Waiting For My Uber
I pace the length of the lobby anxiously. The world outside is pitch black,seldom lit even by flashes of lightning, followed by booming thunder. I catch my reflection in the opaque glass of my office’s front window, and for a moment I’m startled by the sight of my face in that dark square, illuminated by the soft glow of my phone’s screen.
My Uber is still several minutes away. With the rain pounding as hard as it is, I’m waiting inside while the driver makes his way carefully down the flooded streets. I’m the last person here, and all I want is to step outside, lock the door, and be gone.
I can’t shake that feeling of being watched, though. I know it’s silly; it’s a small office of just ten people, and I did the closing procedures myself. Walking each room, I turned off every light and closed every door. I’m alone. But still, I feel I’m not.
Our windows are mirrors from the outside…during the day. At night, when there’s light on the inside, the opposite happens. Anyone standing outside can see right in. I suddenly back away from the glass, imagining a shadowy figure standing just on the other side, invisible to me but staring right at me.
I look at my phone screen. The little car icon’s stopped moving, and I assume it’s at a stoplight. Looking around, I open my eyes wide and strain to see anything in the darkness. I’d turn the lights back on, but the main switch is at the back of the building, and there’s no way I’m walking back there in the dark.
So instead I pace. I pace, and I think. I imagine all the things which could be lurking around me, tucked into the corners and waiting patiently for their chance to strike. I could be mere moments from feeling icy hands around my neck. The fear nearly forces me to run from the building right then – rain be damned.
I endure this for several more minutes. Finally headlights turn into the parking lot. I step outside, turn and lock the door, and then run to the car. Getting in, I’m relieved when the driver immediately puts it in gear. I’ll soon be safe at home.
As we make our way there, I realize that I forgot to set the alarm back at the office. I open up our security system’s app, thankful that I can do this remotely instead of having to go back. I move to click the alarm button, but I see that there is a “new clip” icon in the security camera section.
Curious, I open it. The video begins to play, and my hands start sharking immediately. A gasp causes my driver to look back at me. It’s me in the video, pacing up and down the pitch black lobby. But…I can see a figure following just behind me – a black shape illuminated pure white in the camera’s harsh infrared.