The Ghost of You Keeps Haunting Me
Tonight again I hear the telltale trio of knocks on my bedroom door, and I know it’s you.
But I open the door and no one’s there.
The only thing that keeps me hoping is the scent of rosewater and lemon — the perfume that followed after you in life and lingers even though your body’s been cold in the ground for three months.
Only three months, yet the days feel like wandering through an endless labyrinth in the underworld.
During the daylight hours, I take to the garden where your roses have begun to flourish, yet you’re no longer here to tend to them. The thorns stab me for my effort. I try not to think of how you would just shake your head at me while stifling a laugh behind your hand. Then I would have caught that hand of yours in mine and —
The memories choke me. The sear of tears threaten, so I depart the garden and decide the library will be my next torture of choice. It was not my prerogative to collect a small stockade of books in the house — but you insisted. You said it was an investment towards rearing the knowledge of the children we would have.
Yet here I stand now, childless and wifeless, with nothing to show for it except books I will never read.
Even so, I trail through the room and pull down books one by one. The titles mean nothing to me, but I know they meant something to you. Just touching the covers and feeling their embellishments make me wonder which ones your hands warmed once upon a time. Which books knew your love and care? I wish I knew. I never asked.
I return each book to its place, as if doing so is a rite of some kind, and this is the way I honor your memory. The books will have a home as long as I’m alive.
Sometimes the open door will creak and break me away from my pool of sorrow. I imagine it’s you peeking in, lingering just a moment before you fade out of sight.
I don’t pretend to know how ghosts spend their time. But I know you would never leave me if there was a choice otherwise. The kingdom of Heaven may have wanted you, but I needed you. I still need you. Despite the blasphemy of it all, I hope you haven’t…