3. Ghosts Don’t Exist
I’m in my bedroom. I gasp for air but there’s none. The room is completely invaded by water. All my toys are floating. Including the police motorbike my uncle gave me for my birthday. And Emilio, the little robot Santa brought me for Christmas. I cry. The water muffles my desperation, but I can still feel it. It is so intense that eventually it wakes me up. There’s no more water around me, but that overwhelming sensation has followed me. And so have the tears. They’re crossing my face like rapids. I can’t bare the deep dark that surrounds me, so I turn on the little lamp that is sitting on my bedside table. I wanna go find my mum and dad. They will hug me and calm me down. I do as for getting up when a face appears on the wall before me. A woman. I don’t know her, but she seems to know me.
I’m not sure why I’m thinking about that night now, while I dust the living room furniture on this unusually sunny and warm day of late March. For the first time since last October, I didn’t turn the heating on when I woke up. Instead, I opened all the windows. A gentle mild breeze comes in through them. Aw, the spring! You would think that a day like this would bring back different types of memories. Me going for a walk by the sea with my parents and my sister, for instance, or me climbing on the cherry tree in my grandpa’s plot of land. Instead, I think about that nightmare. And that woman. Too many years have gone by, I can’t remember what she said to me. The only thing I know is that she made me stop crying. Every now and then that memory comes to mind, for no apparent reason. Perhaps it’s because the whole thing is still an unresolved mystery to me. Even now, nearly thirty years after, I still question the veracity of that episode. I wonder if it was all a dream. Maybe I thought I was awake, but I wasn’t. This uncertainty about what actually happened is probably why I didn’t tell anyone back then. I was aware, despite my young age, of how crazy that would sound. I was only five or six years old, but I was smart enough to know that nobody would believe me. And even now, the only people who know are my sister and my boyfriend. People would think I’ve gone nuts if I told them. Especially if they knew that’s not the only episode of strange appearances I’ve experienced in my life. There’s also the story of that figure I saw lying on my flatmate’s sofa when I was at Uni. A female figure, once again, but entire this time. I would think I am crazy too if it wasn’t for the fact that my friend was with me, and she saw exactly the same thing. The figure was clearly visible, but it started fading out as soon as we entered the room. It was as if she wasn’t supposed to be seen and when she noticed that we were there, decided to disappear.
Now, I don’t believe in ghosts. To be fair, I don’t believe in what I can’t explain. But damn! I know what I saw, and that’s why I’ve been trying to find a reasonable explanation to these episodes for years. I haven’t found it yet.
I finish dusting the coffee table. That’s the last thing I had to do before proceeding with cleaning the floor. I take a break before doing that, though. I walk outside, to the garden. Those memories gave me the chills. I need to feel the sun on my skin to regulate my body temperature. Bambi is outside, lying on the wooden deck.
‘Are you getting tanned?’ I ask him, humorously.
Bambi lazily lifts his head, looks at me and yawns.
‘Oh, so I am boring now? Thank you very much!’ I say, pretending to be offended.
He doesn’t care. He puts his head down and waits for me to come closer and stroke him. And I do so.
The warm sun rays fold me like a blanket. Bambi stretches and turns on his back so I can caress his belly. I sit on the deck right beside him, my back resting on the sliding window. I close my eyes and let the warmness transport me into another dimension. My mind goes back to that female figure. I scrunch my eyes in the attempt to remember her face, but I can’t. I wish I could, though. At least I would know if she’s really who I think she is.
‘As if knowing would help me feeling less crazy,’ I say out loud, opening my eyes. The brightness of the sun takes me back to reality. ‘And anyway, who cares? Ghosts don’t exist, am I right Bambi?’
Bambi doesn’t even move. Not even a little head tilting. Ghosts are not his thing, apparently. And they shouldn’t be mine either. But then, why can’t I stop thinking about it even after all this time?