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  • It’s quiet when I come home, as quiet as it was when I first left it this morning.
    The laminate floor gives way underneath my footsteps sending thundering echoes throughout the scarcely furnished rooms.

    Hers is at the end of the hallway, adjacent to my room.

    At the mouth of the hallway, I stop and listen.

    I can hear the fan in my sister’s room, whizzing away.
    I can hear Dolores, wagging her tail happily, in hopes of being let out to greet me.
    I can hear the wild birds; their chirps steal into the bathroom through a small laced covered window.

    Still, I do not hear her.
    Her door is closed; there is no light scurrying along at the bottom of her doorway, no heavy feet shuffling from carpet to carpet within her room.

    I stand and wait, until cold realization takes hold.
    It is not her that I am listening for, but her ghost.
    The ghost of mental illness coming slowly to devour me whole.
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