“What the hell?” asked an astonished Luke.
He did a double-take and knew Dave is the one sitting on a bench in the park. To verify it, Dave waves at him with one of his goofy smiles.
“This can not be possible,” said Luke, about to cross the street, but immediately turned around before the bus took him out.
He looked back over at the bench, expecting to see Dave gone, but he was still there.
Luke looked both ways then hurried across the street. As he took each step toward his friend he was expecting it to change to someone else, but when he stopped five feet away it was indeed Dave.
“Oh crap!” cried out Luke as he quickly took out his mask to put it on.
“No need for that,” said Dave with a smile.
“I thought you were dead?” asked Luke as he lowered his arm.
“I am,” responded Dave. “The reason why there is no need for the mask. I’m past the point of contracting the virus, and it becoming fatal.”
Luke took a couple of steps back. He studied his friend for a moment. His balding head, beady eyes, chubby cheeks, bulbous nose, large ears, and one to always wear a puffy jacket no matter how the weather is outside.
“Maybe I was killed by the bus so now I can see Dave,” thought Luke. “That sucks if I’m still on this planet when I die.”
Then he wanted to smack his head because he recalled seeing Dave before he tried to cross the street.
“Quit thinking so hard.”
Luke stared at Dave, who continued to smile, as many memories flashed through his mind.
The two met when they were just going into middle school. Both were picking blueberries over the summer break. Luke noticed Dave pick a berry and put it in the bucket, then pick another one and pop it in his mouth.
“They are going to catch you one of these times,” he told Dave.
“Good since this job sucks,” responded Dave.
The two chuckled then started talking, finding out they had many similar likes. It was the start of a friendship that had its good moments and its bad moments. Bad moments that Luke thought he caused many of them.
“I was a spoiled, selfish brat for so many years,” he thought as he looked back. “The reason why I had so few friends from my past to the present.”
His dear friend. His best friend. One that stuck by him all of these years until the day he lost him.
“Why would you do such a thing?” muttered Luke.
“Because I knew you needed a friend,” Dave responded as his smile widened.
Luke was taken aback, not thinking that Dave heard him.
“To be my friend after the names I called you?” asked Luke. “How much I could be a bully to you just to be buddies with others?”
“I tried to look at the good,” said Dave. “I guess you can thank my grandpa on that one.”
Luke took a couple of steps toward Dave. The memories that haunted him came to an end for the moment bringing him fully to the present.
“Am I dreaming?” he asked. “Hallucinating? Passed out?”
“None of them,” Dave responded. “Why don’t you sit down so we can talk? I don’t know how much time I have here.”
Luke reluctantly went over and sat next to Dave trying to grasp the situation he was in.
“So you are truly dead?” asked Luke.
“Yes indeed,” replied Dave. “And I am here to visit you.”
“Why would you be here to visit me? I would think you would want to see family members or a better friend.”
“I’m here to see you,” said Dave. “To give you some advice.”
“Advice?” asked Luke. Advice from a friend who is now dead. A dead guy giving him advice.
Luke closed his eyes, trying to regain his composure.
“Let go of your past,” stated Dave. “Concentrate on the present and to the future.”
“Huh?” responded Luke.
“It’s as simple as that, but many people make it difficult. You are one of them.”
“You came back from the dead to see me just to say that?” asked Luke, feeling like Scrooge at the moment. Made him wonder if he was about to be visited by other ghosts.
“Let your past sins go,” said Dave. “Quit thinking about what you did.”
Luke remained silent. As the years went by he thought more and more of his past ills.
For many years he used the excuse of how he was treated as the reason why he became such a jerk. Kids and even some so-called adults treated him poorly so he felt it was okay to treat others poorly.
“Such a lame excuse?” he thought.
“Life will continue to spiral down for you if you do not let go,” said Dave. “I believe there is a movie that has a famous song called, “Let It Go.”
Luke had to chuckle a little since Dave was dead set against those types of movies.
“Does this happen for other people?” he asked Dave.
“I wouldn’t have a clue,” replied Dave. “I popped up on the bench, and it just came to me to have a chat with you. You are a lucky man to have such a thing.”
“Did God send you to me?” asked Luke.
“We are his children. Wouldn’t you want your children to go down the right path?”
“It would be nice if God put up some roadblocks.”
“We would find a way to get past it,” chuckled Dave.
There was a moment of silence.
“I’m glad to see you again,” said Luke.
“Hopefully, one day we can see each other again,” said Dave standing up. “As long as you change your attitude, and look forward to it.”
“Today is an eye-opener,” said Luke. “Thank you.”
“No problem buddy. Time to move on.”
Dave started walking down the path until he faded away.
Luke sat there. One by one he let each terrible memory go. He knew they would never go away, but at least he could stop thinking about them every day.