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Paranoia (part 4)

There - I've done it. Richard was right with his theories about confronting fears. There was nothing to it, and I am proud and ashamed of myself at the same time. Just an ordinary
living room as was to be expected. The air is a bit stale perhaps. Normally I air the flat first
thing in the morning.

I turn around to have a good look at everything. Then I see it! It's lying
in front of the fireplace, loosely wrapped in the blanket from the car boot. With a bang the
nausea is back. I run to the kitchen to be sick into the sink, except that I can't. It was just a

I don't know how much time has passed. Everything is still as blurred as on the morning I woke in that  - what shall I call it? - "state".
There have been people coming and going; first the screaming next-door neighbour, then the police… Now that it's too late they're making a big fuss about what was once me. I don't care.

Most of the time, I stay in the kitchen and watch the sun throw patterns on the tiles. Dust is gathering everywhere and the windowpanes are coated with dirt. Cleaning them is not my problem anymore.

I feel lonely. I don't talk to anybody; they'd be too shocked, and I don't go out. I wonder what's become of Richard. I haven't seen him since that day when he fled from the house. One of the guys who came here said they'd found him. That's all I know.

Imagining what he must have seen at our last encounter in the kitchen makes me chuckle. Then the giggles usually turn into sobs. I often cry about him these days. Perhaps I've lost my mind after all. And no wonder after such a blow.

I'm always around when the landlord comes to show the flat to prospective tenants. They don't even look at me. They never pay me any attention, aren't perceptive enough.

"This is the kitchen," the landlord says. "This is the bath, and over there we have the bedroom…"

"It's charming," they'll say "but the rent's too high." Or, "I don't like the low, beamed ceiling in the living room."

Only one woman so far has given her real reason. "It's spooky in here. As if something terrible had happened."

The landlord normally only shrugs, smiles and leads them out the door.

It's the most innocent of smiles. I'm disappointed he doesn't tell them. All sorts of things can happen in flats like this one. He should know. And I don't understand the people. They needn't be afraid of me, especially the women. I'd take care of them, watch over them.

Their heads wouldn't be battered to pulp with a football trophy.

(Pictures from Clip Art Gallery)