The Ghost Who Loved – New Fiction Writing by S. H. Marpel
Rose doesn’t know why she survived the accident and everyone else was dead.
It was horrible. And she hasn’t been able to cry since. Even at the graveyard where she was now.
And then she looked over a few rows and saw a guy standing in front of a grave marker of his own. He looked too sad for someone that good looking.
She came over to see if she could console him, help him somehow. His name was Tom, and he had the most amazing eyes she’d ever seen.
But something was different about him, something that would haunt even her.
It was Father’s Day. They were all still dead, and I was again dry-eyed over their grave.
I came this way every year, for the past few, as it was also my birthday. Such as it was.
Growing older just meant more sadness for me.
Father, Mother, and younger sister all passed that night. Horrific car accident. All decapitated or crushed instantly, head on collision with another car, that seemed to come out of nowhere.
I was the only one remaining.
And I couldn’t even cry anymore.
Of course my heart ached. But it was more like the dull, screeching squeal of some massive pump whose bearings were failing and overheated from lack of grease. The grease of kindness, of human love.
Why was I still here? What reason did I have for existing? I didn’t know. All I knew was that I kept going from day to day, month in, month out, and then showed up back here again – once a year.
Graveyards are funny things. Why they exist is such a morbid concept. Small and huge monuments erected to incite the memory of the fallen. Like it was the old Japanese ancestor worship. But just because they weren’t remembered after a few centruries, didn’t mean the ache went away. Only the persons who had the ache. To their own plot of earth and monument – or not.
People visited. And opened up that ache fresh to the sting of memory once again, like a wound opened to the air. Painful, abrupt. The ache continuing long after the bandage was re-applied.
Like that guy over there, a few rows over. Downcast young face. Blue jeans, black sweater jacket, high-top basketball sneakers. And that cute brown hair, those nice cheekbones. Why did he come here? Did it ever help him move on – or was he like me, a magnet for more punishment?
– – – –
“Well, sis, how did this year go for you – wherever you are?” I visited my sister every chance I got, knowing that it wasn’t really her. She was long gone, only some ashes remained now. Buried under ground somewhere near that stone.
She was the only one who had left, and the rest of us carried on. Somehow.
So I came to talk to her, tell her all the things I’d learned in college, of the people I’d met, of the charities I worked for in her memory. Just to live her life as well as mine.
But it never seemed to help. That stone just sat there and looked back at me. It wasn’t alive, neither was she, so what was the use.
“Hey.” A girl came to stand beside me. I’d seen her earlier, a couple of rows over. “I just thought that I should come talk to you. Of course you can’t see or hear me, but you looked like you could use some comfort. Some people feel that. And it feels good giving it, at least to me.” She was wearing dark brown slacks and with thick off-white shawl collar sweater and sensible flats. Her blond hair center-parted and naturally curled in long waves. A looker for sure.
“Who says I can’t hear or see you?” I asked, looking directly at her.
She was shocked, “Wait, really? No, this can’t be.”
“Yes, it can. But I know why you think you’re invisible to everyone. You’re a ghost.”
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