Sunday morning, I was not expecting to see Ellis after hearing about the tragic news of Gordy's fatal accident and I was surprised when he turned up at the church. "The wedding rehearsal is not until tomorrow," I whispered. "You didn't have to come here this morning."
"I know. I just wanted to be with you."
I took hold of his hand and gave a gentle squeeze. I gave a brief smile, more a message of sorrow and understanding than of happiness.
When the service was over we left the church and stood outside while my father stopped to get his breath. "I need a sit down," he said and plonked himself down on a bench in the churchyard. He took a previously rolled cigarette from his tin, lit it and immediately launched into a bout of coughing.
My mother looked at him and shook her head, although she must have realised there was not much point in trying to get him to stop smoking now. I turned to Ellis. "We're all so very sorry to hear the news about your friend."
Ellis gave a nod. "It's hard to take in. I just can't understand why he went there on his own, and why he didn't notice the water had been drained; though I nearly did it myself once."
I glanced at Ellis, wishing he had kept the last remark to himself, but to my relief my mother had not taken it in.
"Had he been drinking?" my mother asked.
"No, the results were clear; he hadn't had a drink at all."
We all remained quiet for a moment, listening to my father's chest. He stopped coughing but would start again as soon as he raised the cigarette to his mouth.
"Are you walking back with us?" my mother asked, "or do you have the motorbike with you?"
"I've got a bike; the garage lent me a Bantam while they're waiting for my new front forks to be delivered."
"Bantam, that's a funny name for a bike."
"It a pretty newish one, the older ones used to have a chicken on the side." He gave a laugh as he looked over at me. I smiled back at him though I had no idea what he laughed at. "If you're ready, Gloria, we can get off to Lynn's house to make sure the dress fits."
"Fantastic," I said. "She said I can borrow it?"
"Yes, she was quite pleased really, said she's happy for you to make use of it. I've spoken to Brian as well and he said he'd be pleased to stand in as best man."
"Oh good." I didn't wish to pursue the matter further, knowing Ellis would have been looking forward to asking Gordy. "Come on then, let's go," I said, full of excitement and eager to try on the wedding dress.
The day for Gordy's funeral was just three days before the wedding. Although Gordy had not been a spirit for long he was already becoming bored with his limited existence. Rosie was also a little disappointed because she had lost a lot of her power now that Gordy was there. She could still wander from the woods, but she could no longer get anywhere near the nightclubs.
An hour before the funeral Rosie followed a young couple to a secluded part of the woods. The couple were soon lying in the grass caressing each other intensely. Rosie guided Gordy over and they stood looking on as the couple hastily adjusted their clothing and began to make love. "Come on we can whiz into them," Rosie said.
"No thanks, we did it with that couple last night. It's not the same, it's fake, there's no feelings there."
"That's a first, Gordy the so-called super-stud talking about feelings. It wasn't fake between us though was it, when we were in the treetops or in the pool?"
"No it wasn't, but it'll soon get boring like we were married or something and I've never been a one-woman man. I wonder if there are any more good-looking young female ghosts around here."
"You even start looking and I'll make your existence here a misery. You'll wish you were dead."
"I am dead."
"Well, you know what I mean." She turned her attention back to the couple making love. "Not much go in them is there?"
"Gordy didn't answer though he agreed they seemed to be slow and boring lovers, almost clinical.
"Well I'm gonna whiz in anyway. Watch this, I'll liven them up." Rosie dived forward and blended into the girl's body. The girl shuddered and began to gyrate and thrust her hips; she moved her hands under the man's shirt and clawed at his back. He tried to pull away from her, but she threw her arms around him and held onto him, calling out obscenities as she thrashed about wildly as if she were an obsessed nymphomaniac. Rosie withdrew and the couple shot apart like a pair of opposed magnets, both of them in shock at the girl's actions.
"That's made me randy," Rosie said. "Let's drift up to the treetops and do some of that floating sex."
Gordy looked at her and shook his head. "You're too freaky for me. I'm going to the cemetery."
"You could never get enough when you were mortal, now look at you, a spirit with no spirit. Off you go then, get off to your own funeral, and you call me freaky." Rosie looked at the courting couple who had only just become at ease again and re-commenced their lovemaking. "I'll whiz into him this time, you watch me make her squeal."
Gordy looked away. "I need a bike. A Triumph Bonneville I think."
Ellis and I made our way from the graveside. We had just left Brenda who was very upset. She not only lost the young man she was infatuated with, but she was two weeks overdue, and thought she may be pregnant with his child.
"It's a shame for Brenda," I said. "She's a lovely girl, she didn't deserve all this."
"Oh, and Gordy does, does he?"
"No, I never said that, did I?"
"Well at least she's still alive."
"And you don't have to snap at me. Gordy was my friend as well you know, and I've known him a lot longer than you have." I never made any mention to Ellis about Gordy's behaviour on the night he abandoned me in the woods and I knew I never would. I looked over at Brenda getting into a friend's car, before looking back at Ellis's solemn face. "You can let the tears go if you want to. It's all right for lads to cry at funerals."
"Don't be daft, anyway it's not what Gordy would want. He'd probably appear out of nowhere and take the piss out of me." He laughed, but only briefly. "He was a good mate, I'm gonna miss him."
I took hold of his hand. "Come on, Ellis, let's pop down the Tavern for a drink before we go back to the house, this place is depressing me."
We walked out to the road and got onto his motorcycle. We were just about to pull away when a man on a Triumph Bonneville overtook us and roared off down the road.
"Did you see him," Ellis said. "That bloke, he looked just like Gordy."
"Just your imagination playing tricks. He's probably nothing like Gordy. People often think they see a glimpse of someone they've lost, but it's only their imagination."