I feared coming to this class every day. The clock was always on my mind, the light above my head constantly flickered, and the machines began to sound like dead moaning to me.
Sadly, it wasn't because the teacher was scary or some childish idea like that. It was because of the person sitting two seats behind me.
"Unless you have questions, you're free to go," the professor announced.
Once those words registered in my brain, I bolted out of the class with my backpack in hand. I may have gotten weird looks, but I didn't care.
All that mattered was that I got away from that person.
"Phillip!" a terrifying voice called out to me.
"Leave me alone!" It was like my cry caused the lights to tremble, and I only wish that was the case. If only I was the terrifying one.
My shout caught more weird looks as I bolted down the hall. Once I burst through the front doors, it felt as if I had escaped for a second, but I knew it wasn't over.
So, I continued towards my dorm, my stalker's presence still behind mesending chills up my spine.
Still outrunning her, I threw the door open, reached my room on the first floor, and quickly locked the door.
Without a second to waste, I barricaded the door with the nearby drawer and equipped myself with a metal bat.
"Why me? What did I do to deserve this?"
A second later, there was banging at the door, making me flinch.
"Phillip, you in there? Why you lock the door?" my roommate called out to me.
A little hesitate, I moved the drawer and unlocked the door.
"Why you have that bat ready?" Mark asked me as I slammed the door behind him.
"Did you see Bella out there?"
"Bella? Who are you talking about?"
"The blonde demon that was chasing me! She's been in my class for four days now."
"I haven't seen one Bella on this campus yet. You want to introduce me to her?"
"No, I don't. She's been torturing me ever since she got here. Look!"
I forcefully pulled up my shirt to show Mark my marks. My torso was filled with burns, cuts, and bruises. It started as friendly teasing and then took a sharp turn into actual pain.
"I thought it would stop, but I can't take it anymore."
Mark examined my body carefully.
"What am I supposed to be seeing?"
His question shook my body with shivers.
"I mean, you're starting to get a pack down there, but you need to work on it."
"No, no! These are cuts and bruises Bella has been giving me. She's torturing me."
"Do you need help, man? I don see anything, and I don know any Bella. The only one that comes to mind is the one that died years ago we went to high school with."
A thunderous knock at our door caused me to jump and scurry to the window.
"Phillip!" Bella's devilish voice boomed.
"You heard that, right?" I asked Mark.
"Other than the knock, I didn't hear anything. They didn't speak yet."
"Don't open it. She's here."
"Look, how about I open it and see if it's her for myself? If it is, I'll protect you, alright?"
Trying to put faith in my close friend, I trembled by the back wall as he unlocked the door.
When the door opened even slightly, a pale, veiny hand slithered through and pierced the wall with its sharp fingers.
"I told you! Close it now!" I shouted, angry rising just as much as fear.
"Man, I'm really worried about you. There's no one here, see?"
To my dismay, Mark flung the door, and there stood my recent nightmare. Even though the sun lit up the room, darkness covered the fiend from head to toe.
The only features I could see was her dark blonde hair and veiny hands.
"Whoever knocked was probably being-" Shadows cut Mark off as they pierced his throat and chest.
"Mark!" I called out, but he was gone. As his body hit the ground, I could still hear his voice in my head. It called out to me, asking for help, but I couldn't answer him.
"Looks like it's just the two of us, Phillip," Bella said, her darkness overtaking the light in the room.
In a hurry, I opened the window, but Bella's sharp fingers pierced my back and pulled me back down.
"Please, just tell me why you're doing this. Did I know you in high school?" I asked once she spun me around. Darkness still covered her face, so I couldn't get a good look.
The monster held me down by my shoulders as she got closer.
"I'll tell you once our relationship is finalized."
"I won't fight if you just tell me."
"Oh! Really? Why didn't you say so earlier?"
My lie loosened Bella's grip a bit, so I took my chance and swung the bat at her. The metallic weapon went straight through her misty body, but it did cause her to release me.
So, I ran past her, escaping the room and leaving the building.
"Okay, okay. I need to figure out who Bella was, and how to stop her. She went to my high school, but what could have happened? Oh, I think it's coming to me!"
Even though I agreed, I couldn't stay behind. While he opened the door, I opened the window and dove out of it. I just couldn't take the risk of it being her.
So, I set back out on foot with my weapon in hand.
"Excuse me, sir!" I called out to a nearby guard.
"Can you see these?"
I pulled up my shirt, making the security guard look away for a second. Once he turned back, he examined my stomach.
"See what? I don't know what I'm looking for. Are you okay?"
Another person who couldn't see my injuries. Was I going crazy? Why was I the only one who could see and feel her? No, I can't be the only one.
There's at least one other person who had to have seen her.
Speaking of the devil, Mr. Hawkins approached . Hawkins caused me to stop dead in my tracks. "What's wrong? Why are you in such a hurry, and why do you have a bat?"
"First, can you not see the blood on my shirt?" I asked.
"No, I can't see any blood. What's going on with you, Phillip?"
"I don't know, but I do have a favor to ask."
"Phillip!" I could hear in the distance, causing a shiver to rock my body.
"Can we go now?!"
With an uncertain look, Mr. Hawkins gave me a ride off of campus. I hoped going to a specific place would help me remember who Bella was and how to get her off my back.
After showing his worry, he led me back to his classroom.
"You have something on your mind, right? Whatever you're stressing about, let it out," Mr. Hawkins said while in the car..
"Four days ago, a new student introduced herself to ourthe class, right? You remember that?"
"I can't say that I do. She transferred to mythis class?"
"Yes, and she's been around ever since. She cut and beat me for days, but no one else can see her for some reason."
Mr. Hawkins stared at me with a puzzled look before thinking of somethinglooking back at the road.
"Alright, I'm here for you, Phillip. It seems like you have a lot of stress, and it's making you see things. You shouldn't be alone for a while.
Let's go see the counselorWe'll see the counselor when we get back."
"Okay. Thank you, Mr. Hawkins."
"It's why I'm here.-"
A couple of minutes went by before stopping in front of an old abandoned, two-story home. The grass and weeds outgrew a lonely stump, hiding it in the front yard until I found it.
On the stump, I also found a picture of a young, blonde girl.
"I think I remember now," I mumbled to myself as memories rushed in. Bella and I went to the same high school, but I only saw her in passing. We never talked and never had one class together.
Sadly, I heard she died during senior year, but one question still swam through my head.
"Why is she haunting me?"
"I can't believe you still haven't noticed," the girl's voice echoed around me.
"Oh, no. Mr. Hawkins!" My professor responded, but it was in my head, just like Mark's. I frantically searched around for him, but the darkness seeped in, obstructing my view completely.
"What haven't I noticed?"
"I was never in your sights, but you were always in mine. I noticed everything you did, knew your routines, but I could never approach you. Then, I died before we could even interact.
Now, I'm just here to fulfill my one regret."
"Sorry, but I've had enough of this!" After hitting nothing with my bat, it was forcefully knocked out of my hands. A second later, her cold, dead hands wrapped around my body and then my eyes.
The fact that I couldn't get away from my recent nightmare became my dismay, a needle punctured the professor's neck right in front of me, splattering his blood on my face.
In response, I screamed and stumbled back with my bat still in hand. Right after, the lights shut off, and the curtains closed themselves.
"He almost made you stop believing in me, Phillip. I couldn't let that happen," my tormentor's deadly voice spoke.
"Are you really the same Bella from years back? Why are you doing this?"
"Just because I died years ago doesn't mean I gave up on us. I would never leave you."
While I stood ready in the darkness, the room grew colder, and a mist followed.
"Look, I don't share the same feelings, so leave me alone! I won't let you torment me anymore."
"I could never let that happen. If you're tired of it, I might as well make it official, huh?"
Unable to take it anymore, I took a few swings in the dark. Sadly, there were no impacts, except for the one that knocked the bat out of my hands.
In a second, I could feel her claws sink into my body, and her rough hands cover my eyes.
While being pulled further and further into the darkness, the fact that I could never get away from Bella became reality.