Chapter 3- Just another day
There were a few good aspects to being dead. The first is that you didn’t have to pay for public transport. Once or twice a week I would go somewhere, into the centre of town, or somewhere else nearby. A nice wee day out, cost free. This brings to my second point. As my world and the real sort of run together, but never clash I can take objects from that world into mine, only once though. Let me give you an example. I go shopping. When I go into town I can take items and try them on, normally just on the spot because no one see’s me, but the item I lift still remains in the real world, like when I knocked over the vase, in my world I had to clear up the glass. So what girl wouldn’t want to be able to shop without needing any money in any store? It is a free buffet of clothing and accessories. This explains why I keep my clothes somewhere, and am not simply stuck in the clothes I died in. now that would be a bit of a morbid reminder, not to mention a living hell for a confessed fashion addict.
Another upside is you never need to pay for the cinema. Sometimes I sit there almost all day watching new films I think look good. But then what good is the cinema when you have no one to talk about the movie with. Oh well, death isn’t all bad. One thing that shocked me most is that your body changes, or lack thereof. It changes to reflect your soul. Because that’s all I am now, soul, without body. Wow that sounds deep. That sounds like the sort of thing that would make me giggle before this. But I’m pretty sure that’s what I am now. I still look like me, if anyone else could see me, but just a more… perfected version. I’m still not perfect, no one is, but often people’s souls are slightly more attractive than their outer appearance. Although that doesn’t work for everyone, of course.
As I got to English I stared at the grassy bank beside it, and then down at my feet where I spent hours lying, crying, after I realized what I was. Even when I were alive ‘ghost’ was never a word I was fond of. I preferred ‘spirit’ or ‘energy’ or ‘force’, dorky as they sound. But now I refer to my kind as the souls, although I never have met another like me. I imagine there should be more, with the number of people who die every day, but I have found none.
I walked to the far right hand corner, where I always sat. Far away from the door, far away from there. For some reason I felt a connection to this room, a nice connection, yet at the same time a deep repulsion from the corner where it happened. I never looked at it, and as I entered I never looked at the floor, I never looked left, always right. When this all started, and I started to remember how I died, I was terrified to see my own body there, bleeding, rotting. I knew I wouldn’t find it there, but even now, I do not look in that direction, ever.
The time was 6:34 am on the 25th of January 2015. I was no longer tired, but as I said before, time is funny when you’re dead. So I closed my eyes, in the hope that time would pass sooner, so that I would have somewhere to concentrate my efforts. Yes, I was actually waiting for school to start with anticipation. Ever think that would happen? I doubt it, but when you have not much better to do, sometimes, just sometimes, you can appreciate the learning experience. Mind you, I do pick and choose, and if the class bores me I leave. Not the most efficient environment to learn in, but certainly more tolerable. I dozed for a while. Sleep was too hard, but the time went in a little quicker. It wasn’t long before I felt energy and life in the school, heard gates clanging and alarms being turned off. Then cars, and a few teachers, and then Henry.
He entered his room, tie hanging loose around the collar of his mostly buttoned shirt. His eyes were slightly bloated and body gave off a general attitude of dreariness. Early mornings never were his thing, even as a boy. I on the other hand had always been a morning person, I called at his house sometimes, at maybe 8 or 9 am on a Saturday, not dreadfully early, but enough, his mum would be on her way out to work so she’d let me in and send me up to wake him. He looked like death personified in the mornings. Odd isn’t it? He is so alive really. So very, very alive. Yet I am still the morning person.
He was also very boring in the mornings. Sometimes I would talk to him, just have a one sided conversation with him and pretend he replied. Call me crazy, but if you had not spoken to anyone in nearly 5 years, you would be the same as me, or worse. I sat on the desk in front of his swinging my legs and waiting for him to murmur something to himself. He was shifting through some papers when a photo fell out.
“Crap.” He lifted it up and twisted it in his hands. He stopped mid-rise from the floor and stared at it, before holding it in both hands and pushing all other papers aside. He looked away from the photo, eyebrows furrowed and lips pursed.
He took a breath and put down the photo. I walked over to the desk and lifted it. It was me and him age 13. Him holding his skateboard and me making peace with my fingers into the camera. It was taken in our street. Both our families were suburban, always had been, so we grew up riding our bikes in the street and daring to travel outside the limits which our parents inflicted on us. Back then leaving our street was rebellious. Funny how time changes things. I set the photo down again and the image sank back into its original place at his side. He breathed in deep and forced himself to wake up.
“Rough night, huh?” I muttered. He giggled,
“Yeah.” He caught himself and blinked too slow as to be normal. He looked around and put his hand to his forehead. Did he just hear me? No, impossible he couldn’t have done. He must have been talking to himself. Either that or I was going crazy.
“Hell, I’m going crazy already.” He said to himself. Yep, definitely crazy. He shook his head and put on his music. It was what we had always listened to as kids, Friday on my mind by The Easybeats.
“I remember this.” I giggled to myself. “The first day at high school you and I stuck together in case people thought the Beatles and the Easybeats were weird.”
“Yeah, turned out it just made us vintage.” He smiled. I stood up straight. I wasn’t crazy that time, I know what I heard. He heard me. But he couldn’t have, could he? No but he HEARD me, could he see me too?
“Henry.” I approached him cautiously, he didn’t respond.
“Henry!” Nothing. I waited at his side, waved in front of his eyes, jumped up and down, pushed a file full of papers off his table. It flew to the ground, papers flying everywhere before the returned themselves to their former position. He didn’t even blink. I stared. He furrowed his eyebrows, before getting up, lifting his jacket and leaving.
But he had heard me. I was sure of it, he replied. How could he? I can’t have imagined it all, could I? If I was going to go crazy here you would think it may have happened before now. He can’t have replied, he simply can’t have.
I sunk into the corner and put my head on my knees. But he did reply. I heard him.