-Please Valentin, don't do it! No ... don't do this to me, please- ... I say. He laughs teasingly, but I can feel his nervousness.
-What else? What are you going to say now? Until death do us part?-. Valentin says, the tears are falling down his face, just like me. I clench my fists tightly and out of nowhere, he continues saying.
-Don't be ridiculous, Oscar. You're dead, nothing can be done anymore-…
Do there really exist a heaven and a hell as many believe? They even believe in the existence of a midpoint, or limbo. What happens to you after you die? Some people believe that at the end of your life you will be judged according to how you lived your life, the rest we all know. Others think that when you die, your consciousness, which is nothing more than information, returns to where it came from, the universe, and there, they merge into one thing. For some others, it does not end there, for them, after visiting the cosmos, consciousness returns to the physical world in the form of reincarnation. What should we believe? Is it necessary to believe that something happens after death? I suspect so, because it is a necessity.
However, none of that happened to me, or is this a kind of limbo? I did not go to heaven, that luminous place full of fair and good souls, but neither to the fiery hell of eternal suffering and infested with demons and the worst of humanity, which religion created. I am still here, wandering between the world of the living, a heaven and hell in one place.
Probably a year has passed since my death, I'm not sure, I have no idea of time. After my murder, the neighbors who lived in front of my house moved, they could not bear the idea of continuing in this place. Until now, that house is still alone, the grass has grown and the old "For Sale" sign is about to collapse. But my little sister and my mother have followed their life normally, and I'm still here, trapped.
I can see how they live their lives, they try to be happy, doing the best they can, and I'm still here, unable to hug them, talk to them, we can't be a complete family again, even though I'm not gone yet. What am I supposed to do to leave? What should I do until that happens?
Yes. I am here in the world of the living without being alive, I did not know why I was not going to my place yet, in case there is one, but another person I met, now my only friend has taught me many things about how to be a wandering soul.
-Oscar! How are you?-.
-Hello Mrs. Pemberton, where are you coming from?-. I ask her with a slight smile, while I´m sitting on a rock, in the garden of my old house.
-Oh, nowhere, I was just walking around there… as always-. She says with a tired laugh. The stout and cheerful woman waves her hand trying to cool off, raising her translucent face to the sky.
-Mrs. Pembertom, can a ghost get tired?-. I ask really curious. She laughs out loud and says.
-A ghost can get tired yes, but not from taking a walk I think-. She continues laughing. -Boy, I like doing things like when I was alive-.
-Do you regret what you did?-. I ask. She is silent, I can see on her face that she is thinking of something.
-Sometimes I regret Oscar, if I had known I was going to be wandering here until who knows when, I would have preferred to bear my stupid alcoholic son-. She responds, looking nowhere.
-But at least he doesn't hurt you anymore-. I say, she smiles with her arms crossed, a relaxed, almost peaceful grimace.
Sometimes I forget that I am dead. When my mother or sister comes out here and talks, I sometimes join the conversation, as if they are listening to me, but I soon realize that this is not the case. I start to feel sad, Mrs. Pemberton notices it and approaches me. Putting her chubby hand on my shoulder.
-If you want to talk, here I will be, although I hope not forever-. Again her particular giggle is heard. I sigh, and try to put a smile on my face. A smile full of torment. Sometimes I think it's not fair what happened to me, but it's no use complaining, what's done is done, and I have to learn to deal with it.
I'm not sure but I think it's been a few days. As always, I am on the sidewalk, watching the world go by. In the distance a van is approaching, Mrs. Pemberton walks in the direction where I am, crossing the street at the same time that the vehicle is approaching.
-Mrs. Pemb!-. I scream trying to warn her that the car is coming. The woman has already crossed the street, with a proud and calm step, again I forgot that we are dead, I just can't get used to it completely. I turn my attention back to the car, so does Mrs. Pemberton, looking almost shocked. The van is parked in the garage of the house that has been abandoned since my old neighbors moved elsewhere. Some people get out of the vehicle, it seems a complete family, an adult man and woman, a girl of about fifteen and a young man.
-Mrs. Pemberton, do you think they are going to move into that house?-.
-It seems that yes Oscar, seems that yes-.
The next day, a moving truck arrives, several men are bringing various pieces of furniture and other things into the house.
-Let's take a closer look-. Mrs. Pemberton tells me, with a mischievous smile, winking at me. I'm not sure, but she takes my arm and drags me with her. It is interesting how among ghosts we can touch each other, but we cannot touch others, is it?
-Miss Pem-. She interrupts me before I finish, from her expression, it seems that she is about to explode.
-Oscar, I've already told you many times to call me by my name. "Mrs. Pemberton, why are we wandering souls? Mrs. Pemberton, can we really break through walls?" Mrs. Pemberton, this, that-.
She says imitating and mocking me as we walk among the men carrying a heavy refrigerator. I feel nervous, they pass through us as if we were air, it is strange, I don't usually walk among the living.
-Hey, Gretchen-. I say, afraid that people can hear me.
-Did you say something? I think not-. She responds, who I am sure heard me, forcing me to repeat it louder.
-Tell me Oscar-. She smiles.
-They can't see us, can they? -. Again, she laughs at me. She rolls her eyes up in a fun way.
-Of course not! Oh boy, you always make me laugh with your questions!-.
-It's just that I'm still not used to it. I… I better go look from there-. I say pointing to my house, I am about to leave but Gretchen gets in my way, I walk through her without problems, she grumbles behind me, but I keep walking.
Again, I am here in the garden, watching the movement in the house across the street. Mrs. Pemberton prowls everywhere, makes funny faces in front of the men who stop to rest. She blows on their faces, moving their hair. I can hear one of the men say.
-Suddenly it is very cold-. The man shivers his teeth and rubs his arms with his hands.
-We must continue to warm up-. Add another one of the men, and they get going again.
One of them is carrying a huge square piece wrapped in paper, probably a painting. Gretchen walks in the opposite direction to the man and he falls to the ground, while she laughs out loud, and the poor man wails, removing the paper from the object. I get a little closer to see better, Mrs. Pemberton looks over the shoulder of one of the rest of the men who gather around.
-Oh no, the frame broke. What I am going to do? This looks very expensive!-. Says the man who fell to the ground, a grimace of terror on his face. Taking off his cap, scratching his head.
-But the painting is fine, right?-. Comment another, who seems more optimistic.
-I don't know how I fell, there is nothing on the floor-. The man ends up giving a fleeting glance at the floor to the ground and continues with his work.
It has been a while and the men are leaving, Gretchen is strolling all over the place, she goes in and out. Before they leave, the van from the other day arrives, the driver's door opens and the young man from before gets out, but this time he is alone.
The man who fell approaches the guy. The poor man squeezes his cap with his hands, the guy does not seem bothered, he puts a hand on the man's shoulder. For some reason, I can't hear their conversation, I find it strange since moments before I managed to hear them very well. The guy nods and the man gets into the moving truck and leaves, while the guy enters his new home. Mrs. Pemberton approaches me.
-The fun is over, Oscar-. I'm mad at her.
-You should not have done that. Because of you that frame was broken and that man could have been hurt-. I say under my breath, very upset.
-Oh boy, you are always such a party pooper. I was having a little fun. Don't worry, the owner was not angry-. She answers, carefree as always.
-At least-. I say, letting out a sigh. -Gretchen, you should behave better-. I add a little unsure of what I just said, she answers me.
-Sometimes I can't help it. I've been here for years and years, you don't know how boring and exhausting it can be, do you?-. She ends, with a hint of disgust in her voice, this time it seems that she is really angry. She crosses her arms, offended, and then fades into the air, disappearing, it seems that she has gone far because I do not feel her energy.
I hear some words, “A brat like you shouldn't tell me how to behave". That's her, I don't see her but I can hear her. After that, I don't listen her voice anymore. She's probably right, but I wouldn't if she was more respectful. Has been Gretchen who has taught me many things about wandering souls, and she is also the same person who breaks the rules.
Thank you for reading!