An unexpected visit

I take a deep breath and watch as the glass moves slowly across the board towards the word yes. A creepy feelings settles in the dark room and the silence is deafening. I don’t remember who’s bright idea it was to bring a ouija board, but as soon as we got settled and ready for a cozy night in the cabin someone took it out and suggested we try. So here we sit and watch in petrified amazement as the glass spells out a name we don’t know.

We have covered every mirror and glass with a sheet like it said online. Apparently ghost can appear in a reflective surface. I personally think the idea is absurd, but someone didn’t want to take the chance. That I wholeheartedly agree on. Why risk it? So we covered everything reflective, turned all the lights off and lit a few candles. Then we placed our fingers on the bottom of a milk glass and chanted for a ghost to talk to us.

“Maybe we should stop now” Mary whispers a little timidly when the glass starts moving again. “I don’t think this is a good idea. We’re messing with something we know nothing about”

“I know what you feel, Mary” I agree, looking towards the rest of the group.

I don’t believe in ghost, but I believe that there is more to this world that we know. There is more than meets the eye between heaven and earth, I just don’t know what. For all I know ghosts really do exist, or maybe demons or unicorns or leprechauns. I don’t really care either. As long as they leave me alone, I’m leaving them alone.

“Oh, come on! We’ve barely started. What’s the harm? It’s not like they’re going to break a window or possess one of us. It’s just harmless fun” Lydia argues back with a smile before casting a look at each and every one of us, waiting expectantly for one of us to call it quits.

I guess the thought of figuring out more about the unknown is a little exciting because none of us open out mouths to protest or quit. Even I keep my mouth shut even though I know I shouldn’t. Instead I turn my attention back to the board and wait for Lydia to ask another question.

“Dear spirit, will you please show us a sign that you’re really here?” She asks.

As soon as the words leave her mouth the noise of a door slamming vibrates through the entire cabin. We look at each other in union, all of our eyes bulging out and our mouths hanging open in shock. Then, after a beat there is a flurry of movement and a lot of high pitched screaming.  Lydia, Kate, and Maria leaps over the table and into the couch and huddles close to Mary and me.

The room falls completely silent again as we sit there. I don’t know how long we sit there, but when the lights comes on we scream in fear again.

“Why the hell are you screaming?” My big brother calls loudly.

It takes a while to register that it’s him, but when it does I run and trip over the table in my haste to throw myself into his arms. There is a moment of awkwardness where he doesn’t know what to do, probably a little confused, but then he hugs me back.

“You’re not supposed to be here, but god am I happy to see you” I breath against his chest.

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Silent treatment

He curls his fingers around the handle and pauses. He can hear the summing of their voices through the door, and for a fleeting moment he tries to listen to their conversation by pressing his ear against the wood, but then he changes his mind and stands up straight again. The lump in his stomach grows heavier with every second that passes. He has dreaded this exact moment the whole weekend because of what will happen when he pushes the door open and steps into the room.

His chest expands on a heavy breath as he tries to gather enough courage to walk inside. Sweat prickles forth along his hairline in the back of his neck and trails down toward his collar. The metal door handle feels warm and clammy in his wet palm, and the air in the hall feels suffocating.

He takes another deep breath and pushes the door open before he steps inside and makes a beeline for the coffee machine. Their voices die the second the door opens and turns the room completely silent. He grabs for the phone in his pocket and pretends to check his emails as he waits for the coffee to brew.

He tries to pretend that they’re not there. That their eyes aren’t directed at him. A few of them whispers quietly among themselves behind his back, more than likely about him again. He has no idea what he did or said to make them hate him this much. He just can’t figure it out. He must have done something, right? Because grown ups don’t behave like this without reason do they?

Love conquers all

I’ve never thought much about it before. I’ve heard it like everybody else, of course, but I’ve never truly felt it. The notion that something as simple and as complicated as love has the power to conquer absolutely everything seemed unbelievable.

The love I share with my husband has been through so many stages I can hardly believe it. The first one was distance. We went to different schools that were far apart. Sometimes we’d go weeks without seeing or talking to one another, but then when we finally found the time, we’d talk like no time had passed at all. We were best friends before we became a couple, and I’ve often wondered if that had something to do with it.

After college, we moved in together, which is a very trying time. It’s then that you notice those little annoying habits that your partner has. Like throwing dirty clothes on the floor instead of in the laundry hamper, or placing a dirty dish in the sink instead of straight in the dishwasher. We fought constantly and endlessly over small annoying habits for months before we finally sat down to have a talk. We talked all night, about how we wanted things to be in our home and that we needed to find a solution or go our separate ways. Then we compromised and made rules that would fit both of us.

After a few years we became pregnant with out first child, but in the second trimester we lost it. We grieved separately and very differently. He would work constantly, and when he finally came home and thought I was asleep he’d cry until his body shut down and went to sleep. I never said or did anything. I was too gone up in my own grief to try and comfort his. We continued like that for a year. No talking or mention of the loss of our baby, just silence. For a year I walked around with the thought that we’d go our separate ways. Then, one night when he came home late and started crying – I couldn’t take it anymore. I wrapped my arms tightly around him and held on for dear life. From then on we grieved together.

A while after that we got married and traveled the world together, just us. Then, when we got home from our last trip, we found out we were pregnant again. After talking through the fear and pain we experienced last time, we decided to keep it. Nine months later our beautiful and healthy son came to the world with a loud wail. Little did we know that his cries and need for attention would be our next trial. We became robots working on separate shifts twenty-four hours a day. We were tired, sleep deprived and frustrated beyond belief. The fighting started again. We both slammed doors and threatened to leave.  How we pulled through I don’t know, but after half a year the crying stopped and the apologizing began.

We’ll go through much more, but after all this I am truly and utterly convinced that our love will conquer absolutely everything live will throw at us.

Where we stand

“Sometimes I wonder if you like seeing me this way. Why else would you do this to us over and over again?” I choke forward, passed the lump in my throat. “I just don’t understand, Daniel. I thought you were happy?”

“Why were you going through my messages?”

He looks at me like I’m the one who did something wrong, and I can’t for the life of me help the humorless laugh that escapes my lungs. He’s chatting up girls on the web and I’m the one who did something wrong for finding them? God. I can’t believe him.

“First of all, I’m not the one that has to defend herself right now, you are. But just so you know, I didn’t go through them purposely to snoop, they popped up when I was borrowing your computer”

“It’s just a conversation, Mia. Nothing else, I swear”

He takes a step forward, his hands reaching for me, but I take a step backwards before he can touch me. I don’t want his filthy hands anywhere near me. I don’t even want to see his face anymore.

“Just pack up your stuff and get out, Daniel. We’re through”

I turn to walk away when he clasps a hand on my shoulder. ” No, I love you. Please, Mia. It was just a conversation. Don’t end us over something so stupid”

I whirl around then, his words lighting my blood on fire. “Something so stupid? How is you telling another girl that you want to fuck her a stupid reason? It seems pretty reasonable to me”

“But I didn’t fuck her. That has to count for something”

That humorless laugh threatens to break free again. How can he even think that will make it right? He wanted to fuck another woman, whether he did it or not becomes mute. He still wants to be with someone else. He should be happy, because now he’s free to sleep with whomever he wants.

“It really doesn’t, Daniel”

“So this is where we stand, huh? You’re leaving me because I flirted with some woman on the internet?”

“It wasn’t just flirting. You were planning to meet her today. And it wasn’t just some woman, it was several” I’ve tried to keep my tears at bay the entire conversation, but I just can’t hold them any longer. They fall freely now. It just hurts so goddamn much. we’ve been together for years, and this is how it ends. God.

“Mia” Daniel whispers, reaching a hand up towards my face, but again I take a step away.

“Just go. Please” I sob.

He turns, takes a few steps before stopping again. He looks at me from over his shoulder one more time, almost as if he’s checking to see if I’m going to stop him. I won’t. I wonder if he realizes it, because after a few seconds he turns again and leaves my life.

Yes. This is where we stand when all he could see when he looked at me was his own reflection rolling down my cheeks.

The snow will cover me

Sweat prickles forth on my forehead, and I stop my digging to wipe it away before it runs into my eyes.   I take a small breather, watching my breath form in the winter air. My t-shirt is sticking uncomfortably to my skin even though I’m only wearing a sweater.

I curse myself yet again for doing this in the winter when the ground is hard and difficult to dig up. And if it weren’t for the fact that I’m over halfway there, I would have found another place to dump the shit.

I peer into the hole, trying to decide if it’s big enough before I turn and head towards the car to get the bag. I really hope it’s going to fit. The prospect of shoveling more hard dirt isn’t appealing right now when I’m soaked with sweat.

I lean the shovel against the car before reaching for the suitcase, hoisting and heaving, until it finally hits the ground. I had no idea how heavy dead weight was until now. But god, it feels like the suitcase weighs a ton as I try to drag it towards the hole in the ground.

How much time I use to get the damn thing into the hole, I don’t know, but it feels like an eternity passes before I finally get it in. Then I head towards the car for my shovel before I start to throw the dirt back in place.

I use my time to get it to look undisturbed, careful to not leave behind a speck of evidence. Just in case someone stumbles across it and connects it to me. And they will, because he is my husband after all.  My cheating, dead husband.

Satisfied with my work I head back towards the car, placing the shovel in the back before seating myself in the drivers side. My hand freezes on the keys in the ignition, and I cast a look in the rearview mirror, adjusting it until I see his resting place.

What if someone finds him? I would be in so much trouble. God. Maybe I should have dumped him in the river like I originally planned? My hand reaches for the door handle just as a single snowflake lands on my window.  It couldn’t have come at a better time, I think as I twist the key and listen to the engine roar to life.

I drive off slowly, confident that the snow will cover all my tracks.

He deserved it

Her fist connects with his jaw, and her knuckles hurts like hell, but she can’t seem to stop herself. She grabs him by his shoulders and connects her knee into his groin, making him hunch over in pain. Then, when he’s hunched over, all but crying out for her to stop, she plants her elbow between his shoulder blades. She watches him fall to the ground before he curls himself into a ball, whimpering in pain.

She knows she should stop now, but she can’t. She wants him dead. So she kicks him as hard as she can. The tip of her boot connects  with his spine, and a sickening crack penetrates the air. He’s long since stopped struggling, but she can’t make her body stop fighting him.

The next kick lands on the back of his head. She kicks and screams until two strong arms warp themselves around her from behind and drags her towards the sidewalk. She struggles against the hold, wriggling and kicking, trying to break free. But no matter how much she struggles, the hold still won’t let her go.

“I’m going to fucking kill him!” She screams on the top of her lungs, still trying to wriggle free of the strong hold around her.

“Stop, Kathrine. Just stop!”  Detective Holbrook yells, releasing his hold a little, when the woman in his hold slowly but surely stops trying to break free.

“He destroyed her” She sobs loudly, sagging in on herself when the fight leaves her body. “He deserves to die for what he’s done”

“I understand how you feel, but this isn’t the way, Kathrine. This isn’t justice” Detective Holbrook answers even though he’d like to see the bastard gone too. “Your daughter wouldn’t have wanted this”

“I don’t care anymore! She’s gone because of him, and he deserves to die!” She yells in the direction of her husband that’s being loaded onto a gurney by medical personnel.  “He killed her” She spits out with venom as they wheel her husband passed them.

They watch as he gets loaded into the waiting ambulance, then as it drives away. Kathrine sinks to heavily onto her knees, a heartbreaking sob escaping her lips in tandem with her adrenaline.

“I know it was wrong, but he had it coming!” She turns her tearful face towards the detective. “He killed my baby! What was I supposed to do? Just sit back and watch him continue living? He doesn’t deserve to live”

On the edge

The quietness of the woods used to offer me peace and quiet. The cliff right above our small town’s rushing river used to offer me comfort and clarity. Tonight it’s offering something else. 

“Useless bitch”
“No one likes you”
“The world would be a better place without you”
“Why don’t you do us all a favor and quit breathing?”

Their words echo around in my head over and over like a broken record. Their voices are the first thing I hear when I wake up in the morning, and the last before I fall asleep every night. I’ve tried silencing them, but their voices grows louder every time I try to drown them out.

I wonder what I did to make them hate me that much?

I take a wary step forward, the tip of my shoe sticking out from the edge. I peer into the deep blue water coursing beneath me. Just one more step and it will all go away. I just have to move my feet a little and I won’t feel anything anymore.

What a relief that would be – to not feel anything.

Maybe they’re right. Maybe the world would be a better place without me. Maybe they’ll feel relief too if I stopped breathing tonight?  Tears presses forward and trails down my cheeks, making my vision blurry and unclear. There is a crushing pain in my chest, like someone has plunged their fist into my chest, wrapped their fingers around my heart and squeezed. A sob escapes my lips as I move the other foot towards the edge until all my toes are over the edge of the cliff.

I just have to lean forward and gravity will do the rest.
________________________________________

Her body is found two days later, and when the police search her room they find a note with only one sentence.

“Maybe the world will be a better place now”