If you’ve been reading my creative writing posts you will notice a theme, that my protagonist can usually see something no one else can. I think I will keep playing around with it until I settle on a plot line, because my leading lady is usually the same type of person. Here’s another post that on the same tangent, let me know what you think:
I was seventeen years old when Adam Gray died. We had never spoken whilst he was alive but I knew I loved him. He had been one of those tall, athletic types with blonde hair and green eyes. I knew he was dead before our head teacher had made the announcement. Mr Cain spoke to us in a quiet, solemn tone, explaining that a valuable member of our school had been tragically lost. I was the only person to not react.
I had never spoken to Adam because I find it easier to talk to the dead. I don’t find the living approachable. As a child I had had numerous dead friends; little girls who had gone missing, old ladies who had passed away with their family sobbing at their side, young men who had gotten into a drunken state and staggered into the path of an oncoming car or fell into a cold river and drowned. Only one ghost had stayed with me though, Eveline.
She was my age but she had died sometime in the 19th century. I always teased her and said she could be from Pride and Prejudice, the way she dressed. Eveline is the only spirit that has ever spoken to me, the others listen but never reply, but they had a way of finding me.
The older ones would sit and watch over me as I slept and the younger ones would follow me as I played in the garden and listened to me talk at them and Eveline in an animated way. My Mum would observe me apparently talking to thin air from the kitchen window and think what an odd child I was to have no real friends, but I was oblivious to her scrutiny. Eveline and I would laugh and we would walk hand in hand everywhere because she was like a big sister to me then.
I had noticed Adam in the corridors, making his way to his next class, his red bag hanging loosely from his right shoulder and his hands moving excitedly as he talked to his friends. I had stared at the back of his well groomed head in English, where he answered all the questions on Shakespeare’s ‘Hamlet’ correctly and in History when he recited the important dates and events in the Second World War.
Our eyes met sometimes as I watched him and he would smile, his mouth was full of white teeth framed with pink lips; they looked like they tasted sweet. Sometimes he would stop in front of my table and turn his head to look at me, his mouth half open as if he wished to say something. Then he would just nod and turn away to sit with his friends.
The school had made a little shrine to him in the assembly hall and everyone had left flowers and lit candles around a picture, which had been enlarged and put into a frame. I didn’t visit his memorial or attend the service. I thought everyone who did was a hypocrite. Everyone who cried over him but had never spoken to him was a big, fat hypocrite. Adam didn’t find me for a long time though. Sometimes if the death was violent they need time to re adjust.
I’ve always seen them, always felt them. They’re everywhere. Some are trying to make contact with people they knew and some just walk around aimlessly, confused. Their eyes are always blank, endless tunnels. There is no life in them anymore because they have no purpose. There is nothing left to do but wait until you can move on.
I didn’t know until now that I was only seeing Innocents, people who had died of natural causes or accidents and murders. People who were meant to go and also those who should have still been breathing. I would help them move on, but Adam was different. I couldn’t help but keep him here, to make him fall in love with me.
I was so selfish I didn’t even contemplate joining him and so I held him back from his happy ending and forced him into a miserable existence. You would think that because I see the dead I appreciate life, but I don’t. I clung onto his ghost because I couldn’t see how beautiful it was to breathe.