Eerie Sense of Being Watched
Millie Jenkins carted out all her Halloween decorations from storage. She stopped by the front desk on the way back and asked Sharon if any strangers had been lurking around. Sharon said she had not seen any and security was pretty tight in and around the building. “Don’t forget, we have two security guards always on duty, one in the Control Room watching security camera videos and one on roaming rounds.”
“Why do you ask, Mrs. Jenkins? Have you had any problems we should report?” Sharon was very concerned. “No, nothing I can report. Just an eerie sense I am being watched or followed,” Mabel turned to look around. “I have not seen anyone, just this uncomfortable feeling comes over me at times lately.”
“Well, you be sure to call us if you need help,” Sharon handed Millie her mail. “I see you are getting ready to decorate for Halloween. I love how you decorate. Good luck on the contest. This year’s first prize is a $50.00 gift certificate at any shop on our street and dinner for two at Sardinni’s.”
“Oh, my goodness! If I win I can stock up on yarn. I have a lot of gifts to make for Christmas,” this lifted Millie’s spirit.
Every year her terrace was voted best decorated for Halloween. She loved her apartment, the neighbors, even the old building, which was old when she and Charles first moved in fifty years ago. But, lately she had an uncomfortable feeling, that eerie sense of being watched, especially in her apartment and the hallway on her floor. It never bothered her to live alone, but now she wished Charles was still with her.
After six years she still missed Charles a lot. He passed away shortly after their 44th wedding anniversary. Millie often reminisced with her family or friends about the first day her and Charles moved into Encore Suites. They were newlyweds and so excited with their new home. They planned on two children and bought the three bedroom, two bath. These thoughts were on her mind when she was in the elevator. She got off on her floor and when she turned the corner to walk down the hallway she was startled to see a man trying to open her door. She quickly turned around and went back to the elevator, leaving her cart where it was.
Millie was out of breath when she reached the front desk. She leaned against the counter, frightened and gasping for air. Sharon came around, took her into the office and had her sit down. After Millie told her what she saw, Sharon called security to check it out, then handed Millie a glass of water. “You stay in here till security arrives. I will stay with you, my assistant is out at the counter.”
Security arrived in about twenty minutes with the man who was at Millie’s door. Sharon went out and listened to the explanation then went into the office. “Millie, we have it all straightened out. Alex, the security guard is out front with Mr. Swanson, our newest resident. He recently moved into the suite just above you. He got off on the wrong floor, went to door ‘C’, thinking it was his and was so frustrated when he could not find a key that fit in the lock.” Sharon patted Millie’s hand. “Mr. Swanson is so embarrassed and apologetic. Would you like to come out and meet him to put your mind at ease? He is really very pleasant.”
Millie was very nervous, but did go out with Sharon. Alex was still there and introduced Millie to Mr. Swanson. “Madam, I humbly apologize for putting a scare in you. I am Montgomery Swanson,” he bowed slightly. “I thought I was on the fourth floor and went to your door, which I thought was mine. Please forgive me for the error, I feel badly about this. May I have the pleasure of taking you to lunch so we can get acquainted?” he held out a hand, “You are …?” She felt like saying “nervous and upset”, but shook his hand and quickly released it. “Mildred Jenkins,” is all she managed. He was about Millie’s age, tall and dignified looking, with silver hair and piercing dark eyes. His height and assertive manner gave Millie even more discomfort. She is 5’6″, but he was a head taller at least. She politely refused his invitation, saying she had plans and was anxious to get back home.
They all chatted for a few minutes and Millie relaxed a little. The four of them rode up in the elevator to the third floor and Sharon walked with Millie to her suite. Millie invited her in for tea and Sharon stayed till she felt Millie was okay.
Once she was alone, Millie realized she was not okay, for she sat down on the sofa and cried. Her nerves were shot. After the eerie sense of being watched the last several days then this incident just frazzled her. She almost wished Sharon had been able to stay longer. Millie had always been a strong, independent woman, sure of herself and not easily upset. She had always had a calm, comfortable, secure life and now suddenly felt insecure, and so alone.
She put a relaxing music piece on the stereo then lay down and fell into a deep sleep. An hour later she awoke and felt much better – until she saw her cart of decorations was out on the terrace. Millie had not put it there. That eerie sense of something wrong returned.
Please see Eerie Sense of Being Watched- Conclusion for more of this story.
© 2017 Phyllis Doyle Burns