Psychopomp Magazine Fall 2016 - Page 31

Vera Kurian | 31

Vera Kurian

Every Ghost Story Is a Love Story

They would come to me one by one, Rachel, Katie, Miko, and be like my girlfriends. There when I woke up in the morning. There when I got home from work. I didn't date for four years after Esme. I didn't want to, but mostly I didn't need to. I had ghost girlfriends.

They weren't quite physical. They had a hollow, ethereal sort of glow to them, as if someone had thrown up a handful of flour in front of my eyes, and behind the haze were these beautiful girls.

They were attached to the house somehow, in a way I never understood. If I left to get ramen with some friends from work Katie would be left behind, standing at the front doorway at the bottom of the fucked up stairs, her eyes wide and sad as if I wouldn't come back. Maybe they could leave but they didn't want to.

Rachel was the first. She appeared about six months after the last time I had seen Esme. It was 9 o'clock at night, and I came out of the shower into my bedroom naked―why not, I live alone in a big house―and there was a girl standing by my CD collection.

For a split second I thought she was some tweaker who wandered in off the street.

(I left the back door open sometimes, something that worried Esme so I stopped when she moved in with me. Her fear was that some strange man would come in the back door to kill her. When I pointed out that this was improbable she insisted that this deranged man would use my Sudoku knife to do it. She was deadpan, but I knew she was kidding because I knew she knew it was a Santoku knife, but this was her way of saying, Dude, lock the back door.)