A working day off
My mind is blank. I am going to know nothing about anything today. It was one of those days, Lisa thought while walking in the grass towards the stream. Just one of those days. She had let go of the life she had and was now a free spirit, or that was what she told herself at that moment.
I want to be free from everything and roam the world. I want to be me, she thought as she stepped on a large stone by the stream bank. She was humming.
Just as she imagined this was perfect, she sat down by the stream on the large rock. Her bare feet were almost touching the water. She stretched her toe just enough to get it wet.
I will sit here for hours until a prince finds me, and he will sweep me away, she laughed to herself. The sound of the water and the sun was perfect for a day without distractions.
She took out her notebook from her bag and a gel pen. One of those gel pens in purple like she loved them. She turned to a blank page and wrote needs on the top of the page. I need … her mind went blank.
I need she tried again. I don’t even know what I need, she said aloud. I am pathetic!
“Stop!” She heard a voice behind her
“Why are you pathetic,” the voice asked.
She turned but saw no one. How weird since I am not working anymore. She heard a voice; she was sure of it. She looked around; nothing was there except for the grass and the stream.
“Did you not see me” she heard the voice again.
Once more, she looked around and saw nothing.
“So now I am not only pathetic but also stupid and going crazy, it appears,” she said out loud.
A loud, deep laugh was behind her.
“You are really something.”
“Ok, enough,” she said “show yourself, you big toad. Don’t make fun of me, and don’t tease me. I hate being teased,” she said out into thin air.
Out of the air, a man showed himself. She gasped and had almost fallen over when she saw the magic of a man appearing out of thin air. He was tall, maybe 6 feet three, and in a blue suit. He looked nice, almost like a banker, she thought and smiled. She had seen things, but today, she was not working.
“I am Jeremy,” he said, smiling at her.
“Sorry to annoy you. I did not mean to. I don’t think you should talk to yourself in that tone. You are not pathetic.”
She stood there staring at him. Jeremy smiled the best he had been taught, and she did not move a muscle.
After a moment, she snapped out of it. She realized Jeremy had appeared out of nothing and would either be a ghost or magical. She had turned her back on her old life, so this would not be possible, or would it?
“What the …” she stopped herself and said.
“I am sorry, but I might be missing parts of the whole thing, but who the hell are you!”
“Oh, I thought I told you I am Jeremy” his smile fell.
“Most people don’t, but I often meet new people in weird ways. Some magically appear and expect me to know how what, and where they came to be. Let me rephrase. What are you?”
“I am Jeremy, your new best dead friend whom you will help; what is your name, by the way?”
“Lisa,” she said and regretted telling him in the same moment.
It hit her
“I am what you say? Help and how and with what.”
She struck a burst of loud laughter and had no idea what she was going to do with this day.
“I was just sitting minding my business, and you disrupted it!” Lisa was stern in her voice.
“I am not going to do anything like help ghosts that are interrupting my day,” she almost screamed. She knew all about dead people but did not want to let them on. She quit her old job.
“Oh, but I think you are,” Jeremy said, “I was told you can and will help me.”
“Ok, who is the idiot who told you that? I surely wasn’t told anything about it. I didn’t know you were coming, and I don’t feel like helping anyone today.”
“I can come back tomorrow if you feel more up to it there” Jereme smiled a strained smile.
“And God told me… did they not inform you?”
“NO, I was not informed,” she said “yes, come back tomorrow. I am off work today and want to sit here and do nothing. She knew quitting her old job would be harder than she thought.”
“I can see that,” Jeremy said and disappeared into thin air as fast as he had come. Lisa sighed a deep sigh, so her whole body shook.
“Ghost tsk tsk, thank you, GOD, for not letting me know anything.”
She sat back down on the large rock and let peace come. Again she stretched out her foot to touch the water, and again, she heard Jeremy’s voice.
“I just forgot to tell you….”
“NO!” Lisa cut him off at once.
“You did not forget to tell me; you can come back tomorrow. That is all I have to say.”
“But..” Jeremy tried to say something, but Lisa covered her ears.
“What a nice stream,” she sang, not listening to anything but her voice.
Jeremy stood in the stream and looked straight at her.
“Lisa,” he said, “I needed to tell you something.”
“NOPE, I am not listening; I am off today.”
He disappeared, and she took her hands off her ears—another sigh and nothing. The sound of the stream and nothing else gave her peace.
“LISA!” She heard a loud voice, and she knew this was her sister.
Laine had always been the smart and the grown-up of the two. Even as kids, it felt like Laine was 76 years old and very reasonable. Her sister had crossed over years ago, and she came when necessary.
“What now” Lisa exclaimed, “what do you want!”
This day turned out to be very stressful.
Laine stood before her and said, “it might be your day off, but when a soul in distress comes, you need to help them. Jeremy needs your help today, and he was polite, as I am told.”
“Nope, I don’t need to help anything, anyone, or any… I just don’t on my day off” Lisa was increasingly annoyed.
“But Lisa,” Laine said with an exasperated voice, “he needs your help.”
“I don’t care,” Lisa sang like it was a hit.
“I don’t care, and I am on a break from dead people today. So please go away, Laine. I am not listening dah dah dah.”
“You are going to be sorry, but let’s just wait until tomorrow,” Laine was gone with those words.
Doubt crept up on Lisa like a snake up a tree. Maybe she had been too hard on Jeremy; perhaps she should have listened to what he had to say.
“Ok,” she said out loud. “Let me hear it.”
She sighed and waited for something to happen.
“OK, I SAID,” she talked even louder now.
Still nothing, and now she was getting annoyed. This was a demonstration of power, and she hated it! How was she supposed to work with a soul who was like this?
She returned to the stream and dipped her toes when Jeremy came into sight again.
“Are you sure and not just angry?” he asked.
Lisa was getting too tired to argue because she had had this sole day off for as long as she could remember. Sometimes not even that. Now this one was being ruined by this moronic ghost.
“What do you need me to help you with,” she said, knowing that was not what she wanted to do.
Jeremy smiled like a small boy who was given candy by asking his mom 40 times in a row.
“I knew you would help me.”
“Good for you,” Lisa said with a huff.
“Tell, or I am going to say no again,” she said and looked at him.
“I need you to tell my mother something. I passed not long ago, and I was hoping you could send her a message. Nothing else.”
“A message is that it, then we are done?” Lisa could not believe it could not wait until the next day so she could enjoy her day off in peace.
“It has to be today; otherwise, she will be homeless” Jeremy looked ashamed.
“Oh no, what have you done before you died” she glared at him.
“I have done nothing but borrow some money. If you pass on this message, she will get the insurance she has no idea I had in my life. She will be good for the rest of her life. I am sure of it.”
Lisa knew she could not deny an older woman her rightful money, so she had to agree to the task.
“Tell me where she lives, and I will get in touch. Could you give me the message too? And put it on a card for me, so I don’t have to have you tagging along when I go.”
Jeremy look deflated.
“But I want to see her again one more time, please, Lisa.”
“No, you know we are obligated not to scare the living to death, right? Do you want her to be scared and even more stricken by grief? No, you are not going.” Lisa was not going to change her mind.
Jeremy protested to no use.
“So that is settled. You are staying here while I deliver your message on my day off,” she said in a high-pitched tone.
A chapter a week. See you on Monday