The first time I ever saw a ghost, I was twelve years old.
I was in the upstairs bathroom brushing my teeth one evening. In the mirror, I noticed that someone was watching me through a crack in the door behind me. I clearly saw an eye come up and peek at me for several seconds. A few seconds later, it disappeared. At first, the sight of the eyeball frightened me. But by the time I spit out my toothpaste, I had concluded that my older brother was standing out in the hallway, preparing to jump in at me when I swung the door open. "Dummy," I thought. "He thinks I didn't notice him."
So I decided to jump out first. I yanked the door inward and shouted, "Boo!" But to my surprise, my brother was not standing in the doorway. Oh, I thought, he must by hiding just around the corner. So, I leapt into the hallway, determined to get him back, and shrieked, "Yah!" Again, I found I was alone.
The hallway was dark, as were the bedrooms. My brother's bedroom door was open, and I figured that if he was the one who'd been watching me through the crack in the door, he must have managed to run and hide in there. I crept toward his bedroom, growing uneasy. I'd never imagined my brother to be so stealthy.
As I entered his room and turned on the light, I tentatively called out his name. But I found the room empty. Obviously, I received no answer.
By now, I was getting scared. Whoever had been watching me brush my teeth must still be upstairs. He couldn't have had enough time to creep away, I thought. I rushed downstairs toward the light of the kitchen if only to get away from the feeling that I was still being watched, that he might leapt out and grab my arm... or worse.
I found my mother sitting on the couch, reading the L.L. Bean catalogue. "Mom," I said, "Is Brendan home?" My brother.
She shook her head. "It's just you and me," she said.
Chills rattled my body. "Someone was upstairs watching me brush my teeth just now. I saw them through the crack in the door."
My mother looked amused. "I've been down here for awhile. No one else is home."
She wanted me to believe that I had simply imagined the eye at the door.
But as I got in bed that night, I couldn't be certain of what I'd seen at all.
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