As we arrived at the house my girlfriend has grown up in, she gave my hand a squeeze full of trust and love. "My parents will love you, honey. Don't worry, it will be just a dinner you have to survive without getting bumped off. And I think even Roger will act well towards you."
I was confused about this unfamiliar name she mentioned suddenly at this moment but never ever before as we talked about her parents and about her days of childhood. "Is Roger one of your relatives or something?"
The blonde girl shook her head nearly disappointedly. "No, he isn't. But he owned this house before we bought it and he never left it since. So we let him stay with us."
She turned around to take a look at the single dormer of the building and waved at somebody I couldn't see from my position. I did automatically the same as she did just to figure out who exactly my girlfriend was greeting. Maybe it was one of her parents she saw in the window, but the expression on her face that was filled with horror and hidden behind some rigid face scared and irritated me to the core. I mean, why would she be afraid of her parents?
There was a man's face behind the dusty pane both of us were looking at. This fellow looked life-scarred and diaphanous like he'd got just a few seconds left to live. His skin was pale as the first snow of the year and his folds made him look older than the world itself. "This is Roger," my girlfriend whispered close to my ear. Her voice made me shiver, like the cold and callous expression Roger wore did. It felt to me like the world would die in this very moment and everything around went cold and limp.
"Why is he staring at us?" My voice was nothing more than a smothered susurration because of the sudden fear that made its home in my heart.
Without looking away from the old man in the pane, the blonde said in a blasé voice: "He doesn't like strangers that much. Usually, he confines himself in the attic where he prefers to stay, but today he seems too curious to miss the chance to meet you. I told him about you the last time I was here.
I found him in my closet, you know? The first day we moved in, I saw him sitting in this tiny and dark room, scared and with no memories at all. He stared at me, as he does now, and made me feel the greatest fright a child could imagine. Also, his roaming around the house in the middle of the night made me and my parents lose an amount of sleep over the years. But we got used to his presence. We named him Roger and made him a part of our family."
"And why didn't you move out as you knew that there is a creepy old man living in your house?"
The young woman faced me without giving me the impression that she actually saw me. "When you give your biggest fear a name, there is nothing left to be afraid of. Because this overwhelming part that remained unknown for a very long time is gone. So don't you think that even ghosts deserve a pleasant afterlife?"