The graveyard wasn’t the nicest place to take Hollie, it was evident on her face. But at night, the dead came to life, and it’s an experience she will never forget. “Don’t be scared, right?” I held her hand for comfort as she anxiously nodded. “She’s with me, you can all come out now!” I announced to everyone, their instinct is to hide when they see a living human. After a few seconds, they all floated from their gravestones and presented themselves, Hollie stepped back, mouth ajar in disbelief.
“This is Hollie; she’s helping me leave the in-between.”
“Face it kid you ain’t getting outta’ here!” Johnathon Jenkins shouted, sat next to his gravestone tugging at the grass. I gently pulled Hollie’s arm gesturing her to walk with me.
“That’s Old Man Jenkins, died when he was fifty-two when his house got robbed, they beat him to death and the killers all still run free. He’s been here twenty years now,” I quietly explained.
“Oh my, that’s terrible!” she gasped, looking back at him sympathetically. We continued walking, there was something specific in this graveyard that I wanted her to see.
“Well, there I am,” and there we were, stood before my gravestone, stood before my body. She was in a trance for a second, the reality of it all struggled to settle with her, I was next to her but under her feet at the same time.
“Here lies Jack Harper, born 11th January 1970 died 16th May 1986, beloved son and friend… I don’t even know what to say, are you okay?” she looked up at me, tears threatening her eyes.
“Beloved son- ha,” I said with a bitter laugh.
“What do you mean?”
“What kind of parents let the police give up so soon, yes there was hardly any evidence but you don’t just give up. And then to sell the house, practically washing their hands of me.”
“You don’t know that, they were in mourning you can’t just presume that was the case,” I looked down to see her squeeze my hand tighter, not that I could feel it- I had forgotten that they were still interlocked. Silence then enveloped us, comfortable silence, as she glanced around becoming as lost in this world as I was.
“You know, for what it’s worth, I wish you were still alive. You didn’t deserve to die when you did.” A smile dominated my face, that was the first time I felt anyone wish for me to still be alive. “I’ll go on that date, I’ll get as much information as I can. I want you to leave here, to be free,” she softly declared. I looked at her as she remained looking at the ground, I admired her and her kind heart. In that moment, I had no idea what I wanted, only that I wanted something, which is the worst kind of wanting.