You sit at the small table, just waiting. It’s quite sad to see a grown woman sitting alone at a tea table surrounded by stuffed animals with a sad-looking feather boa barely laying on her shoulders. But you do this for me. You do this for me, though you don’t know when I’ll show up. I never show up on time, but you say that’s a good quirk. ‘Makes everything a little more interesting,’ you had said. ‘Keeps me on my toes.’
You sigh to yourself and lightly push a teacup over. I smile at your boredom because even though I’m not here yet, you keep waiting. I’m hovering over you now, but you can’t see me until I let you see me.
I touch your neck, though it’s not so much an actual touch. It’s more like a winter morning bite at your skin. You jump a little at the chill of my presence. You always scared easily. That’s something I love about you. I smile at you and you groan. “Why do you have to do this every time?” you ask.
“What else am I to do? The afterlife is boring without you.”
“You want me to die, then?” You narrow your eyes at me.
“Oh god, of course not!” I chuckle a bit at your blunt response salted with your signature sarcasm. Your curt nature always makes me laugh.
My laugh fades off into some blissful carefree land as I pour us some tea. Of course, it’s earl grey you prepared. I look across the small table and give you a sly smile because of course, there are lemon cakes and croissants and quiche. Everything I like; it makes you seem like a suck-up. Who in their right mind sucks up to a dead person? Someone like you of course. You’re kind to everyone. That’s something I love about you.
We start to get lost in reminiscing about life before. It was so much better. I spent the lonelier afternoons waiting for you under the willow trees near our houses, though we were usually together. We were inseparable.
On Mondays, we would play in the pond near the willow trees. The willow trees are my favorite spot. Knowing you, they’re probably yours too. On Tuesdays, we would go to your house. I would get jealous sometimes since your parents got you video games. On Wednesdays, we would go to the mall and buy matching outfits with whatever money we’d gotten from chores. On Thursdays, we would go to my house and watch a couple of movies and play a couple of games. You usually slept over. On Fridays, we would stay after school and study together. Though neither of us liked reading much, the library was kind of our spot.
I’d never say it, but I always miss you so much. I try to lay my hand on your hand, though I know it won’t work. It never works. It makes me feel lonely like I’m not actually there. I wish I could be there for you.
Now I had to go. You always cry at this part. You don’t want me to leave. I don’t want to leave either. “I’ll be back, don’t worry.” You have no way of knowing how or when, but you trust me. That’s something I love about you.
You give me a strip of green cloth to take with me. I don’t know the significance and you don’t tell me either. I promise I’ll keep it close to me. It looks like velvet. It probably feels soft. “Is it soft?”
You look taken aback for a second. “What?”
“Is it soft?”
“Oh,” you said, tilting your head to the side and shrugging. “I guess. I don’t know, it’s velvet.”
I smile to myself again. I run my thumb over the cloth and frown at it. I look back up at you. “I don’t want to leave.” Then I laugh to myself. “But of course you would know that.”
You give me a sad smile that I can’t bring myself to return. I think I’d just about cry. It’s not like it’s the first or last time we’re seeing each other, so I shouldn’t be so sad. I should just leave before I make it any harder. I muster up my best genuine smile. Then I let myself fade away.
Fading away, that’s what it feels like. When you’re dead, you can do whatever you want. I usually can’t bear to be around other people, so I just float around in my memories where it’s melancholy and peaceful.
My favorite memory is our first tea party together. It was a long time ago when we were still just kids. I remember seeing my mom drinking something other than coffee and she told me it was tea. She said tea was relaxing and she needed to be relaxed for work today.
I told her I wanted some tea and that you wanted some too, so she helped me set up a tea party for after school. It was Monday, but you still agreed to skip the pond. Everything was just as it should be. Our special tea table, tea, boas, and stuffed animals. We also had ‘scones’ though I’m sure that they were just chocolate chip cookies.
You had asked me where I got the idea from and I talked like I knew everything. It was mainly about princesses and British people. That’s the extent of my tea party knowledge as such a young person. But you looked at me happily like I was something so special and so precious. You always made me feel smart.
Clearly, tea parties were fun enough to become our normal. As we got older, we changed the tea parties a little bit, but we never stopped having them. As adults, we still had tea together.
Tea usually makes people tired. I think the tea made us tired back then too. And now I’m tired. I want to stay here, though, staring at all these memories as you stared at me that day when I talked about tea parties. But I’m tired. I want to sleep. No. I think I want to wake up.
You must sign up or log in to submit a comment.
Here for the critique circle :) This is a sweet story. I like that it's told from the ghost's perspective and that the objects littered around the two people symbolize different things to them. However, I feel as though the main part of the story is just remembering, which is sweet and sad in small doses but a little tiring if the whole story is a memory. Maybe add more dialogue and in-the-now rather than focusing too much on the past. This is a story I'll remember. Keep it up!
Thank you for your feedback! :)
What a lovely story. Well done. I was a little confused regarding the relationship between the ghost and the adult woman. The beginning felt as if they were lovers. Then, it kind of transformed into best friends. We know quite a bit about what they did when the ghost was alive, but we don't know the essence. Also, Earl Grey should be capitalized.
Thank you for reading! I did write this intending for them to be best friends. What in particular strikes them as lovers from the beginning? And can you elaborate on what you mean by essence? Heh, sorry. Oh thanks for the tip, I didn't actually know that. :)
"But you do this for me." "I touch your neck" "That’s something I love about you." Just to name a couple of things. It might have been my preconceived notion, but I think making things clear would have aided the story. The essence ties in with the above. If we knew what the nature of the relationship was, we could imagine the things they had done while alive.
Oh ok! I get what you're saying. Thank you for the feedback!