The Other Side

Photography by Devon Butler

She woke up with a start, as the glare from a streetlamp suddenly illuminated her room. She saw him sitting in the same chair facing her window. The light from the lamp created an orange glow around his body, and the falling snowflakes cast shadows on his face. She sat up in bed, letting the silence lay over them, as she waited for him to give an explanation.

“You’re here later than usual,” she said.

He apologized, and told her that he had a good reason for it. He wouldn’t elaborate.

He continued to stare out at the street. Lights that shone from the apartments across the road lit up, and then dimmed, like a message sent in Morse code. Rubbing her eyes, she tried to rid herself of this powerful reoccurring memory. She stared at him in a stunned kind of stillness, while silently begging him to speak. She examined his face. To her, his eyes held immeasurable depth even from many feet away.

Without warning, he rose from his chair. He slowly walked towards her door and opened it, motioning with a slight nod of his head and a smirk for her to follow. As she rose out of bed, something inside was screaming at her to stay put. She dismissed the internal warnings, and slipped quietly out the door after him.

They stepped outside into the snow. The world was so silent that even her footsteps made no sound. She knew she should have felt cold all over, but it was only her toes and the tips of her fingertips that felt the bite of winter. The rest of her body reverberated warmth as she followed him into the darkness. Her footsteps became blended into the landscape, as the snow filled in the imprints within seconds.

They found her car wrapped around a tree the next morning. Her history of sleepwalking was to blame, but her body was never found.