my dating life had been like those lollipops that gather dust and other unmentionable particles at the dentist's receptionist's desk. you want to keep taking one, and then another one, trying to find the one with the least amount of filth to take. but they're all despicable. they all leave a bad taste in your mouth that the dentist's mouthwash can't wash out. in fact, most of them land you in a therapist's office, paying copays you can't really afford, financially or emotionally.
when I first saw him, I was walking through the rancid air of an international pandemic. it was June and lockdown was in full swing. we were supposed to meet at a coffee shop. he was waiting on the sidewalk, out of the way. later he said he had never seen a picture of me, had no idea what I looked like. he was very tall. in a weird interaction where I was forced to contend with socializing with the barista, he swung in and bought me my coffee. we went outside and talked for a long time. a bee was buzzing near my hair and I remember being distinctly worried this was off-putting for him. but the conversation was easy and I found myself feeling a sense of comfort and normalcy that hadn't been a part of my life since long before the pandemic.
this is all very sweet. I felt like a kid out after curfew, seeing this man for a date. in person! like the before times! it was all so bizarre. and yet, from that day forward, it was natural. I could just be my quirky self and I wasn't judged for it? incredible. he was a genuinely nice and interesting person? unreal. cute with a moral compass? what?
I'll never forget the moment I first saw him. how he introduced himself, casually grounded and yet serious. if the pandemic hadn't happened, we would never have met. isn't life funny that way?
I think of meeting Tyler as like finding a king sized Snickers bar in the lollipop cup. It's one thing to find it, another to realize: this is mine. forever. Maybe the pandemic was the trip to the dentist, and meeting him was finding what was mine to take all along.
~ I wrote this several (and I mean several) years ago. I went through and fixed the grammar but I can't say this is the best piece I have ever written :) Just thought it was a fun take on this prompt.~
“In my defense, there was NO way I could have known about this,” I said remorsefully to the angry leaders standing in front of me. “It’s not like I am omnirescent or whatever.”
“Omnipotent, and yeah, you are,” Athena said angrily but again I just shrugged and continued looking out at the damage.
“Are you going to do anything, or just stand there and watch?” I heaved a sigh that said it all: Why do I have to do the thing? The caring thing?
“Fine, give me a moment, I can make it worse.” I thought that was the right thing to say but Puck threw his arms in the air angrily, oh wait. “Was I supposed to say better?” I am never sure what these pantheons want from me: the Fae just like to party and occasionally save trees, the Greeks and Romans tend to have arguments and cause wars, and don’t even get me started on the Hindu guys- they are seriously messed up. But at the moment, all 126 pantheons seemed in agreement that I am an idiot. I just love to bring the family together.
“For the sake of all that is...” Hades stopped and looked around, “Guess holy isn’t really appropriate in this case. But can you please do something? This situation cannot become any worse.” Hades immediately stopped talking and glared at Karma who just grinned and waved.
“Can we kick her out of here, she doesn’t belong to any of our pantheons, she just causes trouble!” A particularly chubby house elf shouted, still staring at Karma like she was the devil... well that guy never showed up so I guess she could play his part.
“Did you just say she doesn’t even go here? 10 points to Slytherin for the Mean Girls reference!” Hades blinked but I saw Puck cover a laugh. “I also do not belong to any pantheon and I would rather watch the amusing cat eating a carrot than sit here and listen to you argue.” With that, I began to walk out but Persephone called for me to stop and I did. But only because I didn’t feel like angering her annoying mother and ending up with a frozen house straight out of a Frozen movie. Seriously, the girl ran away with the bad boy, who didn’t see that coming? Yet her mother punished the planet with winter, well except for the tropics but that was entirely selfish.
“Listen, you may not have seen this coming but it needs to come to an end. The human race will go extinct otherwise, and then where will we be?” Persephone asked calmly.
“We could bring back the dinosaurs, those guys were awesome," I pause to remember the large beasts but sigh. "I see your point, without humans, there would be no cat tube.” The thousands of eyes focused on me all did the simultaneous blink that was so scripted. I heaved a morose sigh but slowly turned back to the window. “Anyone got any ideas on how to fix this?”
"You did it! You fix it!” Aerobel called out while angrily brushing her hair.
"I didn’t do it,” Then I started laughing.
“That is proof of guilt!” Puck pointed at me in accusation, “I would know it anywhere, I do it all the time.”
"I merely laugh because this was ingenious, seriously. Whoever did it step forward and I swear I only wish to congratulate you!” More sighs and mumbles.
“Why does the most powerful of us all have to be insane?” Set muttered from his pyramid throne.
“Trust me, look into my mind and you would be the same,” I said in a false moment of lucidity, then started to laugh again. “To fix this I shall become human and Descend.” This time the room became so quiet you could hear the breaths of the pixies on the balcony. Quite a feat for a cavern with more than a thousand different deities.
“No way, that is so incredibly stupid, not even you would remember who you are and we wouldn’t be able to get a signature to decide which of those humans you were. You hold the cement together, without you here the world would end much quicker than it already is.” Athena yelled angrily and many more voices piped in.
“Aw, I just love hearing how much you all care about me.” I quickly spread my wings and flew up in the air so everyone, including the leprechauns forced to the back, could see me. “It is the best decision, I will stay on Earth with the humans for a year; hopefully by then, one of you will have located me. Bring me back here and I will know everything I need to settle the Earth.” I settled my feet back to the ground and again looked out the window.
“Why does she keep looking out the window? There is nothing there but a brick wall,” Loki ‘whispered’ from behind me. I just kept staring, he should know I wasn’t focused on the wall. The Earth’s pain called out to me through the void my consciousness was settled in, and while I did truly think that what was done was an amazing accomplishment, I also knew that it couldn’t be allowed to continue. However, I couldn’t keep up the charade of carelessness around the pantheons for much longer, soon the planet’s grief would overwhelm me. Hades and Athena were correct in stating I needed to fix this. I was the only one powerful (stupid) enough to stop what had been set in motion. The End of Times, Ragnarok, Armageddon; it had many names for those down below but it all ended the same way: the humans dying and the blue planet with them. I forced myself to turn away from the window and face Pinga. With a slow blink that appeared to make her nervous, I released a sigh, then muttered under my breath.
“What?”Arawn asked from behind me, shadows leaking out of his cloak, “What did you say?” I released another world-weary sigh.
“I said, I really want a donut,” Turning on my heel, I pushed through the angry and confused gods and goddesses and made my way out of the gaudy conference room. As soon as I pushed through the barrier into my private rooms, the Pantheons thought they were safe to speak, but I could hear them when they began complaining of my lack of morality. Several brought up the debacle of my last Descension. At least they weren't the ones that ended up on a cross.
Blessed Be the Ashes of Our Love in Perpetuity
Blessed be the ashes of our love, for they are data. Carbonized ghosts of our lives together, deconstructed in final entropy, but always present somewhere. Perhaps omnipresent within a latticework that only requires collapse to reverse engineer our love.
Perhaps some sentient creature will one day be able to sift these ashes into organs that can sense the collapsed latticework existentially--another sense like sight, hearing, or taste. An alien sense. What will that creature see? Hear? Taste?
That creature will know us and know our love. All of it, all of us, all at once. And it will make for a lovely day.
Depression comes to me like secondhand smoke comes to kids whose parents leave the cigarette in between their fingers even in the car, I’ve only been hurt by people already dying from the diseases. People whose hearts have already turned the color of a smoker's lungs. I know I am worth more than the hurt of the hurted but man, the punch in the gut I get when he walks into the room. The wind is completely knocked out of me, and the earth stops spinning for just a moment. Not in a I miss him oh how he makes my heart explode way but in a I do not think I'd cry if he stepped on to the street 5 seconds before the walk sign came on. Of course, I wouldn't want him dead but him never being able to use his legs again might just put a tiny smile on my face. Waiting for karma can get kind of exhausting. Accidently and subconsciously watching their life be okay while they left you to pick up the pieces of the puzzle. a puzzle they drove you to the store to buy so yall could solve the puzzle together. A puzzle that was very unfamiliar to you. Especially when they knew they were the first person you had ever bought a puzzle with, yet insisted you get the 1000 piece. Then when the puzzle takes you longer than expected, even the easiest part of connecting the edge pieces - They leave. They no longer want to solve the puzzle. They throw it on the ground. They tell you they'll come back when there no longer busy and then you never speak to them again. My friends say it's for the best and I believe them but part of me wonders how good it would feel to let those two words slip right off my tounge into their eyes. I wonder how good it would feel to let the divinity of my feminine rage make you cry. I am starting to think short men are the spawn of the devil , I neveer met a good one in my life. I am tired of walking on ice , I wanna walk on solid ground . I want depression of my own , not something that reflects the reflection of the person who cause another person pain.
In This World
"Look at what I made, mom," a little girl says outside my door.
Her mother is sitting on the stairs between our apartments. The smoke from her cigarette is trickling into my room. I imagine the daughter holding a piece of paper with a drawing on it.
"Not now, honey. Mommy's busy." The words are perfectly clear through the wall.
"Okay, I looked. Now go away."
The slamming door is followed by a groan of regretful guilt.
"What did you want me to see about it?" The mother calls through the door to her daughter.
The door opens for a second.
"That I made it."
Through my walls I hear joyful laughter. I hear heated arguments. I hear parents nurturing, parents scolding. I hear families slowly breaking. The walls are thin, yet they are still walls.
Out my car windows I see people. People on the street that will be there come the night and the cold. I see people begging for help, begging for compassion, begging to be noticed. I see the silent car rides of parents driving their kids home from school. I see human beings walking past each other without even the slightest acknowledgment of another life form in their proximity. I see myself in all those disparate, drifting faces. Or I try to at least, as the golden rule instructs. My windows stay rolled up, the light turns green, and I keep driving.
Doubtless, we have yearned for the same pleasures. We have laughed at the same jokes. We have all searched for a meaningful existence, maybe found it. Our core needs for health, acceptance, community, love, and fulfillment are the same. We have different fears, but have all been afraid. What makes me human is what makes everyone else human.
I have ears, so I hear. I have eyes, so I see. I have a brain and a heart, so I think and feel. But what do I do?
"The line which separates a witness from an actor is a very thin line indeed; nevertheless, the line is real." - James Baldwin
The Girl On the Bed
I look through the window in the door. A fragile girl is on the bed, dead. Gone for five minutes. The grieving faces of three around, the rest of her family, not in town. She is a girl who could have had a better life. She looks innocent on the small bed, in the small room. But I know her better. She procrastinates. Perhaps, if she had tried, her grades could've been all A's. She's lazy. She's disobedient. She's manipulative. And she's dishonest. And the biggest thing. She made a mistake, which led to another. One which people say it's not her fault, but she knows that it is. The things with the guy should have never ended, they should have never started. She's not as innocent as she makes it sound. I walk out.
"Mili?" I turn around. My brother. I smile. "I love you," I say, not expecting him to say it back. He never says it back. If he's nice he'll say I love you a little bit. "I love you too," he says, and comes and hugs me. "I thought you were dead." I hug him back, I've always loved his rare hugs. I ruffle his hair and step back. "There's something I have to do." I turn and start to leave, repeating the addresses in my head. "But Mom, and Dad." I look back. "I'll be back." I walk. I don't feel a thing. I walk until I'm familiar again with the streets, and I go back to my house. The small city I loathed at once, was much better than the big one. I open the garage and let myself in. It's my house, I remind myself, taking the image of the dead girl out of my head. I can't be dead. I have too many regrets. I go to my room. It's messy, unkept, and untouched. I grab my now broken phone from my desk and my wallet. I call an uber. He comes and drops me off without many words. I look up at the house. I check my phone. It's Wednesday, she's at her mom's. The cars are all there, including hers. I nearly smile. I knock. The first door opens. Sara. "Oh my god, I thought you were dead," she opens the clear door. I see the tears fall as she leans for a hug. "I'm still here, How's Conner?" My usual question. She retracts. "He's fine, his usual," she says nodding. "How are you...?" I shake my head. "I came to say I'm sorry. For the times I wasn't all there, for the times I ignored you, my best friend. You were always there. I love you and Conner together, and I understand that you're not always going to be all there for me either. I'm sorry I was jealous. But you truly are my best friend, and a great one too. I love you, I'm sorry." She then comes forth and says things too, her regrets and decisions. She's sorry too. I then say I have to go, that there's something else I need to do.
I look at the small house. Not eager to go in. The drive over here was a haul. And I'm pretty sure my card is nearly out of money. The door opens. I don't move from my spot on the street. "Mili?" I just stare. Sim. He runs over. "I thought I lost you." He starts for a hug, then retracts, remembering how we ended. "Are you okay?" He doesn't know I'm dead. I shudder at my thoughts. "I'm better now," I reply, unconsciously and nearly smile. What am I doing? Just as he's turning down towards me, I move. "No, this isn't what I came for. I need to speak, and I need you to please listen." "You have my full attention." "I'm sorry from the beginning. I wasn't really that much into you. Later I was into you, but I also don't appreciate what you did. I wasn't ready. And I'm sorry for not trying to stay with you, it just wasn't the time. I'm not in love with you, but I have respect for you, and I'm sorry I didn't tell you this sooner." My eyes had wandered, me unable to meet his eyes. I already know the words before they come out of his mouth. "Well that hurt," he says, taking a step back. "I'm glad you were honest." I look up and remember the boy I used to love. If I tried, I know I could still love him. But my life is gone. And I've only ever caused him pain. "I'm sorry for making you believe you had a chance and for breaking up with you 9 times after saying I was committed." He closes his eyes. "It's alright Miliana, I'm just glad you're okay." I nod and turn, happy that the confession is out. I should have done this a long time ago. Back when I was alive. I shake my head and start walking away. “Hug?” I turn around, thinking back to that one time. I smile and lean into him. I’m forgiven. Was that so hard? I shake my head at the fact that I was unable to do this before. Before disappearing from his view, I turn back around and see the boy who thought he would marry me. Months ago, I would have agreed. Weeks ago, I’d deny I ever loved him. Now, I know there’s not a chance. I went back to my house, put my card and phone back. And arrive at the hospital. I call out my brother's name. He’s a few feet ahead of me. He doesn’t turn around. I call out again, fearing I’m too late. Please. No. I‘m gone. The images of laughter, the thoughts of me not being able to see him grow up. My friends. My life. It’s all gone, but my regrets, I have fixed. I sent a text out, explaining everything I’ve ever done wrong. I apologized for giving people the wrong impression of Sim, the wrong impression of me. I’m the one that’s fake. And while I do have peace, and know I am forgiven. I still wish I could go back. And all at once, everything goes blank.
Someday I would come to accept that the universe didn't have it against me, but today was not that day.
"I am SO SORRY!" Instead of answering the poor stewardess I continued to stare at what was once an important letter but was now serving as a napkin for the recently spilled tea. "I will go grab some napkins and a new peppermint tea for you right away, ma'am." A few minutes later I was still staring blankly at the letter when several paper towels were dropped in my lap. "Let me help clean this up, would you like to move to a different section of the train? We have several other seats just like this one, in fact, I could sneak you up to first class." That got my attention.
"It's alright, neither of us expected the sudden stop, but I would love to take you up on that offer." The smile I sent her way wasn't even completely forced with the promise of cushier seats in mind.
"Of course, let me go and clear it with the head steward and I will be right back. Go ahead and get your stuff together so we can head up immediately." After another small smile and nod from me, she took off back towards the front of the train car, apparently very relieved that I wasn't yelling at her. Looking again at the letter I silently prayed that it would still be legible enough to read. Deciding to hope for the best, I quickly got my scattered belongings together off the empty seat beside me and was just finished zipping up my bag when the original stewardess arrived with another man, presumably the head steward she mentioned.
"Please follow me, ma'am, we are happy to move you to an open first-class cabin since your seats are unfortunately a bit wet at the moment." Not giving me a chance to respond, the bald man turned on his heel and headed for the stairs that led to the top portion of the train car.
"Would you like me to help carry anything?" I smiled and shook my head at the kind woman before throwing my pack over my shoulder to carefully follow the man up the stairs. While the train was not moving very fast, there were still unexpected bumps as it moved along the tracks, so I slowly moved forward while mumbling sorry when I would accidentally brush my bag over someone's arm. Once I made it up the few steps I located the man halfway down the railcar and continued towards him, hoping to hide that I was out of breath from such a short distance.
"Here we go miss, feel free to head inside and get settled. We still have seven hours before we get to our location so if you would like help, we can lay the seats down into a small cot," I carefully maneuvered inside the cabin and looked around trying to not make it obvious that my peasants heart cried pennies while looking at the private space.
"No thank you, I am going to try and get some work done. Thank you so much for the upgrade," As soon as my words were out the man nodded and left, gently shutting the door behind him. Falling back into one of the plush chairs I was beginning to think that the universe was attempting to apologize for the last several months, but I really should have known better. After finally opening the damp letter and laying it out to read its still-legible font, I slumped over and let out a large sigh.
Dear Miss Kylie Palmer,
It is with regret that we must inform you that no further evidence has been found in the case of your late father, Colin Palmer. While we will still have an officer working on the case, it has been decided that the lack of evidence from the last three months has made the case come to a halt. As such, we regret that we must pull all but a single detective from the case. Please be assured that should any evidence make itself known, we will review the case again. Detective Erin Delerio's contact information is included in the enclosed envelope. Please be advised that Detective Delerio is also heading fifteen open cases and may not be able to respond immediately to any queries. However, if you remember anything that could be useful in this case, feel free to contact her and she will respond as quickly as she is able.
While we are aware that this is not the news you or we hoped for, please remember that we are still going to work diligently to find evidence in this case.
Sorry we could not offer better news,
Head Detective of the HPD
Part of me had known that if the detectives had found anything useful they would have called rather than sending a thin envelope to my home address. Yet, the crushing disappointment I felt was the same. A few moments later, the steward from earlier knocked on my door. A second later he opened it, but as he did the train hit another bump and I again found myself staring down at my soaked pants. Maybe I really should give up peppermint tea. After another rush of apologies the man took off to grab towels and I stared again at the letter. While disappointed I knew they wouldn't find anything. After all, I had cleaned the apartment from head to toe with bleach after watching my father's final breath. I just wished they would find the safe my father had hidden mere hours before I had arrived that night a few months ago. The universe truly had it against me, and apparently, so did peppermint tea.
Do not foretell death as the villain of this story. For the lies we tell, and the hatred we give are the monsters that dictate our mournful tale. Our deceitful actions, paired with our sinful way are demons fanning the flames of our combusting society. We ourselves are building the walls of our cells, yet we continue to blame others out of mistrust. We watch as our world burns and refuse to take blame. Perhaps we are scared of the justices that will fall upon us in our final moments. Terrified that our choices will damn us for eternity. So in turn we blame each other, we blame death, even our gods. For what is assigning blame except being to afraid accept fault? What is hatred other than finding fear in the flaws we ourselves hold? What is crime other than a damning release of emotions to paralyzing to work through? How do we, as human as we are, ascend to the holiness they expect. When we are just mere children in their eyes? I fear that if I find the answers to the questions that plague my mind, that I might also find the answers to the questions I dare not ask. The questions that crawl up my spine and whisper in my ears. The questions from death himself. The questions that leave holes in my chest and gaps in my memory. Questions that could bring repercussions that would shatter the specks of peace our gods has granted. Questions with answers so deadly, I fear the end of me as they form in my mind
Even as she lay dying, the whispers of the souls around her comforted her slowing breaths. The souls of all things she once drew energy from, would soon regain the energy she had borrowed. If she had any regrets, it would surely be that her brother not be lying here with her in a state of calm acceptance. That even now she could hear his raging screams as he fought through the hoards to reach her. He would soon be the last of their kind, and she regretted leaving him to that fate alone. Their species had already ended, with only two siblings left, but to be the last would hold its own special form of torment. Finally, as she felt her chest still, her soul broke free and soared above the war-beaten lands. Yet instead of finding herself at a door, or some sort of other side, she continued to watch her bloodied brother fight with their friends to reach her, unaware or unwilling to see that her body was too still. Deathly still. What felt like hours later he reached her, slowly crouching beside her and she felt the moment he accepted she was gone. His shoulders, once so proud seemed to collapse inwards even as he slowly removed her hand from the one thing she had willingly given her life for. A scroll now soaked through with her blood and seemingly tying her to this veil of existence.
I awoke, feeling as though I’d been reborn. My skin was clear, and my hair was blonde, the color of sand once the ocean brushed over it. My eyes hurt, and my vision was blurred. I looked around to find out where I was, and from what I could make out, I was laying in a cemetery. “Rolling Hills” the sign read, moss covering the corners like a poster border. I climb up to my feet and glace around at my surroundings. Behind me layed a familiar name on a tombstone. My name. Gracie Anne Wilson. Seeing my name gave me a shock of confusion and fear and I hoped I was dreaming. My bare feet squished against the maintained grass as I crept closer. It was real. I was dead. There were no flowers by my stone. No pinwheels and no sign anyone had visited since the passing. I think back to what I was like before the accident. I had just fired Trisha, my life-long best friend, from her publishing job in Downtown magazine. I hadn’t thought twice about it then. It was what was best for the company. I had spent little to no time with my husband and children because I would have rather been at work. Everything in my life had been business, strict and serious.
I went to the house I lived in before Spetember 7th, 2009, the day I died. I knocked on the hard oak door, and a few seconds later, there was an answer. It was him, my husband, Tony Wilson. He looked curious as if he didn’t recognize me. I tried to form a smile, and ask, “Hello, do you know who I am”? My voice caught him off guard, the same voice he fell in love with and the same voice that died three years ago. He smiled, a little uncertain, “I’m not sure I do, you are?” he asked. I try to stay calm and break the news lightly, “My name is Gracie Anne Wilson. I am your wife. I died three years ago”. His jaw trembled and opened a bit. He muttered out a few “But-” and “How-” before he accepted the facts. “I don’t know why I am here, but I am.” I said a little more panicked. The truth was, I was freaking out. Why did I come back after I died? It’s been three years, why am I just now coming back? He invites me in and the interrogation started.
“What day is it?” I asked. He said a little too slowly, “September 7th”. What was the likelihood I came back the day I died three years ago? “What do you remember from your life?” Tony asked still completly intruiged. “I remember not being very present at home, and firing Trisha, and I was about to be named “Magazine of the Year” by Choice” I said. He sighed, “You didn’t change”. Confused, I asked what he meant. “You were always business. What title can I claim now? What can I do to beat out this publisher? What color appears best on the model Sharantik? You never just kicked back and looked at the view” He said. I knew what me meant. I was always working on making our magazine the best, good for business, bad for family. “I’m sorry. If I could go back and change, I would” I said, and I really meant it. I wished I had been more present in John and Sammy’s lives. “You are here now, so make it count” He said and stood up. He hugged me, and my eyes welled up with tears. I missed him, I didn’t know it, but I missed my family. He wiped the tears from my face and kissed my forehead. He left to go make coffee for us, and I went upstairs to the closet. My clothes were still there, untouched and unwavered. Unphased that the owner had died and come back. I picked a white sweater and loose jeans, an outfit I’d never wear three years ago. I threw on some sneakers I was going to donate, and walked into the bathroom. My shower caddy was just as I left it, organized hanging by the mirror. I looked in the mirror for the first time, and really saw what I was. Three years ago, I would have seen a woman who could command a room in deep need of lipgloss and mascara, but now I see a broken woman in need of family. I brushed my hair and went without makeup. The first step in changing might be small, but steps are steps. I walked back down the stairs to find two coffees by Tony on the couch. He wore an exhausted smile, rightfully so. “Is that a new outfit? I’ve never seen you wear it” He said curiously. “No, I never wore it because I didn’t know how to live a casual life, and this is a casual outfit” I said and smiled a real smile. I sat by him and soaked in his presence. “I didn’t even conside remarrying after you died. '' He said and I smiled. I knew he wouldn’t. Even if I wasn’t home a lot and always working when I was, he loved me for me. “I dont deserve you” I said and hot tears poured out of my eyes. He pulled me in close, my chin on his shoulder and he began to cry. “I never thought I’d see you again”. We cried together, and for the first time since marriage, I felt all the love he had for me. We breathed and slowed our tears. I heard something from the basement and looked up from his shoulder. It was Sammy, she was talking to someone. John. They were coming up for breakfast, hair still a mess from sleep and still in their pajamas, they saw me. Sammy came first, embracing me without a thought. She laughed and smiled more than I could remember ever seeing her. Johnny came with tears running down his face, wrapped in my arms. We were a family.
Something was bothering me still. I was reunited with my family who loved me even after I was not there for them enough. Trisha. I fired my best friend from her dream job. She was perfect for it, I was in the wrong. I cooked waffles and sausage for Sammy and John, and a cinnamon bagel for Tony. I made myself a scrambled egg with toast, and finished the coffee from Tony. I kissed my husband and hugged my children. They were mine. I grabbed an old computer from my desk and typed “Trisha Montgomery” into the search bar. No matches. I remembered where her apartment was, I needed to make things right. I didn’t have money, being dead for three years, so I borrowed a couple dollars from Tony, and bought flowers and a coffee for her and headed toward her apartment. I still remembered her coffee order, Cinnamon swirl latte. She meant so much to me, I don’t think I could forget. Once I got to the brick row of apartments, I could hear her dog, Buster barking. I rang the door bell. A woman opened it. She was different, but vaguely familiar. Her hair was red, and skin was spray-tanned. “Trisha?” I ask. “That’s me.”she said questioningly. “I’m not sure if you remember me, but my name is Gracie Anne Wilson. I wrongly fired you from my former magazine company. You were my best friend and I lost you. I’m sorry for what I did before I died”. I said, tears slowly falling from my eyes. I extended the coffee and flowers to her. He jaw stayed dropped. “Gracie Anne Wilson. I loved my Job, but I can’t thank you enough for firing me. I moved on from being a published to being a full on author. I’ve wrote best-selling novles and it’s all thanks to you.” she said with a smile that felt sincere. I smiled. I was so happy for her. Growing up with her I knew she would do amazing things. Before I could think, she jumped forward and wrapped me in a hug. She squeezed me so tight, it was hard to breathe. I laughed through tears, the best reuniting I could have hoped for.
Something about me had changed, I felt whole. I had never felt this way before the accident. For the first time I realized how much of my life I had been missing out on.
I returned home in the afternoon, and the kids were playing with blocks on the carpet. Tony was in the garage restoring the car I died in. When the semi hit me head on, the blunt force killed me instantly, and it had been his mission to fix it before he joined me. I brought him some lemonade, the kind he always liked when we were dating, and he kissed my head. He told me again, “I am so glad you are here. I work on this all the time. Its the piece of you I still have”. And I smiled. I was so lucky. I sat on the steps of the garage watching, admiring. After a while, it turned into a two man job, and I too was covered with the dirt and grime of car parts, another thing I wouldn’t have done three years ago. In the evening, we washed up and made dinner together. Something I didn’t know I loved, and missed already. Seasoned pork chops with mashed potatoes and gravy. We ate then retired to the couch, keeping out whole family within arms reach. I knew right then, this was the life for me. I changed into pajamas I used to hate that my mom gave me, and bid everyone good night. Yep, I was lucky. This is my life now, and I adore it. The sun had set, and the stars appeared through the sheer curtains over the windows. The moon lit up the room as it did before and as it always would. I smiled as I drifted off to sleep, thankful for the day I came back.
I awoke the next day, September 8th. Something had changed. It was like looking at the world through a window, I could see my family, but they couldn’t see me. I looked all over town trying to find someone who could see me when they looked up at the sky, but no one could, and no one would. I went back to the place this all started, the cemetery. Rolling Hills, the most beautiful cemetery in all of Grove City. I looked to my grave and began to weep. What I found there changed my life. Something that made it known that someone loved me, no matter what I had done. Flowers.