A Ghost’s Story: Chapter 9.2
By: Wayne Hills.
‘Coming to you from Warner Brother’s studios…’
Sidekick Andy Richter begins another nightly episode of, Conan, the same way he has for decades in the living world, as he will for eternity in ours. Sitting in my familiar recliner in the living room of our home, chubby dachshund Lola on my lap, apprehension overwhelms me as I glance toward my wife. Why I am afraid of what I might see puzzles me. Inexplicably, I’m relieved to see that Suzie is knitting her endless ball of yarn into the ‘Never Ending Story’ of sweaters, just as I expected. The garment never got bigger, the wool never smaller, but I can tell she’s content just working away.
But I’m not content; something pulls at my memory.
Why do I think her project is never going to end?
I watch as her hands nimbly work the long slender needles in her fingers; the soft but surprisingly strong digits I’ve held a thousand times. Her right index deftly pulls the yarn from the ball, slips it over the top of the shiny pink needle, and then quickly, almost imperceptibly, transfers it onto the left hand tool to become a knitted stitch. Or a pearl, one is over the stick, the other under I think. She knows, that’s all that matters to me. Her happiness, her safety, that’s all I care about in life.
Yet there’s something more, a tinge in the back of my mind. Something isn’t done, I have left something incomplete. There’s unfinished business outside.
Outside? Why would I need to go outdoors?
I stand and walk to door.
I look back at my wife; her gaze alternates between the work in her hands and the TV screen.
“Suzie, I need to check on something outside. I think I left the hose running.”
I don’t know what else to say. I have to go to finish what I’ve started. Even though I’m not sure what it is, I can’t ignore it and stay.
At least I know Suzie will be safe and happy.
Why would I think otherwise? It matters that I feel this way, but I don’t know why.
“I’ll be back my love, don’t worry about me.” I say as I reach for the doorknob.
“OK dear.” She replies without looking at me.
My hand hovering over the knob, I stop, turn, and go back to her. I kneel before her so that she has to look into my eyes.
“You know I’ll love you always and forever, don’t you?”
“Of course Auggie, don’t be weird.”
I kiss her and hold our lips together for one long breath. I lean back.
“You’ll be all right without me for a while. I’ll be back.” I mean it and know in my heart it is true, but at the same time I am afraid. I don’t know why I have to go or what it is I will do once I leave. I just have to leave.
“I told you not to be weird,” she smiles as she reaches up; I feel the warmth of her fingers touch my cheek. “You know I love you too, I’m just not a nerd about it. Now go shut off that hose, Conan has some good guests tonight.”
She returns to her knitting as I walk to the door.
As I step through the opening, a thought occurs to me, ‘I wonder if Doc’s found his eye yet. ‘