He’d already mastered the art of ignoring ghosts, especially persistent ones. He’d stopped caring about them. Until a year ago, they’d been like helpless humans to him, appearing anywhere he’d gone and seeking his help. He’d been more than a medium, going through any length to address their personal concerns. He’d been like a trustworthy public servant, except that the public wasn’t humans. And he’d been happy to help them. But not anymore.
Late that afternoon, Donnie was driving home from work. Despite himself, he thought about the girl in school uniform. He’d been working long at Townhill Corp., one of the oldest canning companies in the city, as quality assurance manager, but he hadn’t heard any story of a girl falling off the building.
There was a curve ahead, so Donnie slowed down. When he glanced at the rearview mirror, the girl in school uniform was sitting in the back seat. He didn’t budge. He looked forward. Then he felt, rather than saw from the corner of his eye, that the girl was now in the front seat beside him. Curiosity defeated him, and he turned to her. Inquisitive eyes met troubled ones. The intensity of the look the girl gave him sent a chill down his spine. Slowly she raised her hand and pointed at the winding road ahead.
When he looked forward, a white sedan gleaming under the late afternoon sun suddenly screeched into sight. His eyes grew wide in horror as he saw the vehicle on its side rushing toward him. Before Donnie could scream the terror out of his mouth, the screeching vehicle crashed into the windshield of his car.
When Donnie woke, he found himself sprawling on the cold asphalt. It didn’t take long before he remembered what had just happened. Hastily he helped himself to his feet and looked around him. That part of the road was in total chaos. People were all over the place, running, gathering around, attending to people lying on the asphalt, talking to one another, shouting. The buzz of chaos and the wail of ambulance sirens filled the air. It was an accident, he concluded. A huge one involving many vehicles. He was glad that he was all right. Not a trickle of blood on his skin or a broken bone in his body. He felt no pain anywhere in his body. It was a miracle.
He moved around but without urgency in his strides. It was just strange that nobody was asking him if he was fine. But then he didn’t look like he was part of the huge accident. He was totally fine.
Then in the midst of chaos, he saw his mother hurrying toward him. She was the only family he had. His face lit up with much relief and gladness. He opened his arms wide to receive his mom’s warm embrace …
Header Image: Gabriel