The next night, it was dark by the time I got home from work. I was hungry, tired, and just plain down. As I ate my plate of leftover scrambled eggs and bacon, I couldn’t help but think of my mom and how people weren’t helping me cope with her death. I knew that they were trying their best, but they were just going about it the wrong way. Distractions were nice, but they never solved the real problem: I was sad and angry over the whole thing.
Suddenly I felt a chill up my spine. When I left the dining room to investigate, I saw a glimpse of green floating up the stairs. Curious, I followed a little ways behind it. I had always loved a good mystery.
It ended up floating through the door of my office, but when I entered the room it was nowhere to be found. That is, until I turned around and saw that my computer was floating.
I almost screamed when I saw what- or who- came out of it. “Mom!?” I yelled, realizing that something had changed about her appearance. She was almost see-through and dark red. I didn’t believe that it was really her- this had to be some sort of a prank to try to make me feel better, right? “Whoever’s trying to do this, I’m going to tell you right now that it’s not going to work!” I shouted.
As she got up from my computer, I felt a chill in my arm where it passed through her torso. Whoever was doing this had really spent a lot of time, money, and effort.
“Hi, Stuart,” she said. Her voice sounded exactly the same.
I sat down at the computer. “Okay, whoever’s doing this, I’m really tired of people trying to get me to feel better, so you can just quit right now.”
She sat down on the edge of the bed, just like she had when I was a child. “Stuart, it’s not what you think. This is me,” she said, clearly hurt by my assumptions.
“Then prove it.”
“Come outside with me.”
As I got up to follow her, I noticed that she was acting like her back hurt. Had she done this in real life, and I had just never noticed because I was always so busy with everything else?
“Lay down with me,” she said once we reached the sidewalk. I thought that I knew what we were going to do, but I wasn’t sure, so I followed her lead. She didn’t say anything more, but as the two of us laid there, looking up at the moon and stars, I felt truly peaceful for the first time since her death. I remembered how the two of us used to do this on nights where I just couldn’t sleep. We would lay here and whatever story she had told me that night would float through my head, and it almost seemed like the stars would re-arrange themselves into whatever the story was about. As I grew older I just assumed that it was my mind playing tricks on me, but now I realized that they actually were moving. I saw everything that had happened so far this week- Grim, the goldfish, my date with Joslyn, Timothy’s birthday party, and the two of us looking up at the night sky.
“We have the same sky,” she said, breaking the silence.
I glanced over at her, confused by what she meant.
“Some of us, after we die, are able to come back like this because we have some sort of attachment to the sky,” she explained.
“An attachment to the sky… does that mean that you’re making this happen?” I asked, gesturing upwards.
“Yes,” she replied. “I won’t tell you anymore now since it’s about time for you to be getting to bed, but I’ll type up the story for you to read later.”
I nodded, getting up to head to bed while she headed to the computer.