One evening in late August after we'd been in the house a couple of months, I was sitting in my chair watching television and relaxing. It was about 7:30; the sun was still up and it was warm. The front door was open creating a slight cross breeze through to the living room window behind me.
I happened to look up and saw a man. There was a short sidewalk which lead from our driveway to the front porch, and standing there was a dark skinned man in a pale yellow one-piece jumpsuit. He looked older to me; his face was lined and his hair had grey in it. He had a slight smile on his face as he looked back at me.
I sat for a couple of seconds expecting him to come to the door and I would ask him what he wanted, but he made no move towards the porch. I looked over at my mother who was staying with us helping out. After cleaning the kitchen after dinner and putting AJ to bed, she'd fallen asleep in the arm chair so I couldn't tell her about the man. I looked back and he was gone.
Strange I thought. Perhaps he'd come to the wrong house and when he saw me realized his mistake.
A few days later though, I saw him again. We had a large cement patio off our back door from which was a sidewalk that ran the length of our backyard. Again I was in my chair and I saw him walk past the window down that sidewalk. I leapt up (as much as you can when six months pregnant) and looked out, but once again, the man was gone. He was absolutely nowhere to be seen.
This time my mother and I discussed who he could be. Perhaps someone who'd once lived in the area who had died? If he was human he couldn't possibly have disappeared so quickly both times. We had no answers, but I resolved that I would investigate the history of our house.
Over the years I would see the man many times. Except for that first time in front of the house he was always in the back yard. Sometimes he would be out there and I would witness him from our bedroom window whick overlooked the backyard. I would blink and he would be gone. It was frustrating, because I never got a chance to speak with him. Yet again, I never felt afraid or threatened by him.
Once, in a fit of frustration when I was trying to watch a program and the channels kept flipping, I stood up and cried out "What do you want? I just want to live here with my family. If you want something, let me know. Otherwise, please stop this shenannigans!"
Amazingly, it stopped for the rest of that night.
When the boys were five and three we stopped one day at a house that had puppies for sale and bought one. Jake was devoted to the boys, AJ especially, and we always knew he would gladly give his life to protect our sons. Once he even tried to attack Stan when he was scolding AJ for something he'd done wrong. When the boys were in the back yard I felt secure with Jake keeping watch over them. I never saw the man out there with the boys and assumed that Jake probably scared him away.
Eventually, as the boys got older, I stopped seeing him.
When we were getting read to move to Colorado I spoke with my next door neighbor about all that had happened in that house the years we lived there. She was widow, and the original owner of her home, so I knew she knew the history of the neighborhood. No one else had ever mentioned to her the things that we'd experienced. She had no idea who the man was, but she was fascinated.
"Perhaps you are more sensitive to these things," she told me.
I don't know. I only know that I believed that as we left our "haunted house" behind for our new life in Colorado, I thought that was the end of the story. But it wasn't.
to be continued
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