Ghosts In Apartment 205
Trigger Warning: Death, Murder
Imagine if you will, the soul after it departs from the physical body. In its reality, there exists a Heaven, a Hell, and a Purgatory. The setting of Purgatory is manufactured by choice. The following conversations are between two souls who came back to the same place after death. One is to appear feminine (Grace), the other masculine (Sylas). For the sake of the human mind, let us remember their celestial bodies how they were in life, with facial features set, hands to touch, mouths to kiss. The story will move quickly in an effort to save time for us living folk, as the concept of time does not exist to a spirit. Witness their lives first hand as you reevaluate your own.
“Well, it’s about time you made it,” says Grace. Sylas blinks his eyes, trying to adjust them to the new light.
“Grace,” he calls to her, full of doubt. She stretches her hand and rubs his head.
“Yes, it’s me.” Sylas sits up quickly and opens his eyes wide. He grabs hold of her arm, her wrist, her shoulders, and face making sure that he isn’t dreaming.
“It’s you! You’re here!”
“Well, I won’t be for long if you keep manhandling me. Stop it.” Sylas pulls her to him and holds her close.
“I’m sorry. I’m so sorry. You were right about everything. You were right, and I was wrong, and I’m sorry.” He buries his face in her bosom.
“Shhh,” Grace coos. She pulls his face to hers. “I forgave you a long time ago.”
Let us remember that though these two be dead, the world goes on. A living couple has moved into the apartment, also male and female. Unbeknownst to the living, they and the ghosts are roommates, so to speak. At this instant, Sylas is in the bathroom, seemingly floating above a shower curtain looking down on the mortal woman as she takes a shower.
“Sylas! Sylas! Where are you?” Grace shouts from the living room.
“Huh? Give me a minute! I’m coming.”
“Are you watching that woman shower again?!”
“Liar! You were always such a liar!”
Sylas storms in from the bathroom and faces Grace from a reasonable distance. “Dammit, Grace! What am I gonna do? Give her a chill?”
“You know that hurts me! Why do you do that when you know it hurts me!”
“Look at me, Grace,” Sylas whispers, looking at the transparency of his arms and legs.
“You never cared about me! You always…”
“Look at me!” His voice thunders and frightens the dead heart of Grace. She quiets herself down. “Look at me! I’m fucking see-through! I can’t feel! I can’t dream or go anywhere! I’m here! Right fucking here for all fucking eternity.” He leans his back to the wall and slides down to the floor. Grace takes a seat on the couch. After a moment of silence, Sylas poses a question. “Why did you stay behind? What made you come to this shabby, old apartment when you could have gone on to Heaven?”
“I guess…” Grace thinks about her answer. “I guess I came to the last place that I was happy.” Sylas chuckles and shakes his head. “What about you,” Grace asks. “Why’d you come back here?”
“I didn’t think you’d be here to tell the truth. I thought you’d moved on a long time ago. I only came back to be where I last saw you.” Hesitating for a moment, he then tells her, “I love you, Grace.”
“I know,” she says solemnly. “But,” she continues with an attitude and a smile. “You don’t see me staring at the man all day. And, there’s a lot to look at.”
“Washboard abs, strong arms, hard flesh.”
She rubs her cold cheek and stares off at some imaginary thing that only she could see. “I wonder what else is hard on him.”
“Alright, Grace, damn.”
“See, you don’t like it when I do it to you.”
“You take it too far. Is it really that serious?”
Grace bucks her eyes and tightens her lip. “Yes. It is.”
Sylas looks up at the seriousness of her face. They both laugh at the nonsense.
“Sylas, what’s it like growing old?”
“Horrible. You remember less and pee on yourself more.”
Grace giggles but goes back to the original question. “I’m serious. What’s it like for your hair to turn gray, to watch the world change?”
“The world doesn’t really change Grace. People don’t either. They just keep getting more and more selfish.”
“Were you like that?”
“I don’t know. The only thing I can say is that I wasn’t as bad as some of the people I met after you died. They hurt people, destroyed whole families, and they boasted about it– like it was something to be proud of.”
“You weren’t like that.”
“No, but I wasn’t much better.”
“Don’t say that.”
“Stop giving me so much credit.”
“You deserve it. You’re not as bad as you think you are. You’re a good person Sylas.”
“Stop it,” Sylas shouts, sitting up to the edge of the couch. “Stop it! Stop acting like this isn’t my fault! I put you here! I took your life and destroyed both our families!” He puts his head into his hands. “I don’t belong in Purgatory. I belong in Hell.” Grace puts a hand between his shoulders and rubs it in a circular motion, trying her best to soothe his soul.
“In all your years, you killed one person, Sylas. One. Not many. And you repented, you felt remorse. I watched you stay here with me. I watched you try to take your own life, and when it failed, I watched you suffer in prison all those years. You never once said that you didn’t deserve it. You never shifted the blame to someone else. You took responsibility for what you’d done, and I saw that. God saw it too.”
Sylas breaks and turns to weep in her arms.
“God has forgiven you, Sylas, and so have I. I waited here for you so that we can go home. We can go to Heaven together.”
Grace calls to Sylas from the living room. “Sylas, where are you? We can leave when you’re ready!”
“Okay. I’m coming.” He shouts from the bathroom.
“Sylas, are you watching that woman shower again?”
“What am I gonna do? Give her a chill?”