It was a late September night. Keith Sommers was sitting on the couch beside the window, reading a book. He tried to sleep but failed miserably. He knew that he could never forget what happened to his girlfriend, Daphne Hall. He knew it wasn't his fault she got hit by a car. But she wouldn't have gone away, running if he hadn't shouted at her.
Tears threatened to fall out. He wiped his eyes and got up to get a drink. But stopped before he went out of the living room.
He heard a knock. It wasn't on the front door, but the window. He cautiously moved towards the window.
He wiped off the mist on the window with his sleeves. Then he gasped at what he saw.
It was her. Daphne Hall. His dead girlfriend. He stumbled backward and fell onto the floor. He was trembling. She can't be here, he thought. But he saw her with his own eyes. He would recognize her anywhere.
The knocking continued and he heard her voice, faint but stern through the glass.
"Keith, please let me in", she said. There was urgency in her voice.
He got up and inched towards the window. He had no doubt, it was her. The girl outside had the same blonde hair with crisp blue eyes. But, he had seen the warmth leaving her body. He had held the cold body of his love and had cried. He had gone to the funeral. But how could she be here then?
He slowly unlocked the hinges and opened the door just enough to talk with her.
"Wh-who are you?", he said.
"I am your girlfriend Keith", she said.
Keith shook his head. "My girlfriend died six months ago", he said.
"No, I am very much alive now Keith. Please let me in", she urged him. Then something hit him strange.
"If you want to come in, then why did you knock on the window and not the door?", he asked.
"I- just let me in and I'll explain," she said. There was fear in her voice. She looked like she might pass out from the cold. He knew it wasn't her, but she seemed so real. And he still loved her. He can't deny anything that she asked. Whoever this was, he still couldn't turn back on that face. The face of his girlfriend.
He opened the window and held his hand out. She took it and climbed in. Her hands were cold like ice. He led her to the fireplace in the corner of the room. She held out her hands in front of the fire and smiled.
It was her, the sweet smile she used to give him. But he couldn't believe that this was true. He brought two chairs and placed them near the hearth. She sat down and continued to warm her hands.
"Are you really Daphne Hall?", it still hurts to say her name. She smiled again.
"Yes, dear. I am your Daphne", she said. Tears welled up in Keith's eyes.
"I am so sorry Daph. I shouldn't have shouted at you like that", he said.
"It wasn't your fault Keith", she said and stared at the hearth.
"How are you here? I saw you dead", his voice cracked.
"I died, yes. But now I am alive. I wanted to see you", she said. Her voice was so calm it kind of crept Keith out.
"H-How?", he said. She tilted her head slightly.
"Are you not happy that I am here Keith?", she said.
"Of course I am happy Daph. But how can you come back again", he said. She just stared at him, her face sad.
"I don't know. But all I wanted was to see you, and I am here", she smiled again. Keith's breath turned shallow. He didn't know what to do now. Was she lying or was she really telling the truth?
"I was so scared Keith. I was in this dark place for so long after I died", she said. Keith frowned but didn't say anything. So she continued.
"I was crying and shouting for help. I hoped that someone would come and help me. I hoped that you would come to save me", she said.
"What happened?", he asked.
"I heard your voice. I heard you calling my name. I tried following it and after what seemed like an eternity, I got out of that pitch-black abyss", she said. None of this made sense to Keith.
"I followed your voice and came here. I was able to see only the window, nothing else. Only after you held my hand I was able to see everything else. I missed you so much", she said.
The rational part of him knew that this can't be real. But he couldn't bring himself to think that this was all a lie. He gently took her hand and placed it over his heart.
"I missed you too", his voice, a whisper. Her hand was warm now.
She looked at the clock and her face saddened more. "I have a lot to tell you but so little time", she said.
"I don't understand", he said.
"First things first. I wanted to apologize to you. I shouldn't have talked to you that way. I am so sorry dear", she said.
"No, it wasn't your fault", he said. She shook her head and sighed.
"No matter what I tell you, you are going to blame yourself for what happened that day Keith", she said. "But, I want you to know that I will always love you, no matter what", she said.
Keith's eyes once again welled up. He couldn't find his voice.
"I want you to know that I was happy with you by my side", she said.
"I love you", he managed to tell her that.
"I know", She smiled. "But I want something from you. A promise", she said.
"Ask me anything", he was desperate to do anything to make her happy.
"I want you to move on and live your life", she said. Keith looked down. "Please Keith", she said. No. It was too much. He can't imagine a life with anyone else but her.
"Please, If you don't, then I can't find peace dear", she said. Keith's eyebrows furrowed. He closed his eyes and took a deep breath.
"I promise Daph", he said. There was a smile and a relief on her face. He was happy to see her happy.
He inched towards her and held her chin in his hand. He looked into that brilliant blue eyes.
"I love you, Daph", he whispered. She replied to him with a kiss. Her lips were soft and warm against his like they had always been.
"She pulled away and brought her lips to his ears. He could feel her breath on the side of his face. "I love you so much Keith", she said while chuckling.
"Can we have a drink now, dear?", she asked with a wide grin on her face.
"Sure", he said, walked out to the kitchen, and brought a bottle of bourbon and two glasses.
"I hope you wouldn't mind drinking bourbon. It's the only-", he stopped.
There was no sight of her. He looked around the room to see if she was playing with him. But she wasn't there.
She was gone. Gone from his life once again.
He woke up with a gasp. Keith squinted at the sunlight that escaped through the window. He looked at the clock. It was seven in the morning. He was sitting on the same couch that he had sat on the previous night.
Was it all a dream? He looked at the window once again. It was open. He then realized he had something in his hands.
A bottle of bourbon and two glasses.