I walk down the street, hood over my black hair. I dodge the puddles collecting in the cracks in the sidewalk. Guitar-heavy rock music blares from my headphones.
I can’t tell you why, but I feel I’m being followed. I reach into my pocket and pause the song I’m listening to, but all I hear is the pitter-patter of the rain and the sound of my own footsteps. For my own safety I know I shouldn’t turn around to look. But I’m sure there’s someone there.
I woke, heart pounding. I stopped myself from pulling back the curtain to inspect the dark Seattle street outside. It was just a dream. No reason for alarm.
Still, I knew I was too awake. I remembered someone once said to me that milk helps you sleep, so I went to the kitchen and poured myself a glass. It tasted good, but I wasn’t sure it was going to help.
I sat down at the table with my glass. Our flat was too small for a dining room, so the table was in the kitchen. I shared the flat with my two best friends, Jonah, and Harriet. The two of them had been an on-again-off-again item since the end of high school. I don't like being in the middle of it, but whenever they break up, it's better to have a third person around to keep things civil. They're aware of my third-wheel status, so they frequently try to set me up with people when we go out as a group. It's nice of them. But they never pick the right person.
Right now, they're very much in love. Or lust. Whatever your philosophy on relationships is. The thing to remember is to stay out late when they stay in. Tonight they had gone clubbing, though, so they were tired and the flat was silent.
I decided that if I wanted to sleep, sitting in the bright kitchen wouldn't help. I put the glass in the sink, turned out the light, and went back to bed.
It was a long time until I fell asleep, as the feeling of being watched still lingered in my mind.