prologue

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PROLOGUE

I hear the door handle rustle, and I know that he’s home, Alex.

He had left earlier today to get groceries, or at least that’s what I expected since there had been a list on the counter of items he needed yesterday and then it disappeared today.

I peek out from the small closet I’ve been hiding in, and see that my suspicions were true as he sets the many bags on the island in the middle of the kitchen. He pulls out his phone, scrolls through it a bit, then puts it back into his pocket, unloading the groceries and setting them on the table, disposing of the bags, unaware of my presence, like always.

Alex keeps putting away items, and in the middle of it, he goes to the bathroom. He always seems to do that, just randomly doing other things during cleaning or doing jobs. He doesn't seem to rush to the bathroom, so he must not be sick, which is good because I was hoping to show myself to him tomorrow.

I get out from my spot perched in the closet on a beanbag chair and travel to the kitchen. I pick up the bag of fruits, and put them into the fridge. Once I hear the toilet flush and the tap running, I sprint back to my closet, closing the door but keeping it just a bit open to watch Alex.

He returns from the bathroom, and his eyes widen as he sees the counter is clear of fruit, but I do stuff like this all the time, turning on light switches, flipping channels, moving items, or his iPod will randomly change in the middle of songs, just because I can, I guess.

Alex just proceeds to putting away items, use to these strange happenings as well. When he sets the last item in a cabinet, he goes to the couch and flips on the telly. After a while, of me watching the channel, an itchy feeling in my back begins to form. I reach my hand around to scratch it, but instead hit something hard. My fingers begin to throb and I let out a little shriek, just loud enough for Alex to hear.

I curse under my breath as he makes his way over to the closet with a confused expression. Without thinking, I snap my fingers together and when Alex opens the door and turns on the light, he looks around a bit flustered. After a while, he walks in, and through my body, and I know he felt me when small goose bumps rise all along his legs.

Alex’s eyes widen, and he moves a leg around, making me let out a groan at the pain he keeps causing, and he halts his movements, looking around the room for the source, but since he’s standing in the middle of it, he finds nothing. It shows in his features as his eyebrows crinkle together, and he takes a shaky step backward, studying the room again.

After a while of Alex just looking through the room, he flings out a hand, just above my head and he’s lucky he didn’t because would’ve gone all Insidious on his ass if he did.

His actions make me let out a small chuckle because he’s so naïve. I roll my eyes as he backs himself farther out of the closet and I stand up, walking right through him. Alex stumbles back a bit and his eyes widen to the size of golf balls and he turns around to stare right at me, but he doesn’t know it.

“Where are you?” He asks, looking around the room furiously, before running back into the kitchen and grabbing a broom, walking back to where I’m standing, holding the broom close to his body.

I scoff at his actions, shaking my head as I sit down in the window seat that looks out over my old Uni.

He slowly saunters to where I once stood, waving his arms furiously and flinging around the broom. Like he thinks he could hurt me, he’s stepped on me, almost hit me in the head, and I’ve walked through him, yet he thinks a broom will stop me from staying in my flat.

“I said where are you?” He repeats, a little more forcefully. I’m half tempted to walk up right behind him, reveal myself, and whisper ‘Right here’ just to see him shit himself, but decide against it since it's not the most heart-warming welcome.

After a while of him breathing heavily and me watching the students pass in front of my flat (and Alex’s), I can tell that my body will reveal itself on it’s own since it’s nearing an hour.

Carefully, I walk back to the door, sucking in a breath so that I can pass through it without opening it and risk Alex finding me when I can’t hide. It’s harder to pass through non-living objects, so holding my breath becomes a must, and I can only become fully invisible for an hour a day.

Alex finally puts down the broom and gets ready for bed. He gets under the duvet on the small mattress by the window seat. I listen closely to him, and once I hear soft snores escaping from his mouth, I get out from my seat in the closet and open the door without a sound, making my way to Alex’s couch (yes, his, they got rid of mine) and turning on his television (they got rid of that, too).

Flicking through the channels, I finally rest on a movie. Cuddling up into the pillow on the end of the couch, I pull a blanket over my body and watch the movie in peace. It would be an extrmemely comfortable position, if I could feel the blanket or pillow, instead all I get is a small rush of warmth.

A bit into the middle, I feel a pang in my head, so I bring my hand up to massage my temple. Then it happens again, the pain getting more irritating, so I decide to get a glass of water.

As I lift my head, I subconsciously look up, only to see a figure there. A scream leaves my mouth, and I can’t help but hold my breath, making me fall through the couch and on the floor. I huff in annoyance, before holding it once again and crawling out and standing up to meet Alex’s eyes.

They’re wide with shock and he’s breathing really heavily. A shoe is in his left hand and that explains why my head hurts really bad.

“Don’t be scared,” I plea, holding out my arms and circling around the couch to stand in front of him on the same side, “There’s nothing to worry about, just stay calm.”

He opens and closes his mouth a few times, “You-You’re the one that-that makes the noises and moves ev-everything a-around.” He stutters out, stepping back a few steps before his eyes widen even more and he gapes at me, “You’re the girl that everyone at school talks about! You’re the one who haunt-haunts this flat.”

I shake my head, trying to manage a soft smile, “No, I-I’m Violet, but I get 'That Girl' a lot, too, so it's cool," I say, trying to ease the tention but do none of the sort, "I promise I’m not here to haunt or scare you.” I assure, nodding with each word.

“You are the reason it’s always so cold in here and-and the reason things are out of order!” He yells, taking more steps back even though I’m making no move to come closer to him.

I nod sadly, looking at the ground before he pulls on sweatpants and a jacket, never taking his eyes off me. My eyes droop as I watch his actions and my shoulders fall.

He keeps muttering, “Faster” under his breath, before he slings his bag over his shoulder and runs to the door without another word.

And there goes number five.

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