Remembering The Ghost Haunting The Brick Wall
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They say making eye contact is important in storytelling, as it makes it easier for the listener to remember the story they're being told. But I don’t think I ever understood just how true that was until we saw each other. As you sped down the road that fateful day.

I never wanted to hear your story. I’d certainly be able to sleep so much better if I never knew it. But no matter how much I’d like to forget, I just can’t. I can see the flowers and candles from here, decorating the small vigil they set up for you along that wall. That damn wall I have to walk past every day.

I begin walking down the road toward the vigil, following along that same cursed path you traveled. And the memories come flooding back.

Ten meters away, and you had never existed. You were nothing more than mere figment of possibility as I walked down the road.

Nine meters away, and as you sped forward, the form of a person began to take shape.

Eight meters away, and we locked eyes for the first time.

Seven meters away, and though we were nothing more than strangers to each other you had a story to tell. I wish that there could have been someone else there that day, someone else to watch and listen to the end of your story instead of me. But there wasn’t, it was just us.

Six meters away, and I saw the first signs of shock hit your face. The realization of what was about to happen was a powerful one. Each of us knows that we’re going to die someday, but we never expect it to happen when it does. You clearly didn’t.

Five meters away, and you started to plead and beg for the inevitable to halt itself. But I think we both knew that wouldn’t happen, regardless of how much we wanted it to.

Four meters away, and there was a spark of fury in your eyes. Your grip tightened on the wheel as you obstinately raged against the whims of fate. You cursed and screamed, trying desperately to swerve. To stop. But it didn’t matter. That rage was wasted fighting something you had no chance of beating. After all, death has no consideration for the feelings of those whose lives it claims.

Three meters away, and as soon as it came - the rage vanished. And in its place came a shallow stream of tears. Were you blaming yourself for the accident? You never meant for this to happen. Anyone could tell it wasn't an intentional act, that you would have given anything to change the outcome of that day. Perhaps it wasn’t guilt that produced those tears, but a sense of loss? Recalling the memories of family and loved ones, those fond images swirling around your head in a silent goodbye? Was it your hopes and ambitions fading to dust, belonging to a future you’ll never experience? I suppose only you would have known.

Two meters away, and you turned to reach your hand behind you. A feeble line of protection and comfort to the one behind you. One whose story was so, so much shorter than your own, yet was coming to a close all the same.

One meter away, and you shut your eyes and accepted reality as your story came to an abrupt end.

And I find myself here at the wall once again, where the world went still as brick met crumpled metal and broken glass. The vigil isn't all that impressive up close, nothing more than plastic flowers and cheap electric candles surrounding a cracked and broken wall. It feels wrong to look at, the temporary feel that clings to it is unbearable. Despite all the blood and tears that were shed here, the vigil will eventually be swept up and removed. The wall to be repaired or demolished at the business’ whims. People will move on, and you’ll be forgotten in time. But I can’t forget you or your story. And even if I keep moving forward, you’ll stay here at the wall where your story ended, becoming a ghost haunting a bad memory.

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