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An Unknown Stranger

An Unknown Stranger


Estimated reading time — 8 minutes

Teaching had always been my dream job. Ever since I was little, I wanted a career teaching kids the same way my teachers taught me. Though, to be honest, I think it’s just because the ones I had were so great. Never had a bad one during my time in school.

So, fast forward to a few years later, a graduated college with a degree in teaching. I couldn’t believe it. My dream was finally realized. I immediately began applying to any and all schools in my area. As luck would have it, I ended up working at the school I was taught at as a kid.

This was an elementary school, and I got to teach the 5th graders, which was my favorite year of school, so that only added to my excitement.

I say this because there was no set subject in class. I taught everything.

And things got off to a pretty decent start. For the first few years, I didn’t have much issue with the job. Sure, there was a bad kid or two, but other that, things ran smoothly. That is, until I met one student. Now, for privacy reasons, I’m not going to use the kid’s actual name. I’ll refer to him as Alex. Now, Alex wasn’t a bad kid or anything. Far from it. He was actually quiet, polite, kept to himself, and always spent his recess reading. So, he was a favorite of mine, but he had his issues. One being that he wasn’t that great at math. In fact, he told me it was kind of his worst subject. From my interactions with him after this, he’s said that he still struggles with it.

I felt bad because he excelled at everything else. Science, reading, history. He was great at all that. But for whatever reason, math just didn’t click with Alex. I talked with his parents about this, and they said it was always an issue for him, even in his first few years of school. He got better with each grade, but there were still struggles. And his test scores unfortunately reflected this. Out of options, I suggested an after school tutoring program that I and a few other teachers were running. His parents agreed and enrolled him in it with a few other students. It was an after school thing, so all those involved had to stay later than normal.

It wasn’t a big deal for me because my home was in walking distance.

Plus, I really wanted to help these kids out, so I stayed for as long as I needed to.

The tutoring session ran a bit later than I was expecting. This was also in the winter time, so it was getting dark earlier than usual. But this wasn’t a one day thing. It’d last throughout the school week.

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So, when the sun began to set, we decided to call it a day.

Like I said, my home was in walking distance, so I could literally just pack up my things and walk home in about ten minutes. And so, I did just that. I walked home from the school while everyone else drove home while the parents picked up their kids.

But I noticed that Alex hadn’t gone home by the time I left.

I asked him about this, and he said he was preparing to leave. He said his home was close to the school, so he could walk there himself. I was a bit concerned that a 5th grader would be walking home by himself for obvious reasons. I offered to walk him home, but he declined. I insisted until he pointed out the house to me. It was even closer than mine. In fact, it was right next door to the school. Surprised by this, I let him go on his way, but I kept an eye on him.

When I was sure he was home safe, I walked to my place. It was getting dark, so I had to book it there since I didn’t bring a flashlight with me.

I honestly didn’t think I’d need it, but I bring it with me nowadays.

So, since it was around five, I began making supper, which was a bowl of Ramen noodles and cold glass of wine.

I settled in with a good book and the local news.

Well, I tried to. I kept hearing noises all around the house. I assumed it was just the animals outside since I didn’t have any pets.

That or it was the house just making noises. It was old, so it was to be expected.

I began dinner when I heard a knock at the door. Confused, I got up and answered my door.

To my surprise, it was Alex’s mother, who I’ll call Sidney.

I asked her why she was there. Sidney explained that they were out walking their dog, who wasn’t with her at the time. Neither was Alex for that matter.

She said that they returned home with it after finishing the walk.

As for why she was there, well… this is where things got bad. Real bad. Apparently, they walked by my house during the walk with their dog.

While doing so, she said they saw movement in my house.

They assumed it was me until they saw me in the kitchen making dinner. Worried, I asked if they were just seeing things.

Sidney swore that her and Alex saw someone else in the home.

I said that I lived alone since I didn’t have a roommate and I wasn’t married at the time.

So, that meant only one thing: Someone broke into my house.

I was unnerved by that thought since I didn’t hear any signs of a break in. I turned to my house to call the police, and that was when I saw it. I saw a person moving by the window of my living room. In a panic, I told Sidney to run.

We bolted out of there as quickly as we could.

It was probably the fastest I’ve ever ran in my entire life.

And I don’t think I’ve ever ran as fast since.

I ran to their home and they allowed me to call the police. During the wait for them to arrive, I talked with Alex and his mother about this situation and if they saw anyone else. After all, they were the ones who saw that person.

But it was Alex that answered the question, not his mother.

He said that he didn’t see anyone else. As it turns out, he practically begged Sidney to let him go with her, but she didn’t allow it for obvious reasons. I asked why he wanted to, and he said that I was his favorite teacher and that he didn’t want a bad person to hurt me. It was a sweat gesture, but I’m glad he wasn’t there with her.

I don’t advise any parent to let their kid go with them in these situations, no matter how much they beg them. To this day, I’m glad Sidney didn’t allow Alex to join her, even if he wanted to help.

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A few minutes later, the police arrived. They drove me back to my home after Alex and Sidney explained the situation to them.

At my house, I waited outside as they investigated the home. But when they got back, they couldn’t find any evidence of a break in. In fact, they couldn’t find any trace that anyone had been in the home but me.

I kept thinking that couldn’t be right. They had three witnesses to someone else being in my house and couldn’t find a single piece of evidence.

Needless to say, I didn’t go home that night. I didn’t feel comfortable sleeping there. I rented a hotel room for the night. It was far from the school, but I didn’t care. I could take a bus if need be.

I was not staying in that house until something was found out.

But lack of evidence pretty much confirmed to me that I’d never get answers.

I had to move in with a friend of mine until we could find me a better home. One that had decent security, be it better locks, cameras, or a security system.

My old home had none of that.

After months of searching, we found one that was far from that place. It was far from the school too, but that didn’t matter. I was far from that place and I never had to go back. I don’t know if anyone ever bought it, and I haven’t bothered to even look. I want nothing to do with that place.

I now have a new home with a security system, cameras, and automated locks. I even got a guard dog, a Rottweiler named Bishop.

I’m much happier now that I don’t have to worry about this. None of my neighbors report anything to me and the cameras don’t pick much up.

They’re interior cameras, so I doubt they would anyways unless it’s me or Bishop. I’m working on installing exterior cameras to keep an eye on thing outside my home.

But even though I’m living a better life, I still can’t get over that night. So many questions are still left unanswered. Who did I see? Why didn’t the police find any traces of them? Why did they break into my home? Why didn’t they take anything?

These questions lingered in my mind more than they reasonably should have. But when you don’t get straight forward answers, those questions stick with you.

Then, I remember the sounds I heard earlier during dinner. I realize now that I heard them breaking in without realizing it. That thought alone just scares me to my core and why I’m so protective of my home now.

But that still doesn’t explain the lack of evidence of a break in. No broken windows, no footprints, nothing.

Nothing was even taken.

The irrational part of me began to speculate that it may have been something paranormal or supernatural. If no physical evidence could be found, maybe that was because there wasn’t any to begin with. Maybe whoever, or whatever, was seen that night, wasn’t of this world.

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But the rational part of me blocked all of that out.

I do believe in spirits, but I don’t believe in haunted houses or anything like that. I was raised to believe that spirits don’t haunt homes and if your home is ‘haunted’ by something, it’s most likely another person trying to scare you. I still hold that belief to this day, so that’s why I wasn’t quick to assume I was being haunted. I just thought it was someone pulling a prank or someone trying to scare me away to steal something in the house. But nothing was taken, so I guess they found nothing of value and moved on.

So, I suppose that whatever happened that night will remain unsolved. The police never contacted me about anything else. I guess they gave up the investigation. I don’t blame them, but they’ll likely reopen the case if something found there.

I just hope that something is because I need to know what went on that night.

I try to forget about it, but I just can’t. No one can forget something like that.

It’s especially difficult to forget when you can’t explain it rationally. The only explanation you have is irrational.

But because I value my sleep and my sanity, I just pretend that whoever I saw was just really good at covering their tracks.

That explanation helps me sleep better at night, even if it doesn’t make sense. There are a lot of good burglars in this world, but none that could hide their tracks as good as this one apparently did. Or maybe there is. and I just so happened to see them. If they wanted to scare me to get me away from the house so that they could steal something, they succeeded, even if they ended up stealing nothing. Whatever the case, I’m happy to be living in my new home and away from whatever was going on in my old one. I still think about it a lot, especially knowing that this person was never caught to my knowledge. Without evidence, it’s kind of difficult to make an arrest.

I just hope that whenever this person, if it is a person, is caught, they’re put in jail and not allowed to walk free.

If it’s not a person, and my irrational theory is true, then I feel sorry for whoever lives in that house now. And I do hope they find the proper help if it is paranormal.

Maybe I should’ve considered it, but I didn’t because of my own beliefs.

I still don’t believe in haunted houses even with this experience.

If more proof of it being truly paranormal is brought forward, then I’ll believe I was being haunted rather than someone pulling an elaborate prank or trying to scare me to get me away from the house so that they could steal something. Even though I believe in spirits, I don’t believe that they haunt people. Never have believed that and likely never will.

Until then, I’m just going to go with my rational line of thinking and just believe it was a burglar with skills that haven’t been seen before or some sadistic prankster. And if they’re out there, I just hope they’re caught and arrested, preferably sooner rather than later.

Now, I need to go check my cameras. They’ve been making noise all day and I think they’ve caught something inside the home.

But that’s odd since they’re only supposed to sense movement. They’re not supposed to sense stuff in my house unless someone or something is moving in here.

And I’ve been away all day at work while Bishop has been outside in the yard.

Credit: AuthorOfHorror25

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