It Was Impossible to Get Bored in this Bathtub

I woke up in the bathtub again. Third time in a row. Was this going to be a regular thing? I got up and turned on the lights. Since the entire room was covered in white tiles, it was especially blinding. I sat on the toilet for a moment to adjust my eyes.

There was banging on the door. “Robin, what the hell?”
I stood up to unlock the door and let in the concerned and annoyed face of my girlfriend.
“Must’ve sleepwalked again.” I explained.
“You think we should get that checked out about now?”
“I mean, it’s… I’m waking up in time for work.” I didn’t like going to doctors. In the past they only ever made the problems worse, especially when it’s mental health stuff. I suppose you can treat a broken leg by the book but the brain isn’t that predictable.
“It just bothers me, you know. You always also lock the door, I can’t check on you without breaking in, who knows if you turned on the water and drowned in there!”
“I don’t think I would but…” I pulled the key from the lock and held it up, “What if I just put away the key?”
“I don’t know…” She wasn’t satisfied with that.
“Alright, fine, I’ll get it checked out.”
“Thank you.” she took the key out of my hand. “I’ll hide this until then.”

Locking the bathroom was a habit I carried over from my childhood. My family would always just burst in. Now that I’m living with my girlfriend, it shouldn’t be a problem. Though I’d still prefer her not seeing me in a compromised position. It’s just awkward. I ate breakfast and got clean and went about my day as usual.

Next morning I was in the bathtub again. I got up and turned the light on, then pushed down the door handle. Locked. The key did not stick in the keyhole like it usually would. Did I drop it? How did I even find it when Natalie hid it? I hope I didn’t make a mess trying to find it in my sleep. I searched the floor but there was nothing there. I looked through the cabinets, in case my sleeping mind thought I should hide the key again after having found it hidden. I heard the door unlock.

“How the fuck did you lock the door from the other side?”
I wasn’t yet sure whether to believe that I actually did that or that someone else did. Both thoughts unnerving.
“I dunno.” Was the best answer I could give.
“Maybe we should set up cameras, Paranormal Activity style.” she joked.
“Honestly… yeah.”
“I wasn’t serious.”
“There’s no way I could’ve locked the door, what if someone was in here?”
“I… I didn’t notice anything missing. We should look around.”

So we did. Nothing was missing. No money, which was the only valuable thing we had, no windows smashed in or doors broken open. While searching the house, I found an old camera in the basement. I forgot I even had it. When I got a newer, better one, it rendered this one obsolete but you also don’t just throw a working camera in the trash. Well, perfect. This’ll decide whether we should invest in better security or if I could earn a little money on the side as an escape artist.

I talked it through with Natalie and set up the camera in the hallway overviewing the doors to the bedroom and bathroom. I wasn’t sure if the memory would last to record an entire night. We didn’t know at what point in the night I sleepwalked, so we had to have it running the whole night. Natalie hid the key in a new place. I’m sure she probably hid it in an area seen by the camera, but at this point the goal wasn’t for me not to find it.

The next morning I was in the bathtub again, the key on my side of the door this time. The camera showed nothing odd, only that I went straight for the key as if I knew where it was. At least this ruled out home invaders. I saw a doctor Natalie searched out for me. A new one, maybe one that wouldn’t carelessly disclose intimate information to my parents, taking a shit on confidentiality.
She was a young one, probably just opened up her shop. I told her about my sleepwalking, she asked about the usual stuff, stress, diet, anything that could fuck up my sleep. It was all fine. No recent traumatic events or anything like that. It just started out of nowhere. Well, this first meeting was just to get the formalities out of the way before getting into the meat of things. Figure out if this doctor-patient-relationship could work. I had a good feeling with her, honestly.

It was the weekend and I woke up but I didn’t really. I just couldn’t get a grip on my consciousness. I could feel the hard surface of the bathtub under me. I was wet but the water was only a millimeter high. No, that wasn’t water. It was in my mouth too. I noticed the banging on the door. I had really scared the shit out of Natalie this time. I tried to get out of the bathtub to unlock the door as fast as possible but my feet slipped on the tiles. I smacked my head against the floor and my mind almost slipped out of my fingers.

“Get away from the door!” I heard her scream and managed to roll over. The door cracked open and Natalie tumbled to the floor next to me. She got up without taking her eyes from me and turned the lights on. The room was less white than usual. More blood collected in my mouth and I rolled on my side to spit it out.
“Jesus, Robin…” she knelt down to help me lean against a wall. She called an ambulance and sat with me until it arrived.

The keyhole of the bathroom door was smeared with blood, most of the walls were, drips here and there on the floor and whatever my bloody feet had smeared around. I lost a shit ton of blood but there was no wound to be found on me, internal or otherwise. They kept me in the hospital hoping to figure out what happened.

The next morning I woke up in the bathtub. I was too tired to get out. So I just stayed there. I was covered in dirt. I must’ve lost the hospital clothes along the way home, I was only wearing underwear. I turned on the water. Might as well take a bath when I’m already in here. The water washed off the filth but that made me not feel much cleaner. There was something fucked up going on and it seemed no matter what, I’ll always wake up in this tub. The water kept escaping down the drain with bits of dirt.

“The hospital called.” I didn’t see Natalie but she stood in the door. “I knew where you’d be.” She said nothing further and sat down next to the tub and petted my wet hair.

I requested to leave the hospital and did not have to return. I didn’t want them to chain me to the bed in there just to keep me away from the bathtub. They advised against it but ultimately I had say about my life. So I lived on for the next week, waking up in the bathtub, without throwing up blood for the time being. I did throw up while outside the tub though, I started feeling really sick. I hated worrying Natalie with this shit. I could tell it was robbing her sleep. There was something she didn’t tell me too. She didn’t talk to me much anymore. I hated that this was tearing us apart. I still loved her but I was putting her through so much. Maybe it really was better to leave her alone for now. I felt so disgusting.


Robin fell asleep. I stayed awake, like I had done the past three days. My mind was dissolving. I was going to give in tonight. I knew I was. I tried to stop myself like I used to do but I was out of practice. I followed Robin into the bathroom. She climbed in and as usual would ask me to turn on the water. This time I did. I put in the plug and turned on the water. She kept lying on the bottom of the tub as the water rose. She asked me to join her. I did.

“Do you see?” she asked. I wasn’t sure if she was awake now.
“I think I can feel it.”
“I feel so filthy inside.” she looked me in the eyes. “Do you mind if I wash it all away?”
“I trust you.”
“I hope we won’t be disappointed.” she turned the water scalding hot. I could tell that it hurt but it did not bother me. Our heads were submerged in the water. Red liquid poured from Robin’s mouth. I knew now that it wasn’t blood. Soon I couldn’t see her anymore. I took a deep breath.