"You dream about what you think in the day. That's quite normal." Lee Zheng was familiar with Chen Ge, and from his perspective, it did not feel like Chen Ge would do something like hiding under someone's bed and then slipping out to whisper a death threat.
"I know that you don't believe me, but that was not a dream." Jia Ming lowered his voice, and his tone turned weird. "Have you ever wondered what your reflection is doing when you stand before the mirror and lower your head to wash your face? Has he lowered his face reflecting your motion, or is he still standing in the mirror, looking down on you? Have you ever run into a situation where someone in the public restroom in the next cubicle asks for toilet paper from you, but when you came out, you realize that you were alone in the restroom all that time? Have you ever found that when you called a close friend or family, they kept saying there was disturbance on your side like there were many things standing around you?"
Jia Ming gripped the edge of the bed tighter and tighter. "I've experienced all of that."
"I think I should call the doctor to come back in." Lee Zheng was an atheist, and he had studied criminology and psychotherapy at college. He did not think that Jia Ming was lying, so in that case, his mind had to be wrong. He was probably suffering from paranoia.
"Before the doctor comes in, do you mind hearing a few stories?" Jia Ming tilted his head toward Chen Ge. "It is about me and him."
"I had no idea you two were so close." Lee Zheng nodded.
"After leaving Jiang Long's home, I was too panicked to recognize the route home. I raced about aimlessly for half an hour before arriving at home. At the time, I was living at a rental, and my landlady was an old lady. She lived on the first floor, my family was on the second floor, and the third floor was a storage room.
"When I returned, it was already very late. After entering the place, the old lady's pet cat kept screeching, not the kind of meowing that asked for a scratch on her back but a shrill and eerie noise.
"Probably woken up by her pet, the old lady opened her door and looked out. Then she told me one thing.
"Please don't make such a loud noise when you two walk around. It's already so late at night; what are you two doing out so late?"
Jia Ming still remembered the expression on the old lady's face because he replicated it perfectly for his listeners.
"I apologized hurriedly to the old lady, but once I got to the second floor, I realized that something was wrong. I turned back to look, but there was only me in the dark corridor, so why did the old lady say 'two'?
"At the time, a chill quickly crawled up my spine. I ran to the door and searched for the key. You know how everything becomes more difficult when you're panicking. I tried to get the door key, but it just refused to be found, and then something strange happened.
"There was a knocking sound coming from the third floor like a ball bouncing continuously against the ground.
"When I moved in, the old lady had already told me that the third floor was empty, and it was used to store big furniture and stuff. I had asked her why she hadn't rented the place, and she had said that her son's family once lived on the third floor, but the family of three had died in a car accident. Even though she could have rented the third floor, she didn't want to because she wanted to keep it as a memory.
"Strange sounds came from the third floor that should have been vacant. I didn't dare stay too long in the corridor. I finally found the key in my shirt pocket, and at that moment, the sound stopped. I turned to look up the stairs out of curiosity, and at the corner, turning up to the third floor, I saw a pair of gray-colored legs. Due to the angle, that was all I could see.
"I was spooked and opened the door as fast as I could.
"After entering the house, I was still panicking. I closed the outside security door, and just as I was about to close the inner door, curiosity killed the cat, and I leaned out slightly to glance at the legs on the stairs.
"Leaning against the gap on the door, I adjusted my angle and slowly squatted down. I moved my gaze up and saw the pair of legs once more. Just as I was continued to look up further, a boy's head suddenly appeared in my sight!
"His posture was very strange. His legs were straight, but the head was almost touching the ground. That was not possible for the normal human body.
"I slammed the door shut and tried to switch the light on in the living room. I knew where the switch was, and as my hand reached over, before I touched the light, my finger brushed up against something. It felt like human skin. It felt like I was touching another human hand inside my own home.
"Flipping the switch, the lights came on, and it gave me the sense of security that I needed. I started to call for my wife, but there was no answer.
"I was so afraid, so I proceeded to turn on all the lights in the room. Eventually, I found a note left behind by my wife next to the living room phone.
"She said that my father-in-law was seriously ill, and the hospital had told her to go to the hospital. She had left the food for me in the fridge, and if I wanted to eat, I would need to heat it up in the oven.
"I put the note away. My wife wasn't home. I looked at my own hand. I was sure that I'd touched another person's fingers earlier. So, that could only mean that there was another person other than myself in the room.
"I didn't dare to sleep. I checked every nook and cranny that could be a hiding place, but I came up with nothing. I tried to call my wife, but there was no answer.
"I was so afraid. I turned the television on and blasted the volume up to the highest. Then I brewed myself several cups of strong coffee. I planned to stay in the living room throughout the night and then move away from that horrible place the next morning.
"I wasn't paying any attention to the show on the television. I kept refilling the coffee to fight the drowsiness that was coming. Finally, dawn came. Unable to hold it in anymore, I went to use the bathroom.
"After peeing, I stood before the sink, wishing to use some cold water to wash my face. Opening the faucet, watching the water flow, I started to panic like someone was observing me. I suspected that the person who had been following me was hiding inside the bathroom. I glanced around the room out of the corner of my eye, but the bathroom was too small for anyone to hide in.
"Straightening up, I looked at the haggard reflection of myself in the mirror. I shook my head and decided to move right there and then, moving somewhere where there were more people.
"Putting down the towel, I couldn't shake the feeling that something was wrong. Without a chance to think about it, the phone rang. My soul jumped out of my body. I hurried to answer it-my wife was calling.
"The sky was already bright, and my wife said that she had called me many times throughout the night. She had been very worried because no one answered.
"When she said that, I was sweating bullets. It was she who had refused to answer my numerous calls that night, not the other way around.
"I glanced subconsciously at the phone cable and was about to tell her what had happened when she suddenly asked me if there was someone in the room with me. She heard someone talking incessantly, and it sounded curiously like my father-in-law. Apparently, he was saying, 'Look behind you, look behind you...'
"I quickly whipped my head around, but there was no one there. Looking into the bathroom, I could only see my reflection, standing with the phone in his hands, looking right at me.
"I told my wife to stay at the hospital to accompany my father-in-law. After hanging up, I sat back down, but the more I thought about it, the more unsettled I became."