It began as nothing more than my usual, restless night. I was at that stage when eleven o’clock no longer consisted of sleep, but of piles of homework waiting to be completed. All the lights in the house, except for mine of course, had gone off, leaving me in utter silence to finish what I started. Curled up on the left corner of my bed, I sit alone, preoccupied and very quiet. I cannot bear the two-hour silence for it had reminded me of terrible ghost films I watched the night before.
Nights like these instilled a sort of fear in me—that a ghost or a thief was right outside my door. I am extremely paranoid. Never did I imagine this night would become one of the worst nights ever.
I am locked in my room. Stacks of books and sheets of paper coat my bed. On my laptop, I began my research on outer space for science class when strange noises begin to fill what seemed to be an empty room. It sounded of ruffling paper and quick shuffling, like the sounds of frantic hands digging through scatters of torn up paper.
It is near midnight and I am alone—at this point, anything and everything that seemed out of the blue frightens me to the core. I scan the entire room for the culprit but failed to pinpoint its location.
I made no movement. I made no sound. Not even a muscle. I remain still. The clock ticks, and seconds of everything paused seem like hours.
Except for that noise.
Remaining immobile for two minutes, I scan the room, still unsure of what or who is instigating this noise. The silence is not bothering me anymore, but the erratic commotion that continued to progress. I try to shrug it off but the sound has persisted for too long. It pauses in between ten seconds, then resumes.
It was killing me.
I begin to panic.
“What if this noise is signaling something deeper?”
“What if I’m just over thinking it?”
“Am I going to die?”
I am going insane.
Thirty minutes had gone by—more like thirty hours—and the noise managed to terrify me even more. It is already past midnight, but the rattling sound persists.
Not a until a minute later, the instigator, satisfied with my paranoia, reveals itself.
The noise had stopped. Normally, it would’ve continued but this time it ceased. I should be glad... I mean, I was relieved but a part of me senses something more sinister was going on.
Why did it stop; and most importantly, where did it go?
My eyes, fixed on the laptop screen, locks onto something. I am unsure of what this ‘something’ is, but in a matter of seconds, I knew. Chills run down my spine.
I discovered the culprit.
It crawls slowly out of its clever hiding place—an open shopping bag from Forever 21 dangling from behind my bedroom door. Alive and free, there it stood: the size of a two walnuts—but much thicker—its slick fine skin ready to flash its wings at me, thin sharp antennas pointing in my direction as if ready to attack, and its beady eyes that pierced right through my soul.
It was a gargantuan cockroach.
A COCKROACH. Of course it was. It is a pest I have despised since the dawn of time. I am stunned. What do I do? I’ve never killed one this big in my entire life, and I am not looking forward to doing it now. It gleams at me with its bloodshot eyes, beckoning me to swat it with a book.
It’s a standoff.
For ten seconds, we sit in silence, paralyzed, unsure of who is to make the first move. Sensing my fear, it hastes itself under my bed. Silence. Again.
Every muscle and every nerve I had is frozen in fear. At any point, it could fly atop the ceiling or dash its way across my bed. Using my bed as shelter, it stays hidden in the shadows, planning its next attack.
For twenty minutes, I stay in alert mode, wide-awake amidst the pile of things I have to do. My heart is racing. I sob and wail, desperately wanting my brother, who usually takes care of this problem, to wake up and swat the nasty little thing.
As I weep, it decides to launch an attack on me. It speeds across my bed and charges towards me, sending me flying over my bed and diving to the ground. I shriek and squeal and beg the Lord to send someone.
The door flings open and my brother comes rushing in. He sees the cockroach running around. Immediately, he takes a book from my shelf, and slams it on the roach as hard as he could.
The sweet sound of victory. I sigh, relieved. The evil has been defeated. A heavy sensation escapes my chest. My heart begins to slow down, and my cold, frozen blood rushes within. I was at peace.
I thank my brother, and get back to work.
Twenty minutes have passed since I defeated the evil lurking in my walls. I finally complete my research on outer space. Filled with relief and satisfaction, I shut the lights and crawl into bed.
Something tickles my feet.
The fan rests on the other side of the room, blowing air my direction. It could just be the breeze; I think to myself. But the sensation crawls towards my leg, then through my arm. I open my eyes and flip the blanket.
Two tiny blobs of brown paces across my leg. My eyes adapt to the darkness, and I begin to recognize its shape-
the size of two walnuts, but much thicker, with slick, fine skin ready to flash its wings at me, beady, devilish eyes that pierced through my soul.
Therese was born in the Philippines but grew up in Honolulu, Hawaii where family has always been important to her. She is a rising Sophomore at Pitzer College in Claremont, CA and intends to double major in Economics and Organizational Studies with a minor in either Sociology or Asian American studies (stay-tuned until her Junior year!) She watching movies with friends, reading, playing the piano, singing aloud to songs (when no one's listening, of course), looking up inspirational quotes, and a lot of self-reflecting. Her aspirations in life include making her family happy, making a difference in people's lives, and seeing others people's dreams come true.