It was just like any other Saturday. I woke up without my alarm pestering me, which was always a lovely feeling. I got up but didn’t bother to get dressed since I had slept in my regular clothes. I had been so exhausted from work last night that I came in and immediately went upstairs and collapsed on my bed. I fell asleep within minutes, and I didn’t even have a chance to think about whether I should change out of my work uniform. I wondered if I would look weird going out in my uniform but I smiled at myself. My mum always told me not to care about what other people thought. “It’s your life, not theirs,” she would say. I tried to think about that each time I caught myself worrying.
I couldn’t find my keys to the front door which didn’t matter since the door was ajar anyway. I frowned. Maybe I was so tired last night that I forgot to lock the door. Thinking about it, I did remember not locking the door last night, but another thought made me stop in my tracks. What if someone came in my house when I was asleep and stole something? Trying to keep calm, I looked in every room of my house, which didn’t take long, and didn’t find anything missing. It was strange, but I must have been very lucky. I tried not to worry about it and just focus on getting out of the house to buy food.
I easily slipped through the gap of my door and, my mind still on the potential burglary, I didn’t realize that the gap was tiny and I had no trouble getting through there. I also forgot to close the door on my way out and I didn’t realise that until I was halfway down my street. I shrugged. The people in her neighbourhood were friendly enough. She was sure that they wouldn’t try and sneak into her house like that.
There was someone walking towards me on the same side of the street. I smiled at them but they ignored me. A wave of embarrassment rushed over me. I tried saying hello, but the word wouldn’t come out. I had always been a quiet person who got nervous, even smiling at strangers, so this wasn’t a surprise for me. I hated being ignored like this. Suddenly, the man changed direction like he was about to cross the road. I jumped as I realised he was about to walk straight into me.
I couldn’t move quickly enough but, by some sort of miracle, we didn’t crash into each other. It was like he just walked right through me. I heard him make a noise like he had just had a bucket of cold water dumped over him. I looked around and I saw him staring right back at me like he had just seen a ghost.
Words escaped me and I couldn’t help but stare back at this man. He looked terrified and white as a sheet. I wanted to comfort him but I couldn’t help but feel that it would make things worse. After what felt like hours, he turned around and left. It took me a while to process what had just happened. How could he have not hit me? He was walking straight at me. I couldn’t understand. I felt like crying but I couldn’t. Why couldn’t I cry?
All these questions were too much. I couldn’t handle it. I decided it would just be best to go home and try and figure all this out before I think about going out in public again.
Once again, I walked into my house with ease, even though the door was barely opened an inch. It amused me only a few minutes ago but now it scared me. I couldn’t understand it. Was there something wrong with me? I went up into the living room to find my phone buzzing. My mum was calling me and had been for several minutes now, it seemed. I frowned. Why would she be so worried when she always told me not to worry?
I reached over to my phone and found that I couldn’t pick it up. No matter how many times I tried I physically could not pick up my phone and I couldn’t tap on the screen either to accept the call. I was so confused and scared. I didn’t understand what was happening to me. It wasn’t even midday yet and this was by far the weirdest morning of my life.
I gave up trying to call my mum back and went upstairs to my room. What I saw was something I would never forget. I saw my own body lying on my bed. I would’ve screamed if I could. What the hell is this?!
I ran out of my room and tried to control my breathing before I went back in there. I was too scared to get too close, but it looked like I was sleeping. Was this all a dream? I knew it couldn’t be that simple but, even so, I pinched my wrist. Or at least I tried to. I looked down in order to do it and my body wasn’t there! I could only just about see a faint outline of where my arm and hand would be. My breathing became rapid again as my eyes darted from my transparent body to my corpse in the corner of the room.
This couldn’t be happening. I couldn’t be dead. What is happening?
There was sharp rapping on the door which was strange because I knew I had left it open.
“Open up! This is the police!”
I froze. Were they here for me? Am I really dead?
I tried to call out but, once again, no noise came out. I didn’t even know why I still bothered trying. There was more knocking but, of course, no answer came. I heard the policeman searching downstairs and talking to someone. The voice sounded very familiar. After a few seconds of listening, I knew it was my mum. She had probably called the police after I hadn’t picked up the phone. I had lost count of the amount of times she had called.
I heard another deeper voice too which was different from the policeman’s, and I quickly realised my dad was here too. He didn’t use his phone as much as my mum did so she must have called him later on.
I heard all three of them climb the stairs and I panicked. I looked around for a place to hide until I realised that they wouldn’t be able to see me. I had a feeling of what I had turned in to, but I didn’t want to think it. It would make this all the more real. Even so, I silently drifted into a corner of my room as the group filed in.
I realised that I had never heard my parents scream before and I kind of wish I never had. It was awful to hear them in such pain, and it was even worse to know that I wouldn’t be able to help them. I was so close to them and yet so far.
“Is she alright?” I heard my mum say.
“Doesn’t look like it, ma’am.” The police officer said gravely. He went over to check my pulse and pulled his hand away quickly. “She’s freezing.”
I saw her start crying and she buried her head in my dad’s shoulder. My dad wasn’t a very emotional person but even I could tell that he was trying to hold back tears.
“What do you think happened?” My dad said, his voice cracking as he spoke.
“We’ll have to investigate further. I’m sorry. I wouldn’t like to speculate, sir.”
He nodded sombrely and a tear fell onto the carpet. Watching them like this was heartbreaking.
“Well, I have to make some phone calls. I’m very sorry for your loss. Give me a shout if you need anything.”
My parents nodded and the police officer left. A part of me was angry that he had left them at such a vulnerable time, but maybe he was giving them space to grieve which was very kind of him.
As much as I tried to block out their crying, I couldn’t. It was awful. I had no idea how I had died or why I had come back as a ghost, but I wish I hadn’t. If I had to watch my parents like this for much longer, I didn’t know if I could live with myself.