1. room…

Not particularly interesting, but something I've always wondered about.

As a kid it was only my mum and I. Sometimes she'd leave me home alone while she was at work e.g. during school holidays and some weekends. I was about 7 and the first few times, I was terrified. Completely convinced a serial killer would break in, so I'd take enough food from the kitchen then lock myself in my bedroom all day. Wouldn't drink too much water, to avoid using the bathroom. When I watched television I set it to the lowest volume possible and sat right up close to listen, and I wouldn't turn on any lights when it got dark. Just squinted at my books near the window. That way burglars wouldn't know I was home. I played hiding games with myself sometimes, like can I fit into this hamper so that burglars won't find me if they break in.

After a year of nothing happening my nerves settled, though I was still locking the bedroom door after me. I don't remember what I was doing, but I was in my bedroom when I heard a door slam in the living room during the daytime. I froze. There was rustling, and I could hear heavy footsteps back and forth. I remained totally still. Whenever it went quiet, I thought maybe it would be ok to get up, and then noises would start again. I heard things moved around, maybe shuffling. The movements were purposeful, in a hurry.

I don't remember how long it was until they stopped long enough that I thought they left. I don't recall whether I heard the door slam shut again. Honestly, I think I just got sick of sitting complete still in one position. The sun was setting and I crept out to look around.

The place was maybe messier, but our shithole apartment was always in disarray so I couldn't really tell. For some reason I thought I'd get in trouble if anything was missing, so I started tidying up. My mom came home later, and I didn't say a word.

It was probably just my mom coming back for something, or a neighbour, or at most, an opportunistic thief who didn't find anything worth stealing. But I did always wonder what happened that day.


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