March 24, 2015: Shiola

I stand outside of his house.
It stands on an otherwise empty, dirt covered lot just outside of Lafayette. Paint chipping off the trim, a broken step leading to the porch.
Every now and then the dirty blinds flicker and sway.

When I knock on the door, my knuckles leave marks in the dust.
I turn the doorknob. It’s rusted and sticks, but apparently he’s had the door unlocked for years now.

He’s sitting on a chair in dirty, wrinkled clothes – a perfect match for his house. Clutching an old, stained blanket and a dress with holes.

She used to only be able to sleep in my arms…she was plain looking…but she was mine.

On the floor surrounding him are photographs, toys, old make up and tarnished jewelry.
Candles melted down into puddles on the floor.

He’s silent. But he’s here, somewhere. Awake. I always took the best care of him. As best as I could.

I taught him manners.

How to stick up for himself.

How to fight clean, if he ever had to fight.

He looks down at the blanket, uses it to wipe his tears.

I just don’t know if I can be forgiven…I don’t know if I’m strong enough.

A strong wind constantly blows against the house, which is strange, when I was outside everything was perfectly still.
His neighbours told me about the death of his family. The way they spoke about it, all of them, made it sound mysterious and suspicious.
The local kids have been warned to stay away from the house.

I don’t know what I expected when I entered the house.
Evil, probably sums it up best.
Instead…just sadness.
A man, clutching onto memories, waiting to die so he’ll no longer be alone.

The wind seems to call out a name, the man responds in pleas and prayers.

Surrounded by memories of his loved ones, the weight of sin and guilt crushing his brow and back.

I try and try…but always fail.

Is it wrong to love a family of ghosts?

He looks out the window, rubbing the dress’ fabric between two of his fingers.

I will wait and wait and wait…

…for that hand to sweep me up.

He’s stopped responding to me. He’s just staring our the window.
The wind blows harder, causing the house to tremble and the windows shake.
I leave him in his circle of guilt, holding on to all that he has left of his love.

Outside, the sun is shining and all is still.

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