Back then we used to blame the ghosts for our mistakes:
the lights left on, the unlocked doors, the loud complaint
of creaking stairs, of hinges needing oil. Still they
were no less real than our neglect, and glided through
the rooms like old, familiar guests. They say that all
real homes come with their dead. Our ones would sleep
by day and skulk in shadows when they woke, so pale and faint
we hardly noticed them at first. But double-takes
and closer looks revealed them, and they grew bolder, too,
began to speak to us, to wake us when we slept,
determined as they were to make their presence known.
They frightened me enough to want to move, but you
were curious instead—how had they died? And why
did they stay on? They listened when you asked, and fall
of our first year brought answers, gruesome tales that I
refused to hear. I envied them your interest, grew
to hate the house, and them, and you, and us. Kept
often to myself, one foot already creeping out the door,
and my solitude was something else I blamed them for.


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