Krysta Szuszka

Ghosts in the Rain Between Night and Day

In the light rain, a little after three in the morning, Gus stood on his back stoop in slippers and shorty pajamas. There in the space of time between night and day; the world, save him, seemingly asleep. He stood there for only a moment or two, but to him it felt like a lifetime. Because that’s exactly what it was; it was a lifetime of memories, of smiles and tears, of children and his wife, of days under the sun and in the snow. Memories of days long since gone, like his childhood. And memories of days when his children played in the yard, the days he missed and can’t get back.

When he was young, he felt immortal. So focused on having the time of his life, for time was in abundance. Time was not something he thought of, for the future was so far away and the present so sweet that it enveloped him. And so he spent his childhood playing games he could not tell you the rules to, with other children whose faces he could not remember.

Faceless, he recalled, save one. The only clear memory of then is the face of his Dianna. Even then, as children, she was his light. And even then he knew she would be his wife. Young and in love, they wed. Dianna bore him a son, then a daughter two years after that.

As years pass like seasons changing, days grow shorter and nights longer, the boy Gus was turned into a man. Play turned to school, then school turned to work, and suddenly his time was filled from sunrise to well into the night. No time to be proud of his children. No time to dote on his only daughter or teach his son to be a man. No time to love wife, not even enough to ensure that she stayed. And with what felt like a blink of his eyes, he was alone. His wife in the arms of another and his children grown. His last memories of them all is of their backs walking through the front door.

And just like that, it felt to him, all his time was gone. Left alone with nothing but blurry memories. Tormented by regret over his wasted time, of how he doesn’t even remember if anyone ever said goodbye. Regret over how he realized just how short time was much too late. So there Gus stood, on his back stoop, a little after three in the morning, left to join his memories. All nothing more than ghosts in the rain between night and day.

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