Richard Mayhew hates heights, but he finds himself trailing behind the mad Marquis De Carabas on his errand anyway. Just when he thinks he's finally finished with this whole affair, he finds that he's become a phantom in his own life.
Richard brings de Carabas back to his London flat, and the Marquis leaves with Door. Soon after, Richard begins to realize that something is very wrong. It's almost as if he's been erased from his own life. No one can see him unless he directly imposes himself on them by grabbing or shaking them or raising his voice while inches in front of their face, and even when he does that to those who should recognize him, they don't. Even his fiance, who he'd just seen the night before, treats him like a stranger.
Unseen by the rest of the world, Richard watches his desk being cleaned out at work and his landlord show his apartment to potential new tenants. After he unsuccessfully tries to withdrawal money from his account via ATM, though, he is seen by a homeless man and finds himself in an even more desperate predicament.