“I don’t know, Pete.”
“What do you mean you don’t know? Isn’t this your place?”
“Well, yeah, but I haven’t lived here in 5 months and none of this looks familiar!”
“Should we call the cops?”
“Let’s look around a minute first.” There was a hanging lampshade, no lamp. Blood on the floor under the lampshade where the table used to be. I couldn’t see the table anywhere. Most of my things were gone. In their places were used, partially crushed or dirty boxes. I took a closer look. The boxes were dirty, but it was blood splatter. I withdrew my hand before I could touch it.
I walked into the bedroom. The mattress was against the wall, box springs gone. I didn’t even have a frame. The bedside table was there along with some trash. It looked like someone had been squatting here. My hair stood on end. I had the sensation of seeing a ghost, but there was nothing there. My sofa was gone, no pictures hung on the walls, my winter clothes weren’t in the closet. Yet there was no sign anything really happened aside from the blood and the lampshade and the missing items.
I pulled the mattress away from the wall expecting a dead body behind and an awful mess on the bed but nothing was there. Nothing. I retraced my steps to the front door and looked at the number on it. Odd. The number was 19, but the 9 had slipped upside down and it read 16.
“Pete!” I hollered back into the apartment. He came out onto the landing with me. I pointed at the number. He looked at me and shrugged. I closed the door firmly, turned the 6 into a 9 guiding the small nail into the old hole. I left my hand on the doorknob for a moment, head down, concentrating on my last vision of my apartment then opened the door. Everything was there, just as I had left it. No boxes, no blood, no missing furniture. I turned to Pete and the smile on my face disappeared. He was gone too.