I am young, indestructible, and I fear nothing. I have no reason to be afraid—until today. At 20 years old, I have never intimately experienced death. Today is the day. The day that I will feel empty and void of events that that I had taken for granted in my day-to-day life. Silly things like going to lunch, or parking my car will be unnerving. Today is the day that Jimmy will run up to me and yell, “Guess what did you hear that John is dead?” My heart will sink to the floor, and I will want to barf right here where I stand. My friend is dead. Why?
Fast-forward two weeks.
For weeks, my overactive mind continues reliving our last moments together. John and I both worked hard to save up for cars. We met in an awkward way. He came in to the store I was working in. I couldn’t take my eyes off him. I quickly walked down the isle and asked, “Can I help you find something”. He tilted his head to the side and grinned from ear to ear.
“No. I am just killing some time during my lunch break, “ he casually replied.
“Okay, then. Let me know if I can help you, “ I gushed smiling right back at him. And so, the unspoken bond began.
Going to work everyday was painful. I had just lost my lunch buddy and a friend that I looked forward to seeing and chatting with daily. Not only was John my friend, but also I had hoped our relationship would blossom into more. Our bond seemed to be headed in that direction at a snail’s pace, but never came to fruition. It was weeks of taunting, teasing, and harassing. You know—the things future lovers do. Whenever, I saw him walk in my direction, my heart fluttered in my chest, and I would feel my face flush. Did he notice? Sure, he did.
Not knowing what the future held—I regarded our last moments together as insignificant. It hurt me to recall our conversion. The Christmas rush was bearing down on us as customers hustled and bustled in and out of the store getting their last minute shopping done. John causally moseyed into the shop and poked around the records, futzing with the loose gold watch on his wrist as he always did. I glanced up looking his way. His golden blonde wavy hair met the wire frames of his glasses. I could see that his brow was ruffled over his deep-sea blue eyes. Our passing glances locked in on each other. “What’s your problem now?” I brazenly asked.
“Ah, nothing,” John said as he sped toward the door, “We’ll talk about it later.”
Those were the last words I would ever hear him speak. My mind raced crafting ridiculous guesses as to what he was going to say. The guilt I felt was almost too much to bear. There was no excuse for not making an appearance at his funeral. I didn’t know any of his friends or family and didn’t understand the protocol for such events. Each day I drove to work, my eyes couldn’t help but focus in the direction of John’s private parking space. I was yearning for someone to tell me this was all a mistake, and I would see his car parked in the corner lot.
Later that evening, while in a sound sleep, I rolled over and noticed the amber glow of a light shining in the living room. “Oh. Damn!” I moaned as I yanked myself to an upright position and noticed that the luminosity of the light began to change. I rubbed my eyes and tried to shake myself conscious. The glow continued to fade into the form of a man sitting on my couch. What the hell? I thought to myself. I could not believe what I was seeing. The more I stared at the glow, the more defined it became. Then I saw the glimmer of a gold watch. Our faces met, and the glow slowly hovered out my front door. I felt both serene and freaked out at the same time.
Thirty Years Later
I have always carried some sense of guilt for not officially saying goodbye to my friend, and I often think of John—wondering about what could have been. I feel that the event that occurred in my living room was paranormal. It was a sign from John telling me not to worry. I am ok, and I told you I would talk to you later! John’s death was violent and pointless.
John’s story has always disturbed me. Wanting to gain closure over this tragic event, I began to write about haunted history to share stories with others who have similar interests. I connected with a colleague who also had a paranormal experience. Finally, I can share my story with someone who would understand my curiosity. To my shock, my colleague was friends John for quite some time and knew where he was buried. Was this message from beyond the grave?
After thirty years, it was felt odd to be standing at the graves site of such a young man. Did he know I was there? Does he know that, after all this time, I still think of him often? I think he must.