Greg's Diary: The Real Reason I Left Serbia Early

Author: Greg Miletic
Photo: Jean-François Nicollet 
I got injured at the end of the season and needed an MRI to figure out what exactly was wrong with me. MRI’s are very difficult to get in Serbia, so if I wanted to make sure I received the proper diagnosis in order to take the necessary proceeding steps toward a full recovery, I simply had to come back home to America. This has been my story for the past few weeks, but my conscience has been weighing on me heavier and heavier, and I need to come clean. The real reason I left Serbia early wasn’t because of my injury; it was because my apartment was being haunted by a little girl who lived in the building next door.

It all started a few weeks before I left. One night, the roomies and I were hanging out at the apartment when there was an awful noise coming from somewhere near our back balcony. Miki called us outside so we could hear the sound better, and it was not pretty – it was the sound of a young girl playing guitar and singing into the night, with no remorse for her neighbors.

It was dark out so we couldn’t see anything, but we could tell that the sound was coming from the building that was connected to us on the left. And although James and I couldn’t understand the words, we could still tell that it didn’t sound good. Something about this sounded off. Something about it sounded, well, eerie. And Miki and Laza agreed…
Just a random on-field photo of Greg.
Photo: Jean-François Nicollet 
After that night, though, we didn’t hear any more of the creepy songs, and we kind of forgot about the whole thing. That is, until about a week later when we were all drinking a few beers and Miki was hanging some clothes out back to dry. I heard him call my name to come outside, and when I joined him on the balcony he looked pretty spooked. I asked him what was going on, and he said he had heard a little girl calling out “Hello? Hello?” (in Serbian of course, but for the sake of this story everything will be translated to English) from the other side of the fence and trees that separate the backyards of the two apartment buildings. I waited out there with him for a few minutes and didn’t hear anything, so I went back inside and told him to relax and keep drinking.

Before I had the chance to wonder if I should be nervous, Miki excitedly called me back outside. What transpired next will haunt my dreams forever: As I mentioned before, when it gets dark outside it is hard to see anything from our back balcony. Miki pointed me to the fence and trees to our left, and I saw them start to rustle. All of a sudden, I see a white shirt emerge from the trees, making its way over the fence and onto the awning that leads right up to our balcony. Inside the white shirt was a young girl with a stone face, no more than 13 or 14 years old. On all fours, she climbed up the awning toward Miki and me, without giving much expression. I stood paralyzed and wide-eyed for a few seconds before I could muster up the strength to start nudging Miki, without looking away from the girl of course, and quietly utter “dude dude dude dude dude.”

Another random on-field photo of Greg.
Photo: Jean-François Nicollet 
Miki finally clamored at the girl to stop and asked what she was doing. She responded, still with that same blank stare, “Can I come up?” Miki told her no, and asked why she thought she could do such a thing. Finally showing some emotion, the girl in the white shirt frowned and responded with a simple and sad “Ooh”, then slowly backed down the awning, reached the top of the fence, and disappeared back into the dark trees. I didn’t think it was possible, but Miki’s eyes were wider than mine.

Needless to say, we got inside as fast as we could, locked all of the doors, and closed of all of the blinds. We felt a little safer inside, but there was a huge problem: we had run out of beer and needed more. James and my visiting friend Josh were hungry, so they were brave enough to venture outside to get some more beer and also get some food for themselves.

We interrupt this post with another on-field photo of Greg.
Photo: Jean-François Nicollet 
About 15 minutes later, James and Josh came sprinting in the house and slammed the door behind them. Frantic and out of breath, they explained that when they were outside, they heard a loud crash from a fence out front. From the neighboring yard, that same little girl in the white had come running from the backyard up to this fence and slammed herself into it, and started slowly waving at the guys. They said the girl wasn’t smiling, but rather was just kind of staring through them. They sprinted into our apartment as fast as they could.

This little girl had five grown football players legitimately scared, and I don’t think any one of us would be ashamed to admit that. Nothing else happened that night, but over the following days I found myself constantly looking over my shoulder and making myself nervous. When I was house sitting for an embassy family that was out of town, I kept finding their dog locked in a sunroom outside, with no logical explanation of how she got in there. Naturally, I concluded that this was somehow related to that little girl, ghosts, and/or aliens.

Sorry folks, last random "Greg Photo"
Photo: Jean-François Nicollet 
I also started hearing about some creepy ghost stories from my Serbian friends. My teammate Nikola Davidovic (who also happens to be my favorite Serbian athlete) told me that one time a few years ago, three of his friends each saw a ghost-man face in the clouds as they were walking home, and thought they were being haunted. Granted, they were drunk, but the story still got me thinking about my situation. After some serious contemplation, I decided that I should quit while I’m ahead (aka alive) and get out of there so I didn’t end up in a scary movie.

So, there you have it. Call me a fraud, call me a wimp, call me whatever. You know what I call myself? Smart. Smart because I fled a situation that could have ended tragically. No one likes to be haunted by little stone-faced Serbian girls in white, and I’m no exception. I escaped, and this is my story. (Just joking – I really did leave because of my football injury. This story is true, though.)

Greg Miletic - Blue Dragons Belgrade (Serbia) Import, Serbia National Team Coordinator. Visit his blog - Miletic World, for more fun posts.