Lilly's Bathroom Terror
Updated: Mar 19
It was the bathroom door that woke me up. Now, even for me, a closing bathroom door isn't
particularly scary, but it is when it's in the dead of night - especially when you live alone. I lay still in the dark, holding my breath, listening. Just as I decided I had dreamt it and rolled over to go back to sleep again, I heard the shower turn on.
It's funny how fear strikes you. I guess you're never quite sure how you're going to react until you're really scared. I wasn't just scared, I was terrified. A chill ran the length of my body.
My rational mind kicked in. Had I invited someone back last night and forgotten someone was staying? My rational self answered that one as well. My only bedroom was the size of a bath tub and you couldn't swing a cat in my kitchen diner. There was no room. And anyway, I knew I was definitely home alone last night.
Still not entirely sure I wasn't dreaming, I got up to investigate. In hindsight, I probably should have stayed in bed. I switched on the bedside lamp and slipped my feet into my furry pink slippers. You can't have cold feet even when you're dealing with an axe-wielding homicidal maniac who's in your apartment having a shower in the middle of the night.
My Dad said he didn't want his little girl to go away to University and my Mum didn't like the thought of me living alone. I probably should have listened to at least one of them.
I tiptoed to the bedroom door and opened it as quietly as I could. Stepping into the dark hallway the bathroom door was immediately on my right. It was closed. I could hear the shower running and I could distinctly hear someone humming. It might have been a female hum, but I couldn't be 100% sure of that.
I had a tremendous urge to knock on the door and ask whoever it was what the bloody hell they thought they were doing, (we Brits are strange, someone breaks into your home to take a shower and politeness still dictates you knock on the door first). Realising that would be a bad move if it was in fact a knife-wielding rapist, I decided instead to turn left and slip into the kitchen to call for help.
I retrieved my mobile phone from the top of the bread bin and dialed 999. The number wasn't recognised. I tried again and again, with the same result. There was no way the emergency services would be unobtainable. In desperation, I called Sam who lives only a few minutes away, and still the number wasn't recognised. It was then I heard the shower being turned off. I had to do something, and quickly.
Grabbing the biggest knife I could find from the kitchen holder, I decided to make for the front door. Unfortunately, that was on the far side of the bathroom door so I knew I had to be quick. I stepped back through into the hallway again and was just about to scurry past the bathroom door when it opened. I raised the knife, trying to look as scary as I could in my fluffy pink and white onesie and stood fixed to the spot, not moving or breathing. No one came out.
I've no idea how long I stood there, not daring to move. It seemed an eternity. Finally, I took a few tentative steps forward and peered into the bathroom. It was empty. How can I be sure it was empty? Believe me, when I say my bathroom is small, even Harry Potter's Dobby would scrape his elbows while toweling himself dry. There was nowhere in there to hide. The towel on the floor was wet though and so was the shower. I hadn't been dreaming. Going mad perhaps, but certainly not dreaming - unless this was a new kind of wet dream.
I spent the next two minutes checking through my entire apartment, ensuring the front door was still locked and all the windows closed. Everything was secure and there was no sign of anyone lurking about. I went back into the kitchen and lifted up my mobile phone again, dialing 999. This time it rang ok. When the automated voice asked which service I required I bottled out and hung up. I wasn't sure if they'd be able to send out an emergency psychiatrist anyway in the middle of the night.
After switching every light in the apartment on, and carefully placing the knife under my pillow, I went back to bed. Still questioning whether I'd dreamt the whole thing or not. I finally drifted back off to sleep. What seemed like minutes later the alarm on my mobile woke me with a jump. Uuugh, 06.00 AM, I had an early start. What a night.
I dragged myself into the kitchen, flicked on the kettle and went into the bathroom. The towel was still on the floor, and it was still wet. I picked it up and threw it in the laundry basket. Bizarrely enough, I think I cringed more at the thought of touching the used towel than the thought of having an uninvited stranger in my flat last night. I crammed myself into the shower and stood there for at least ten minutes letting the hot water cascade over my head.
Finally fully awake, I stepped out of the shower and grabbed a fresh towel off the rail. Peering at myself in the mirror I began to towel myself dry ... and then stopped. I'd never seen the towel I was holding before. It was a checked affair in deep red and greens - not something I'd ever have bought, not my taste at all. Holding my breath I glanced away from the mirror and down at the towel in my hands. It was pink, definitely pink. My shade of pink, one of the ones I had bought recently. I peered back in the mirror, the towel in there was red and green checked. Not only that, but in the reflection, the other towel on the rail behind me was also a matching red and green check.
I turned around to look at the real thing, and yes, the one hanging there was pink. Staring back into the mirror I tried to take in more details. Everything else was as it should be, just not the towels, oh and the toilet paper - that was plain white when it should have been pink.
Was I going mad?
My only thought then was to get out of the bathroom. It's fair to say I was scared, very scared. In a daze, I wrapped the towel around my shoulders, opened the bathroom door and stepped out into the hallway.
I don't know what caught my eye but I instantly knew someone was there with me in the hallway. With my stomach plummeting, I turned.
The first thing that caught my eye was the large knife, the rest took my brain several minutes to process. The person standing in front of me wielding the knife was wearing a fluffy pink onesie ..... It was me.