Psychopomp Magazine Fall 2016 - Page 32

“Um, hello?” I said, too surprised to say anything else. The old wood creaked under my wet feet.

The ghost turned slightly, and I realized she wasn't really there. That flickering spun-sugar thing. I wasn't drunk. I wasn't high―there was just a dead girl in my bedroom.

Her name was Rachel, and she had died from complications following heart valve surgery. Not that she told me this right away. First there was the vague explanation of what she was doing there―looking at CDs. Then came her name. I asked her a number of things―how did she get in here (she shrugged) what did she want (nothing) where did she come from (Annapolis, originally). She would appear when I was eating breakfast and ask me about what was going to happen at work that day. Of course she never ate herself.

(Esme loved breakfast on a lazy weekend. I remember on our fifth or sixth date, lying with our heads on the same pillow, turned to face each other. She said she wished there was some program where someone would bring you fresh croissants in bed and you wouldn't even have to get up. You could have that here, I said. Her dark eyes locked onto mine, a smile crinkling the corners of her eyes. Her hand was on my forearm, her thumb brushing lightly over my wrist.)

Rachel wanted to know all the minutia of my life. The politics at the firm. Who was IMing what. What was that new restaurant we tried on 14th street that day I stayed late after work. What are small plates again. Didn't that make it harder to split the check.

The ghosts would tell me about their lives, their childhoods, the men they loved and the friends they left behind. The entirety of their lives, even their deaths. Rachel died in the hospital, passing in and out of consciousness as the sepsis set in. Katie died by a combination of drug interaction and overdose. Miko by car accident. The one who only stayed

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