Dad started ghost hunting five years ago when I was ten. It was right after Mom was in the terrible car accident. The one that killed her. Dad has never been the same since then.

At first it made sense, him wanting proof and everything. My parents were High School sweethearts. They went to Junior and Senior prom together. Dad was disappointed that I didn’t go to prom this year. He said it’s a good way to get a girl to go out with you. I don’t really like anyone at my school though. They mostly play sports and get wasted on the weekends. I don’t do either.

Strange things started happening in the house after mom died. At first we pretended like it was nothing. Like that the lights weren’t flickering, or that we weren’t hearing the lid of the washing machine slamming shut. If something like that happens once, you can overlook it. But when it keeps smashing every night for two weeks at the same exact time, you start to wonder. Especially when that certain time is 6.12pm and my parents’ wedding anniversary is June 12th.

The lights scared me more though. Maybe because Dad wasn’t usually around when it happened. It even happened twice in school. Both times I was late because after Mom died, I started being late for a lot of things. I walked into Chemistry class totally embarrassed that all eyes turned on the creaky door to see who was going to get yelled at for being tardy. But before Mr. Morgan could get a word out, the lights went out.

I always thought it was strange that both times the lights went out in school, it happened in the Chemistry lab. That class is in one of the only rooms in the whole school that doesn’t have windows, you wouldn’t believe how dark it gets. So even though it didn’t stay dark for long, the sudden disappearance of all light around you gives off a horrible sensation of being blind. It was really scary.

After the second time it happened at school, I stayed up late in bed talking to the sky. I said things like ‘I want you to stop with the lights.’ I guess that sounds kind of juvenile, but like I said, I was just a kid back then. Ten years old only. I remember saying ‘Mom, just tell me what you want. Tell me if you want me to tell Dad something or if there’s something you want me to do. Just please stop.’

The lights never flickered again after that. A few times Dad asked me if I ever heard anything, like a strange sound or something. I always told him ‘No.’

Dad always tells me that I was my mother’s favorite thing in the world. ‘She loved you more than anything,’ he still tells me. ‘All she ever wanted was a baby.’

I guess when my parents first got married the doctor told mom she would never have kids, so in that way I’m kind of am a miracle. That’s why they named me Matthew, apparently it means ‘gift from God’. I’ve never really asked my Dad too much about it. It’s sort of a weird thing to talk about.

I never really cared that I don’t have brothers and sisters because I’ve got a few cousins I hang out with sometimes. They’re Dad’s brother’s kids, my Uncle Randy. I have a cousin Ted who’s 15 like me, and a cousin Cherie who’s 20. All of three of them go ghosting hunting with Dad and I.