I was a teenager and a very angry one at that. When I was sixteen years old my best friend passed away. I was furious at the world and feeling guilty about her death, suicide being a hard thing to comprehend as a young kid.
I took up martial arts soon after and met people who helped me through the tough times and soon I was on the path to being a happy person again.
A few years passed and I was still training martial arts almost every day, having had come to accept the death of my friend and understand that it wasn't my fault.
One night, when I was 19 years old, I was asleep in my bed when suddenly I woke up. I was confused for a moment, not sure why I had woken up in the first place. I rolled over to face my window, and standing beside my bed was a black figure.
I couldn't make out a face or features, but I got the distinct feeling that it was a woman. She stood motionless for a moment and I stared up at her horrified and frozen with fear.
She seemed solid, but I could see the window behind her as if she were made of darkly tinted glass. She began to bend forward as if to whisper to me or take a closer look at me. Finally I unfroze yelled "NO!" and threw myself over on to my other side and pulled the covers over my head.
I've had a strange problem my entire life, I don't know how to scream. Even now, I didn't scream. All I could do was whimper and so I knew my parents wouldn't come to check on me from the other end of the house, let alone my brother in the next room who sleeps like a rock. I decided to get out of bed and run for it.
As I uncovered my head and prepared to flee, I looked and saw she had vanished. I turned on all the lights and sat on my bed terrified for the rest of the night, watching videos on my computer for company.
The next night I was frightened but convinced it had been a bad dream. I played music all night and finally turned the lights off to go to sleep. Somehow I managed to drift off.
Next to my bed is my computer desk and chair and soon I awoke again for no apparent reason. As soon as I opened my eyes, I saw her again.
This time she was sitting on my computer chair watching me sleep, this shadowy featureless woman. I now saw she had long hair like my friend. I panicked and completely freaked out. I suppose my martial arts training kicked in and I swung my leg out from my covers and kicked the computer chair into the wall. As my leg passed through her, she vanished again. This time I went to the lounge and watched TV until the sun rose.
I'd never been able to talk to my family about anything. I was raised by my grandparents and had only moved to live with my mum and dad when I was 13 and there was lots of things I never shared with them. The death of my friend was one of the things I never told them about. The shadow woman was another thing I refused to talk about, so the next few nights I didn't sleep. I told the thin air in my room that if it was my friend visiting me, she was scaring me and I didn't want to see her.
I started to cry and I told her I was growing up fine and I didn't need her to watch over me like that. I told her I forgave her for leaving me like she did, but still I didn't sleep for days.
I never encountered that shadow woman again. I convinced myself it had been an awful nightmare.
Years passed again and one day when I was 24, my brother and my cousins sat having a beer and dinner together and we were discussing ghosts. My little cousin had seen an old man in his house and was asking my brother and I if we'd ever seen a ghost before. I shrugged but my brother spoke up.
"I've seen a woman once. In the corner of my bedroom." He admitted.
I looked at him in shock but stayed silent.
"What did she do?"
"Nothing. She was staring at the wall. I wasn't scared really, she was gorgeous. She had long dyed red hair and she was just gorgeous," My brother joked.
My heart stopped because he was describing my deceased friend who he'd never met... Maybe. Long red hair fit the bill, but that was the only detail...
"What do you mean 'staring at a wall?'" I demanded.
"She was staring at the wall between our rooms. Staring towards, like, where your bed would be through the wall. About five seconds later she just faded away. It's spooky now, but she didn't scare me at the time," He explained.
"You know what's weird? I saw her too," I said. "But I thought it was just a dream."
"Nope, but I never saw her again after that night. It was years ago."
I never did tell him the whole story. It's too painful. Was it all just a dream or did she really come back to check on me for some reason? Why did the woman appear so frightening to me and shadowy when my brother saw a full apparition and felt calm?
Still, I never want to see that shadow woman again. It's just too scary for me.