Short Story (cont’d)
Years passed and Mary went to college but Ed went to a different college than Mary. They kept in touch through e-mails and then drifted apart as friends came into their lives.
Mary learned to shut out the gift and didn’t hear or see the spirits until one day when she went for a walk in the nearby park.
The birds were singing and there was a slight breeze that was cool as it brushed against her cheek. She thought it was strange for a cool breeze in the middle of summer, but dismissed it and continued her walk. When she rounded a curve in the path and looked to her right, there was a person walking along her that had appeared from nowhere.
Startled Mary gasped and halted to catch her breath. The person also stopped and faced her. Where did this person come from and who was this person? She looked around her to see if there were other people and the path was empty.
“Who are you? Where did you come from?” She said in between rapid exhales and inhales. But the person didn’t say anything. He just looked at her with a grin. It seemed a friendly grin, but Mary wasn’t sure. There was a feeling of happiness and sadness as she studied the person in front of her.
“Why don’t you answer?” The person made no attempt to move or answer any question she may have. This was annoying Mary and she raised her hands in disgust then started her walk again.
When Mary got further down the pathway, she turned to see if the person was following her. He wasn’t.
“Good, he’s gone. But who the hell was he?” She turned back another time to double-check. Still there was no one behind her.
Before she went to her apartment Mary decided to stop at the coffee shop and get an iced coffee. This was her usual routine and the people in the shop knew her by name. Mary was a person of strict routine and the workers knew when she would be stopping for her coffee.
Walking into the shop she was hit with a blast of cool air as the hot steamy air from outside passed behind her. All the tables had people talking and laughing and customers milling around at the counter.
The man behind the counter smiled as she entered and Mary smiled back. She had a crush on this man but hoped he didn’t see it. Please! How could he not see it?
Mary handed him her store card and rang up her order without her saying a word on what she wanted. It was always ready for her.
“You’re welcome, Mary.”
With coffee in hand she exited the coffee shop and walked to her apartment a few doors down from the shop. The thought of Alan still on her mind she didn’t notice anyone passing her on the sidewalk. It didn’t matter she was in another world, a world with just her and Alan.
Mary unlocked her apartment and stepped inside then locked the door behind her. A small table was against the wall that she placed her keys on so she would always know where they were when leaving.
Mary walked into the living room to relax on the brown leather sofa with soft thick cushions and felt something wasn’t right. She looked around the room, but didn’t notice anything amiss. Then she noticed on the chair at the end of the sofa there was someone sitting there.