When the man first appeared outside my house, I had an inkling I knew him. Or had least seen him before. But I couldn’t pin down where I knew him from. He looked like any other blue-collar worker I saw around town, but the fact he was standing on the sidewalk and staring at my house at eight in the morning drew my notice. What was he doing out there and what was it about my house he was so interested in? Just as I was getting ready to head out to confront the stranger, my phone rang. I sighed as I realized it was my mother and knew this wouldn’t be a short talk. My mother never knew how to stop herself from oversharing and by the time I was able to hang up the phone, the man was gone.
I tried to forget the man and how he was staring directly into my house and was almost successful until he appeared two days later. This time, I knew I had to say something. I knew I had to figure out who he was and why he was staring at my house. But as I approached him, I still couldn’t figure out where I knew him from. Was it from the gym? Was it from the local coffee shop I frequented? But by the time I made it to the front door and started to head toward the stranger, he was gone. It was like he had disappeared. How could he had gotten away so quickly? It was only ten steps from my front window to my front door.
Maybe it was because he had known I had spotted him so the man didn’t return for a few months, but even so, I couldn’t get him out of the back of my mind. I felt like I was seeing him everywhere I looked and I felt haunted. Haunted by a ghost and haunted by a memory I knew I couldn’t tell my family because they already thought I was paranoid and believed in ghosts. But the night I found the stranger in my backyard, I finally realized where I remembered him from. He was the previous owner of my house. The previous owner who had been murdered. Murdered in my backyard.