Letting GoA Story by Veronica Nicole
ghost story written for creative writing. I actually quite enjoy this one.
A slow, constant ticking was the only sound in the otherwise silent room. Sunlight crept in through the large, bay window, peeking out from behind the thick, grey clouds. It oozed across the bland, taupe-colored carpet to rest on the over-sized couch. The couch was burgundy in color, and puffy-- the kind you could sink into and would need help to get back out of.
Its current ‘victim’ was leaning against the shockingly hard back, hugging a black, satin pillow to his chest. His eyes darted nervously around the room, taking in everything from the pale green walls to the small bonsai tree on the heavy, maple side table to his right. Determined not to meet the eyes of the woman across from him, he instead fixed his gaze on the placard on the desk: Dr. Judy Thompson.
“Mr. Wayley..” Her voice came out quietly, softly, smooth as butter. “Tristan, I know you’d prefer to not be here, but this is important. Important to your family, your friends. They’re worried about you.”
He closed his eyes, shutting away the ocean-blue orbs that she had attempted to look into. They sat in silence, the two, with Dr. Thompson staring at Tristan’s closed eyes. She sighed, running her fingers through her grey-streaked, mousy-colored hair.
“It happened,” he finally said, voice cracking after days of mournful, grieving silence. He hadn’t spoken in nine days, since the day of the incident he spoke about. “It should have been me.” His voice broke, as tears leaked from his eyes, down his cheeks.
“What happened, Tristan?” Dr. Thompson asked, scribbling something on a sticky note and sticking it to her desk.
Tristan sat forward on the couch, leaning towards Dr. Thompson as if leaning into a memory.
It was unnaturally warm for an April day in Chicago; a slight breeze rustled the branches of the cherry tree, setting free a tiny, white blossom that drifted along until it landed, at last, on the auburn curls of a girl walking by. A pink dress, covered in large white polka dots, clung to her slender figure snugly, showing off the curve of her hips. In one hand, a pair of wedges dangled by the straps. Her other hand was entwined in the hand of a tall man walking beside her. He looked down at her with eyes as blue as the ocean. His hair was a golden-brown shade that when caught right in the sunlight, appeared red.
The girl let go of his hand, spinning and twirling ahead of him on the sidewalk, enjoying the warmth of the sun toasting her skin. She giggled freely, her wide smile showing her straight, white teeth that three years of braces had fixed. The man remembered those years, for they’d been together since their junior year of high school. His lips curled into a smile as he watched her dance down the sidewalk, the wind catching her curls and throwing them into her face.
“Emily,” the man said, quickening his stride to catch up with her. She paused, right as she was about to step off the curb to cross the street. He grabbed her elbow, pulling her towards him and away from the car that sped by, right where she was about to step. “Emily, love, please watch where you’re going. I wouldn’t know what to do without you,” he murmured, kissing her forehead gently and smiling again as her arms wound around his waist.
“She was beautiful,” Tristan whispered, not even bothering to wipe away the tears that were freely slipping down his cheeks now. “Beautiful in every way, and she was the most genuine, sweet, perfect girls to ever walk on this earth.”
Dr. Thompson bit her lip, wanting so badly to speak, but not wanting to break the spell that had somehow kept Tristan talking for so long.
Tristan kissed Emily softly again, on the lips this time, and wrapped his arm around her waist, pulling her close to him, as if to protect her from all danger and harm. He looked both ways down the street, seeing that it was free to cross, and briskly walked to the other side, Emily in tow.
“Wait,” she called, slipping out of his grip and turning around. “I dropped my shoe!”
“I’ll get it,” he answered. “Go on ahead, I’ll be there in a second.” He turned, crossing back to the fallen shoe. Letting the shoe hang from his index finger by the strap, he turned around again in time to see it happen. He turned at just the right moment to see the huge black SUV, with tinted windows, collide with his lover’s fragile, tiny body.
“No,” he screamed out in a broken voice, rushing to her side as if his own life depended on it. Which, in a way, it did. Emily was his everything: his lover, his best friend, his forever-love. They were supposed to spend their lives together. He dropped to his knees beside her, sobbing freely as he clutched her bloody hand in his own.
“Tristan,” she whispered, coughing. “I love you.” Her hand slipped out of his again, dropping onto the warm pavement of the road.
“Emily,” he wept, staring only at her face, still beautiful despite the blood, as an ambulance and a few fire trucks approached the scene. Who had called for them, Tristan didn’t know. He brushed off the hand on his shoulder, holding Emily’s soft, pale hand to his chest until the firemen had to pull him off of her so that they could take her to the hospital.
“It should have been me,” he whispered again, eyes full of sorrow. “She was going to go back for the shoe, but I told her to keep going. I told her not to wait for me.”
“Tristan, it’s natural for you to blame yourself; you’re grieving. But it was not your fault. Emily wouldn’t blame you, and you can’t keep placing the guilt upon yourself.” Dr. Thompson touched her index finger to the corner of her eye, as if nonchalantly wiping a tear away.
“I saw her…” Tristan said, staring unblinkingly at the bonsai tree. “She came back. And I saw her…”
Dr. Thompson waited for him to explain what he meant, and when he didn’t, she prompted, “When did you see her? How did she come back?”
“It was last night,” he muttered, still staring at the miniscule plant. “I don’t know how, but she came back and talked to me. She was wearing the polka-dot dress…”
He lay on the couch, staring blankly at the wall. The TV cast an eerie, flickering light around the otherwise dark room, but he didn’t notice. His hand was numb, cold, as if someone with icy fingers were holding it. He pushed himself off the couch, walking into the kitchen and opening the refrigerator. He stared into it, then closed the door again without reaching for anything. Not even the cans of Dr. Pepper that he always had to have in the house.
“Tristan,” a soft voice murmured in his ear. It had a musical-like tone to it, an oh-so-familiar tone that he’d only ever heard one girl speak with.
“Emily?” he whispered, his heart swelling. He turned around, and saw her sitting at the kitchen table, wearing the polka-dot dressed he loved so much. “Emily, oh my Emily.” He rushed towards her, anxious to cup her face in his hands and kiss her all over her cheeks and lips.
She shied away from him, refusing to let him even run his fingers through her silky, red curls. “Trist,” she purred, using her special nickname for him. “Sweetheart, you have to let go. I can’t come back, and all I’ve ever wanted since we met was for you to be happy.”
“But…Emily,” he said, feeling the aching, empty feeling at the pit of his stomach once more. “You can’t really be gone.” He reached out and tried to touch her hand, but was shocked to see his hand go right through where her palm was supposed to be, and touch the table instead.
His breath caught in his throat as realization hit him in the stomach again. She was really gone.
“It happened,” he murmured again, his face falling. He hugged the pillow tighter to his chest, letting his chin rest against the pillow as tears fell from his eyes. “I love her so much.” He didn’t speak another word, but cried freely until his session was over.
© 2012 Veronica Nicole
Added on July 12, 2012
Last Updated on July 12, 2012
AboutMy name's Veronica. I'm 18. I'm an English Ed. major, and I've wanted to be a writer for as long as I can remember. I never had much confidence in myself, or my ability to write, but then I met my oth.. more..