out of her mouth made me want to puke all my food. I was terribly frightened. My stomach were stirred and mixed altogether with disturbing thoughts and fear.

“Listen, I think it is time for you to know the truth,” She took a deep breath then went on.

“Fifteen years ago, a man and his wife lived in that room. The man poisoned his wife after he made her a really nice dinner; I am talking expensive steak here. The reason was that he owed an enormous debt to a drug lord he couldn’t repay, and the drug lord threatened to kill his wife slowly. He saved his wife from her inevitable misery.”

Tears poured down from my eyes. My body stiffed, my hands trembled. I could almost feel I lost every sense of control I had. She continued, “Then, the man, Mr. Freddy, he hanged himself, turning his face all pale blue.”

She stopped, touched my shoulder and asked, “For the sake of your youthful life young lady, you didn’t, by any chance, eat anything, did you?”

***

            Now you know my story. I am dead as you probably should know by now. And yes, I am telling you this as a restless ghost. Now, do you mind telling me yours? Or should I help you write your own like that man helped me write mine?

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