I got the first one when I was twenty-seven. I had been married for three years at the time, my wife was pregnant with our first child, a baby girl.

I had opportunities to work in New York City, take the train from Metro park station every day for the rest of my life. It was a great opportunity that I wasn't sure I was going to take.

I needed gas one day, so I stopped at a gas station across the street from the train station, a gas station I had never gone to. I decide to get out of my car, something else I had never done, they pump your gas for you in New Jersey. I stood there and watched people board the train that was probably heading into the city. That's when I met my first ghost.

He wasn't a real ghost, just an old man who happened to be at the same gas station. He came up to me, looked at the train, then back to me. "You see that train?" he said to me, I nodded. "Don't ever get on it. I road that train every day for twenty years and it was the biggest mistake I ever made because I never got to see my kids growing up," That was all he said to me.

I didn't take the job, and I didn't take the train.

My second ghost came about two years later, I was walking on the boardwalk with Emily, my one and half year old daughter. "Never forget these moments," I didn't know him, hardly saw his face, but I never forgot that moment and a few others. Some moments remain so vivid in my memory that I can close my eyes and go back to them, relive them.

They were my only ghosts.

About fourteen years later, I met another woman. Our relationship was more than platonic. I knew I had to tell Karen, my wife for seventeen years, so in August I did. Naturally she wanted a divorce.

My four-year-old son didn't understand what we told him, my twelve-year-old daughter didn't know how to react, by my fifteen-year-old daughter did.

She stormed up to her room as soon as the word "divorce" was said. That was Emily, the girl I was walking with when I met my second ghost. She was so like me. I followed her up the stairs. She tried to lock her door, but it had never locked the right way, I entered her bedroom.

"I knew it," She said to me. She was sitting with her back to me, she didn't turn around once.


"I knew, I knew you were cheating on mommy," she said with such venom in her voice, and such a certainty. We had never told them what was going on with me and the other woman.


"Coming back from New York," I had taken her to the city a few weeks ago to see a Harry Potter exhibit in the Discovery museum, "on the train, I saw you texting with someone listed in your contacts as T. You kept asking her why she wouldn't answer and she just asked if you had changed your mind about telling Karen. Then when we were stuck in the parking garage, I heard you talking on the phone with someone, clearly female. You thought I was listening to my iPod, but I had it paused. Then when you told me the story about the old men you had met, and how you needed some ghost, I could see through you. I just never wanted to believe it."

"Emily…" I didn't know what to say to her, turned out I didn't need to say anything, she had cut me off.

"I use to get mad when people use to say that they hated their fathers, I use to be proud that you were my dad and I was happy to be so much like you. I always thought you were cool. I never thought you would do anything like this. When Danny died," Danny was my best friend who had died of cancer the past March, his daughter was a best friend with Emily, "and I was so upset because I could never imagine losing a father. And when I would talk to Rebecca about how her parents were divorced, I could never imagine what that would be like, growing up without a father who was there. All the time And I never thought," Her vice caught, like she was trying not to sob, "I never though I would be ashamed of who my father was,"

I was still so unsure of what to say, so I stood there until she spoke again. "Get on the train,"


"When you told me the story about your ghosts, you said you could do with more of them, but you don't need new ones, you just have to keep taking the advice of the old ones. And Right now, you're getting on that train, and you are going to take it every day for the rest of your life. It will be your biggest regret, because you will never get to see your kids growing up. So get on the train. And never forget this moment,"

I left that day and got on the train. Three days in, I wanted to turn around and go home, but Karen wanted nothing more to d with me. It was the end, no more light saber battles with Tommy, no more trips to the Cake Boss with Mary Beth, and no more spending time with Emily, who wouldn't even talk to me. She hated me, for tearing the family apart, and I don't blame her. I hate me for tearing the family apart.

But I got on the train. I didn't listen to the first ghost, I stepped on the train as soon as I left home. And the train only goes one way, no round trip. And it is the biggest regret of my life.