Am I Crazy?

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I suppose I should start by telling you a little about myself. I am 19 years old, I live in Pennsylvania, and I guess I've always been a creative person. When I was little, my parents would remark about what a vivid imagination I had. For the most part I was a normal child. I liked drawing, and writing, and I hated math. I had trouble making friends, so I played with my imaginary friends. We would play games out in the woods. I always liked playing with these friends, because I knew I could trust them, control them. I knew they would never hurt me. Not like the other beings that I thought up in my head... Or at least I think they were just in my head...

I used to have a lot of trouble sleeping at night. I would always get out of bed and get snacks, or watch TV, or play with one of the cats my family would rescue. You see, my mom was a veterinarian, so she would take in stray cats, nurse them back to health, and then adopt them out. It drove my parents nuts for me to stay up so late. Everything was fine until one day, when I was about 9 or so.

I was up late at night, as per usual, when I was playing downstairs. I was playing with a recent rescue, who we called Jacob (what? were you expecting Fluffy?). For whatever reason, I was drawn to the large glass doors leading to the backyard. I normally would never go outside at night, and the curtains covering them were always shut. This night, however, I felt the urge to go outside. I opened the curtains, almost expecting to see someone or something to be there, staring in, but nothing was there. I started to feel a bit braver, so I opened the door and stepped outside, Jacob in tow.

This is when things got bad.

See, behind my house is a large field, and past that a forest. None of that was visible. We live in the middle of no where, so there were no street lights, nothing. Only empty space, and for some reason this empty space was calling to me, somehow. I walked into the abyss. I felt a breeze against my face, which smelled like honeysuckle and sage (mom's garden). I kept walking, until, out of the darkness, I saw something walk towards me. It was glowing a pale white. My first thought was a ghost of some sort, but this was different. More... physical. It had a vaguely humanoid shape, but where the eyes were, there where only black orbs. On this pure white form. Almost like it was absorbing the darkness. I wasn't even sure if it was getting closer... or bigger...

I finally broke out of my trance and ran back inside, slamming the door behind me. I took a breath, and then was drawn to look back outside. It was there, right there. Staring in. I shut the curtains and ran back, screaming, to my room. My parents woke up, and found me in my room. They yelled at me about being up so late, and about how my dad has to be up early tomorrow. I, however, was just glad to be alive and safe. Jacob was gone forever, consumed by the thing. When I told my mom the next morning, she said I was probably tired and imagined it. That Jacob ran away when he was let out and that we'd see him again. When we didn't, she tried to tell me that he must have found a home. I knew she was lying.

For a while that was that, but ever since I have always made sure that all curtains are closed after sunset, and to never, ever go out after dark. I went away to college a year ago, coming back home for vacations. A few nights ago, while at home for Christmas break, I decided to go outside late one night for a smoke, momentarily forgetting my childhood experience. The air was freezing cold, but the cigarette momentarily warmed me. It formed the only light in this darkness. And soon, it appeared again. I ran back inside, just like before. Since then, I keep having nightmares that I will look out a window to see it. It's black, shadowy eyes. It's all consuming body. I'm starting to lose the ability to tell my dreams from reality. I... Just want to know if I really saw that thing... If it's haunting me, or if it marked me in some way... My friends think I'm crazy but... Do you think I'm crazy?

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