There was a knock at the door and it wasn’t you…it couldn’t have been…but it had your voice, your face, your clothes. It kept trying to reason with me.
“Baby, just open the door. I forgot my keys…I need those to drive, you know?”
Go away, I hissed with one hand wrapped around the handle of a .22 rifle.
“It’s me, babe; what’s your problem?”
I watched you grab the keys, I said, unable to hide the fear in my voice. I watched your car pull out of the parking lot from our apartment window. And I watched your empty parking space because whatever was at the door wouldn’t leave. Your car is gone. I’m going to call the cops.
The thing with your face just smiled and tried to keep their anger contained, but I wasn’t fooled. They knew they only had so much time before the real you came back.
“Babe, open the damn door. My car is still in the parking lot; how else would I still be here? Why are you acting so crazy?”
I didn’t reply. The hallway lights were flickering in a strange way. I swore I could see shadows in the periphery of where it stood. It was like there was more of them out there…just waiting for me to open the door…waiting so they could all swarm.
“Ask me anything, baby; I’ll prove that it’s me.”
“Did you take your medication today? Is that it? Did you forget again and now you’re getting paranoid? You remember what happened last time…I’m going to call your mother if you don’t open up.”
I was still looking through the peephole. I wasn’t sure what to do; we didn’t have a phone, and you had the cell phone we shared. I was all alone. All I could do was watch and pray that you’d be back as soon as possible. I was standing there watching it when the thing suddenly appeared to be breaking a sweat. It was wiping his face with its shirt sleeve.
“Baby, ever since that day we met at your work…when you worked at the pet shop I knew that you were the one for me. Please—please just open the door. I don’t think I can do this anymore if this goes on.”
You’re breaking up with me… I found myself saying under my breath. It just looked so much like you. But the thing kept wiping its face and I watched as chunks of flesh started to go off as he furiously wiped his face with the sleeve. I watched you wiping your own face off. And then I heard your car from down below and I turned around just in time to see you pull in and when I looked back…it was gone.
I watched through the peephole as you came up, keys in hand, and I stiffened from head to toe when I saw myself walk up behind you. I watched myself tap you on the shoulder and ignore the question as to what I was doing by kissing you on the lips. Then I watched as my head split open right down the middle and hundreds of sharp teeth devoured your face.