He replied with a smile. Either he understood it all or understood nothing but his smile was intoxicating. I don’t know what moved me, but I leapt into his arms and kissed him deeply. It felt familiar, safe, and right. what transpired in that attic maybe happened, or maybe it didn’t… I can’t be sure looking back on it now. I don’t know if it was real, but it was certainly real to me.
I don’t know how many hours passed. All I know is that at one point, I let the flood gates lose and decided to talk about what was happening. I asked him if he was real, or a ghost, and he laughed and said he was a ghost. He was stuck on the property and had spent so long looking for me. He figured since I, (Nellie) died there, that I would be there too, but I wasn’t and so he just waited. He said he had watched owners come and go, had seen technology progress and when computers came along, he figured out how to navigate the web. He told me he stumbled on my blog, and traced the email back to the my space and found me. Finn said he knew it was what was called reincarnation and that I was Nellie.
This was a lot to take in. In the midst of all this, I blurted out without any buffer that he did have a child. He told me he knew. He watched me give birth and when Willoby killed the baby, he watched the baby go into the light and held me while I grieved. The day I committed suicide was a mixture of sadness and joy for him because he thought I was finally gonna be joining him. But then I disappeared and he was stuck there to watch the decades pass alone. I asked about Katie and he brightened and said she went on to marry and farmer and have 6 kids. He had great nieces and nephews all over Georgia. He, of coarse, had tracked them with the internet. He said Katie died 7 years ago, old and in her bed according to the reports.
This brought me relief too. As I dressed I asked him what was going to happen now. He looked down at the floor, and then back up and told me that he wanted me to join him. I was paralyzed with so many emotions. I didn’t know whether to run screaming or to declare that death was but another great adventure and leap out the window. I guess he could sense that I was deep in thought because he didn’t speak and left me to my thoughts. I really didn’t have much to live for these days. what did I have? No one really noticed I had sunken to a new depth.
I told him I needed time to think about it, that it was a big decision and that there wasn’t even a guarantee that I wouldn’t go into a light or to hell or anywhere but here with him. He calmly explained that the reason I never came back to be with him is because I was buried at the cemetery, and he was here. This made sense but I asked how he expected to hide my body here at this day and age when there was science and forensics and the likely hood that this place would be torn down in a few decades and that our bodies would be moved. Apparently this hadn’t occurred to him. I checked my watch and said I needed to go. He was understanding but sad as he knew space from him meant other options would look better.
I sneaked down the stairs and left the library. I was a woman on a mission. I headed to the local cemetery. When I arrived I went directly to the old part of the cemetery. I wandered through the stones for what felt like hours when I saw her. I saw the hair flowing in the wind. she had her back to me but I knew who it was. Nellie. I walked toward her and came to a stop beside her. she was staring at her grave stone. She looked at me and several different emotions crossed her face. Shock, disbelief, anger, joy. She settled on curiosity and asked me why I was there and why I could see her. Then she asked why I looked like her. We sat down on her grave and I began to tell her the tale of how I came to know Finn. She listened patiently and when I was done she asked why I was there again. This was a good question. I knew the answer deep down but that didn’t make it sting any less.
I told Nellie I planned to dig up Finns bones and bury them on her grave. I told her he was convinced I was a reincarnation, and that I may actually be, given all the dreams and feelings of familiarity. I explained that I wasn’t ready to die, not even for love. But that I couldn’t leave Finn there to exist for eternity. I loved him too much for that. I didn’t know what life had in store but that I wanted to at least find out. I told Nellie I had a feeling she didn’t move on, because a love that strong doesn’t just go away. I showed her the Diary and told her that I planned to move him tonight, where darkness could hide the macabre deed.
I looked at the time and told her I’d be back in a few hours with Finn and she hugged me. It was a hug that truly meant thank you. I went to the local hardware store, bought a shovel and a tarp and when night fell, I went about my grisly task. As I started to shovel, Finn appeared and looked confused and hurt. I walked over to him, kissed his lips one last time and told him to trust me, that I had found Nellie. His eyes got big as saucers and he grabbed the shovel and asked for a full explanation. I explained my plan and he thought it over, and then asked me why? I told him I wasn’t ready to die, I’d rather live and that I wanted him to be with her. To be free together at last.
He looked sad. Finn touched my face then disappeared. I wasn’t sure where he went or what he was doing, but I continued digging. They hadn’t buried him deep, nor did they put him in a coffin, merely burlap sacks, or what was left of the sacks. He was bones, nothing more. I gathered the bones and when I was sure I had them all, I filled the hole in beside the edge of the old crumbling fountain and hauled what was left of the man I had loved to the trunk of my car.
The drive was short and Finn didn’t show. I wasn’t even sure he had came along or whether or not this was all for nothing. When I arrived at the cemetery, I hauled the tarp to Nellie’s grave. When I sat it down, she appeared beside me and was looking around wildly. She wanted Finn. I explained that he wasn’t enthused about this and I wasn’t even sure he had tagged along. Like always I felt him before I saw him. Finn appeared behind Nellie and he smiled, mouthed thank you and I smiled back. Nellie saw my smile, as she was facing me, and whirled around and leapt into his arms. The stared at each other for a while and Finn said “My Nellie girl, I’ve been waiting on ya a long time” Neither one of them said another word to me, they just slowly disappeared before my eyes.
Blame it on my sentimental self but I was crying.I had lost the man I loved but reunited long lost lovers. As I stood there hugging myself and crying I realized I had to bury Finn now. Blame it on my sarcastic personality, but I said loudly, “thanks guys, I’ll just do all this manual labor myself, no biggie…” They didn’t appear again and I knew deep down they never would. I buried Finn, along with Nellie’s diary, and my broken heart.
Years passed. I went to college at NSU, got a degree in psychiatry and opened my own practice. I never really spoke of Finn or Nellie. I kept to myself. It wouldn’t have been a good idea for a blooming psychologist to go sprouting tales of a ghost romance. The practice was slowly gaining patients around Natchitoches. One Fall day, the office was slow. I told my secretary she could take the afternoon off. I had went to get a bite to eat and when I arrived back there was a car in the parking lot. The man was still sitting in it and and the windows were tinted so I just shrugged and went in to check my appointments. I sat down behind my desk and I heard the door open out front, I was reviewing a file and I just shouted without looking up for him to come on back and have a seat. He did so and I still hadn’t looked up yet. I couldn’t seem to find the appointment and it was frustrating me. I asked for his name still without looking up.
“Finn Murphy, I don’t have an appointment but I wanted to possibly make one?” My head shot up and I couldn’t believe my eyes. It was him. Auburn curls and all. Instantly I could see the recognition on his face as well. He stammered a bit, and said ” I’ve been having reoccurring dreams and I’m unsure if I’m going crazy or not, so my mom said I should see a psychologist… I hope I’m not intruding…” By this point all I could do was smile. “No, Finn, I’m positive you aren’t crazy and we can start today, I have all afternoon, would you like some tea?”