I’m writing this– experience that I had in college as sort of a memoriam, I suppose; or maybe I’m just looking for answers. Either way, while browsing through my old yearbook, I felt the need to have this event documented- even if no one but I reads this. But I don’t care. Perhaps my therapist is right; maybe I just need to do this.
Ok, so about 4 years ago, I was a freshman in a local college. I chose this college not because it was particularly better than others I had been accepted into, but the truth is it was the closest to my home. Yeah, pretty sad for an 18 year old who wanted to travel all his life and ends up getting cold feet when he gets the perfect chance, right? Despite the fact my parents were only an hour away; there was a sharp pang in my throat when I watched them drive away.
Still feeling melancholy, I trudged my way down the sidewalk to my dorm room and the beginning of my new life; my head facing down watching my feet pass over the cracks. It shouldn’t surprise anyone that I accidently bumped into another student.
“Sorry, man” I stuttered lamely.
“Don’t worry about, hey- you’re Jason right?” said the student who I then instantly recognized. His grey eyes locked onto mine and he grinned.
“Yeah, and that must make you Tyson, my roommate?” I asked, reaching out to shake his hand. He nodded but looked at my outstretched hand, puzzled at my formal gesture. Embarrassed, I went to put my hand back into my pocket, when he quickly reached out and shook my hand. He grinned again.
We spent the whole rest of the day together, helping each other unpack our belongings and settling into the dorm. I was… happy and the sadness of leaving my parents had all but vanished. Tyson was like a brother I never had. Perhaps I had overdramatized this thought, since at this point we’ve only known each other for a couple of hours.
But I felt like the one of the luckiest guys on campus. Not only was Tyson really smart, he was also a professional musician; though when I called him that he denied that he was that good. He played the piano and the viola, maybe not the ‘coolest’ instruments, but I enjoyed listening him play it.
The only problem- if you could call it that- was he enjoyed using his laptop at night watching old episodes of The Simpsons, playing computer games, or watching movies on Netflix. This would cause the room to light up, which was an issue for me, since I had always slept in the pitch dark. After a couple weeks of this, I politely asked him if he could turn off his laptop before I went to sleep.
“I’m real sorry, Jason,” he said, putting down his viola, “but it helps me go to sleep. How about I’ll be on it just a half an hour?” I agreed to this, glad that I’d be getting more sleep as exams were on their way. All was generally well at this point, so what could go so how could this be tragic?
It was the beginning of the second term; the start the darker chapter of my life- and Tyson’s. After a particularly challenging day at class, I was eager to fall asleep and leave that Tuesday behind. As I pulled the comforter over my body, I heard Tyson shut down his laptop. It seems he also had a busy day in his classes, so he wasn’t going to stay up long. But as I was closing my eyes, I heard him shuffle around on the top bunk. He had never done this before. Not too concerned, I rolled over onto my side, pulling the blanket closer. Then I heard what sounded like heavy breathing from above.
“You alright, Tyson?” I asked him, sitting up on my elbow.
“Yeah, yeah” he said, nearly panting, “It’s nothing.” After a couple excruciatingly long minutes, it sounded as if had fallen asleep. I rested my head against the pillow, not being able to shake an uncomfortable feeling.
Throughout the entire next day that feeling clung to me and I became worried about my friend. This would continue for the following week, as every night now, we would both struggle to fall asleep with Tyson panting and moving around in his bed and I having to try to sleep through it. Yet even when I kept asking what was bothering him, I would receive the same “It’s nothing” answer. Worrying about the light of the laptop seemed so insignificant now…
After sitting through Spanish, I decided that I couldn’t take it anymore and would confront Tyson again. I wasn’t going to leave it at “It’s nothing” this time. I decided to skip my next class and headed straight towards the dorm. As I opened the door, I found Tyson sitting at the desk we shared staring at his laptop. But he wasn’t typing up a paper or even watching some kind of entertainment. He was going through Google Images with the words ‘scary faces’ in the search box.
“What are you doing?” I asked. He didn’t move. “Tyson!” His head snapped up.
“What?” He turned to look at me; his grey eyes seemed darker than usual.
“What’s going on, man? I’m tired of getting the same answer over and over again! You’re not being you- you’re barely around anymore, you’re not playing your instruments anymore, you’re- goddamn it, just tell me what’s wrong I- I want to help.”
For more seconds he just stared at me, then with a heavy sigh he shutdown his laptop.
“Faces,” he murmured so softly that he was barely audible. “They’re there, in front of my face at night, whether I close my eyes or not.” He pulled his legs up from underneath the desk and held them close to his chest. “I don’t know why they’re there.” He began slowly rocking back and forth.
“Uh, you see… faces at night?” I asked, not knowing what else to say. It was… difficult to see my friend like this.
Tyson nodded and continued, “They’re pale green faces; faces I’ve never seen before in my life. They don’t say anything- I don’t even know if they can but,” he stopped short.
“I think they are angry at me and I have no idea why. Sometimes…” he looked around the room, “sometimes a huge face comes to the forefront of all the others. He is so furious, but I can’t escape it. Like I said, when I close my eyes they appear, but when I open them at night, they don’t go away. I can’t even tell if my eyes are even open at times. I just want them to go away!” Tyson suddenly grabbed his hair and began pulling at it furiously. In an instant I was at his side, desperately tugging on his arms.
“What the hell, Tyson?! Stop!”
It took a good half an hour for him to finally calm down. Without a word, he turned his laptop back on. I left the room with my own laptop and began scouring the web for answers. If Tyson couldn’t tell me what was going on with him, surely someone on the internet could. For hours and hours I meticulously searched. I looked up countless amounts of diseases and disorders that could possibly hold an explanation. He hadn’t been significantly stressed when this began. He hadn’t tried any kind drugs to my knowledge or wasn’t on medication.
After the battery ran out on my laptop, I set my head down on the desk facing the room’s set of large windows. It was beginning to get dark outside. The shadows had nearly taken over the campus’ courtyard. And for the first time I was truly afraid of the dark- no I was truly afraid for Tyson. I put my face into my hands- ashamed. I was scared to go back to the dorm room. I choked back tears as I picked up my cowardly self from the chair.
A green face? Did a pale green face just appear and suddenly vanish from pick laptops dark screen?
“Damn it!” I shouted, gritting my teeth together. I walked over to the darkest corner of the empty room and… and I fell asleep there… leaving Tyson alone in the dorm.
When I awoke from my sleep, I looked up at the room’s clock and discovered it was 5:33 a.m. I groaned as I stood up from the corner, as I was stiff from sleeping while sitting in an uncomfortable position. With a sudden rush of adrenaline, I clenched my fist tight and ran towards our dorm.
As I approached the door, I took a deep breath- and opened it.
The rays of morning sunlight peering through the shades that covered the window, bathed the dark room- and Tyson with golden stripes. And I fell to my knees, for then I saw a scene that I shall never forget, that no medicine could wash away this stain from my mind. In the center of our dorm sat Tyson on the desk chair with his arms outstretched and soaked in red. Red was coming out of where his eyes had been, which were now just horrible, black holes. But the worst of it all was not the blood, but his face- it was painted pale green…
A piece of scrap paper was at Tyson’s limp feet, which I had not noticed at first. With trembling hands, I picked up the note; it read: “I’m sorry, but I don’t know exactly how to put this… I’m being stalked by something horrible- not physically- yet, but mentally. Whenever I blink, it’s there- watching me. No one can help me, because nothing will make it go away. I’ve tried everything- even tearing out my eyes. But I think whatever it is wants something else- or more. Those pale, green faces… I don’t know what I’ve done to deserve this. I thought at one point that I was just a poor, unlucky bastard- but that’s not true. I am- well, wasn’t unlucky. I had the best roommate in the world. Thanks, Jason. You were my only light in the dark. Maybe I’ll see you again someday.” At the very bottom, in shaky handwriting were the final words written by Tyson, “I’ll shake your hand again one day- promise.”
The following days were a nightmare for our college. Even though it was declared a suicide on site, the police still conducted an investigation due to the strange and gruesome nature of it all. They discovered that Tyson had hidden away his old music books and instead was playing a single sheet of music titled, “Faces”. The sheet was slightly green in color.
They never did find the green paint used on Tyson’s paint or his eyes. The officers had found it strange that the paint was only on his face, with no other traces of it anywhere else on the body- not even a single drop.
Though this is where the event ended for most- I’m still in this ‘tale’. Even though today my therapist consoles me by saying things like “you were so afraid, it’s not your fault what happened” and “you did all you could”, I know the truth. I am a coward and although what happened to Tyson wasn’t directly my fault, I wasn’t there when he needed me. I wasn’t there for him in the dark. But the faces were.
Credit To – KonanQanda