Haunted by Allison Oestreicher

Allison Oestreicher

There are ghosts haunting my apartment.

I come home from work and the Scotch bottle I drank out of last night will be empty. There are letters and clothes and trash strewn about the apartment. The chairs are piled up on top of each other and the couch cushions are gone. It’s the kind of over exaggerated haunting, like the ghost wants to make sure I know he’s here. When my girlfriend left me, she took away a piece of me. She left with our chaotic relationship. If I didn’t know better I would say the piece she took from me is haunting me. Like I am haunting my own apartment. Like that piece of me, what made me whole, is haunting me so exaggerated like it’s trying to remind me who I was before she left, before I met her.

I came home the next day and the apartment was as clean as the day I moved in. My shirts were in rainbow order, my silverware polished, and my whole living room rearranged. Like my mother came in while I was away and cleaned in the same way she used too. Before she died and took one more part of me. Like she took that part and woke it up in me, like she wanted me to miss her. The part of me my mother stole when she gave up and died on us is haunting me.

One day, I found drawings, everywhere. Scratches on paper. Pen ripping through the page like the paper wasn’t strong enough to handle the thoughts put on it. Drawings much darker than the ones I used to do before. Before my mother died and the love of my life left.

I am haunting my own apartment. Doing my best to prove to myself that I am still here, I still exist even though I’ve been chipped away by the people who left me and the things I took from myself.  

I woke up today and nothing was changed. Nothing was moved or broken or stacked. Like my ghost didn’t come. Like my ghost has given up on me. Left me behind. Left like everybody else did.

I was haunting my own apartment trying to prove to no one I’m still here. I’m no longer haunting my own apartment and maybe that’s for the best. Nobody else stayed with me. Why should I?

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