I mean, there can be but doesn't have to be.
On to the little story now. (Actually there is another story that illustrates the French definition of fantastique much better but that is a longer story and I don't think I can translate it. So for now, this one will have to do.)
(Tranlated by Lale Eskicioglu)
It is late, all the bottles are empty, we are only six around the table. Someone says that he has received, during the past week, three or four phone calls at night time. He has answered them but each time there was no one at the end of the line.
The conversation which had almost dried out a few minutes ago picks up again. Each one of us, all six, had a similar story that had happened to us in recent days. With Géraldine it is obscene phone calls and they make her sick. Charles has also received those and he says that he would break their faces, that breed of maniacs, but everyone understands that this is just his way of being afraid.
There is worse: once someone has knocked on the door of Nicole just after she had returned home. (Nicole, she closes the bars but she says that shit doesn’t have reason.) Didn’t you call the cops? I asked her. Do you call the cops when you hear suspicious noises on your landing? Obviously no. Besides, Nicole loathes the cops.
And there is this tall blonde guy whose name I always forget, he reveals that it has also happened to him: in the middle of the night there is a knock on his door, he asks who’s there, no answer. He looks through the peephole. Nothing. Maybe nocturnal guest has left or maybe he is standing in such a way to avoid being seen. He didn’t call the police either. By the time they turn up, the stalker would have hundred times the time he needs to decamp.
He added that the same thing had happened to many people he knows. A real epidemic. And always in the evening or at night. Géraldine asks what difference the day or the night makes. Charles is of the opinion that you must not open the door to a stranger. With all the stories that are being told these days, you never know what can happen. But you could break their faces, that breed of maniacs, right? teases Nicole. Very funny.
I decide to go home. Since it is cold, I walk fast and mostly try to stay away from the main street (where, at this hour, I risk running into many drunkards and tonight I don’t feel like dealing with them.) Turning around the Church, I follow a sawtooth route which takes me to the end of the district, close to the cliff where I dwell. This allows me to cut short through the parking lots and empty areas.
I don’t usually experience fear and I tell myself that it’s stupid, nothing will happen to me, nothing can happen to me, I don’t look like someone whose pockets are full of dough, and also I am a guy, right? But all these stories made me nervous. I keep looking left and right. I even glance back, as if I have picked up a tail. I tell myself that I have gone mad. But I keep checking around.
About 20 metres in front of me, there is a guy who also has a good step. It’s crazy but this reassures me. If he was behind me, that would bother me. But in front of me…
He also walks fast. He is in a rush to get home, no doubt.
What is curious is that, three or four blocks later, he is still there, ahead. He makes the same zigzags as I do.
And this goes on in the same manner. I have the more and more uncomfortable feeling of being followed and I change my direction often but it has no effect. So, here it is, my “follower” is in front of me. Ridiculous. He should be the one who feels being followed. But it is not going to be me to ask him that.
When I finally turn the last corner, he is still there, on my street, twenty metres ahead. He is just about to enter the building where I live. A neighbour? I have never seen him before. It is true that from twenty metres in the middle of the night it is quite difficult to recognize someone from behind.
Shortly after, it is my turn to enter the building. Just in time to hear a door being closed at the third floor. I know that noise of the hinges which I have been neglecting to oil: it is the door of my apartment for goodness sake!
I speed up, climbing the stairs in multiples at a time. The moment I reach the landing, the light goes out. It is turned off by the switch inside.
I turn it back on using the exterior switch, I want to insert my key into the keyhole. Doesn’t work. I try all the keys on the keychain. Impossible to unlock. I knock on the door, I knock, I knock. Nobody answers. And yet I am sure having heard noises from behind the door.
I figure out that he is not going to open the door to me because you don’t open the door to strangers. With all the stories that are being told these days, you never know what can happen.
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