What plagued me about the building was how alive it seemed. Ii was an old apartment complex from the 1920s. I often imagined the fanciful cars and carriage's chauffeuring rich tenants to and from their elaborate parties and balls.
It had been empty for years. Yet, everytime I walked past it, I sensed its loss. It's grief over the emptiness inside.
Until one day, I saw a light in the window.
"I don't know why you're so obsessed with that place." My friend Tiffany said one night at the gym, a downtown locale we met at after work. Although she usually insisted we go to a bar instead.
30 minutes later, I stopped. Tiffany looked at me a bit horrified and I fanned myself to let her know I was too hot. She shrugged and I went to the locker room to change. Tonight was the night.
Soon I left the downtown gym and headed North towards the building. I turned left at the poster that advertised the nearby performance theatre and just down the way was the building.
It loomed in the darkness and only the distant street lamps provided light. I was the only one on the street. An unusual feature to this usually crowded thoroughfaire. I touched the walls of the building and it seemed to breathe in and out against my hand.
"What's inside you?" I whispered. I neared closer to the entrance and I hesitated a moment. Was this foolish? Should I just go back?
I ignored my instinct and went for the front door. No one was around and no one would see whether I belonged there or not. I pulled on the rusted iron door handle and tugged on it. It didn't budge at first, and I yanked again. It groaned open and I whispered an apology.
I peered inside before stepping in. Shadows danced across the hallways and I made out features of people that ghosted towards me with their long dresses and faded grins. They wanted me to join them. I could feel it. I stepped closer and saw someone reaching out towards me. Take my hand, they said. I reached out and...
I looked away for a second and saw Tiffany in her car idling at the side of the road.
"You freak! What the hell are you doing?"
I looked back into the building and the shadow were gone. I could feel the disappointment.
"I'm not sure anymore," I said to her, the spell broken. I stepped away from the door and let it shut. I crossed the street and walked to Tiffany's car, ignoring her mutterings of how much of an oddball I was, but before I got in the car, I took out my cell phone and snapped a photograph of the building.
A few weeks later, I developed the photo and discovered the faint resemblance of a person at one of the windows, holding a lamp, and watching me drive away.