143. Being afraid of something dumb
Dim orange light was reflecting off the shards of mirror on the floor as I stood there with shiny dark knuckles, wet with red. It was all over, the faceless woman would no longer be mocking me. She was gone. I vaguely remembered the tone of her voice when she told me she would always find a way back to me. Perhaps it was too soon celebrate. Then from the corner of my eye, I see her.
“You owe me.”
I opened my eyes to see the moonlight reflecting off the blades of my ceiling fan. The bright green numbers of my digital alarm clock read 3:37.
Was it the fan? I reached over to the night stand and clicked the button on the remote. The fan blades sped up. Click. The fan got quiet, and the blades came to a halt. Perhaps I was watching too many ghost hunting documentaries, and I knew that YouTube video on the Area 51 alien interview would come bite me in the butt later on.
Scratch, scratch, scratch, scratch.
It was coming from under the bed. Click. The light turned on, and the scratching became more frequent. I looked down and there she was. The biggest roach I had ever seen. My neighbor Rebecca had told me about these things, but just like her whole “alligators crossing the streets” warnings, they just seemed like stories locals would tell the new guy in Florida.
I rolled over to the other side of the bed and looked for the roach spray in the bathroom, walked to where I had seen it last and it was gone. It was on my pillow now, and it rushed over to me. I couldn’t spray my bed with chemicals. Or could I? No, bad idea. The thing looked as big as two pink erasers put together. I could see its eyes. Without losing those two black dots, I grabbed one of my bed sheets, and went straight to the living room, shutting the door behind me, turned on the television, and hoped to doze off on my own to old episodes of The Office.
No. I couldn’t let this happen. It was just a roach. Was I still dreaming? Gosh, I hoped not. I could still remember that faceless woman. So I grabbed a shoe and was determined to smash it and clean up the mess with Windex or whatever else I could find under the kitchen sink.
Quietly, I approached the door and stepped into the room. With one hand still on the doorknob, I took another step and scanned the room. No roach. I looked at the bed, and on top of the mountain of my blankets, I saw moving antennae. It was looking at me. My strategy was simple, I would knock it down to the ground with the shoe and smash it with said shoe. I walked up to it, almost wanting to let it negotiate with me before its death.
All of a sudden, the roach spread wings and flew right toward me. Instinctively, I moved over to my right and lowered my head. It buzzed right past my left ear and crashed against my dresser. I saw it struggle on the handle of a drawer and adjusted itself.
“Whoa!” I said out loud.
Then it opened its wings again and flew right toward face! I threw my arms in front of me, closed my eyes and hoped my mouth would do the same. This thing was evil. I felt the anger in it.
I heard it bump into something else, and as soon as I opened my eyes, I saw it was adjusting its wings again. This time it was on the floor on the right side of the doorway. Was that really happening?
I closed the door and stayed in the living room that night.
The next morning, I found the roach dead. Floating in the toilet.