Take Me Home
by Chris de Serres
We were best friends in high school. We could spent countless hours, even days, together. He would come over to my house and it was never quite certain when he would leave. My mom would always set out an extra dinner plate for him.
I knew he was having trouble with his mom. I didn’t know she was abusing him. He told me one day in passing.
He was alot like me. My dad was in the Army so we moved around alot. I never really felt like I belonged anywhere or with any group. I was always the new kid. He was a black kid living in a predominantly white rural town. He had the build of an adult, so he got harassed by the police and all those stares from the suspicious and ignorant.
After high school he was always drifting in and out of my life. I would see him on the street. The next thing I knew he filled up every minute and hour of my life. Then we’d part ways and I wouldn’t see him again for a year. It was like this for a long time.
He had a daughter. I never met her. I reached out to her through Facebook. I sent her the only picture I had of him. She asked for more. She didn’t have many pictures of her father.
He took his life when she was a child. I didn’t go to the church service. I was in shock for a long time. Shock led into this little ghost in the back of my mind. The ghost that I didn’t want to acknowledge. Maybe ghosts are ghosts because they want you to see them. They want to be mourned. That’s all they need. Or maybe ghosts aren’t real, they are just manifestations of guilt, sorrow, and regret.
They say that grief must occur shortly after someone passes. You are given days, sometimes weeks or months. Then you must move on. So this moment does pass and when it does, we have to mourn behind closed doors. We have to memorialize in silent, quiet places.
Yet, here I am. Decades later. Still feeling. Still missing. Still feeling as if I could have done more. Could have honored him better. That is my ghost. You never really get over those you love the most.