Saturday, November 6, 2010
What We Hear
©2010 Rebecca Rhielle
“And what about Fluffy? Bradley always took care of Fluffy’s day care. I don’t know the schedule, the caretakers, nothing! Oh, how could he leave me like this?”
Sadie tapped her pen against her lips, mentally counting to 254 to keep from strangling the woman before her.
Her husband is dead and she’s worried about the poodle’s daycare? Seriously?
Loretta’s face was buried in her hands yet again, sobbing uncontrollably from what Sadie could only assume was the unfairness of it all.
Looking up finally, the woman launched into a new stream of inquiries.
“Or the cars! Oh, how will I ever pay for the cars? I’m not sure if you realize this, but Bradley handled all our finances.”
I had an inkling, Sadie thought ruefully.
“How could he be so selfish? How could he just die like that, and leave me alone to deal with all these details? Am I supposed to magically know what to do and how to do it? Did he even think about me? Why aren’t you answering anything? Isn’t he here? Can’t you talk to him? Why did he leave me?”
A strong male voice sounded in Sadie’s head, forcing her to stifle a smile.
“Because you questioned me to death, you helpless thing!”
“Loretta,” Sadie began gently, “I’m sure Bradley didn’t die on purpose just to cause you distress. We have no control over when we go. And I know he’s sorry he has left you in such a precarious position.”
“Hogwash,” Bradley snorted. “I’m finally free! No more sniveling, no more ‘Bradley, please’ or ‘Bradley, how could you’ or ‘Bradley, why…how…when?’”
The spirit chuckled.
“If I’d have known how wonderful death was, I’d have done it long ago! I should have listened to my father – he warned me not to marry for looks.”
Loretta stared at Sadie through slitted eyes.
“You’re very quiet. He’s here, isn’t he? What’s he saying? Why aren’t you talking?”
I see your point, Sadie admitted to the ghost.
“He’s saying he never saw it coming, Loretta. And that he realizes things might be difficult for you right now, but that he has faith that you can handle it. You’ll get through this eventually.”
“But how!” the woman lamented, dropping her head into her hands for the umpteenth time.
Sadie sighed. The rich paid well, but it wasn’t always worth it.
Bradley, is there anything I can do to stop this? I know you can just poof off somewhere, but I’m stuck with her. And I would really appreciate some assistance.
She heard the spirit sigh loudly, then offer a begrudging answer.
“Tell her there is a bank box downtown, with all our information in it. Regardless of how irritating she might be, I don’t want her to suffer. She’ll just torture my family in my absence. She will find the key and bank address in the top right-hand drawer of my desk. That should provide enough answers to keep her busy for a while.”
Sadie relayed the information to the woman, amazed at the change in her demeanor as she spoke.
“Oh, thank you. Thank you!” she exclaimed. “I knew my Bradley would never leave his little Banana Muffin without providing for me!”
Banana Muffin? Really, Bradley?
“Don’t ask,” the spirit lamented. “It’s too painful to revisit.”
Walking the now-grateful woman down the stairs, Sadie bid her goodbye, ushering her through the door as fast as possible. Bradley had gone as well, and she had a few moments of rare, blessed silence. She entered the kitchen to dig up some lunch just as Gale breezed in through the side door.
“Hello, lover,” her partner called cheerfully. She was struggling under heavy bags of groceries and Sadie quickly moved to help her.
“What’s all this?” Sadie asked, dumping bag after bag of food onto the bar.
“Tonight? What’s tonight?”
“Sadie, don’t you remember? The Artist Gathering? The showing in our formal room? Art, wine, pretentious people? Any of this ringing a bell?”
It all came back to her now, and she groaned audibly.
“Oh,” she replied flatly. “That.”
Gale smiled and patted her on the hand.
“It will be alright, love. You don’t actually have to talk to anyone. It’s a group of artists, after all. They’ll all be too wrapped up in themselves to notice.”
Sadie grinned and kissed her on the cheek.
“It’s okay. I could use a change anyway. Better to be ignored by live people than bombarded by dead ones.”
“Exactly. Now c’mon. There’s more in the car.”
Following Gale out the door, Sadie found herself hoping that she would, indeed, get a night off from the spirit world.
Somehow, though, she doubted it.