It’s not really that I don’t like my flatmates, but I just can’t figure out which one of them is doing it. And now I just can’t trust any of them anymore.
We are living together for around a year. The three had been in the apartment for a short time, and when their fourth flatmate moved out they chose me to replace him. They were friends when they moved together. But at the point where I moved in that already must have faded.
At the beginning I tried to be nice. I tried to become friends with them. But in the end I just gave up. And now we are living in an odd symbiosis of mutual ignoring. We are all doing our best not to bother one another; we all follow our cleaning duties; we all pay our bills. But I can’t remember the last time I talked to one of them. We exchange the bare minimum, but we never really talk.
But this thing is going on for two months, and now I really can’t take it anymore. I really can’t.
Our rooms don’t have locks. I didn’t mind that while we were all just ignoring each other. But they are going too far, and there just doesn’t seem to be a way to keep them out.
For two months now, every morning, I get an email. The time varies, but it is always before 7AM. The sender is always the address “email@example.com”. The subject line is always the current date. And the email is always empty, except for the attachment.
I really don’t know how they do it without waking me. I really don’t know why they do it. I really don’t know which one of them does it. But every single morning I get an email, and every single morning it contains a picture, taken on that night: Me, asleep in my bed.
First I thought it was some sort of prank. I replied “ha, funny, thanks for showing me that I look ridiculous when I sleep”.
When the emails kept coming I wrote back that they should stop. I asked for them to stop taking pictures, to stop coming in my room. I cursed them. I threatened them. But I never got a response – only, without fail, every day a new email; and attached, without fail, a picture of me sleeping.
I think this is already damn creepy. But I think I could still deal with it if it was just that. I mean, it’s not like they were doing something to me.
But now I really can’t take it anymore.
At first the pictures were from the distance, seemingly taken from my door. But for maybe a month now they keep getting closer. It seems like the photographer steps a bit further in my room every day. By now my observer is just around a meter (three feet) from my bed. By now the only thing visible is my upper body and especially my face.
The thing is, I tried to keep my observer out. I tried to block the door and somehow they still manage to get in. I tried to place things on the floor that would make noise, but still I don’t wake up from it – and the things look untouched. I tried binding a small bell to my door handle but still I didn’t hear a thing. I tried a few times to stay awake, but at some point I just fell asleep – and the email came late, but it came.
Maybe I could even deal with all of that, even with my observer coming closer. I could deal with it, if it was just that. But last Sunday, my ‘favorite observer’ started writing short messages too. In every email there is now one line of text:
“You sleep funny.”
“You look very serene.”
“You need a haircut.”
“Your arm is bent strangely when you sleep.”
“Your skin colour matches your blanket.”
“You smell good.”
“You look weak.”
So far the sentences were all somewhat mundane. He was just observing.
But today, today I really can’t take it anymore.
The photo today was the closest so far, taken from less than a meter (three feet) away from me, and slightly from above, as if the camera was held with arms stretched high. But I am scared now, I am really scared.
Today, today I really can’t take it anymore, because today the message was this:
“You have such soft skin.”
- - - - - - - - -