Every night I was tormented by her voice telling me to find him. And I had tried- for weeks I had been searching for evidence that I could use against him. The man who had hurt her, the man who eventually took her life. “Please,” she begged. “What more do you want me to do?” I yelled. “GO AWAY! LEAVE ME ALONE!” I screamed. I heard my neighbours bang on the wall as I tried to get my thoughts together. “You’re so close… so close to him,” she whispered before disappearing. I prayed that she wouldn’t come back but I knew she would. She always did.
It all started last year. I lost my job because of the pandemic and moved back to my hometown to live with my parents till I could get back on my feet. I hadn’t been home in a while and had lost contact with most of my friends who still lived there. But as soon as I went back I ended up connecting with quite a few of them and a group of us ended up hanging out quite regularly. There was Ian and his wife Jessica, Claire and her partner Charlie, George, Dennis and of course Emma and her husband Frank.
Emma and I had been best friends at one point but after high school, we ended up drifting apart since our lives were so different and busy. She and I ended up becoming close again and talked almost every day. I was in a pretty bad place because of losing my job and having to move and she was really there for me.
After I got over my slump she told me that she was having marital problems. She felt trapped in her marriage and wished she would have done more before getting married. I tried so hard to be there for her but it only seemed to get worse. From what she told me Frank and Emma fought almost every day and she was beginning to think things would never change. Frank was controlling, overbearing, and often showed no interest in things she was passionate about. He never wanted to travel, learn new things or even go on dates anymore. Their fights were becoming more aggressive and I could tell she was becoming more afraid of Frank who kept accusing her of having an affair.
The last time we talked she told me that she couldn’t take it anymore and was going to ask Frank for a divorce. We discussed where she would stay and since I had just gotten a part-time job and moved into a small apartment I offered to let her stay with me until she could get a place of her own. “It’ll be just like Friends- we’ll practically be Rachel and Monica!” she told me her eyes shining with excitement. I was happy to see her so excited since she had been so depressed for the last few months.
The next day, as soon as my phone rang I knew something was wrong. I was told that Emma had fallen down the stairs and broken her neck. We were all devastated. Her funeral was the first time I saw her spirit or ghost or whatever you want to call it. I saw her standing behind me in the mirror watching as I washed my hands. I blinked in surprise and she was gone by the time I opened my eyes again but I knew what I had seen was real.
She looked awful with her bloodshot eyes, pale skin, and blood dripping out of the corner of her mouth. I kept seeing her for a few seconds for the next few days and had no idea what to do. Eventually, I built up the courage to talk to her and ask her what she wanted. That’s when her visits became longer. “Murder… It was murder,” she had whispered. “Who did this to you?” I had asked her. “It was him… you know him,” she would always tell me before disappearing. She was right. I did know exactly who it was. The man who had made her miserable, the man who had ruined her life, the man who didn’t shed a single tear at her funeral. Frank.
For the next few weeks, I followed him around trying to find any evidence that I could. I even broke into their house but there was nothing. It was like he did nothing all day except work, eat, watch TV, and sleep. It was depressing and I started to understand why she felt so jaded when she was alive.
I felt like I was losing my mind. I had been making excuses at work so I wouldn’t have to come in very often and spent most of my days stalking Frank. I would spend a lot of my nights trying to get information from Emma but every time she tried to say his name she would start choking and disappear. It was so frustrating. The last straw was two weeks ago when I lost my job. I had been doing an awful job and was not surprised.
My friends were quite concerned about me and when they heard I left my job they reached out trying to comfort me. They came over for dinner and we actually had a good time. Until we started talking about Frank- apparently none of them had seen much of him around town and were wondering if we should reach out to him. “Absolutely not- how could you even say that after what he did to her?” I yelled. They all looked at me surprised and I realised that I was the only one Emma had confided in about her marital problems. I told them that she was unhappy with him before the “accident” and that she told me she was going to leave him. They were not exactly surprised as they suspected Frank and Emma had some issues although none of them had realised how bad it had gotten.
My friends left eventually but Dennis ended up staying. We talked almost all night and when he asked me about what Emma had told him about her marriage I ended up blabbing everything she had told me to him. I told him about how she had been scared of Frank and how their fights were getting worse. He comforted me as I began crying and for the first time in weeks, I didn’t feel so alone. I don’t know if it was the alcohol, the sleep deprivation, or the fact that I’d had enough of this whole situation but I ended up telling him about seeing Emma’s spirit. I told him how she had actually been murdered and how I was trying to collect evidence against Frank. He looked shocked and I thought he would think I’m crazy but eventually, he told me he believed me and wanted to help. I had never been more relieved in my life
Dennis and I had become much closer than before and began following Frank together. He even helped me break into their house again and look through everything in case I had missed anything the first time. I guess Emma was happy that Dennis was helping me because she visited more often and kept telling me I was really close. “You’re so close,” she kept telling me. “Don’t let him do it again…” The problem was we just couldn’t find any evidence and I couldn’t live like this anymore. I wanted my life back and… I was beginning to fall for Dennis. The way he helped was amazing. He was there for every little thing.
A few days ago I told Emma I couldn’t keep doing this but she wouldn’t leave me alone. I had begged her to let me go back to normal and pursue what I had with Dennis but she got really angry and had been visiting way more. I had snapped tonight and although I felt guilty I also wished she would leave me alone. I finished what I had left in the bottle of vodka in my hand and finally drifted off to sleep.
When I woke up something was different. I wasn’t home- this wasn’t my crappy apartment. Everything was neat and clean. It was the house Emma had shared with Frank. I was inside their bedroom and someone was tugging at my arm. As I turned I realised it was Emma’s spirit. She was pointing at the door. I looked at the door wondering what she meant and in a few seconds, I knew. The door flew open and a still alive Emma ran in locking the door behind her. This wasn’t a dream, this was one of her memories. Not just any memory- I knew that dress. This was her last memory. This was the day it happened.
I hadn’t written a short story in a while so I decided to do some writing which was longer than six words but it ended up a little too long so I decided to split it into two or three parts so it’s easier for you guys to read. This has been a really fun short-ish story to write and I’m really glad I went for it. I hadn’t written like this in a while and it really got me excited about writing longer posts.
I really hope you enjoyed reading the first part of the story as much as I enjoyed writing it and I look forward to sharing more with you guys really soon.
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