I used to live alone in a small, one bedroom upstairs apartment. At night, when I was either in bed or in the bathroom, I would hear someone walking across my little living room floor toward the balcony and back again.
When it first started happening, I was too scared to do anything other than cower under the covers. My SO at the time (who lived in the apt. downstairs) would hear it as well when staying the night. One evening, I came home pretty late, climbed the stairs, unlocked and opened my front door, only to freeze in the doorway.
You know that awareness you have when other people are in the room with you or nearby? That gut sense, how you just “know” someone’s there? I had the unshakable feeling that someone was in my apartment. And the light to the tiny balcony, which I never used, was on.
I don’t know what I was thinking, but I quickly turned on the lights, took a deep breath and ran into the open kitchen for a knife. It was that real to me. From there I could see that there was no one on the balcony.
That left the bedroom, bathroom and closet. Not sure why, but the closet was the scariest place to check. I have no clue how to fight with a knife, but I think a big part of me already knew I would not find a living person in my apartment.
I checked the bedroom, nothing. I checked the bathroom, nothing. That left the closet. I took another deep breath and opened the door. And there she was. A homeless woman. I held up my knife and asked her what the hell she was doing in my apartment.
She told me that her son used to live there, and she was just checking to see if he was home. This freaked me out and obviously, I told her to get the hell out of my house. I stood back to allow her to get out of the closet, and she did.
I followed her carefully, making sure she left out the front door. As soon as she did, I locked the door. I reported it to the police and it turned out she was a mental patient who had escaped.