What about the house? by Ridisha Shetty

“It all started on that day, when I first bought the house. I… I had a feeling. Call it some sixth sense or an instinct; I knew something was not right. But… but it was my dream house. It was just perfect. Everything was just how I wanted it, the cozy fireplace, the couch and the television were all positioned so perfectly as if someone took the blueprints out of my dream. I had fallen in love at first sight. Maybe that’s why they say love is blind. I wanted the house, and I was getting it in such a good deal, I couldn’t decline the offer. I warded off all the negative thoughts. This had to be my house. I moved in after a month. It was all good, or maybe I didn’t notice anything because of the moving and excitement. But everything was going great… just the way I…” Jacob was speaking as Dr. Smith interrupted to ask, “I am sorry, so you live there alone?”

Dr. Smith was scribbling on his notebook as Jacob continued “No… I stay with my friends. I mean they moved in to stay with me just a couple of months ago. Before that I stayed alone in that house.”

“Okay, so you guys are like hostel roommates, splitting bills and staying…”

Jacob continued. “No, just like friends… very good friends. I mean… I own the house, so they don’t need to pay anything to me. They just came here to stay so that I don’t feel left alone. They are like the pillars who keep me from falling over while I am going through this phase. Actually… I… I was not comfortable. I never even thought about visiting you. If it weren’t for Mark, I wouldn’t even be here. He asked me to meet up with you once. I don’t know how it will go. If you would believe me or no. But as Mark says, ‘here goes nothing.’”

“Don’t worry. I am here to listen. You can trust me. So, let’s get back to what you were saying. You said you were going through a phase. Is it like a relationship problem?”

“No… No, I’ve never really had a girlfriend… I just used to like a girl once… but it was long back, and it is not related to my problem. It’s… it’s the house! The house is the problem. I don’t want to stay there anymore. But I don’t have money to move. I don’t even want to sell the house. My friends have been of great help through this. I am still going through tough times. But it is better having people around you who have got your back… you know…”

Dr. Smith was scribbling on his notebook as Jacob continued. “After two weeks of moving in that house, it all started. The first few incidents were things I didn’t pay much attention to, like waking up late at night terrified by some scary dream and finding my blanket lying on the other side of the room. I was more concerned when I started noticing a pattern. It happened the same way always and at the same time as well… around 3:10 a.m.… always. And sometimes, I used to find myself in another room the next morning. I even woke up on the lawn, twice. I am scared. It is much better with my friends around, but there is still some activity happening around at the house at night. Like we mostly stay up late at night talking or having fun. I notice things happening in the house. Some room doors opening, some music playing. Sometimes I hear utensils from the kitchen as if someone is using them, while all of us are in the same room. There are so many more things that I can’t explain. It is as if someone else is staying there with us, too. It started getting worse. Or closer… I mean… it is as if that thing is getting closer and closer to me. It feels like it is consuming me… slowly.”

Dr. Smith, who had been intently listening, waited for Jacob to finish and asked, “So, you say this is happening since you moved into that house. It is less prominent but still there with your friends around?”

“Yes! I don’t understand what to do. I want you to help me… help me make it stop. I can’t take it anymore. But I don’t have money to move out unless I sell that house, which I don’t want to.”

Dr. Smith scribbled something on his notebook and put it aside before continuing. “Our session for today is almost over. I understand your problem, but I will have to get more details to analyze the situation and help you. For now, I will prescribe you a few medicines that I want you to take. And I want to see if you feel any better due to the medicines for our next meeting. And then…”

Jacob interrupted. “You don’t believe me, do you?”

“I… I believe you. I believe that you are facing some problems. I am here to help you.”

“Then what is the medicine for. Did you not hear? The house is doing something. The house… it is haunted. My blankets thrown off to the other corner of the room, the dropping of the utensils, me waking up in different places, and the time… why does everything happen at around that time only? You don’t believe me! I knew you were useless. I should not have come.”

“Wait. Listen. I believe you. Trust me. I want to help you. The medicine is just for you to get good sleep. The staying up all night with friends could be leading to sleep deprivation, which could be causing some hallucinations. I just want to analyze what is actually going on with your mind.”

“Nothing is going on with my mind. I am in my right mind. Just because I came to see you doesn’t mean I have gone crazy. I am good. I am surviving, even through all this. I don’t need your medicines. I am not hallucinating. It is the truth. You can tell me if you can’t help me, I have….”

“I can help you. I want to help you.”

“No, you can’t. Not with those medicines, you can’t.”

“Okay! Okay! I understand. So tell me one thing. You said when you stayed up at night with your friends you still heard all that going on. But did they experience the same thing as well…”

“They…”

“Did your friends experience all that too? Or was it just you?”

“I was…”

“Someone else must have seen it, too. You can’t be the only one among all the others.”

“I AM NOT! I am sure everyone saw it! They must have seen it. The opening and closing doors, the voices, they must have!”

“Did anyone happen to tell you anything about their encounters?”

“No… yes… they did. I was talking to them. Kevin and I have talked about it before. Why don’t you ask Kevin? You think I am crazy, right. You can ask him; he works in a multinational company. He is not crazy. Kevin, tell him the truth”

Kevin spoke. “Yes, I noticed it too. Nothing happened to us. But I am sure everyone noticed stuff happening with Jacob. We were all watching a movie once, and I literally saw his blanket flying to the other corner of the room as if someone just pulled it off him. You should believe him. The house is haunted.”

“Well, I have noticed some things, too. Which I can’t really explain. I don’t believe in ghosts, but if this has no scientific explanation, then I don’t know what to do. I mean, I asked Jacob to come see you so we could get some answers. I am a cop, so it is my nature to try and get to the bottom of everything,” Mark said.

“I don’t know about any of this,” William continued. “I personally haven’t experienced anything like that. But I am seeing how disturbed Jacob has been, and his condition is worsening. I believe him if he says he has experienced something wrong in the house. There has to be some explanation about his deteriorating condition.”

“Hi Dr. Smith, I am a psychiatrist in the making. I understand the dilemma you are going through. But I am here to seek your help for our friend. I don’t know what is going on. But yes, one thing you need to know is that Jacob lost the love of his life in a car accident just weeks before he found the house. I’ve read some papers about the effects of trauma. But I am not sure if this is it. Jacob was about to propose to her in a few days. But then we got this news. Maybe it was tough for him,” finished Myra.

“I understand now, Jacob. I am sorry I doubted you. I will help you,” Dr. Smith said. 

“See, I told you,” Jacob replied.

“Yes. Just give me a moment. I will be right back.” Those were Dr. Smith’s last words as he walked out of his room and approached the nurse.

“Dr. Smith, the next patient is waiting. Are you done with that patient? Should I send the next one in? And his mother wants to know if she can accompany the patient inside,” asked the nurse.

“Uhm… Send him in in 5 minutes, once Jacob is out. And you know no one can accompany the patient during the session. Give a call to Dr. Brown right away and pass on Jacob’s file to her. She will handle the case from now on.”

“But Dr. Brown specializes in…”

“Yes, tell her it is a multiple personality disorder case with at least 5 different personalities.”

Dr. Smith headed back to his session room to speak to Jacob. “Hey Jacob, I have…”

“Elizabeth! I am Elizabeth, Jacob’s mother. Did you find a way to help my son? I asked him to not move to that house. They say the ghosts there make you go crazy.”

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