Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Touched By a Ghost

(previously published in September, 2010 on a site that no longer exists)

Dennis sat in my driveway after he dropped off his cousin, Marilyn. Our eyes met, and I could tell instantly that he was as attracted to me as I was to him. But our situations were complicated. We were both separated but still legally married and we each had a child.

I had met Marilyn when I joined the same company where she and her best friend Jeannie worked. We all became friends and every day the three of us took breaks and lunches together. When Marilyn told me the day after Dennis dropped her off that he wanted to know if I would go out with him, I told her that absolutely I would.

I was living with my parents at the time, and though Dennis and I dated for a couple of months, my parents were upset that every time he came to pick me up, he brought along his entourage of motorcycle buddies. She refused to babysit anymore if I continued to see him.

When Dennis called the day my mother refused to babysit any longer, I told him to spend time with his daughter, and I would work something out for the weekend.

The next morning I awoke with an uneasy feeling, but I went to work anyway. Marilyn hadn't shown up for work that day, but Jeannie was there and I told her that I had a bad feeling about something. I couldn't eat and I couldn't get rid of the feeling that something was terribly wrong with somebody I deeply cared about.

The first phone call I made was to my babysitter to find out if my daughter was OK. She was fine. I then called my mother, my sisters, and even my friends. It didn't occur to me to call Dennis, because we hadn't really been dating that long. 

Despite the fact that everybody I called was fine, I couldn't shake the feeling that something was terribly wrong somewhere. As the morning passed into the afternoon and I still couldn't eat, I told Jeannie I was really worried.

After watching me suffer all morning from worry, Jeannie finally pulled me aside to tell me the reason Marilyn wasn't at work that day – Dennis might have been killed in a motorcycle accident the night before, the night I was supposed to be with him. The rumor was that he had been hit by a Pepsi truck and that his head had been severed from his body.

Instantly I knew that the reason for my feeling of dread was because the rumor was true. Dennis had died. I asked Marilyn to verify the information for me, because I was shaking and crying too much to talk to anybody on the phone. 

When I made it home, still in tears, my mother reminded me of how lucky I was that she had refused to watch my daughter for me. The thought that I too might have died hadn't entered my mind.

That night, as I rolled over in bed, still crying, still thinking about Dennis and about how sad it was for his daughter to have lost such a loving dad, I attempted to fall asleep.

But whispers in my ear prevented that from happening. I immediately jumped out of bed and turned on the overhead light, my heart pounding inside my chest. 

I had been studying Harold Sherman's, How to Make ESP Work For You, and I had been implementing his strategies. His methods were working and I amused and amazed my friends at work with my predictions. But now that I "heard" whispering from the other side, I wasn't so sure I wanted to develop my ESP any further. I was, in a word, frightened by my ability.

The next night, thinking the whispering was a fluke, I turned off the light and sat on the bed. Out of somewhere I felt a hand touch my shoulder and I immediately leaped out of bed to turn the light back on.

Terrified, I acknowledged that maybe I didn't really want to learn ESP after all and that I couldn't handle ghostly encounters.

I've heard it said that when people die from traumatic events (in this case, a head severed from a body), their spirits remain earthbound for a time while they adjust to the fact that they're dead. 

To this day nobody will convince me that it wasn't Dennis saying a final goodbye.

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