Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Happy Halloween

He watched her weave through the trees. She picked her way carefully through the dark path until she found the bench she wanted and then sat with a sad quiet sigh. Lauren. It had been so long and he had missed her. He yearned for her touch. Everything about her called to him but he stayed back. She was no longer his to hold. He knew she had moved on; that she loved another.

"Hi Tommy, Happy Halloween.” Her whisper carried on the breezeless night. “I know it’s been a while but I needed to talk to you. I’m…” she stopped. She seemed to struggle for words and he stepped closer to the bench. “The man I’m seeing, Chase, he’s asked me to marry him.”

He didn’t think he could hurt anymore. He’d been wrong.

"I didn’t think I’d ever love anyone again after you and I do. What Chase and I have, it’s different from what you and I had, but different doesn’t mean less. But now that I’m looking at forever, I found myself thinking more and more about us. About what could have been.” Lauren looked at his headstone and shook her head. “I don’t know what could have been. Maybe that’s what’s tearing me up inside. I’m not even sure why I’m here.”

Tommy focused and stepped into the moonlight surrounding the bench where Lauren perched. She gasped and her hand flew to her throat. The ring that glinted on her third finger pained him. She had already said yes.

"How?” She whispered.

"It’s Halloween, Beautiful. Samhain really. The night when the veil between the realms is thinnest and when two souls are as linked as ours the impossible can happen if even for just a moment.”

"Oh Tommy.” She reached out and her fingers passed right through him. A lone tear slid down her cheek. “The accident…”

"Shh, don’t cry, baby. The accident wasn’t your fault. It was mine. I shouldn’t have been drinking and driving.”

"But I got mad at you for flirting with that girl and left you at the party. Told you I didn’t want you to come home until you were sober and ready to apologize.”

"And you took the car so I couldn’t drive. You couldn’t know I’d decide hours later and even more drunk to help myself to some else’s. It wasn’t your fault, Lauren. Forgive yourself.” He squatted before her, dead eyes to her glistening ones. “You love him?”

"Yes. And he loves me.”

"If you want my blessing, you have it.” He stood, blew her a kiss and faded away. Tommy watched as she wiped the tears from her eyes. She stood, dried her face and walked with far more confidence out of the cemetery than she’d entered.

Another ghost joined him as Lauren turned out of the gates. “You know that guy beats her to death before their first anniversary, right?”

"Yeah, I know.” Tommy looked at the spirit everyone called Colonel. He’d been haunting Mt. Sinai since the Civil War. “Happy Halloween, Old Timer.”

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