Friday, August 2, 2013

The Darket Hour - Chapter 4

Ivy Mae Carter
“Healing yourself is connected with healing others.” – Yoko Ono

"Why would I talk to you? You're just a teenager!" The man standing in front of me is shouting at the top of his lungs but I'm the only one who can hear him. I thought about going home after I saw the boy in the graveyard, but lingered a bit longer at my father's grave. Now, I'm wishing that I had gone home. There is a spirit standing in front of me, yelling at me because I asked him his name. Angry spirits are no fun - I'm still wondering how Benjamin dealt with so many.

"Yes, but I'm also the only one that can see or hear you," I respond calmly. There's no use in getting upset with this man - he's just suffered the terrible shock of death after all.

"I don't understand?" He has sat on the bench beside me at this point. I guess he ran out of steam on the yelling.

"I don't fully understand it myself," I tell him honestly. Ever since the coma, I've been able to see things that I shouldn't. I guess it's because I was so alert in the in between where Benjamin lived. "I was near death myself a few months ago - a coma. I was lucky and pulled back into the land of the living, but ever since then, it seems that I can communicate with the dead as well - at least the ones that need help."

"The ones that need help?" He is looking at me with raised eyebrows. "Now you want me to believe that I'm dead and that I need help?"

"Help is probably the wrong word." Once again, I'm as calm as I can be. I wasn't expecting to deal with an irate ghost tonight. "What I mean by help is that you shouldn't be stuck in the in between unless you are holding onto something. The help you need is figuring out what you're holding onto and how to let it go."

"Oh." He seems to consider this for a moment. "Well, that's easy."

"Easy? What's easy?"

"Figuring out what's holding me here." He stands beside me and heads toward the town. I follow as quickly as I can. I debate whether or not I should say something and eventually decide that it's probably best just to follow this man. He seems to be on a mission.

We wind through the streets of downtown passing small shops and cafes and even the library before he comes to a complete stop at an intersection. I start to speak, but he veers left and keeps moving. I continue to follow him for the next three blocks hoping that I'm not making a mistake. The vibration of my phone tells me that my mom or grandma is probably worried about me, but I choose to ignore it for the time being. I have a ghost to deal with.

"This - this is what holds me here," he says with certainty. I have never seen or heard of a ghost being so certain. As I peer through the window, I realize why he is so certain. A woman is sitting in the living with a young girl curled in her lap.

"Your daughter?" I ask as I watch the little girls' eyes light up at the book in front of her.

"And my sick wife," he says into the night air. "She's dying of cancer. How am I supposed to leave them to fend for themselves?" I search my brain for an answer while trying to hold back tears.

"Is there another family member I can get in touch with for you? Someone who can make sure your little girl is cared for?" It's the only solution I can offer this man. I can't reverse death after all. My heart aches at the thought of the young girl growing up without a father. I know how hard that can be.

"My father - he disowned me ages ago, but he would make sure the girl is cared for. He always loved my wife more than me. Can you get in touch with my father?" He looks back into the window and sighs.

"If you tell me what to write in a letter from you and where to find him, I'll make sure he gets the letter." I want to promise to look after the little girl as well, but I know I should make empty promises. There is no way that I could promise each and every ghost that I'd watch over their loved ones. There's not enough time in the day for that.

After one long glance at his daughter, we head back to the graveyard. I pull out a notebook from my bag and pen the letter that the man says out loud. I print his name at the bottom and hope that it should suffice. I can type it up when I get home. The important part is that it sounds like this man. He reaches out his hand and I take pretend to take it. After a hollow handshake, he begins to fade before my eyes. I watch as Andrew joins the world that Benjamin now inhabits. It is only after he's gone that I realize I should have sent a message with him for Benjamin

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