I don't know what my own story is, I'm still working on it. I didn't want to bring myself to write this story but my twin sister Tory reminded me to be brave and she is always right.
2 years ago I lived in a haunted house on McClellan Ave. with my sister Kylie, her boyfriend Mark and their corgi Finley. They were the perfect little family.
The house was a big 3 bedroom with creaky wooden floors and a long dark hallway. The 3rd bedroom had no door and was left unused. Everyday Finley would lay at the entrance and growl at nothing. The ceiling light in that room would always flicker.
I started sleeping with a nightlight.
The house was the only one on the block with no grass, it never grew despite how much Mark watered and seeded it.
He didn't believe in ghosts, he said the dark stains that would appear and then vanish on the hardwood floors were water damage, that the black slugs and small grey flies that would come up from the drains were just an infestation, that the figure of a man he repeated saw in the kitchen was just his imagination.
Once when we were sitting at the small dining room table the 4th chair moved back without anyone touching it, like someone we couldn't see had seated themselves for dinner.
I felt terrified being alone in the house.
Home alone one night the power went out and I was left staring at my own face in my vanity, lit up by my phone. I ran outside with Finley and sat under the street lamp, our house was the only one on the block with no lights on.
Taking a shower was a nightmare, the ceiling of the bathroom always had long black strands of hair stuck to it that I would have to brush away with a broom.
Once I heard a woman scream from inside my pillow.
Eventually we moved out into a magnificent brightly lit house only a few blocks away on Oro Ave. It was beautiful with flower bushes and a green yard and I felt like Kylie and Mark had finally gotten the home they deserved.
I was scared to live alone but I saved money and got my own apartment. Mark moved all my furniture for me and bought me house warming presents.
3 months ago Mark killed himself in the garage of the house on Oro Ave.
Do I think the house on McClellan had anything to do with it? No, of course not.
It doesn't bother me to drive by the haunted house we used to live in and it doesn't scare me to think about it, but I won't drive past the house on Oro Ave.
I am no longer afraid of ghosts, I'm afraid now of much more real things. I'm afraid of someone I care about being relegated to a few descriptive words "he was funny, smart, creative, kind."
I'm afraid of not getting the chance to let someone know how much they really mean to me.
I'm afraid of someone I love becoming a haunted house.
I still sleep with a nightlight.