I'M STILL HERE. That was how it began. Words etched into the fogged-over bathroom mirror as I showered. I had lived here for a month, more or less. Moving back to my old hometown was supposed to be so relaxing... I even got a place in my old neighborhood. I should have known something was up the first time I stepped into the house. I thought the foreboding atmosphere was just the old, creaky house speaking, but I think I somehow knew why it was so cheap.
My first night was restless. I dreamt of my childhood, so much of it spent in the woods nearby. I saw myself running through the woods, laughing, but when I looked back at my friend, there was only a black void. I vaguely remember a feeling of deathly dread that forced me to my knees in terror, still holding the hand of the apparition. It stared at me as I laid on the roots, paralyzed with fear, stared all the way inside me. Suddenly I awoke in cold sweat.
The last four weeks have, frankly, been a downward spiral. My anxiety has continued to grow from the tiny, black seed that entered me as I crossed the threshold. A fleeting, cold touch, a wordless whisper in the breeze, a dark figure in the corner of my eye, that disappears as I turn my head. And now, finally, messages in the bathroom mirror. I can't take it anymore - I'm leaving. I'll pack my bags and get the hell out of here.
I quickly stride into the bedroom, quickly drying myself in panic even as I almost run from the bathroom. The suitcase flies onto the bed even as I already pull my clothes off the shelves. Suddenly I hear something on the wind - "...again..." I freeze in place as a chill runs down my spine. My hair stands on end as I feel a cold breeze above my shoulder. "You're leaving again..." The voice is terrifying, rusty and rotten, but yet ethereal and silky at once.
A cool breeze blows into my ear as the chill of the grave spreads around me. It wraps around me, strangling me like a noose, from my shoulders down to my back, and finally around my waist. Unseen, iron fingers dig into my flesh as I stand, too frightened to even try to resist. "I won't let you go again..." The voice seems somehow familiar as it whispers into my ear. "Why did you go? I needed you..." Who? What? Why does it hurt to try to remember?
Suddenly the vice-like grip throws me on the bed, next to the half-filled suitcase. I scramble to turn, to face the monster, but as I glimpse, in the corner of my eye, the familiar black miasma from my troubled dreams, I again fall limp. Icy fingers dig into my shoulder and force me onto my back. I can feel the presence drawing closer and closer even through my closed eyelids, drawn as shut as humanly possible. Just as the shadow seems ready to swallow me whole, I feel a droplet that feel like ice splatter on my cheek. "Please stay with me..." At that moment, the feeling of death enters my body.
I scream out in pain and terror as my entire being burns in agony. My eyes shoot open, I fruitlessly gasp for air, I try to flail through my paralysis. I finally see a vague outline of a person inside the blackness that looms above me. I feel myself rise into the air even as the black veil grows fainter and fainter. As I rise towards the ceiling, the void reveals a crying young woman. A certain feeling of recognition fills my soul as I realize who it is. How could I forget?
"N-no...! NO! I'm sorry! I'm so sorry..."I feel myself float in the air as her cold grasp slowly turns into a soft hug, as her face twists from anguish to shock, shock to guilt, guilt to despair. I turn my head to watch myself lie there, on the bed, with empty eyes and a twisted grimace. I turn my head back to see her face, finally clear as day, framed by the blonde bangs she always had. Marie... How could I forget about her?
"I love you, Marie." Her head suddenly snaps to face me, staring me in the eye with those, now tear-filled, amber eyes I used to sneak peeks at. "I'm sorry I forgot about you." She ineffectually bangs her fists at my back as I finally squeeze her. She feels so soft and warm, so unlike just moments ago. "Idiot... You weren't supposed to die...!" Marie quietly sobs on my shoulder as I pull her modest bust into myself. Finally, as she begins to calm down, I push her away enough to kiss her.
Marie eagerly returns the kiss as we loom above my rapidly-cooling body. Repressed memories of first love flood my mind as I fondle the body I know in my heart to have turned to dust more than a decade ago. The childish body that I desired may be long gone, but I can't seem to care. I push her ethereal form onto the body and fall on her, fondling and kissing her all over. My heart almost seems to skip a beat as the grey apparition in front of me moans and squirms at my touch.
Before long I position myself ready to enter her. Our grey lips connect just as my member enters her. Marie gasps in pleasure as our souls intertwine. I thrust into her spirit again and again, but the feeling is somehow different. Instead of the pleasure of flesh, I feel a serene calm fill my soul. My love for her wells inside me and intermingles with her emotions, rolling back and forth between us. Suddenly what seems to approximate an orgasm rumbles through both of us as everything seems to melt away.
I watch with a serene mind as Marie slowly begins to fade away like dust in the wind. Her legs crumble away and disappear into the void around us. I wrap my arms around her even as I feel my fingertips begin to disperse. Marie hugs me back as we wait to see what will happen to us. "I love you." She whispers, barely audibly. "I'm glad I could meet you again, Marie." I continue just before I fade out of existance: "I always loved you."