01 Feb Every Day I Wake Up as Someone Else. Every Night He Comes For Me
don’t have much time so I’ll try and write this down as quickly as I can.
My name is Rebecca. Or, at least that’s what my name used to be. According to the ID in my wallet my name is Robert Wilhelm and I apparently live in some depressing hellscape called Globe, Arizona.
I’m going to die tonight.
You shouldn’t worry too much about me though. Because this isn’t the first time I’ve died. And it probably won’t be the last.
At least, I hope it isn’t.
I honestly couldn’t tell you how many nights this has happened. After so many nights of being chased, brutalized, tortured, and eventually killed it’s hard to keep track of just how many times it’s happened. But I’ll tell you what I can remember in the time that I have left.
As I said before my name was Rebecca. The details of who I was aren’t important to know except for a couple of details. I’m originally from Rochester, NY and I was seventeen when I was murdered. And don’t believe what the goddamn papers say about me being a ‘runaway’ from a broken home. My father may have been a drunken asshole but he never laid a finger on me.
The man in the bowler hat, however…
What is with that stupid fucking bowler hat? I’d laugh at how ridiculous it looked on such a large head if I hadn’t felt the teeth inside that too wide mouth rip open my stomach on more than one occasion.
But you know nothing about that. Because Rebecca wasn’t murdered by a man in a bowler after going to the nearest convenience store to pick up some cigarettes with her fake ID. Rebecca wasn’t dragged into the darkness between two buildings for a solid five minutes with no one hearing her screams before she finally fell into painless darkness.
Nope, none of that happened to her.
Rebecca ‘ran away’.
I don’t exactly how long I was in that darkness. One second it was dark and the man in the bowler hat was laughing quietly as I choked on the blood leaking from the cut in my neck, and the next I was waking up in Omaha, Nebraska in an unfamiliar bed next to an unfamiliar man.
After I stopped screaming and got past the man, whose name was apparently Aaron, trying to calm me down I learned that I was no longer myself. I feel bad for Aaron in hindsight, he was a pretty nice guy who was more than understanding considering the circumstances that I thrust upon him.
He called Irene, which was my name now, out of work and continued to try and calm me down. He made jasmine tea and listened to the insane ramblings of his ‘wife’ with a patience that I can only hope to emulate now. He was so convincing and soft spoken that I started to believe that I was Irene.
I was twenty five years old and worked at a convenience store. I would’ve thought that a sad state of affairs if it wasn’t for the absolutely beautiful paintings littering the wall and Irene’s art room.
I remember one in particular, a single red rose in a dirt lot. The dirt and rocks were painted in varying shades of gray, with the only color in the entire painting being the bright vivid reds of the rose petals. Even if I couldn’t paint like Irene did, then at least I might be able to live some sort of life through these strange circumstances. Or maybe I was Irene and was suffering from some sort of rare psychological condition.
Of course all of that went out the window when Aaron heard the crash of a breaking window downstairs and just had to investigate it. He really didn’t deserve what happened to him, but that’s little comfort when a seven foot tall man in a bowler hat slams you against a wall hard enough to fracture your skull before smashing your windpipe with a hand the size of a dinner plate.
I tried running, but apparently Irene wasn’t much for exercise because I winded myself less than half a block down the street. Even with that I thought I had gotten away as I didn’t hear anything. After another minute I felt safe enough to reach for the unfamiliar phone in my pocket to try and call 911.
I didn’t get a chance though as I felt the inhuman strength of the man in the bowler hat as he pulled my hair with enough force to lift me a couple of inches off of the ground and tear a good chunk of my scalp off in the process.
I screamed, just as I remembered doing last night when I was Rebecca in a similar situation. Despite the fact that we were in a middle class neighborhood, despite the power of Irene’s lungs screaming into the cool night air, despite the desperate kicks and elbows hitting the bowler hat man’s form, no one came to my rescue.
Unlike last night though, he spoke to me. Through a smile too wide for his face, with teeth that were just a little too sharp, he spoke two words in a voice that sounded just a little too high pitched for the massive body that accompanied it.
That’s when I felt the other hand grab a hold of Irene’s love handle and DIG. I think he screwed up that time, because the pain was so intense that I blacked out.
It was the next morning and I was in bed alone. No sweet and understanding Aaron to piece together who I was today. Thankfully it didn’t take long to figure out something was different as I felt an urgent need to pee and had…um…no need to sit down to do that.
I don’t remember who I was that time. Some poor fellow who didn’t receive a single phone call the entire day and no hobbies besides an extensive Steam account.
That was the first time I tried running for real. I drove from Fort Worth to Albuquerque before a beat up truck ran me off of the road somewhere on the I-40. I barely caught a glimpse of shiny teeth and a bowler hat before the little Honda was run off of the road.
The crash didn’t kill me that night.
I wish it had.
And on and on it goes.
Every morning I wake up someone else.
Every night the man in the bowler hat finds me.
Sometimes it’s quick.
Sometimes it’s not.
All I know for certain is he always gets me. Nothing I’ve done has stopped him or even slowed him down. I’ve shot him, stabbed him, even managed to find a grenade once and blow the shit out of both of us.
I’ve been in every state and every province. I’ve been too many different people to count in every shape and size. Every person who has ever tried to help me has died.
The only thing I haven’t tried is telling a wide audience about what’s really happening, because no one else seems to get the story right.
Rebecca wasn’t a runaway.
Irene wasn’t a victim of domestic murder/suicide.
Don’t trust what the news is going to say about Robert Wilhelm tomorrow.