Wide awake after my visit with Alex, I was scratching for something to occupy my mind and time.  Packing wasn’t an issue.  Most of what I needed from my room was moved in to my dad’s weeks ago.  When I finally worked up the nerve to walk through his bedroom door, I basically moved in and refused to leave.

Watching television was out of the question.  My dad had the cable turned off the week before we left and I wasn’t about to watch the local channels; too many updates on the war.  Having read everything I owned at least twice, sent me searching through my dad’s modest library for something of interest.  Nothing.  My dad was a huge history geek, so unless I considered battle tactics and biographies a welcome distraction, there was nothing for me.

Flopping back into my dad’s chair, I drummed my fingers on his desk top while staring into a blank computer screen.  At the time, I meant what I said to Alex about not wanting to know what he was.  It was also true that regardless of whatever supernatural abilities he possessed, it wouldn’t change how I felt about him, because I was already in too deep.  I was completely consumed by the beautiful, mysterious, disappearing boy.  But now, in the silent loneliness of this house, where fragments of unremitting grief were free to surface at will, I was in urgent need of a diversion.  So, I opted for a little internet research.  I pressed the power button and watched impatiently as the green light blinked at me.  Once.  Twice.  Three times before the monitor flickered to life, splaying program icons across the screen.

I pulled up my favorite web browser, releasing a deep breath as I did, and behind the cursor entered the first word that came to mind.  It wasn’t very creative, I admitted to myself.  Nevertheless, it was the single most word that occurred to me whenever Alex would suddenly disappear, a word to define when he became nothing more than air, nothing more than a ravenous sensation left flooding my blood like a virus.  Ghost.

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