This is not really a terrifying, traumatic experience. I think of it now as something that just happened. I remember it so clearly but I feel like maybe I cannot trust my own memories. I'm not sure why that is. But it all feels like a dream sometimes or something I imagined in a daydream, but at the same time I know they couldn't be. Because I experienced it all or most of it with someone else present.
I was in 7th grade, probably too old to have an imaginary friend but I'm not sure why I thought it was cool to pretend he was there. I remember Charlie as someone I acknowledged being present because every kid is supposed to have an imaginary friend, and no other reason. I had friends in school. I had two best friends. I had great parents and siblings. I really didn't need a companion.
In the beginning I would just pretend he was there next to me. I wouldn't talk to him or look at him or play with him. I just accepted there was someone there. After a while I began making the bed for him to sleep properly beside me. I didn't notice I did that until mom asked me one day why I always set the second pillow next to me and stayed on one side of my bed only, and why I neatly piled my blanket over along the other side of the bed. 'Is it for your ghost friend?' She had asked me jokingly. I found it so strange then that she'd notice this.
I continued this for a long time afterwards. I'd begun to talk aloud to him too when no one was around. I didn't want anyone to think I was weird. I didn't want Charlie to think I was neglecting him. I think one day my sister caught me speaking to him. I was facing the wall when I was talking and so she freaked out and told mom there was something wrong with me. Mom didn't take her seriously but that night I explained to her that, I had a pretend friend to make me feel better, just to ease her mind. She laughed at my silliness but I felt uncomfortable having to say the words 'pretend friend' out loud. That whole week I didn't arrange the bed like I always did, maybe to prove to myself he wasn't real?
That whole week was strange. I would feel strange chills all night long, I'd get hurt in my right elbow against the living room door handle (and the living room doors were always open and always out of the way), I'd trip and fall and get muscle cramps in the middle of the night in my left leg calf. Yeah, you could attribute it all to a mixture of low nutrients, paranoia and clumpsiness. I considered it all too, but being the kid I was I didn't want to take the risk and decided to welcome him to come keep next to me again. I began making his bed again.
One day I was sitting in class during break and writing in my book. I didn't notice my best friend walk up to me. She asked me what I was mumbling about. I hadn't noticed I was mumbling, so I automatically did what I always did when I was caught 'I was pretending'. She said she'd tell the teacher on me. It was something we'd scare each other with but we'd never really do. It was a way to get the other person to spill it.
I told her the truth. I told her I had an invisible friend who I spoke to. I told her he was real, even though I had my doubts, because if he was really there I didn't want him to hurt me for saying he didn't exist.
She told me to prove it. I asked Charlie to do something equally ridiculous but also not too difficult to pull off. I wanted him to not be real but I also didn't want to be a liar to my best friend. I asked him to topple the pile of books at the front of the class. I didn't think anything would happen. No sooner had I said it aloud, the books came toppling down.
I was shocked and freaked out but I didn't let it show. I think. She still didn't believe me. She asked me to do it again, the first time was a coincidence according to her.
We watched as the class monitor walked up to the front to stack the books up again on the table, but she picked up five and stood talking to the teacher. I didn't know how my imaginary imagination was going to get another coincidental toppling of books again. But I asked Charlie, out loud, to make her drop the books again. And again as soon as I said it the five books she was holding fell between her fingers. My best friend didn't believe the part about me having an invisible friend but she thought I had good intuition or clairvoyance. I remember her asking me to make books fall from different peoples hands throughout the day.
She also asked me to find out what questions would come for the biology exam. I told her it was impossible. However, I had ended up asking Charlie and I remember not being able to pull apart one page from another for quite a while. I decided to reread page 17 and page 20 and moving on. The exam had the questions come exactly from page 17 and page 20. Several other things happened like this. But I decided to attribute it all to coincidences. I never said it aloud, but I didn't want an invisible friend anymore. I felt, if he could bring me good luck or do good things for me, he could also hurt me.
Fast forward to the day, or maybe the days leading up to it, I decided Charlie doesn't exist because I hadn't seen him ever and never heard his voice. It began the same way, I stopped talking to him. I stopped arranging his side of the bed with the blankets and the extra pillow. I started using his pillow as my snuggling pillow now. I'd wrap myself in the blanket so there wouldn't be any left in his side and I took care to not hit my elbow on the door handle and drink lots of water so I wouldn't get leg cramps. The muscle spasms I still had, more severe ones now too, ones where I'd feel the pain the next day. I'd end up walking into the door, slipping in the bathtub, getting shampoo in my eyes, mistakenly cutting too deep with the nail clippers, getting bad grades in class, and many more. I attributed it all to my clumpsiness and my imagination, despite my mom and my siblings pointing out how I suddenly started getting hurt more often. I refused to believe there was an invisible person living with me. I was in 9th grade after all, I was a big girl now.
The events eventually began to decrease in number. I'd just ignore everything that was happening. Just nonchalantly wave it off. I wouldn't even talk to myself in my head. My opinion of what had been happening was in such contradictions. On the one hand I wouldn't talk to myself out loud or in my head, even harmless things like 'oh no I have a pimple popping up' because I didn't want him to think I was acknowledging his presence. And on the other hand, I felt it was all a figment of my imagination, I was just making myself think there is such and such doing these things to me.
One time, I had just washed off and came to crawl back into bed because it was so cold. Me and my sisters shared a room. My sisters slept in a bunk bed on one side and I have my own bed on another side of the room. I saw my sister turn away towards the wall on her bed on the lower bunk. I took that chance to call her to wake up." Let's not let the vacation go to waste, let's go play some games with everyone while mom and dad were still asleep", I told her. She didn't reply. I thought I'd annoy her a little. I kept talking aloud to her in a childish whiny voice. When she continued to ignore me, I pulled the blanket off her thinking it'd be funny to let her shiver in the cold. But there was no one there. I remember my breath caught in my throat. I was so sure I'd seen her move and I was sure I saw the mound that looked like the shoulders and legs of a person under the blanket. My sister walked into the room then and asked me why I slept for so long. I realized afterwards it was already 12:30 PM even though I was sure I woke up before everyone else and very early.
Another time I came into the bedroom to look for a notebook in my drawer. I had been making a lot of noise, I heard my sister whisper my name from the top bunk as though she was half asleep. I said 'sorry' and continued looking. When I found it I heard her say my name again. I began to ask her why she was sleeping at this odd time, but I stopped halfway. I felt a very strange foreboding feeling. I didn't have my back turned to her bed. I was facing it, but the bunk was high and full of pillows and toys so I couldn't see her even if she was there. I leaned up to see whether she was actually sleeping there. And again I felt my breath catch in my throat and I felt a strange clamminess to my hands, and a shiver down my back. There was no one there but I was sure I'd heard her voice there.
I heard my name called again. This time from the lower bunk while I was looking in the top bunk. I didn't want to look. I didn't want to see what was there. I quickly turned to look at the door. But from my peripheral vision while quickly darting my eyes across the room I saw what looked like a giant head of long black wispy hair. A head as large in diameter as me perhaps. It was far too big to support an equally large body that could fit my sister's bed, so it must've only been the head right? I don't know, I didn't look to find out. I remember it seemed to be rolling around on its side. I don't know whether to face me or what. I remember deliberately fast walking away so as not to raise suspicion but also so I wouldn't have to stay too long in its presence. I had asked my sister to go fetch the book from that room. I thought surely if she doesn't find anything there it's another one of my imaginations. She hadn't seen anything. But she also became sick with fever and vomiting that night, and for the next two days.
Ever since 9th or maybe 10th grade, I haven't spoken to it. Other things have happened equally if not more unnerving, but this post has already gotten so long. I have told people what I saw and a few other things that happened but I always made sure to omit any mentions of my 'imaginary friend's' contribution or possible contributions to it. Up until now anyway.