It had never occurred to Tim how precarious his existence was until that afternoon, driving back from upstate New York.
It was getting dark, with the sun setting gently over the green horizon. Emma was looking in the book of Native American Tribes, trying to plot out their course, and Tim was at the wheel - but with much less energy than he had coming up. The two exchanged very few words for a few hours.
Tim had always been willing to accept whatever fate chose him. Being a ghost was never his plan, but he had resolved very early on to make the most of it. But now that he knew not only his existence teetered over a cliff, but also the soul he was possessing?
I'm not sure I want to go into the abyss after all. Tim thought, pulling into a hotel off the side of the twisting highway.
"What's wrong?" Emma asked.
"We're humans at the moment, Em." Tim sighed. "We have to be aware of human needs. Sleep, for instance."
Surprisingly, Emma didn't have anything to say to that. It appeared the whole experience with the freaky Indian dude had fazed her as well.
"How can I help you?" A Valet said as Tim stepped out of the car.
Tim tossed his keys at the boy. "Take good care of her."
"Yes sir." He got into the car and slowly pulled off, disappearing around the corner of the hotel.
Emma shot him a look. "Her?"
Tim smiled. "Aw, shut up. Allow me to have even a smidgen of happiness."
They got their room keys at the front desk, paid, and went up to their place on the second story of the hotel. It was a small room, with two beds, a bathroom and a TV. Emma took a shower right away, while Tim brewed.
The door slammed to the bathroom. Emma appeared, all ready for a long sleep. "My, my." She said, wringing out her hair despite the fact that it appeared completely dry. "I haven't taken a shower in a long time. Are you going to next?"
Tim shook his head. "No. I shower in..." He caught himself. "I used to shower in the mornings. When I was alive."
Emma sat down next to him on his bed, placing her hand on his shoulder. "You don't have to be like that, you know." She raised her nose up in the air, very typically. "My tutor always said: 'Dwelling on the past is the surest way to smother your future.' Do you want that to be you?"
"Future? Gimme a break." Tim laid back on the bed and closed his eyes.
Emma walked around for a few more minutes, eventually turning off the lights and settling into her own bed. "We should get to New Jersey by noon tomorrow, if we leave out early. Sweet dreams, Timothy."
Tim stared at the dark ceiling. "Yeah, good." He paused. "Emma?"
"I don't think I'm ready to die. Not again."
"Me neither, Tim. Me neither."