Michelina learns to trust her instincts and takes comfort in her ghostly presence.
“Cooper, please don’t let me down,” I whispered.
The door swung open to a petite woman with a welcoming smile. “Michelina, you’re right on time. I’m Judy. You’ve come to the right place.”
She held the door open for me. “Come on in and we can get started.”
Judy led me off to the left where a calming Sandalwood incense burned in a pretty purple ashtray on the big wooden table, with an old-style tape recorder sitting next to it. We sat facing each other at her dining room table, and I was surprised how normal the woman looked. Any crystal ball, gypsy or tarot card reader in films didn’t always depict these types of people as normal. I prayed this psychic medium was different from what my imagination toyed with regarding this idea of mine to seek help.
“I’m going to record this,” Judy said and smiled at me. “There will be things you’ll miss and the tape will help you remember them later.”
I nodded and took a deep breath, trying to calm the rapid beating of my heart. A part of me wanted to bolt and not go down this road, to just let it be, but the other part of me was desperate for answers and needed to know that everything I’d been experiencing was real. The thought of going insane and losing my mind scared the shit out of me.
Judy hit record and smiled looking over my shoulder. “You are seeking answers about death and a loved one that has crossed over?”
“Yes, my husband. A few months ago.” Just saying it aloud enveloped my heart like a vice. I hated thinking about the loss, and getting out of our bed every morning was becoming a massive chore on good days.
“Cooper, is it?”
I gasped and nodded. “How did you know?”
Judy smiled, “He’s standing right behind you, and he’s happy you followed through with this.”
A shiver ran down my spine. I wanted nothing more than to turn around and see his aura, a white haze, golden outline, or something to give me a clue he was standing there, but I knew that wasn’t how it worked. I didn’t have a sixth sense or psychic abilities to see me through this situation. “Is he all right?” I asked, suddenly desperate for that answer. I could face anything knowing he was okay. It was our pact.
Judy smiled at me again. “He says, ‘I am if you are.’”
Tears sprang to my eyes, burned and threatened to fall, and I bit my bottom lip to try to keep my composure. Crying always worked against me. Judy had to be genuine. His acknowledgment echoed in my mind. Just hearing our reassuring saying sent my heart soaring. This woman couldn’t have known that about us, which meant Cooper was here, standing behind me like she said.
She grabbed the Kleenex box and pushed it across the table in front of me. “He hates seeing you in pain and crying.”
I laughed. “I know. That was true when he was alive. So, he really talks to me in my dreams? I’m not imagining the things I’m hearing?”
“Dreams are one way of communicating and sending messages. He says he likes to play in your dreams.”
I blushed so hard my cheeks burned. I had to shift my gaze away from Judy because just hearing the word play sent naughty thoughts racing through my mind. “Sometimes I get these tingling sensations on my face, almost as if…”
“As if he’s touching your cheek, or he’s just kissed you?” Judy asked.
“Yes. Is that possible? I mean how is all this possible?” My mind was still playing catch up, but somehow, my heart knew, knew that Cooper was here and reaching out to me.
“I cannot tell you how it’s possible, but I know that it is. You’re not going crazy, and I understand how sometimes it may feel that way. He is watching over you, letting you know he’s near. You can take comfort in that,” Judy said.
You are my candle in the darkness, my highest height, the song of my soul, the joy of my existence. No one and nothing compares to the power you have to move me, nothing weakens it, nothing takes from it yet it feeds everything and I love you oh so very much. A thousand lifetimes will give me just enough time to begin to show you how incredible you are to me. I told you once that your eyes may fool you into thinking I'm not there, but your heart will always see me. I'm there now, my love, holding you, adoring you. No part of me will leave unless I must, even then, as always, a part of me will be with you.
The words echoed in my head and pulled me out of my slumber. I sat up in bed, scanning the room, desperate for a trace of him, only to discover I was alone. My mind struggled to come to grips with his death, with all that I had learned from Judy about life after death, about how our souls were connected to one another. I missed him so much over these past few months, and knowing he was here gave me something to look forward to. I still needed him, needed my best friend, but I didn’t know where this would take me.
Nothing stopped the way I felt about him, how I would always feel about him, but now we were separated, and I had to somehow learn to keep living my life and take comfort in that fact that if I ever needed him, he would be there to help on some level.
I laid back down on the pillows and closed my eyes, wishing sleep would take me so I could find him in my dreams.
“I wish you were here physically with me. I don’t know how to do any of this without you.”
My cheek tingled and filled with warmth, making my breath catch. I couldn’t move, couldn’t breathe because I was so afraid that if I did, the sensation would disappear as quickly as it started.
“I love you. Always,” I whispered.
With my eyes still closed, I focused on the tingling, and reached up, hoping that I would be able to feel him the way he could feel me. Within an inch of my cheek, my hand prickled and I could feel the energy there as if I had my hand rested on the refrigerator when the motor was running. I pulled my hand away and the sensation dissipated. Excitement mingled with disappointment at the loss of him, and I moved my hand back. Just being able to sense him gave me comfort.
“Please don’t leave. I need you here with me,” I said. “If you can touch me, then I can touch you as well. Take my hand.”
So many times we pressed our hands together that I had to know if that was something we could still do. I raised my left hand and waited. Nothing. I swallowed hard, ready to give up when the tingling started against my palm and moved to my fingers. Hope slid through me as I opened my eyes, hungry for a glimpse of him. I stared at my hand but saw nothing. At that moment, I realized it didn’t matter. Cooper was here, and that was enough for me to continue this journey. If we could touch one another, then it might be possible that we could do other things in the future. All I had to do was keep an open mind and explore the possibilities of what is possible. I would do this for him as much as myself because the love I had for him surpassed everything else in this world.
Written for: "Paranormal Romance Short Story Contest" by Jim Hall