Some people in our lives won’t exist toward us from the other side.

They suppress response. They withhold respect. They plate themselves with loveless indifference. They cut things short, deflect, postpone, neglect. Vulnerable words are left unanswered, hanging, abandoned in a vacuum.

When they become angry and attack to wound, the humanity of the violence is relief from the nothingness they maintain the rest of the time.

As Susan says, their ghostliness haunts us.

When we are wounded by a ghost heart and try to reconcile with them — when we ask for collaboration to coauthor the ending of the story — this is when the ghost heart exists least of all. It turns out that you were written out from the start. This is (and was always) your problem, your story — and their story, and your part in it, is (and was always) theirs alone. And no human forgiveness will be exchanged. None will be given; none will be accepted. It doesn’t matter, because you are not real.

There is no choice, now. You must amputate this being — this real person whoever they were — from your biography. They will remain there for a long time as nothing, though — a question with too many answers, an aching phantom limb.