A Ghost’s Love Story

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She moved into his home years ago. She lived alone, with an old tabby cat as her only companion. She was quiet and reserved, left for work every morning at 7:15 am, and returned at 5:30 pm, ordered Chinese take-out, and ate alone in front of the T.V. until she sighed and went to bed.

He was dead, and had been for decades, but lived eternally as a young adult ghost, forced to stay within the confines of the single bedroom studio apartment. He steered clear of her at first, but as the years went on, he began to notice the bounce of her soft and curly hair, her rosy glow when she came home on a cold day, how she kissed the cat’s nose every morning before she left. He wanted to tell her that after all these years, he had grown to love her. But he couldn’t tell her.

(Because he’s a ghost).

He sat on the couch next to her when she watched T.V. He sat across from her at her tiny dining room table. He kept her cat company while she was gone. But none of it mattered.

(Because he’s a ghost).

He noticed how lonely she was, and he wanted nothing more than to comfort her and wrap her in his arms. Of course he tried. But she didn’t feel it.

(Because he’s a ghost).

She sensed his presence sometimes. She always had the nagging feeling that she was living with a friendly apparition. Whenever the floorboards would creak, she would turn and ask him how he was, what he had been up to that day, whether he enjoyed the last episode of Rick and Morty they had watched last night, etc. He tried to respond, but she couldn’t hear.

(Because he’s a ghost).

He grew more and more agitated that he couldn’t express his love for her. The figurative hole in his heart grew larger than the literal hole in his heart. As October approached, he knew what he had to do.

On the night of Halloween, he had his chance to cross into the living world. He killed her. As the life ebbed out of her, he held her in his arms. Suddenly the phone rang, piercing through the silence that was characteristic of the single bedroom studio. As she awoke and opened her eyes to see him for the first time, he whispered lovingly,

“The old Taylor can’t come to the phone right now. Why? Because she’s dead.”

-Alicia Bao, Contributor