I’LL BE BACK
By Richard Rothrock
In 1989 I lived in a one-bedroom apartment that occupied the second floor of a two-story house. One night shortly after moving in I woke to the sound of someone walking down the hallway outside my bedroom. At first I thought it was my cat. The hallway’s old wooden floor creaked loudly regardless of the weight of the walker. But then I saw my cat asleep next to me. I also noticed that the footsteps came not from the direction of my living room, but from the other direction, which dead-ended at my bathroom.
Before I could think more about it, a tall, slender man walked into the room. He paused in front of my bookcase, turned, and stared at me. He wore a blue windbreaker and a red baseball cap and looked to be in his early sixties. He just starred. I wondered whether this was only my imagination, but a quick glance at my cat revealed that he was staring at the visitor, too. I turned my attention back to the man.
“Can I help you?” I asked.
The man shook his head. “No. I was just looking around. I’ll be back later to talk.”
Without another word, he walked out of the room and back down the hall. When the footsteps reached the bathroom, they stopped. I pondered checking the bathroom but decided against it. I was too damn scared. Going back to sleep seemed the best recourse.
The next day I called my friend who had lived in the apartment before I moved in. I asked whether anything strange had occurred while she lived here.
“Blue windbreaker? Red baseball cap?” she asked.
She said he came into the bedroom one night shortly after she moved in. He told her he would be back later to talk but never returned.
And he never returned for me either.
Published in I Never Believed In Ghosts Until…. (1992)
Postscript: I had several other encounters while living in that apartment. There was a black and white tabby ghost cat who regularly strolled around the place. My cat Taffy passed away while living there. I managed to see him several times after that including one instance where an invisible cat batted and knocked decorations off my Christmas tree. When I yelled at him to stop, it did.