Home is where the Heart Used to Be
My throat ached, my head was spinning and my feet stumbled. This must’ve been an effect of too much teleporting- or it could’ve been nerves.
I looked around at my own bedroom. Nothing had changed since I’d been there last. My purple and green quilt cover was still untucked and clothes were still thrown on the floor. It may sound odd that I was to be wed with a man I didn’t live with. I know Michael didn’t like it, but I hated being apart from my parents, The decision I finally agreed on was that, Michael, and I would move in, and buy a house together. While still house hunting, I lived at home.
I peeked through my opened bedroom door, and into the hallway. I couldn’t see anyone out there, nor hear any noise. Stepping into the hallway it felt like a dream. It felt like my mind was looking around the house, while my body floated in the air.
“Mum!” I yelled out.
No response; so I yelled again, “Dad!”
Still nothing. I keep walking through the hallway- hoping my parents were there.
I walked up to the bathroom, and looked through the door. On the sink was still the makeup I had used on my wedding day. This was very peculiar, knowing my mother; she would have thrown out anything that reminded her of me, or whoever has died. When her father died she literally burned all his photos; not wanting to have his picture cause more sadness. But as I looked into other rooms I noticed dust building up on unused items.
I heard rumbling coming from a lounge room.
Finally! I knew they would be here. I ran into the room with open arms.
“Mum, Dad! It’s so god to see you.”
I looked at a very surprised Ms. Lyle. She slapped her hand into her black hair, which was done tightly into a bun. Her black and white uniform was covered in dust and she had a green duster in her hand.
“God, I knew someone slipped something into my tea this morning.” She rubbed her eyes, and then, while shaking her head, went back to cleaning. “Fancy seeing Samantha here.”
She laughed, a very low pitched laugh, then continued to mumble things I couldn’t quite understand.
Ms Lyle, of Franny, as my parents called her, had been our family Nanny/Maid for as long as I could remember.
She was really more like a second mother to me; when my mother wasn’t around, Ms Lyle always was.
“Ms Lyle-Franny, I really am here! I did not die!”
She, once again, stopped her work to stare at me.
“No… you can’t be. I went to your funeral. I watched to die in the hospital, until they finally took you away.”
This would be all so hard for her. I knew how much she meant to me, and I knew she loved me equally as much.
I tried to be as strong as I could, and I held my emotions back with all my might.
“There was… well lets call it a mistake. And I wasn’t taken to the morgue; I was taken somewhere else. I was held there against my will.”
“Okay… Okay…” She said slowly. “You’re a ghost.” She stepped towards me, “and you’ve come back to haunt me because I used to steal your lipstick.”
“No… wait. You used to steal my lipstick?”
“Um… sorry about that…”
“That’s where it used to go…” I muttered.
“So now we’ve got that sorted, do you… Um… got to the after life, or wherever ghosts go?”
“I’m not a ghost!”
Ms Lyle looked shocked that I had yelled. Great, now she’s going to question whether I’m Samantha at all…
I decided the best thing to do was just to play along with the ghost idea.
“Fine. I am a ghost. Woo!” I twinkled my fingers in the air, attempting to be scary. “And I’ve come back to ask you two very important questions.”
Ms Lyle sat on our leather lounge chair and nodded. “Fire away, oh mighty ghostly one.”
I rolled my eyes and asked, “Okay. So where are my parents?”
“Um… the thing is… I’m not sure. After your death they just vanished.”
Vanished? I’d been gone for a good while over three months. Why haven’t they returned yet?
“What do you mean? They can’t just vanish!” ---
“Well technically, it was after your funeral that they disappeared. Such a sad day…”
“Just tell me how, Ms Lyle.”
“Okay, if you want to know so badly-”
“It will help me ‘pass over.’ I swear to you.”
“Mmm… we were at the burial part of your funeral when out of the blue you’re parents stopped crying and went absolutely blank. People were hugging them, and rubbing their shoulders, but still your parents never moved. I was looking over at them, just thinking it was the shock of everything that had happened. Heck, maybe it was. But all in all it was rather strange.
“So after the burial, when everyone was leaving to go back to the church, I looked back…”
With her eyes looking on the floor she slowly finished.
“…And they had vanished.”
I still thought what she was saying must’ve been a bit off.
“So why are you still here if they are not?”
“Someone has to clean. Have you seen this place?” She wiped her hand along the coffee table, then lifted it, “I haven’t been here since they left. And the place is a mess. I don’t care that I don’t get paid, I just hate to see it like this.”
“Oh… um… I see.”
I must of sounded like an old angry police officer, I didn’t mean to… it’s just I miss my parents so much. Being away from them when I truly need them just doesn’t fell right.
“And your second question?” Ms Lyle inquired.
I had no idea how this question was going to be easily asked. Maybe I should go right ahead and say it. I’ll try to tell myself the answer doesn’t matter; but I knew deep down it did, it matter so much.
“Who are… my parents?”
“How you got amnesia as well as…” her voice trailed.
‘Being dead?’ would have been the conclusion to that sentence. Instead of trying to explain to her that I wasn’t, I stood in silence, awaiting her answer.
“Robert James, and Maria Andy. They are your parents. If you don’t remember them at all, I’d like to tell you that they were wonderful people, who have always treasured you and-”
“No. I mean my proper parents.” I told her casually. “You know… the ones who conceived me. Because I’m clearly not related to the people who own this house.”
“Why not? I’m darn sure you are.”
“Because.. I’m… I’m different. It’s just, they can’t be my parents. They just can’t be!”
“Okay love, for all I know you are their child. But to know for show your have to find them yourself.”
“Thank you.” I told her. “You were a great Nanny, not to mention a great friend.”
With tearful eyes I walked over to the seated Ms Lyle with arms wide open.
“Can… can ghosts hug people?” she asked, and stood.
“This one can.”
I wrapped my arms around her warm body.
“You don’t feel cold.” She whispered into my ear.
“We ghosts aren’t always what we seem.”
We broke away from the hug and she smiled at me.
“It really was nice to see you again Samantha.”
“You too Franny.”
I paused, and took three steps back from her.
“I have to go. Goodbye.”
I closed my eyes.
“Bye Sam!” she shouted emotionally. “You will never be forgotten!”
Red walls, red couch, red picture frames, black walls…
“Do you have any idea how dangerous that was?” A very angry Nate shouted.
“Leave it. I’m not-” I said when I opened my eyes.
“You’ve been teleporting for a few hours and you’ve already taken advantage of it!”
I started pacing around his living room with the words ‘just vanished’ repeating in my mind.
“…and have you even sightly considered that the ETRF are still looking for you? Heck, maybe there still looking for me.” Nate continued.
“JUST VANISHED!” I screamed, unable to keep the words in any longer.
“Wait, what? Who ‘just vanished’?” Nate asked, suddenly sounding calmer.
“My parents. Well, at least the ones I lived with. Ms Lyle said they were at the funeral-my funeral-and then… and then…” I sniffed back tears, as my words were beginning to sound like sobs.
“I know, I know. They ‘just vanished’. Here, sit down.”
He tried to place me on the couch, but I pulled away.
“I have to… I have to get some things from the house. Clothes...” I ran my fingers through my hair, and breathed heavily.
“Seriously, sit.” He ordered. “I’ll get them.” He promised and smiled.
He blinked, about it leave.
Then, he opened one eye, “Don’t… go… anywhere.”
And then, exactly like my parents, he vanished.
Home is where the Heart Used to Be