Dao

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Romance  |  House: Booksie Classic


Dao...

Submitted: May 22, 2018

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Submitted: May 22, 2018

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Dao

The ghost. Ghost; noun, an apparition of a dead person that is believed to appear or become manifest. I saw a ghost. He looked friendly and young, must have been around 19. He showed up in my dreams at first, and then soon in my bedroom, the street lights brightening my room enough for me to see him. He wasn’t like a white transparent blob with a face people call a ghost, but, almost like a real person, sitting in my corner chair next to my window. He was wearing a torn up plaid shirt with rolled up artistic pants, but no shoes, because I could not see his feet, that’s how I knew he was a ghost. He would talk to me about how my day was and how school was that day. He never talked about himself, always about me or the world nowadays. This boy who looked about my age died. I do not know why and he doesn’t care to share.

 

I look forward to talking to him every night. Each night, we talk for about an 2 hours and then I go to bed and he leaves. I think he likes talking to me, otherwise he would have left months ago. I have a group of friends from my dance team that I hang out with everyday after school. I haven’t told them about Dao, they would think I’m crazy. Dao is my little secret that I haven’t told anyone. He is someone that would not just listen to me about my problems but help me figure out what to do and he doesn’t judge me. We talk late at night to go over the day and just hang out. He is my closest guy friend. Every week for the past 8 months I would ask him to tell me his story about his death but he never has. I ask why and he always answers with a “does it really matter?” I always say yes, but then he changes the subject on to me. Tonight was the night I was going to ask him about his family and where he was from.

“Do you have any siblings?”

“Yes.”

“Younger or older?”

“Younger”

“Girl or boy? How many? How old? Do they play sports? What language do they speak? Where are they now? Where do they live? Are they still alive?”

“Doesn’t matter.”

“How old are you?”

“20”

“How old were you when you died?”

He changed the subject after that, I didn’t want to make it seem rude, but I think it came off wrong.

“So, how’s college?”

“Good I guess, I should have boarded, though.”

“It’s like 20 minutes down the road!”

“I know that but my friends are in dorms and they love it and I wish I could have been with them. Dorms are where you meet new people and maybe I could meet someone special.”

“But, if you boarded you would have never met me.”

“I know, I am happy I did meet you!”

“Wait, how did you even find me?”

“I have always wanted to come to America and I wanted someone to talk to. I saw you once and I couldn’t wait to talk to you.”

“Awe that’s so sweet!”

“Ya, you are really beautiful.”

At that moment I felt something new, something I have never felt before, it was a great feeling. After that I was quiet and I had a hard time talking again. He continued talking to me but I wasn’t listening. I liked his company, I felt butterflies in my stomach and I felt like I was going to throw up. And then all of a sudden I blurted out.

“I’m going to bed, goodnight.”

“Um… Ok see you tomorrow.”

He disappeared right then and there. My bedroom was silent, the streetlights, like a nightlight. Laying in my bed on my back looking up at the gloomy ceiling, no thoughts, just peace. I’m in the mood to listen to music, but don’t. I’m not sure what I am feeling.

It’s Saturday morning, the sun is brightening as it rises. I’m laying on my side looking out the window. I see dog walkers and morning runners. No thoughts, still. As I watch out my two story window, there are cute kids riding their bikes and a few cars going down my nicely paved, quiet road. It’s 8:30 in the morning, the day is just getting started. As I slowly reach for my phone I catch myself but that’s not enough, I fell out of my bed on my hardwood floor. After cursing multiple times, I just layed there looking at the dust bunnies and socks that gathered up under my bed. I’m in the weirdest mood, I’m happy, sad, tired, and confused all at the same time. My schedule today: 10:45-2:30 babysit

3-4:30- early dinner with dance team

5-9- dance

I have an hour and a half until I have to get going, the kids are so cute and live right next to me. There is Ally who is 3, Maddie who is 8, and Alex is 10, and thinks he is the man of the house. Well, I guess he kind of is, his dad left when Ally was born he told Kelly, (their mom) that he couldn’t handle having 3 children, he was douche anyway. Ally is little girly girl, always giving me her dandelion bouquet. Maddie loves baseball and playing with Alex. Alex is a typical boy playing with little Tonka trucks and he is legit always dirty.

As I walk over I notice that there’s something different about me. I feel off, but I’m happy to see the kids. As I knock on the door I already see the kids looking for me through the window. Kelly opens the door in a rush to go to a business meeting downtown.

“There’s Mac & cheese in the pantry and pb&j’s over on the counter for lunch. Have fun and be good kids!”

As she shuts the door Alex starts to run to the playroom and Ally latches on to me. Maddie is nowhere to be found so I look around the house but I don’t see her. As I go into the kitchen i look into the backyard. I found her, playing catch by herself, sadly. She’s the one that misses her dad the most. He would play catch with her everyday after school. I go out to see her while the other kids are playing in the playroom. I pick up the ball she didn’t catch and I toss it to her.

“Lunch time!” I scream

The kids scramble in and sit at the big bar stools in the kitchen eating their pb&js made like a heart without crust. Alex got jelly all over him and had to go change, Ally, wanted another, and Maddie silent. I try to bring up conversation with her but she is as quiet as my room was last night. She is usually a happy go-lucky kid that loves sports and eating even more, but today she wasn’t eating. As they go out and play in the back yard I throw away the paper plates and start to do some dishes. When I hear screaming I ran outside… Alex was on the ground and fell from the 8 foot high monkey bars and he’s holding is ankle crying while the other two try to smother him.

I met Kelly at the hospital and she was hysterical. I had told her that Alex was going to be okay but he did fracture a bone in his ankle. He has to be in a walking boot for about 6 weeks. Maddie was trying to distract Ally as much as she could. As soon as they saw Kelly they ran to her and started telling their versions of the story. Ally only being 3, had the funniest story, I couldn’t help but laugh.

“Mom, Alex climbed the top of the monkey bars and tried to climb into a whole tree! He jumped 100 feet and then he fell!”

Maddie telling a more reliable story; “mom, that is not what happened. He climbed upside down and tried to get out but landed on his ankle.”

When we went to visit Alex he was happy to be playing video games and drinking soda. His foot was up on a pillow and his ankle was black and purple all over. It was about 2:45 by then and I had to talk to Kelly for a few minutes before I left.

“Kelly, I am so sorry about Alex, I was doing dishes from lunch and all of a sudden I heard screaming. I ran out and carried him to the car and then called you.”

“It is okay, you did the right thing. Thank you. I will give you money for your time the next time you come over, is that okay?”

“Yes, thanks so much. The kids each ate a pb&j but, Maddie was acting weird today. She didn’t want to eat and she was trying to play catch by herself. I can talk to her next time I babysit and see what’s wrong if you want..?”

“She misses her dad. I just don’t know why she’s been acting like this. It’s been happening for a few days now. Can you just have a quick chat with her before you leave?”

“Ya of course.”

I felt so bad for Alex and Kelly but when I talked to Maddie about why she was so sad it was something that I wasn’t expecting at all… At school next Friday, there is a daddy-daughter dance at her school and she really wanted to go. How could I tell this to Kelly? How will she handle it? This is one of the hard parts because you want to help but you don’t know how to.

“Kelly,” I say whispering “can I talk to you?”

“Ya what’s up with Maddie?”

“There is a daddy-daughter dance this Friday.”

“Oh, shoot, wow, what do I do?”

“Maybe my dad would be up to taking her? I can talk to him if you want.”

“Really? Do you really think that he would do that?”

“Ya, I’ll ask him if he’s free, but I have to get to dance practice.”

“Oh ya, of course, go, thanks so much.”

At that moment I really wanted to talk to Dao. He would know what to say and how to fix this. Now it’s almost three and I have to get back to campus. I really hope that I can make it work for Maddie to go with my father.

Dance practice was so difficult but the dinner was good. I had an awesome carbo load; spaghetti, bread, and some potatoes. Luckily, I’m home now. I hate ballet and that’s what we worked on today for balance and part of our new routine. As I am laying in bed and my wet hair is slowing drying. I am warm and relaxed at the moment. Looking over instagram and who posted from my team Dao shows up and is sitting in my lovely white, furry, comfy chair.

“I’m ready.”

“Ready for what?!” I say

“To tell you my story. No talking and no questions, got it?”

“Yes.” I say quietly, eager to listen.

“I grew up in Vietnam. I have a younger sister. My family was fleeing from Vietnam when we were kids. On the boat that we used to get us out of the country, that’s where I died. It was small and packed with people. We came across a big boat of pirates and my sister was dressed up like a boy so she wasn’t raped again. I died protecting my sister. I wouldn’t be able to live with myself if she was the one that got killed. That’s it. That’s my story.”

“Wow, I had no idea. I’m so sorry.”

“Don’t worry about it. We aren’t talking about this again, ok?

At that moment I didn’t answer. I was silent trying to keep it all in and try to understand what he is going through.

Dao brought it up last night, said I acted weird. I had told him what I have been feeling since the last time I saw him. I told him that no guy had ever told me that I was beautiful. I started to get weird again, silent, he didn’t speak, and neither did I, it was like neither of us were there. The streetlight on, light shining through my window just enough so I could see him. Still reticent, we just looked at each other without blinking. We both felt something, but neither of us had the guts to admit it.

 


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