The Pearls of Madeline Baker

Submitted into Contest #65 in response to: Write about someone’s first Halloween as a ghost.... view prompt


Fiction Lesbian Sad

She had bright red hair that reminded me of the embers from a flame. I disappeared from her life but she never disappeared from mine. Although my soul floats free from my body I still remain right next to her, watching as she opened her music box that was painted with pink adolescent designs of flowers and fairies and twisted a piece of jewelry gently around her fingers, gazing at the pearls like they were poisonous. Those were my pearls. I used to where those pearls nearly everyday. The girl with auburn hair was sitting right in front of me, looking in the mirror and placing the pearls across her neck. I watched with confusion as I saw tears stream down her porcelain skin. I reached my hand out toward her to ask if she was alright and then it hit me. I’m dead. The girl with auburn hair was my girlfriend Anjelica and I’m dead. How had I forgotten? Perhaps it’s the eerie feeling of deja vu or the moon that felt as if it was beaming on my very own skin. Or maybe it’s the fact that today was the day I died. October 31st 1998. There’s the faint sound of children laughing outside the window and the joyful sounds of people answering the doors and admiring peoples costumes. Clouds glazed over the bright white moon that beamed down through the window of this home.

When I turn around I can see through the window and see children skipping on the sidewalk and twirling their wands and yelling boo in their ghost costumes. One child is dressed as a wickedly gruesome witch with prosthetic warts and all. One child has a white sheet covering their body, they’re acting mischievous and trying to scare the fellow children around them by yelling boo on the top of their lungs. There’s another child dressed as a princess with a gown that dragged uncomfortably on the sidewalk and a crown that occasionally slipped from their head. I wondered what they’d think if they knew there was a ghost looking at them right now. I wonder what Anjelica would think if she knew I was in the same room as her. If she knew I could see her holding my white pearls with a somber look on her face. Would she be pleased or would she just cry even harder? Maybe both. 

Being a ghost is certainly a strange thing. You feel so real and in a sense you are but everyone around you carries on as if your existence was a figment of their imagination. I can touch my own skin but no one can touch me. There’s times where I must remind myself that I’m no longer alive because everything still feels so real. This is my first halloween since I died and it all feels far too familiar. The feeling of the autumn breeze, the sounds of Halloween mischief and the distinct scent of teeth rotting candy and fall scented candles. The only difference is that this halloween I’m completely invisible to the person I love.

Although it sounds rather tragic it’s better this way in many ways. If she could see me then death would seem like a non-existent peril. If people could simply see their loved ones any time they want after death, then mourning them would be worthless. Loss is an essential part of living. There’s a reason the world works like this, a good reason. Nothing lasts forever. It’s unfortunate but it makes you treasure the things you have more. If you could have something forever, you probably wouldn't treasure it nearly as much . Looking at Anjelica in this moment is painful but I know eventually she’ll drop those pearls and wipe the tears from her red puffy face. 

I watched as her hazel colored eyes traced the subtle details of the pearls. There was a crack in one of the pearls from the time I dropped them while dancing too recklessly. At the time she laughed at me and her face seemed to light up the whole room, everything appeared brighter in an instant. Anjelica touched the smudge on another part of the pearl from when I got too close to a burning flame, I can remember her chastising me like I was a child. My god, I sure was clumsy. All those clumsy mistakes seem to be really precious to her now. I wished I could speak to her, if only for a second, and tell her to move on. To smile. As that thought entered my mind my body began to buzz. I’m aware how strange that sounds but it felt as if there was an electric current running through my body and wires were connecting within me, as if charging me up and putting me back together. Memories of Anjelica rushed through my mind. I remembered that time she played the piano and the sound was so angelic that it felt as if it was rushing through every part of my being. The time we had a picnic and it started raining so we sat under a bridge and dried off. The time we danced to her favorite french artist under the moonlight and the sound made us feel as if we could dance forever. I remember how I felt during those times too. Uncontrollable happy and giddy. As these thoughts and feelings rushed through my mind I watched as my pearls hit the ground with a thud and Angelica's big, round eyes widened even larger. She was looking right at me, she looked mystified. Her hands were shaking and her jaw dropped. Oh my god, could she see me? Her hand reached out to me as tears continued to fall from her eyes and as if by instinct my hand reached out too. Then the world became white, everything was indescribably bright. I couldn’t see Anjelica anymore but I knew one thing for sure. I was glad we could see each other once more. 

October 28, 2020 04:30

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