The doorbell rings, and there’s blood on my hands.
Whose blood? My own blood. I lay surrounded by it. The doorbell rings again.
Where did he go? It must have been only seconds ago that the man with an obscured face was standing over me, gripping and twisting the knife that he had lodged into my stomach. I remember his heavy breathing, and his grunts and his growls, like a feral animal. How did he get in? The doors were locked. Front and back. The windows were all sealed. Nothing around the house suggested any struggle or forced entry at all. I look down at my hands and stomach again and the blood is gone, like none of it ever happened. The doorbell rings for a third time.
Who’s there? I think to myself, it’s late. Who would be ringing the doorbell this late? It doesn’t matter. I don’t plan on answering. I’m nearly in shock still. Moments ago I was stabbed, bleeding out, in pain. A man stabbed me. His face was obscured, but in what way exactly I can’t remember. There was no mask and I know he was looking directly at me as he plunged the knife into my body. He saw me. He savored the look in my eyes when he did it. But I couldn’t see him even as we locked eyes. There was no mask, nothing covering his face. There was no face.
This time there’s a bang at the door. Someone really wants me to open up.
And then more banging, even louder this time.
I’m shaking, I’m scared, I’m here alone.
I know that I only have one option if I want to find out what happened. I approach the door, slowly, and the closer I get to it the clearer things become. I know exactly what to expect. My steps toward that door become more confident and less frightened. I don’t bother looking through the peephole. I know it wouldn’t change a thing. I take a deep breath to prepare myself and I reach out, and as I’m opening the door I begin to hear those sounds again.
Heavy breathing, grunts and growls, like a feral animal.
He’s standing there, the man with an obscured face. Now I know, I let him in. Just like before. I can’t see him, but I know him. Unrecognizable yet familiar. Before I know it, that knife is in me again. The same way it was before. He stabs and twists and leaves it in as I drop down to the floor covered in my own blood. It doesn’t hurt now and it didn’t hurt then. Or it does and it did, but the pain itself is lessened when it arrives on time like it always does.
I lay in a pool of my own blood, crying. The man kneels down and puts his hand on my cheek, “I showed you what I was going to do,” he says. I can’t tell, but I think he’s crying too. The man with an obscured face walks away, out into the night. He disappears into the distance. I lay there warmed and comforted by own realization and acceptance. I let him in, and I will again.
The doorbell rings, and there’s blood on my hands.

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