You tried leaving the door open; you tried leaving the front door unlocked, hoping that either he’d return or the person or thing would leave, but night after night the noises reappear. Yet you don’t see them either, except through the film of dream, because when you finally get the courage to get up and go to the bathroom, the air cold and your bladder aching, there is nothing to see.
On your return from the bathroom you pause between steps, daring yourself to look around the corner and into the living room. Please, please be there, but there is only the sight of the mess you’ve left the couch. A pizza box, lid flung open, the crescent shapes of moldy crusts and the shriveled peppers you’d asked them not to include, a pile of clothes in the middle of the floor, unwashed and soiled from the sweat of missing.
Scratch, creak, sigh; tomorrow you’ll get a dog. LS