Sometimes I hear them. Seriously. They're not loud, almost echos, really. Since I live in an isolated area, I know it isn't out there, in the real world. No one really comes here so I know what it isn't.
When I get home I don't turn on anything. Not the television. Not the radio. Not the stereo. I leave the house as quiet as it was before I get there. So I can hear. In the winter, I don't even turn on the lights. They're louder in the dark.
After I've put everything away and changed into my comfortable clothes, I sit down in my chair and close my eyes. And I wait.
I never know what will come first. Sometimes, I'm certain it is his step down the hallway. Once in awhile it will be the opening of a door.. or the closing of one. A few times, I was sure I heard a cough. Once, long ago, as I sat alone in the dark I heard him come down the hallway and I looked up, called his name and stared at the doorway. I would not have been surprised to see him standing there.
But he wasn't.
I don't think.
Sometimes I hear giggles and running feet, but softly, as if from a great distance, across a vast and hazy plain. And I'm certain, at times, I hear someone jump off a bed. Someone is in the kitchen, sneaking the cookies. I am sure I hear the sound of the jar.
I hear music that isn't really there and if I focus, very hard, I can feel arms slip around my waist. There's a sensation of floating as I'm whisked across the floor to dance. I can smile at that for a minute before it drifts away to be replaced by a sad silence.
There are ghost children running across the backyard. Can you hear them squealing? From the kitchen window I see a small, fuzzy, hazy shape of a dog that runs yapping after them.
There's running water, flushing toilets, and rustles. Rarely, I smell a certain cologne. The bottle is still in the medicine cabinet.
For a short time I almost think I can will them into solid forms and time will simply stop and they'll be there, forever and ever and everything outside these walls will become the ghosts. We'll laugh, and hug, and talk all night about everything and anything. The world, the one out there, will disappear. I won't care.
Never in my life have I seen a ghost and I never believed much in them.
Not until now.
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