You go back to the house.
You don't know why you go back to the house, but you go back to the house. During the day this time, because you could never drive well at night.
You don't know why you go back to the house because it doesn't bring back memories, it doesn't make you feel better. It feels like an ending that you're dragging on. The movie ended hours ago, and you're still in the theater watching the screen for--for what? You don't know.
But you go back to the house that doesn't smell like death, but smells like dust and old things. It gives you a headache after a while, but you keep pacing the floors, waiting and fearing for a glimpse of a ghost. You don't think you're a very good Ghost Facer for being scared, but you are, and when it starts to get dark, you leave. Nearly startling yourself into a scream when a stair creaks on the way out.
The ride back home is long and slow, and you almost crash twice. Your mind is back at the house but it keeps snapping back in technicolor--your hands on the wheel, the smudge of dirt on your glasses, the two beams of light on the road.
You don't know why you went back to the house, nothing has changed. He's still gone, and you're still in the theater waiting, waiting, waiting.
Life goes on, though maybe you're a step behind. There are times when you can forget, for just a minute, for hours, for days, and life goes on. You watch movies, you wake up, you read books, you eat, you sleep, you forget about him for days at a time and it terrifies you.
Life goes on and it's not fair. It's not fair he died, it's not fair that every memory is thrown into perspective, it's not fair you're just realizing all this now.
But life goes on.
You go back to the house again, and spend all day there. You stay all night too, waiting for the music, for your breath to fog, and you spend half the night crying. You spend the other half yelling.
The damn tape is still playing and you want him back, want one more chance. But sunrise comes, and with no sense of new beginning or enlightenment.
You drive home, and forget to order a French Vanilla coffee, instead you're stuck with black. Harry calls and you answer it before you can stop yourself.
He's asking where've you been, why you haven't returned his calls, he's asking if you caught the latest episode of something--you don't know. Absent-mindedly, you take a sip of the coffee. It's bitter and you nearly spit it out. Harry is still asking questions. You tell him you'll call him back, and hang up.
It's a long drive even in the sunlight.
You get a job because your parents won't stop bugging you. You get a job, and move out. You stop attending Ghost Facer meetings, and you stop going to the house because it's too much in gas money.
The movie is on loop, and the theater is empty as you pick apart the scenes. It's what you do in your free time now, remember and get angry, forget and get angry, it's all one big mess.
Harry keeps calling, Maggie keeps calling, but you can't be bothered. You wake up, you go to work, you come home, you go to sleep. It should be simple, but it isn't
It comes down to paying the phone bill or going to the house.
You toss your phone out of the window on the way there.
Back at the house, it's the same as ever. The fence is cut, the first step creaks, and there's nothing here. Nothing to remind you of him, nothing to trap him here, not even his body. You think that the movie ended, and maybe you missed the big conclusion Maybe you turned back just in time to catch the credits rolling as the lights come on. There's nothing behind the screen, and there's nothing to face anymore.
But back at the house that doesn't smell like death, but smells like old things, like things forgotten, you know something has got to give.