She knew what it was like to be alone in the world; she knew how low she had to stoop to keep herself alive in the city; renting the cheapest one-bedroom apartment she could find and go to school in a new place like nothing was wrong. Everything was wrong. Her mum was a wreck after her father committed suicide a few years back, so she had to take a job over-seas in America just to raise enough money to keep herself alive, let alone her own daughter.
[Name]’s mother would send money back to her in Japan, but it was hardly enough; so at age sixteen, the [h/c]-haired young woman had to take-up a part-time job at a small convenience store a few blocks away her run-down apartment. It was meager pay, but it wasn’t like she had a lot to pay for besides her utilities bill and the internet; cable TV wasn’t a necessity, but internet was – in her eyes.
The kids at school would laugh when they found out where [Name] lived and some would seem genuinely scared; this was a complete mystery to her until one girl finally answered her lingering question.
“That’s the place where tons of teens go to commit suicide, [Name]; they say that whoever lives there will go insane and kill themselves. Or at least, that’s the rumour.”
Well. That would explain why she didn’t have neighbors. Or not any live ones, to say the least. She would have to admit though, that story wouldn’t help her sleep for at least a few days.
“Which apartment are you staying in?”
“Uhh, 202, I think.”
Her new friend’s face paled at the mentioning of her room number and her mouth pressed together into a thin, white line; not exactly helping the queasy feeling stirring in the pit of [Name]’s stomach.
“Wait, what do you mean, ‘oh’?”
“Th-that’s the room where a boy about our age committed his suicide.”
If this was an apartment complex where everyone hung themselves, then this shouldn’t be a surprise, would it? [Name] swallowed a hard lump in her throat and went back to eating her meager lunch she had made that morning.
“Well, the police found his body in his bathtub. Dead.”
“The bathtub was full of blood.”
Nearly choking on her home-made ongri, [Name]’s eyes flew open and her gaze locked on her friend’s hazel brown stare. She was staying in the apartment of a brutal suicide and she took a bath in the same bathtub that was full of blood. Okay, so that really didn’t help the whole queasy situation at all.
“Are you serious? Gee, thanks a lot, Tarrae; now I’m not going to sleep at all for the next year – or take a bath!”
“Hey now, don’t blame me for the dead kid in your apartment!”
“That’s it; I’m taking showers at your house from now on.”
“Eugh! I don’t want your hair clogging my drain!”
“Too freaking bad; you’re the one that brought up the subject of the dead people in my apartment!”
It was true that for a while afterwards, [Name] rarely ever took baths or showers in her bathroom but, after a while, it was just becoming a nuisance to keep going over to Tarrae’s place every time she needed to bathe. She just met her like, two months previous and their boundaries in their friendship far transcended a best-friends’ of twenty-odd years.
Finally, she stripped down into the nude and hopped inside her own shower, letting the warm water pelt her back. Ah, it felt so good after such a long day of school and work – not to mention the crap ton of homework her teachers assigned for the day. It was great to just unwind for the night and just relax under the gentle beats of water against her spine.
Until she heard a noise above the sound of running water; almost like something had fallen over and hit the tile of the bathroom floor.
Blinking, [Name] furrowed her brows and peaked out from behind the shower certain, her darkened and damp hair sticking to the sides of her face. Her [e/c] eyes locked onto a bottle of foaming soap that had fallen from the edge of the sink counter and onto the floor; well, it was right on the edge, so maybe it was just gravity doing what gravity did best – making things fall.
Disregarding the fallen soap, [Name] returned to her shower; massaging her scalp with her fingers while trying to work the conditioner through her hair.
And then there was another unexplainable noise from inside the bathroom; the rustling of the shower certain.
A screech was building up higher and higher in her throat, flinging herself against the wall and covering her mouth with her hand to prevent the scream from being released. The certain shook faster and faster like someone was shaking it themselves, she could see where the material was being bunched together where a pair of hands would be grabbing – but who the hell would be able to get into her apartment? She was the only one who had a key besides the manager of the complex – and what would she even want to be in [Name]’s apartment anyway?
“Wh-whoever you are, st-stop this right now! Or I’ll call the cops!”
She squeaked, her undeniable fear getting the absolute best of her.
The rustling stopped and a small sound rang against the walls and tile; laughter. A boy’s laughter.
“Call the cops if you wanna, babe; they won’t be able to do anything!”
Wh—? What was a teenage boy doing in her bathroom? Ugh, he didn’t sneak in through her window or something, did he? This was why she should have gone with her mum when she had the chance…
Peering out once more around the shower certain, [Name] was going to give the rude boy hiding in her bathroom a good, fat piece of her mind.
“You better get out of my apartment right now or I swear to god…”
[E/c] eyes darted up immediately to the figure that stood just outside her shower; a blonde boy roughly her own age, give or take a few years, was staring back at her with a large grin plastered on his lips. The only hitch was that the places where his eyes were supposed to be were black, hollowed, and a large scar ran across the expanse of his neck. And to top it all, he was transparent.
“You swear to god what?”
Never before in her enter life has [Name] screamed louder.