The ghost of my love.
I see him now and then on the high street. He walks to work these days still carrying the briefcase that I bought him seven Christmases ago
.He stops by the dry cleaners to drop off his suit then picks up a coffee, I always used to tell him off about buying drinks.
"Take a flask" I'd yell on my way out, but he never listened.
I hang around the house and find he's changed the curtains, what else has been altered?, It'll be his interfering mother, I hope he hasn't got another woman.
When we married we had so many hopes and dreams, I was training to be a geriatric nurse and he'd just passed his accountancy exams, we talked about having a family and going on holiday, the usual things couples do.
Valentine's day was always special to us. We did daft mushy things like leave each other notes most days but on Feb the 14th we always made more of an effort, that little cherub with it's bow and arrow has a lot to answer for.
I'd known James since school, childhood sweethearts and all that. Yeah, we were loved up alright and there was never anyone else for either of us.
His mother never liked me, she made it clear that I wasn't good enough for her precious only son. She didn't like the way he stuck up for me when she was rude at family gatherings and tried to pair him up with an old friends daughter, he just laughed and said he'd made his choice and that was me.
I visited her once and scared the life out of her, revenge they say is a dish best served cold, believe me she shivered for a long time after that night.
Six Valentines days ago I was driving home, It had been a particularly difficult shift, two of my elderly ladies had died and I just wanted to curl up with a glass of wine and a cuddle.
A Topshop lorry loaded up with the autumn/winter collection jacknifed and hit the back of my Mini.
I tumbled down an embankment into a ditch which was full of rainwater. We'd had a heck of a lot of rain that summer.
I died wondering what the new seasons colours would be and hoped that James hadn't put the dinner on yet.
Like I said, I watch him. I've been watching him for six years now on and off, a lady keeps looking at me as if she knows me and she smiles and beckons me but I get distracted by other things.
He's getting ready to go out again, I think maybe he's got over me and moved on, then why can't I?.
I visited my parents once but it was too heartbreaking. My dad potters about his allotment and my mother goes to church and has her friends but they seem lost and I get upset, can a ghost cry?.
He's leaving now, I've noticed he walks everywhere or gets a bus or taxi, he hasn't driven since my accident and I don't blame him.
I follow him to the end of the road and he turns to look behind him, does he sense me after all this time?, I have tried to let him know I'm there but I think maybe he doesn't want to, maybe he doesn't want to believe I've gone.
I watch him go into a bar and buy a drink. I watch him sit at a table and look around, is he trying to pick someone up?.
His face changes suddenly, it's the same smile he had for me, but it's not for me it's for her.
Emma is a woman I used to work with, oh, how she must have comforted him after my death. Now she's got her feet under the table and I bet it was her who changed the curtains.
I have to go outside. I can't take anymore, he has moved on and I don't blame him, it's time I left.
That woman's waving at me again. I recognise her, its Annie, one of my ladies who died the same night that I did.
She'd said death wasn't as bad as you think and I'd told her not to be so silly. Maybe she wasn't talking rubbish after all. I walk towards her and she takes my hand and as we disappear into the crowd I catch a glimpse of him taking Emma home. He has his arm around her shoulder, they're setting off on a new adventure, the same one we set off on all those years ago.
I hope she looks after him and loves him as much as I did.
© Copyright 2017 Charlie J Gibbs. All rights reserved.
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