Since this is going to be public I don’t want to use my real name but you can call me Dan. About a year ago, my brother-in-law (in his early 20s, the brother of my wife) got a girlfriend. He had never had a girlfriend before and hadn’t really talked about girls too much, so we were all pretty surprised when one day, almost out of the blue, she was there and was all he could talk about.
My wife and I live in Wales and they live in my wife’s hometown in England so we would travel down to see them once every few months. I never really got much of a chance to get to know his girlfriend but she is quite pretty, quiet and seems happy enough so we were really happy for him.
They are both really into skiing and decided they were going to take a trip to Alpe d’Huez in the French Alps and invited my wife and I. My wife and I have never skied before and we are not what anyone would describe as fit or even fairly active. We both have office jobs, she likes crappy American soap operas and I like playing Xbox and that kind of sums us up. We were a bit concerned about it, being lazy, but we decided to join and have some lessons.
His girlfriend, we will call her Jackie (not her real name), went into full on organisation mode, got everything booked and kept us up to date via a WhatsApp group. At first we were quite impressed at just how organised Jackie was, but it quickly got annoying, receiving 20-30 messages a day about a trip that was still 6 months away at that point. Anyway, time passed and it was the day of the trip.
Day 1 (yesterday)
It was a pretty uneventful trip from the UK to Grenoble airport (that place may as well be a shed with a runway!). My wife isn’t the best flyer so needed me to sit next to her and my brother-in-law really wanted to sit next to the window so we took a row of three leaving Jackie across the aisle on her own, next to two strangers. We made sure she was ok and comfortable there and then left her to her film.
The coach trip from Grenoble to Alpe d’Huez was long and boring until we got to the foot of the mountain. The mountain road climbs from 744 meters above sea level to 1814 meters in 13km. Its long, winding and narrow with sheer cliff drops. It would be a cool road to drive on a summer day in a car or on a bike but not in a huge coach, in the winter, at night in a snowstorm. There was a minor incident when the coach skidded. Nothing really happened but everyone on the coach was scared. Everyone apart from Jackie, she laughed. Some people are adrenaline junkies, some people have a death wish, some people act weird in a stressful situation so I just ignored it.
We got to the apartment safely, although a little later than planned due to the weather conditions, and got settled in. The apartment is tiny. It has two bedrooms with beds barely big enough to be called doubles. A tiny bathroom and an even smaller kitchen (about 2m square). The living room is large enough which leads on to the balcony.
We were exhausted from the trip so made some food and went straight to bed.
At around 3 am I woke up to the sound of the sliding door to our bedroom opening. I sat up in anticipation of my brother-in-law or Jackie coming in to borrow something. Painkillers, a condom, the wife and I are usually prepared for most things and are used to people asking us for stuff at weird times.
In walked Jackie in a strap top and underwear with messy bed hair. “Hey, are you ok?” I whispered. She stood there silent and still, hair in front of her face and hands by her sides, staring (I presume because it was dark and she had hair in her face) at the bed. “What do you need?” I followed up but got no response. I leaned over to wake up my wife in case it was a ‘lady’ problem. She sat up and Jackie was gone. My wife was annoyed and accused me of messing around and went back to sleep.
I settled back under the duvet, too tired to argue and tried to think about what just happened. I must have been dreaming. Then a cold breeze hit me in the face, the bedroom door was still open and now so was the balcony.
I got out of bed in just my boxers and went to close the bedroom door. As I stood in the doorway I could see Jackie on the balcony. Staring out into the snow storm in just her strap top and underwear. I leaned back into the bedroom wardrobe, grabbed my ski coat and walked to the balcony.
Stepping out into the snowstorm hit me like a ton or freezing cold bricks. The sky was glowing amber from the barely visible streetlights illuminating violent swirls of thick chunks of snow, dancing to the sound of the wind, falling to the ground. It was so beautiful, I almost forgot about Jackie.
“You must be freezing!” I joked with a chuckle. No response. “What are you doing out here?” No response. “Jackie, what’s wrong?” I was getting really concerned. No response. The wind had blown her hair away from her face and I could see her face lit up in the sickly orange glow coming from the street below. She had a completely blank expression. Like nothing I had seen before. Not even a faint sign of emotion. Just blank.
“Do you want me to get Tom?” I asked. (Tom= brother in law (not real name.)) I turned to walk back in before giving her a real chance to answer. I was freezing and getting pretty worried. She may have been a sleepwalker and I have no idea what to do in that situation, but she could get hypothermic if she stood there for much longer.
I got to their room quickly across the small apartment and stood in the doorway, leaning on the open sliding door.
“Tom” I spoke softly, but louder than a whisper. “There’s something wrong with Jackie.” “What?” it was a barely distinguishable mumble so I repeated, louder this time. “There’s something wrong with Jackie.”
He sat up quickly, suddenly registering what I was saying. He looked to my side.
“Babe, are you ok?” “Yeah, I’m fine, just needed a pee” she responded. I turned and saw her, dressed as before but face full of a smile, and eyes that almost lit up the room. “Dan said there was something wrong with you,” Tom asked with concern. Jackie walked past me and climbed into bed. “Oh,” she paused as if to think. “I was coughing a bit, was that it?” she asked me. “No, you were on the balcony staring aimlessly into the storm. You didn’t respond when I asked what was up. You were in my room just standing there, completely unresponsive.” I said almost out of breath trying to get the words out. “No” she laughed. “I got up about 3 minutes ago, went to the loo and came back to you and Tom talking.” “No, you didn’t,” I said sternly. “Ok calm down” Tom interjected, “it’s late, skiing it going to be great tomorrow if this snow keeps up so let’s get some sleep.”
I stood in the doorway in silent disbelief. Jackie was lying right to my face. Or was she? Was I dreaming? I had the quickest internal argument I have ever had. Am I wrong? Is she wrong? Is this even a problem?
I decided nothing more can be done either way so said my goodnights and went off to bed. I was asleep almost as soon as my head hit the pillow.
I woke up this morning to the sound of the apartment door closing. Questions filled my mind. Was she messing around, was I dreaming? Could she have been sleepwalking? It was still early, about 7 am. I got up to get a coffee.
I walked past Tom and Jackie’s room on the way to the kitchen and could see that they had set off to get the first lift. I stood in the tiny kitchen and flicked on the kettle. My phone lit up silently as a message arrived. It was from Jackie:
“Dan, I’m really sorry about last night, please don’t tell anyone. I will explain later xoxo”
I’ve just got back from my first ski lesson, it was great! She should be back soon so I will update you when I know what’s going on.
Just for the hell of it here is a picture taken on the gondola on today’s lesson:
Last night but we went out to the après-ski bar (my wife and I got the lift back down due to our lack of skiing ability.)
Ok, here it goes.
About an hour after my post yesterday Tom and Jackie came back from their day of skiing. Although the message seemed innocent enough, I was still kind of nervous. I see a lot of the comments were talking about sleepwalking and that was my hypothesis too but I just couldn’t shake this uneasy feeling that things were about to go from ‘normal weird’ to ‘insanely weird’.
They got in, showered and Tom started to look for food. We had only really done a quick shop on arrival due to how late it was so all we had left were some weird French chocolate bars.
“Does anyone want anything from the shop?” Tom asked from the kitchen, head buried in the fridge. “Aren’t we going to the après-ski bar?” Jackie asked. “They will serve food there.” “Yeah I know but, I want to chill a bit first and I’m starving.” He leaned out of the doorway so he could look at us. “I’m ok,” I said barely taking my eyes off the game of 8ball on my iPhone. “Same.” Said Jackie. “I’ll come, I need tampons.” Shouted my wife from the bedroom. “That’s disgusting!” Tom shouted back. “You are my brother, Dan has been married to me for 4 years now, he knows how it works, and Jackie is a girl. There’s nothing to be weird about!” “Fine,” Tom laughed in response. “Give me two seconds and we can head off.”
This was my chance to find out what the hell was going on with Jackie. I played it cool until my wife and Tom had left and then turned to Jackie who was now looking a little uncomfortable, sat on the other end of the sofa to me. I put my phone down, screen facing the sofa.
“So… what was that about last night?” I asked with a grin, trying to make her feel less uncomfortable and to hide my nerves. “It’s… hard,” she kept her gaze fixed on the hands folded in her lap. “It’s hard to talk about, but I owe you an explanation.” She looked up and her eyes met mine. Now I don’t hate eye contact, but sometimes it’s just awkward, so I looked away, out to the balcony. “I’m really sorry,” she followed up as if she thought I was annoyed or upset. I turned back to face her and made eye contact again. I knew I would need to make her feel as comfortable as possible, so I buried the introverted eye-contact avoider and spoke softly. “It’s ok, take your time.” She smiled at me but only with her mouth, her eyes looked sad. “I sleep walk.” She said abruptly after a short silence. “It’s weird and I know lots of people do it but I had a dodgy ex who took the piss out of me constantly for it, I started to develop a complex and I’ve been trying to hide it from Tom, please don’t say anything to him”. “I won’t.”
My suspicions were put to rest so I didn’t feel the need to push any further. I smiled at her and she returned with a genuine smile.
Shortly after, Tom and my wife returned with some crisps and dip (chips and dip for my American friends). We gathered around the table and shared a few laughs and the bag of crisps before getting ready to head to the bar. Everything felt great and normal like a weight had been lifted. I finally felt like I could start to enjoy the holiday.
We got back from the bar, a little tipsy and full of raclette cheese so headed straight to bed and it wasn’t long before we were asleep. I had quietly told my wife about the discussion with Jackie while at the bar and she told me to put our suitcase up against the door, that way if she did slide it open again she would likely trip over the bag and wake herself and us up. She didn’t like the idea of her brother not knowing but I was sworn to secrecy so I made her swear too.
At exactly 3 am I woke up to see a dark figure standing at the end of the bed. I knew it was Jackie so I reached over to wake my wife without taking my eyes off Jackie but my hand fell onto the empty bed. I looked over and my wife wasn’t there. There was a warm patch where she had been lying asleep clearly not very long ago. But nothing now.
I turned back to Jackie to see her standing closer, now with her knees pressed against the foot of the bed.
I sat up slowly, in an attempt not to startle Jackie awake. The door was open again and there was a cold breeze. She had obviously opened the balcony door. I got up at the side of the bed and started to walk over to Jackie.
I’m not going to lie. I was bricking it. She looked creepy as hell. She wasn’t wearing a strap top and underwear this time. She was in a dressing gown (bathrobe) which looked like it belonged to her mother before she was even born. It was hard to see in the dark but it looked wet. The faint light that fills a room at night gave it a weird shine. To top it all off I had no idea where my wife was.
I stepped towards her very slowly and quietly. I looked at the bottom of the door which I couldn’t see from my bed and the suitcase was still in place. I reached out to gently grab a hold of Jackie and put my hands on her shoulders. Her dressing gown was freezing and soaking wet. Her hair looked like she had just come out of the shower, but was ice cold. I slowly turned her around and pointed her at the door. I dragged the suitcase out of the way and pushed her gently towards the door.
When we reached the doorframe I could see the whole living room, lit dimly by the streetlights below and the pale moon now low in the clear night sky. There was a set of wet footprints going to the balcony. Two in fact. One set returning to our room.
Forget this I thought. This is scaring the crap out of me. I shouted as loud as I could. “TOM!” I heard a stumble as he fell out of bed. The door slid open and he switched on the light.
It was blinding. For a moment I couldn’t see a thing, I let out a groan. Eventually, my eyes adjusted and Tom already had Jackie in his arms. Trying to communicate with his zombie girlfriend.
Crap! I had forgotten about my wife! I turned to the balcony and ran to the open door. Nothing. Not a sign other than where some snow had been pushed off the balcony railing. My heart sunk. We were 5 floors up. If she’s gone over, she’s dead. I crossed the distance to the edge of the balcony in one long step. And threw my head over to look down.
There. In a pile of snow. Lay my wife.
I called out to her and she didn’t move. I cried out to Tom who seemed to have woken Jackie up and told him to get there and call an ambulance while I ran down to see her.
The halls and stairwells of the building never seemed so long. I made it to the front door in what felt like hours but may have only been seconds. Then I had to run around the building to the back where our apartment was.
I stepped barefoot into the snow, the cold biting my bare torso and legs. Why do I only sleep in boxers!!!
Eventually, I made it to where she lay, fell to my bare knees in the snow and put my hands on her upper arms. I’m no doctor but I know to never move someone who may have spinal injuries.
She was warm. She was breathing. She was alive! I called out to her and her eyes opened.
“What the hell?!?!” she mumbled in a shiver. “Are you ok?” I asked almost in tears. “Help me up,” she said getting to her knees.
I was in shock and really don’t remember very much until getting back into the warm apartment. My wife was confused but by some crazy miracle was unhurt. Not even a bruise!
She got in and put on some dry, warm pajamas. I kept asking her what happened but she claims she was asleep and woke up like that, she was tired, confused, and kept repeating “Let’s go to sleep. We can talk about this in the morning.”
Eventually, I gave in and tucked her into bed. She was out like a light. I have no idea how she slept so quickly.
I could hear Jackie crying from the room next door. I wasn’t taking this crap lying down so went into their room. I burst in with a shout. “WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT?!?!”
Tom turned, stood up, grabbed me gently by the shoulders and walked me out of the room, sliding the door closed behind him.
He was as confused as me. Jackie had explained about the sleep walking and was clearly upset, he asked after his sister who I explained was unharmed and seemed well emotionally. We had no idea what to do. Tom suggested sorting it out in the morning. We went our separate ways. After an hour or so I could hear snoring coming from Tom and Jackie’s room. My wife was sound asleep. I sat there, in silence. Waiting for the sun to come up.
This morning my wife woke up as if nothing happened and even wanted to get to our lessons so we were out of the apartment before Tom and Jackie woke up.
We’re back now after our lesson but Tom and Jackie are out. This stuff is doing my head in but my wife seems to think I’m over reacting. As an ex-nurse, she told me she must have been carried there or sleepwalked herself because she was fine. I didn’t check for footprints in my state of shock last night and there are quite a lot there now. So detective work is going to be hard.
I’m sorry if my writing has gotten sloppy. I’m just so freaked out and exhausted from barely sleeping since the day before our flight but I’m going to get to the bottom of this, even if it kills me.
EDIT: I just realized that putting my wife back to sleep was a stupid thing to do in case she was concussed. But thankfully she seems fine.
Some more clarification: none of the internal doors have locks, they don’t open on a hinge but slide to the side on a runner, this kind of makes it hard to barricade. The balcony door doesn’t have a lock but only has a door handle on the inside.
There is a window in our room which goes out onto the balcony. It’s small but also not secure at all. I think a good shove from the outside would pop it open.
Because things weren’t weird enough…
After I updated you guys yesterday I went to have a nap. I couldn’t keep my eyes open and seeing as Jackie was out of the house, I deemed it safe enough.
I woke up about 6 pm to the sound of our apartment door closing. I got up and opened the bedroom door. Tom and my wife were sitting on the sofa. Tom looked upset and my wife was comforting him.
“What’s up?” I asked, concerned. My wife answered. “Tom and Jackie broke up, she’s just left for her flight.”
I couldn’t help but feel relieved, after all, she’s crazy!
“I think it’s for the best.” Mumbled Tom, who was clearly hurting. “She caused this mess. I can’t have anyone hurting my sister.” “But she didn’t hurt me,” cried my wife. “You were out in the snow for who know’s how long. I don’t know if you fell, or she put you out there but no one can hurt my family. Sleepwalking or not.”
“I think you made the right decision,” I said reassuringly. “Yeah, it wasn’t easy, though,” Tom replied. “Guys, I think I need to be alone. I’m going out for a walk.” “Are you sure? I can come with you.” My wife said, standing up. She always cared for her family, more than most. “No, I’m ok. I just need to think.” With that, Tom stood up, put his boots on and left.
My wife and I sat discussing the week’s events for hours over tea (dinner/ supper) but couldn’t make any sense of it. Eventually, we went to bed with my iPad and watched a little Rick and Morty. At about 11 pm we heard the apartment door open.
“Tom?” My wife cried out. “Yeah, I’m back. I’m gonna head straight to bed.” “Ok see you in the morning.”
We turned off the iPad and went to sleep.
It must have been 3 AM when I woke up. I was freezing. Shaking all over. My feet were on fire with pain and I felt wet. I could feel an icy wind cutting at my bare skin. Like razor blades cutting me with every gust. It was dark. So dark I couldn’t see anything. The kind of dark you only get underground or in a light proof room. I was blind.
There was a faint noise in the wind. Like a whisper. Definitely a whisper. I sat up and lifted my hands to my ears. I felt cloth. Thick cloth. Wet cloth. I tucked my thumbs under and lifted.
The blindfold fell into my lap and I opened my eyes. I was outside. It was at least -10c (14f). The wind was blowing snow at my bare skin. I was red all over. Shaking violently. I stumbled to my feet to survey my surroundings. The moon was tucked behind clouds and the only light was the orange glow from the resort below. Easily a mile away. Around me was fresh, untouched snow. Fresh apart from a set of tracks leading to where I woke up. Well, two sets of tracks, and one going back down the hill.
There was only one thing for me to do. I clutched my shivering arms around me and started walking. Heading to the only lights for miles around. Back to the town.
The whispering in the wind died down almost as soon as I started walking. This was creepy, but I knew I had to make it back to the apartment. This clearly didn’t end when Jackie left. My wife was in trouble. I started to run.
The journey back to the apartment was cold, hard, painful and scary. I could barely hear the wind over the sound of my teeth chattering. The trip felt like hours. But eventually, I made it to the apartment building, entered the code for the front door and hobbled to the lift (elevator).
As the door closed I looked down at my feet, covered in cuts and blood. The door opened and I stumbled down the corridor to my apartment. I tried the door. It was unlocked. I opened it and fell to the floor. Black.
I came to this morning in a hospital bed. My wife was next to me holding my hand. She had clearly been crying.
“What’s going on?” I croaked in a confused daze. “Where did you go?” She started to cry again. “I woke up on the mountain. I walked back.” My voice cracked as I strained to speak. “Ok, ok. You need to rest. You were hypothermic. The doctors have bandaged up your feet. Your stable. Rest now.” “Where’s Tom?” I don’t know why I asked. “He’s outside. Do you want me to get him?” “No, it’s ok. I’m going to go back to sleep.”
I woke up again a short while ago. My wife left my iPad on the side of the bed. I’m feeling ok. Exhausted but ok. My feet are killing me. A nurse just popped in to give me some pain killers so that should ease soon.
Damn. I’m scared. What the hell was that? What were those whispers? Why did I wind up on the mountain? What do I do? My wife isn’t here. After that nurse, no one has come in. I’m scared.
No one came to visit me yesterday after writing the update. The wifi in the hospital is so patchy that I can’t watch Netflix. Reddit barely works so I gave up with my iPad and turned on the TV. There was only one channel. Surprise, surprise it was in French. I don’t speak anywhere near enough to enjoy it.
The only thing left for me to do was sleep. I slept all afternoon and late into the night. I woke up at 1:15 am. All the sleep had thrown off my body clock. It may as well have been 10 am. I sat up in the bed for a bit looking down at my bandaged feed. Tinges of pink poked through the layers. No one had really explained much to me. I guessed I would find out in the morning.
Eventually, the boredom really got to me. So I tried to sleep again. I don’t know if I fell asleep or just lost track of time but at 2:30 I started to hear them again. Whispers.
They were very faint. At first, I thought it was coming from the hallway or the nurse’s station. But they were a constant volume and never stopped for breath. The room was lit fairly well by the light coming through the frosted glass in the door and through small gaps in the blinds covering the window looking out to the hallway to my right. There were no external windows. Nothing connecting me to the outside world.
The whispers faded away. Leaving me in the dim light of my room. Alone.
I tried to keep myself as alert as possible, expecting the worst. I didn’t know what those noises were but they scared the crap out of me.
I must have drifted off to sleep again because not long after I woke up in my bed. I was lying down. I could just see the clock in the corner of my eye. I was straining to focus my eyes, but could just about make out the time, 3 am. There were whispers. Louder this time. As if they were in the room.
I tried to sit up to see what was going on but couldn’t move. I tried to turn my head but couldn’t move. I tried to turn my eyes but they weren’t listening. I tried to blink, nothing. It felt like all the nerves connecting my brain to motor skills had been cut. I was breathing, but it was labored. It felt like something was sitting on my chest.
I started to panic. Well, my brain did. My body was completely paralyzed. I didn’t even seem to have control of my breathing. I was just a consciousness.
“Oh, you’re awake,” came a familiar voice. A dark, person-shaped, blur came into my fixed view. “This has never happened before. This will be fun.” The voice laughed.
I have never strained as much to concentrate on a voice before. But I couldn’t pin it down. I couldn’t process gender, accent or even pitch. I just knew I recognised the voice.
I tried to make a noise but nothing.
“Lift your right arm,” commanded the voice. The whispers grew much louder. Still whispers but louder than before. I felt my right arm raise slowly. Stopping only when vertical. I tried to pull it back down but nothing happened.
“He, he, he, amazing!” The laugh was almost like that of a cartoon. “Drop it.” My hand fell to my side. “I wonder if you can feel.” The voice said menacingly.
The blur slid out of my view. I listened to its footsteps walk to the foot of my bed.
Pain seared from my feet up through my legs. My brain lit up. I couldn’t move away from the pain. I could tell my brain was trying to activate a reflex but nothing. Just pain. It felt like my feet were in a hot vice.
“Fascinating.” Said the voice in apparent awe. “The book doesn’t mention anything about this. I’ve got to play with you!”
The blur moved back into view and crouched down close to my face.
“Stand up.” The voice said gently.
Immediately my body sat up and shuffled to the side of the bed, feet hanging off. The room spun through my unfocused vision. My body pushed itself off the end of the bed. Putting all of my dead weight onto my feet. The sensation of flames flicked up my legs. Pain searing through.
“HA HA HA, perfect!” The voice laughed. “Look at me.” It snapped. My head turned to the figure and my eyes focussed. TOM!
“Oh you had no idea, did you. You stupid prick. It may not have been easy, but it’s over now. I hope you said goodbye to my sister. You’re never going to get the chance now!” Tom laughed maniacally.
Tom walked to the door and opened it. He stopped in the doorway and looked both ways then stepped out. With his step my body lunged forward in huge steps, following him at about 4-5 paces behind. Each step causing pain to shoot through my body. I couldn’t look down, but I’m sure I could feel blood squelching in my bandages.
He walked me down the corridor to the end. There was a window looking out into the dark. I was on the second floor.
“I guess we’ve got to go up if I’m going to get this right.”
He turned to the left. There was an old fire escape. He kicked it open and walked into the stairwell. As it opened I could hear a faint alarm go off back towards the nurse’s station. He walked me up the first flight of stairs and we turned the corner. In my peripherals, I could see blood-drenched footprints marking my path.
I lost count of how many flights of stairs I climbed due to the pain. In the end that’s all I could think about. The sharp burning pain in my feet and the endless whispers. Eventually, we rounded a corner and saw a door. Tom ran up the stairs and fiddled with it’s padlock. It popped open and fell to the ground. The door flung open.
The wind was crazy. I guess we must have been pretty high up. There was no snow so we must have been out of the mountains. It was cold but not below freezing.
I stepped out onto the roof. The wind blew my gown around like a flag in a hurricane.
Tom made off to the edge of the roof. Stopping on the ledge. I followed and stopped around 5 paces behind.
“Come on!” He whistled. Like I was a dog.
I walked towards the ledge and stopped with my feet partially hanging off. I could see the town’s lights around me. They were strangely comforting.
“Now, I can’t let you go without knowing what’s going to happen. What kind of brother-in-law would I be if I did that?” His voice was higher pitched than normal. He sounded unhinged.
“Look down,” he ordered, sounding almost bored. My head shot forward pointing to the car park (parking lot) below.
“You are 25 stories up. When I tell you to jump you are going to fall. Now it’s entirely possible, based on the trauma I’ve already put you through, that your heart will give way before you hit the ground. So you will have a heart attack mid-air and, if the shock doesn’t render you unconscious, you will then hit the ground. Your bones will shatter and your internal organs will have been hit by so much force that they will likely turn to mush. You will be an unrecognisable mess. A squelchy blob of red gunk, littered with tiny shards of bone and you will feel it all. No one can hurt my family. All I need to do is say the word.”
The whispers had come back (maybe they never went) and were almost overpowering the sound of the wind.
“Look at me, I want to see your face when you go.” I turned my head.
He parted his lips, exaggerating his demented smile, “Ju-”.
His body flew forward into the air. His face turned a bright white as he turned to my right.
“You crazy bitch!” he shouted as he hurtled towards the ground.
He gave off a faint thud as he landed. Someone in the carpark let out a scream. The whispers stopped instantly. I felt myself falling. Black.
I woke in my hospital bed about an hour ago. There’s a policeman outside waiting to get a statement from me so I’m going to have to explain what I now know quickly.
I woke up to Jackie and my wife sat next to my bed. My wife jumped at me in tears as soon as I opened my eyes, hugging me tightly. As soon as I saw Jackie I recoiled.
“It’s… it’s ok babe.” My wife reassured me. “She saved you.” “I think I’ve got some explaining to do,” Jackie said hesitantly but with a hint of a smile.
“It all started on Facebook. Tom was friends with my ex and started to message me one day, after seeing we had broken up. He was nice, reassuring and generous. He kept taking me out on expensive dates. I really felt like I was being treated as the woman I knew I was.
I was so blinded by this apparent amazing man that I missed all the signs. Anytime you guys left from your visits he would spend hours ranting about how you weren’t good enough for his sister. It used to consume him. One time, about a month before he suggested this trip, you had an argument on the drive down about the route you took. Cathy (OP’s wife, not her real name) was crying when you arrived. You only stayed overnight because of something going on at home and the second you left Tom went mad about you. He smashed apart the guest bed you were sleeping on, claiming that it was tainted and that he can’t have anything tainted by someone hurting his family.
I was insecure, I mistakenly put it down as passion. Boy, was I wrong.
A week later he brought home a book. It was ancient. Bound in leather and covered in dust. He never put it down. I kept asking what it was and he kept saying it was just something interesting from Romania. I let it go. He seemed so great at the time that I didn’t want to push him.
Then one night I woke up in the kitchen. I could hear whispers. I had been sleepwalking, I’d done it before but never with any whispers. I freaked out and called my mum. She said it was just in my head and told me to go back to sleep. It happened every night after that. Waking up in different places. Sometimes with injuries. The worst was a cut to my hand. A straight deep cut. I didn’t want to freak Tom out so I hid it from him and went to the hospital in the morning.
And then two weeks before the trip, it stopped. I was so glad because I didn’t want to freak any of you guys out, I didn’t think for a second that it had anything to do with Tom.
I can’t tell you what happened at the apartment because I don’t know. I don’t know what I did to Cathy IF I did anything to Cathy. All I know is that the day after it all happened. Tom changed towards me. He had never been horrible to me before. While we were meant to be skiing he spent the entire time calling me crazy, repeating the same things my ex used to say to me. I felt tiny, worthless again. When he broke up with me I was kind of relieved.
I sat on the coach on the way to the airport feeling like a weight had been lifted. Then the penny dropped. The book. The whispers. I knew something was going on and I knew he was involved. I stayed in Grenoble that night and went back the next day to see what was going on.
Your ambulance left just as I arrived. I knew I had to work it out so I got a taxi to the hospital and set about avoiding you, but staying close enough to see what was going on. I had fallen asleep behind the nurse’s station when I heard the door alarm going off. I followed your footprints and heard everything Tom said to you. I wasn’t going to let him kill you. He’s crazy. I’m’ just glad you fell back onto the roof and not forward.”
I sat, upright in bed. Mouth agape. Cathy was crying while clinging to me.
“It’s going to be ok, babe, It’s going to be ok,” I whispered and kissed my wife’s head.
That’s when the police turned up and that’s where we are now. I’m in bed. Avoiding the inevitable conversation, trying to avoid sounding ‘crazy’.
Much love, Dan