Often I would walk my dog at night, before bed, near the old playground. I was never afraid of being there, even though it would always get completely dark at those late hours. It was my dog Zabu favorite place to go at all hours of the day and night.
At around 12.30 am I went out there with him. The air was a little cold, almost with a slight crisp in it. Autumn was just starting to set in. It felt good to breath the crispy cold air. Zabu was acting very strange though. He was not being busy sniffing everything, as he always was. He was pulling slightly forward towards some trees, that was almost too hard to see in the dark. I tried to pull him in the other direction, but he kept standing there and starring. It made me a little uneasy, and I tried to pull him with me again, but he wasn’t going with me. It felt like he had seen something, or someone. I stared into the darkness, and all of a sudden, between the two trees, I could just make out an outline of a person standing there all dark. I wasn’t sure if I really saw someone’s silhouette in the dark, so I just kept starting, trying to make my eyes adjust to see a little better. Zabu was still pulling towards the figure and I started to get a little nervous. I was surrounded by darkness. Then I noticed an orange glow from the dark figure. It was a cigarette. My heart flew to my throat, and I ran towards the streetlights. Zabu was being persistent, he wanted to meet the person standing there in the darkness so quietly, but I had to get him inside with me. Finally he came with me and I ran past the lights and in the door and slammed it hard. I was shaking so badly. I turned all lights off in my apartment and looked out the window at the place the person stood. I couldn’t see anything.
I sat there for a little while, starring, having the chills.
It was too dark for me to see, and I saw no one. Zabu came with his favorite toy and wanted me to play. I grabbed the toy as I sat in darkness with him. He was growling and pulling it hard.
I stood up to go and turn the lights on, and as I did I turned my head to the window. There. Right outside my window, I saw a person standing with a hood on just leaned against my window and looking in. I jumped ten feet into the air and a loud gasp came out of me. I walked backwards away from the window and into the hallway. I hoped that the person didn’t see me in the darkness. I lost sight of the person, but I was too afraid to go to the window again, so I stood in my hallway feeling like a person on death row waiting to be executed.
It was all silent and Zabu had fallen asleep. I felt like I couldn’t go to the window so I went to my bedroom. I walked to the window and pulled the curtains a little bit aside, just enough to look outside.
I saw nothing. The person was gone from my other window. I must have sat there for an hour before I crawled into bed and drifted away into sleep.
The next morning it was the first thing I thought of. I tried to think calmly about it. Thinking that the person at the playground could have been a resident were I lived, that liked to smoke in very dark places all alone. And maybe I had just imagined the person looking in. After all it was very dark.
I went on with my day and didn’t think much of it. When I came home in the afternoon, I met my neighbour in the hallway. She was very upset, so I asked her what was wrong. She then told me about her stalker that she had previously told me about, that she ran into him in the morning outside the building, and that she had called the police, who came and got him as he was forbidden by law to come near her.
I knew he was very dangerous, she had told me before that he started it all by looking in her windows at night a few years ago.
Later that afternoon I went outside with Zabu. When we came back home we went past my window. On the ground below were five cigarette buds.