Don't be afraid. I usually just mind my own business. Except it gets lonely sometimes and I wish I could have someone to talk to.
Not blabber with. Talk to.
But everyone's gone and I live alone in this big house. Four bedrooms, three bathrooms, three walk-in closets, two stockrooms, one porch, one terrace, one living room, one dining room, one kitchen, one study.
I mostly stay in the study. That's where you'll find me, sitting by the window, hunched over this flickering screen. Alone.
Well, maybe not totally alone.
I've never actually seen her, but the old lady I fondly call the majordoma stays in the blue bedroom - the one I used to sleep in when Christiane had the master bedroom. The one Louie stayed in after I took over Christiane's room when she went to the States and never returned. Where he stayed until a bus holdupper stabbed him in the neck over a cellphone one night as he came home from work.
I knew Louie would be hanging around for a while after what happened. Which is why I wasn't too surprised when the maid said she saw him running down the stairs at 6pm, which was usually the time he left for work. He also bugged Dee for a good while, visiting him in his sleep. But I had a feeling he would leave me alone; he knew how I hated being bothered while working.
Anyway, his mom said she had a dream that his grandfather finally fetched him after the 40th day. So that was the last we heard of Louie.
Nolo briefly stayed in that same room when he was having marital problems, then Louie's brother took over for a few months before we had to kick him out because his drug use was getting in the way of his ability to cover his rent. The majordoma has had that room all to herself since then.
A lot of people have come and gone, but others have stayed. Quietly. They say the old man stays at the bar in the living room, no doubt sipping his phantom brandy as he contemplates his existence. Just as well. The laughter and conversations at that bar have long given way to an echoing silence.
The dwarfs stay in the walk-in closet in my room, and like to keep the door open no matter how often I latch it closed. Oh, well. They don't bother me. Besides, they were never human, unlike some of us.
Wendy said the monster who lived in the linen closet in the upstairs stockroom is gone. That's comforting. But the little girl who weeps for the dolls in the display cabinet is still there. I've never heard her, but Dee said he heard her shuffling around a couple of times. I wish Wendy were still here; I enjoyed her pointing out where everyone else was hanging out.
I do hope the black spiky thing with glittering eyes that followed Dee from one of his provincial sojourns - the thing that used to peek from outside the living room window, or so Miggy's boyfriend said - never made it in. That'd just be creepy.
But they say the majordoma does her job and does it well, which is why no dark entity can stay for very long in the house. Well, I certainly hope so. God knows I have enough demons as it is.
Anyway...I don't see Dee too often these days. Once a week I hear him shuffling around, but it never lasts. I saw him ducking into the bathroom one time, but I was half-asleep. Sometimes I wonder when his mom will collect his things, just like Christiane's and Louie's mothers did when they left. But then I remember she's dead.
Be that as it may, he has another life now. I do wish we'd have some sort of closure, though. The dead do tend to haunt you when you don't bury them properly.
As for me, well...like I said, I pretty much live alone in this big old house. And it just gets lonely sometimes. But then again, I'm used to being alone. Every so often, though, there's a dark night of the soul and it helps when you can talk to someone. Over coffee. Over cigs. Over alcohol.
The trouble is, it can't just be anyone. It has to be someone who knew me and whose life intertwined with mine. Anyone else might listen, but they would never understand the way someone who knew me, who knew who I was and where it all began, how we lived and what happened and when things began to change and why we came to this pass would.
But there's the rub. Everyone's gone, and it's just me now. The last man standing.
I would talk to my invisible housemates but I never wanted that dark gift. Besides, I have enough problems with the living. And anyway, this is a cozy arrangement. No one bothers anyone. And everyone just minds their own business.
We all just co-exist, until someone else moves on. Or doesn't. And it doesn't matter if you believe in ghosts or not. Our existence does not rely on your beliefs; only on our own.
I lived in the past.
I exist in the present.
But I can't see round the bend.
That's the trouble with the future.