My shadow spoke to me

My teenage years were dark. Not just figuratively, but literally as well. I was the loser in high school, the one that always sat alone. Well, if I did sit in the cafeteria, I was alone. For that reason, I didn’t eat in the cafeteria often, even if nobody was looking at me, I know everyone was judging me, judging me for being alone.

So, halfway through freshman year I found a janitor’s closet on the second floor that wasn’t being used and ate lunch in there. With the door closed and the lights off, it was dark enough for me to pretend no one else existed. I didn’t like to face my problems, so I ignored them. The darkness helped me do that, I could just sit down and let the pitch black void consume all of my worries.

My shadow spoke to me

About two months after I found the closet, I made a friend. No, not a human friend; that would come a lot later. The friend I made was in the closet. One day, I was sitting there eating the peanut butter and jelly sandwich I made the night before, and I heard a voice in the darkness.

“Hello Jacob”

I immediately freaked out, thinking someone had found my hiding place. I scurried to the door and swung the door open, to find no one. I called out into the empty hall.

“If anyone is there, go away.”

Then I heard the voice again.

“Sometimes I wish I could leave, but I can’t leave you alone Jacob.”

It was coming from the open janitor’s closet behind me

I immediately racked my brain, trying to remember of all the people who bullied me, but none of them sounded like the voice coming from the closet.

I turned back to the dark room.

“I’m going to turn the light on, ok?” I said

No response

I felt along the edge of the closet until my hand touched something sticking out from the wall.

The light switch. I flipped it, and the bright LED strip above me lit up. It was strange seeing my special room without the darkness. It looked exactly like i’d thought it would, nothing special, besides some cleaning supplies and an old mop, there was nothing there; no one there. I heard the voice again, but this time it came from the hall.

“Could you turn the lights back on please? I like the dark.”, The voice said, still behind my back.

“Hey, so do I.”, I replied, scared to turn around.

“Maybe if you just turned the light off, we could have a talk, what do you say to that” The voice said.

I finally turned around, there was nothing there, I freaked out.

“w-what the fuck is going on”, I stuttered.

“Hey, chill out; i’m down here.”

I looked down, but all I saw was my shadow.

“I can’t see you” I said.

“What? You’re looking right at me.” The voice replied.

When I realized it, I jumped back.

“A-are you my shadow.” I asked.

“Ding ding ding, you got it” My shadow replied

“No way, no way, this isn’t real, all the darkness is getting to me; this is just a hallucination this isn’t real.” I said

“Let me prove it to you” the shadow said

Suddenly, my shadow started to move independently from me, touching my foot and moving it’s hand along the top of my foot. Then he moved is hand back to where it should be, and started behaving like a regular shadow.

The area that he touched felt cold. Extremely cold.

“What did you just do to me!?” I said, trying to hide the shakiness of my voice.

“What does it look like, I just touched your foot, can we talk now? I have something very important to tell you.” He said.

The way he stressed that word made him sound him sinister, like he was planning something. Not only did I now believe it was real, but now I was terrified.

“O-okay, we can talk” I said, not being able to control the shake of my voice anymore.

I walked into the room and shut the door.

“W-what do you want to talk about? How can you even talk?” I said

“You know Jacob, shadows are kind of like you, we can think, we can speak, but most of us don’t.” He replied.

“Why not?” I asked

“Because, your life is your life, we’re just along for the ride. It’s not our place to interfere.” My shadow said.

“Then why are you speaking to me right now?” I asked, not knowing if I wanted an answer.

“Because, I’ve been with you my whole life, you used to be fun, but now you’re boring, all you do is sit in the dark, even though I like the dark, I can’t stand it.”

“You don’t understand me! The dark is the only place I can be alone, with no one judging me. You should know that, better than anyone.” I said, angry at the world.

Then, the door flung open, and my shadow ran down the hall. I knew it, he was just waiting for a chance to leave, just like everyone else. Even if I hated him, I had to chase him. Who knows what would happen to me without a shadow, but I definitely didn’t want to find out.

I sprinted through the halls, out of the school, down the road, and down an alley. Across from me was the outline of a person. I didn’t have time to register what was happening until it was too late. He lured me here, I was dumb enough to chase him. It was a trap.

“W-who’s there?” I said.

“Jacob?” The person replied. It was a girl, something was familiar about her.

“Becky?” I said, shocked.

“I haven’t seen you since elementary, how have you been.” She replied

“I’m fine, but why are you here, shouldn’t you be at school?” I asked.

The look she gave me was enough, she was an outcast; just like me.

“Here, come take a seat if you want, we can catch up.” Becky said

“That would be great.” I said

I spent the rest of the day talking with Becky, it was wonderful. After that day, we met in the same alley and spoke. She was my only friend, and I was hers. Little by little, we helped each other get through life, we saved each-other. I never spoke to my shadow again.

The other day, I proposed to Becky, and she said yes. It was the happiest I’ve ever been. That night, I stood out on my balcony and said two words out into the darkness.

“Thank you.”

I looked down at my shadow, and maybe it was just my imagination, but for a split second, it looked like he was giving me a thumbs up.