— 4 —
Time is unpredictable. To a ghost, it doesn’t exist. I can go back in time to any day, any place and watch as what happened unfolds once again. Sometimes, I wish I could whisper into the ear of the “past” me, change life as it was meant to happen. But I am, in the end, a ghost. I can watch the past, not alter it. And I usually go back to only one moment.
She’s sleeping. I’m looking over her, trying to wake her up. But nothing I do seems to work. I hear the sigh from outside, and see mom pacing the kitchen. She’s worried. Dad’s in the hall with a guest. Then I hear the door shut, mom running past me into the hall, and then kissing him. I follow her there, hug her legs. After some moments, it happens. Two shots, and Mom and Dad fall near my feet. I see the guy fumble the gun on first shot, and I fall with his second. As my soul is parted from my mortal body, and this ghost form is born, I quickly run through the walls, and the door to see her safe, still fast asleep. If only I had stayed with her and not gone out; she’d have still had me at least.
The wind pulls us out through the attic window; all three of us. As we fall to the ground, the noon sun is masked by the dark clouds, and amidst cries of grief, there comes the sound of things breaking. The object that draws my attention most is the clock, still stopped at twenty past three. It flies out the kitchen window, and lands near us. After six years, the day has come. We are no longer required to haunt the house. The window near the attic draws my attention next. It has a strange light coming out from it. I know it is no light made by humans. It is one that is heavenly. Sure enough, the light descends down near us like a stairway. She comes out. She’s cute, but then again, she always was.
“Why can’t ghosts wear color, Pap?” she asks me, a playful punch to my hand, “Yeah. I know you. Mumsy told me who you all are. Didn’t you hear it? I know you were nearby.”
“Oh. Ghosts don’t like color. Doesn’t suit the clouds, Angie”, I reply back, smiling to her.
“You are my mom and dad right? Oh I wish I’d known you longer”, she says giving them a hug. Then looks at me and says, “Why can’t we wear blue then?”
Ghosts never age, so she and I are about the same height now. I laugh, putting my hands on her shoulder, and we walk away from the house engaging in sibling banter that we’ve never had before. The ground feels and looks like clouds to us now. Then as a silver tear slides down my transparent cheek, I look at her and say, “You should have stayed alive much longer, Angie.”
“Oh it’s okay Pap. There is something good to it after all. I don’t need to haunt Mom for touching me, coz she’s already a ghost. I knew it was her. It wasn’t a cold touch, and my tear dried instantly then. Only mom could’ve done that. It’s okay. I’ll miss mumsy, but we can be a family again now.”
We see a set of swings in the park, and jump on them, seeing who can swing highest. I glance at them watching us, and I’m sure I heard mom sigh again. This time it’s a contented sigh. She’s got her little girl with her now.
“Lady, how much for that clock?” he asks.
“$10 will do just fine. You can have it.”
He smiles. He was back in town after years to seek what he desired most. And he gets it for a hundred times less than what he bid back then. A touch in the right place and the clock ticks for the first time in six years.
“Killing three was worth it I guess”, he murmurs as he walks. He never notices the two empty swings rising and falling. Nor does he care. For he doesn’t believe in ghosts… will he soon?
(To be continued..)
© Leo 06/July/2011