Adia Watts, Editor-in-Chief
“Do you believe in spirits?” she asked as she shifted in her seat, clearly turning something over in her mind. I peered up at her, inquisitively. “I can hear him,” she said slowly and timidly, trying to gauge how I would react to her statement. The air was heavy as I attempted to process what she was confessing to me. Guessing that I was waiting for further details, she continued, “He wants me to speak to the people he loves. Tell them not to worry.” The ‘him’ she referred to was a friend of ours who had recently died. He was so young and seemingly healthy the last time we all saw him that it was hard to fathom that he was really gone. His death left a lot of people with lingering questions and feelings of guilt for not being able to visit him while he was sick. The new school year had just begun and getting a ticket back home wasn’t so easy. I guess he thought that through my roommate, he would be able to communicate his understanding.
“What do I do?” she looked confused and afraid, her eyes pleading to me for some advice that would release the voice from her thoughts. I’d seen this sort of thing on TV: apparitions trying to communicate from beyond the grave, boisterous moms from Long Island telling people in the supermarket that their grandpa said hello, Patrick Swayze taking over the body of Whoopi Goldberg to have a romantic evening with Demi Moore. But never did I think that I would be an eyewitness to this kind of supernatural phenomenon. Could you even call it that?
I looked at her as my mind hastened, searching for the right thing to say. “Umm, so you’re like a medium or something?” was all I could think of.
“I don’t know what to call it, but I’m freaking out!”
“Well, what do you mean you can hear him?” I asked.
“His face materializes behind my eyes, and it’s all I can focus on. He shows me images while his voice fills my ears. He takes over my mind, and I’m unable to focus on anything else.”
By this time, she left her perch on our faded brown futon and began to pace back and forth, her candy blue toenails getting lost in the black abyss of the shag rug that dressed the boring linoleum tiles of our floor.
Her pacing halted abruptly, as if someone stood in her path. Her hazel eyes widened, and I could see every sanguine vein in the whites of her eyes. “Adia…” she breathed, barely audible. She spoke to me, but she was looking past me.
“What?” I answered with urgency, “Is he here?”
“No,” she choked, the words clutching at her throat. I waited for her to say something, but she just stood in front of me, shock paralyzing her.
“What?! What is it?!” I demanded. She was starting to scare me now. Just loud enough to hear over the constant low hum of my refrigerator, she said “There’s a girl sitting next to you.” Her face turned a ghastly shade of white, likening the pearlescent snow falling beyond the bay window behind her. She looked as if she had seen, well, a ghost. I shifted my gaze from her to look at the empty navy couch cushion beside me. Somehow, it glared coldly back at me. Once again, I was wordless. So much for going to sleep tonight, I thought.
I watched that day turn into night and again into day, the sun stretching sleepily over the distant foothills that surrounded us. As I had predicted, I spent the entire night awake, fighting the fatigue that kissed my heavy eyelids. Following our exchange, my sixth-sensed roommate described to me the visions she saw of my couch companion, and it was all I could think about throughout the night.
“She’s young, like us,” she told me. “At one point, she was standing near the window with her hand covering her mouth. She left, but when she returned she was laying on the couch next to you, her white striped dress covering her like a blanket.”
“What do you think she wants?” I asked, not really wanting to know the answer.
“I’m not sure,” my roommate revealed. “She doesn’t speak to me. Just sits there… like she’s waiting for something.”
“Maybe she used to live here,” I said, trying to make some sense of this whole thing.
“Maybe,” she mumbled, but she wasn’t really paying attention to me.