These Memories Never Sleep
The ghosts of our actions can haunt us at any time.
Saturday morning. I can’t get the previous day out of my head. I just stole from the only person who was ever nice to me. The least I could do is return the potty chair he used as a baby.
I stuff it in the mailbox. It’s anonymous. He won’t know who it’s from.
I jog through the neighborhood to the wellness gym.
I am going. to. get. fit.
I get home starving and smelly. The kitchen is flooded again. I stir up some salad.
Alina comes in, but she doesn’t want any of the fresh salad I just prepared. No, she grabs some week-old version of the same salad from the fridge.
“Mom, you ate that plate clean! Was it chicken?”
“So Mom, what’s with those new graves in the front yard?”
“Fine. Don’t answer.”
This is going nowhere. Like usual.
No one says anything, but I think I’m supposed to do the dishes.
“Blega blerga blah bleh.”
I go back to Sam’s house. It’s the only thing that might cheer me up.
Sam’s not home when I get there. I sit and wait.
Sam comes in. Won’t he be surprised to see me!
“H…hi Dani! I didn’t expect you… The door was open and I thought, um…”
“You thought what Sam. Did you think I was a common theif?”
“Dani, don’t startle me like that again.”
It wasn’t a lie. I was a master theif, not some common criminal. Did he really think that if I was here to steal something, I’d wait around for him to come home?
He doesn’t trust me. What’s the point. I might as well finish what I started. The shower’s the last thing in the bathroom.
The bedroom is sparse, but nice. There’s this adorable light on a lovely table. I grab them both.
I head to the roof for some fresh air.
“Stay and chat for a bit.”
It’s the last thing I want to do. He pushes past me and into a room.
For a moment, he seems really happy everything is still there.
“Dani, I’m really sorry for earlier.”
I just can’t stay mad at him.
My goldfish is back! My goldfish is back!
Hail, mounted goldfish.
“Goodnight, Sam. We’ll spend some more time together soon, okay?”
I go back home. I really feel wonderful about my new friend.
For a moment, everything else feels empty.
Sam’s picture. Sam’s mobile. My room is decorated with the things he had as a baby.
I feel bad, but there’s nothing I can do now. Besides, it’s time for bed.
Something gets me up in the middle of the night. There’s a rattling noise coming from the crib.
Percy the bear is levitating!
“My work’s over. It’s time for fun.”
“Are you always this…blue?”
“You know…you don’t show up on my contact list. We could have some…fun, and no one would know…”
“Reeetuuuurn the deeecoraaaatiooons!”
I’m still asleep, surely! My mind is just playing tricks on me because… because…
…Because I feel guilty. There’s no one here. There’s no one here!
I’ll go back to sleep. It’s just a dream. There’s no such thing as ghosts…
“He he. Gets them every time.”
“You leave me every time. Please stay.”
Next: Chapter 6