I had spent many years trying to forget about my loss.
The world was making sense again, I was finding purpose and making my way back to what life was once before.
I had gotten a new job doing what I loved and found a new person, Reba, with whom I could share my life. After a year or so of being together we decided to move in together.
The apartment was small but charming. It was elegantly furnished and the price was quite reasonable. The building itself was old and had a reputation for both being a great place to live, if you got the right apartments, or being a difficult place to bear life in if you got the wrong ones.
We got what was supposed to be one of the good ones. At least, that’s what the realtor told us.
About a week in, things began to gradually manifest. Odd, barely noticeable things; small objects of importance getting misplaced and then turning up in strange places, places where they had no business being found in. Later, the little things were not quite so little any more.
We had bought a small dog, a black Daschund, as the building was pet-friendly. Reba thought it would be good for me to have something I could be responsible for while also serving as therapy of sorts. Ebon, we christened the pup. Ebon turned out to be a trembling bundle of energy and excitement. By the time we moved in, she was already about 6 months old and quite the handful.
When we started really noticing the issues it was because of Ebon. She would seem to interact with the empty air itself, just as she would interact with Reba or me. It was quite unsettling, but it did not appear to be an issue as no harm was being done. That, however, did not last long.
Things began to take a turn for the bizarre when objects like cutlery and dishes would fly across a room, often hitting Reba or Ebon. Whatever was living there with us – by then I was sure this was a conscious, sentient entity – was either trying to hurt them or simply being excessively mean.
This entity would interact with me differently, however. It would never try to hurt me, but whenever it manifested itself in my presence alone it would do things like gently move objects or pull lightly on my long hair. I did not understand it at first.
As the weeks went by, it appeared to be gaining strength. It manifested itself with increasing frequency and with a boldness that it did not have when we had first moved in.
It would bite Reba and scratch her. Often, after going out, we would return to find Reba’s clothes strewn about the house. Pictures of her would often fall, as though being knocked over.
But its attentions were far worse for Ebon, as the entity began to tease and hurt the dog more and more. This distressed me greatly as I had really become attached to the pup.
Things were really getting out of hand and we were considering moving out. We had thought of finding a priest or some other religiously ordained person to come and purge the place, but had found no one willing to do so. So instead we put in a bid for one of the bona fide good apartments in the building. We were put on a list and waited patiently, bearing the manifestations as best as we could.
It was about 3 months into our stay in the apartment that we got the news; a neighbor on the same floor was leaving the country and her apartment was ours if we wanted it. Reba and I held each other in relief upon hearing the news. I nearly wept with joy.
That very night things would change forever, though.
I took a nightly shower and found that the entity was with me, as she often was when I showered. It began to play with the water stream and move the bottles of shampoo around. I tried to pay it no mind but my head began to feel heavy, as though I was in a dream. It felt similar to an episode of sleep paralysis, where I was aware of everything going on around me but was unable to move. I finally manage to move but only terribly slowly, as if gravity had increased its pull on me. I took a towel and got out of the bathroom.
I went to the kitchen where both Reba and Ebon were and I told Reba that we had to go, that we had to leave right at that very moment.
It was at this point that it began to attack Ebon. It first started to push the pup as it walked and then began to pull and pinch its hide, making it whine audibly. At this, I picked the dog up and hugged her close to my chest. I decided I had had enough of this and began to yell at the entity. I did not care what it could do to me; I just wanted it to stop.
And then I heard it. I didn’t trust my ears at first and stood there, dog in my arms and towel around my waist, my eyes wide with shock.
It said Goodnight.
It wasn’t what it said, though, but how it said it. No. It was who said it that left me cold.
The voice was that of my daughter. The little baby girl I had lost in an accident seven years before. She had been a little over a year old, riding in the back of her mother’s car, my wife. They had been hit by a truck whose driver had fallen asleep on the wheel and been pushed off a bridge. They both died.
When she was still alive, I would put my daughter Lila to bed every night and every time I would take her to her room’s window, with the lights off completely, and would recite a litany saying good night to the world.
Good night moon.
Good night stars.
Good night trees.
She would say good night with me every time, her eyes so wide looking out into the world that once held a future for her. Her voice so soft and sweet as only a little baby girl could have.
It was that voice that spoke to me then, and I lost all resolve.
A moment later after the realization was made, through an eternity of memories rushing through my head, I felt warmth within me which I had never felt before. I smelled my daughter, this phantom scent overtaking me, and I wept tears of joy and sorrow.
I put the dog down and Reba stared at me, she was trying to make sense of what was happening.
She could not hear my darling Lila, though. She simply couldn’t.
I tried to explain, she wanted to leave, said it wasn’t healthy, that this couldn’t be Lila.
This tore us apart.
She moved out; I stayed.
It has been a year since she left me and, while I miss her, I cannot be sad for I have my daughter back.
It had taken me five years to cope with the loss of her and now I had her back. Reba couldn’t understand.
I have spent this time interacting with Lila in any way I can. I tell her stories. She is with me every day and every night. We look out the window in the living room with the lights off and we recite the little litany.
Good night world.
She is my joy returned.
In this time of thought, joy and reflection I have come to the conclusion that my time here is done. I have no need for the world any longer and have no reason left to remain.
Whoever may find this, please do not discard what you read here as mere fancy. Please let Reba know that I love her and hope to see her again, some day. I miss Ebon, too.
Good night Lila.
Good night Ebon.
Good night life.
I am happy.