Ghost

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I'm hanging out of my window.
Okay, that's not true. But I am leaning out much too far. Oh well.
I'm watching. And waiting.
It's only been ten minutes, I think nervously. But there is something creeping up my stomach and my spine. Something cold and unforgiving.
Paranoia, I tell myself firmly. Simple paranoia. Nothing more than that.
Nevertheless, my gaze sweeps the driveway, and the emptiness of the view that I normally find beautiful has me frowning deeper.
Ridiculously, I am reminded of the cliched scene from Romeo and Juliet: Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo?
Yeah, no.
That thought distracts me, and I'm glad of it. I think about how that story is one of the most celebrated romance tales ever written, and how I couldn't make sense of it. I mean, didn't they have lives to go on with? It was rather silly. You pretend to die, your lover thinks you're dead, and commits suicide. And then you get up, find him dead, and commit suicide too.
Smart.
I remember him trying to explain to me the whole concept of following people you love. I'd given him a look of mock disgust before changing the topic.
I shake my head in disdain, my eyes refocusing on the driveway. A jeep is driving up, headlights flashing. My pulse quickens in excitement.
I run downstairs, a smile spreading across my face. I throw the door open and nearly jump on the man outside. I realise just in time that it wasn't him.
The man looks flustered, but underneath that, there's something else. Something that makes me step back and my smile vanish.
A stretcher is hauled out of the back of the jeep. I fall down, my face cold and expressionless.
"We're so sorry," the man whispers. I don't acknowledge his apology. Tears well up and fall out my open, shocked eyes.
They leave the corpse next to me, salute, and drive away.
*****
I hang out of the window, literally this time. I laugh, free. He's holding on to me, and he's laughing too. Even as he lets me go, I float like nothing more than a feather, like mist, like a spirit.
Like a ghost.
I reappear by his side, and as I do, I see the jeep coming in again, followed by a few more this time. I look at him; he's looking at them like he can see through them, when the truth was that they could see through him.
I take his hand, and he looks at me, eyes full of apology. I smile and shake my head. Taking his hand, I lead him to the funeral.
Our funeral.
When it's all over, we're sitting on the windowsill again, jammed side by side.
"You do know that I love you, right?" he asks, apropos of nothing, yet everything.
"Why do you think I'm here?" I smile. "I'll follow you everywhere."





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This article has 4 comments. Post your own now!

Scatty2693 said...
Feb. 1, 2011 at 1:26 pm

'yea, no.'

How many times have i heard that????

Agree with Aman tho, R&J nah!

Good one, but not your best.

Like the informal conversational-tell-you-every-minute tone. Nice!

 

 
AmanAhuja said...
Dec. 5, 2010 at 3:13 am

Wow!

I don't agree with the Romeo and Juliet bit, though :P

But, otherwise...wow! :)

 
DungeonDweller said...
Dec. 3, 2010 at 1:03 pm

Ah, predictable yet touching.

I have some issues with it though. 

From how her thoughts go on in the beginning, it's obvious she isn't exactly expecting a stretcher to grace her doorstep.

And yet, when they bring him in she's quite obviously upset and well...shell-shocked, numb. But there isn't any confusion at all; she doesn't go into denial like you'd expect her to if this just happened out of the blue...or did it?

But then if she was expecting something lik... (more »)

 
DreamingOutLoud This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Dec. 5, 2010 at 6:13 am

You make me happy. =)

She isn't expecting it, no, but she knows it's possible. She lives with that haunting possibility. Denial is kind of beyond her, now.

But I really love a good critic. Thanks. 

 
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