“Catalina. Cataleeeeeeeeeena. Where are you? One, two, three, come out come out and play with me.”
Cat aka Catalina Magnolia O’Henry, scowled as she heard the voice calling her name. She kept working in her garden. So far, she’d planted six new fancy daylilies, and checked the progress of the tulip bulbs. The new bearded iris were starting to grow. The first daffodils and freesias were starting to bloom. Even the roses were putting on buds. It was glorious.
“Catalina. Don’t make me come out and scold you,” said the bodyless voice.
Cat ignored it and pulled some weeds. She smiled when she noticed the nasturtium seeds were coming up.
“Catalina. I’m warning you.”
Cat finally answered. “What? Warning me what?”
“Come out and play with me or atone for your sins.”
“Who are you? Or is it who were you? Oh right, I know who you are. You’re Mr. Asshole,” said Cat. She pulled off her work gloves and brushed dirt off of her glasses. “I’m too old for your nonsense. Who the hell were you?”
“Don’t you remember Catalina? Don’t you remember the night, the glorious nights we spent together?”
“No, oh crap.”
“Catalina, do you know where your son is?”
Icy cold air swirled around Cat. She pulled her sweatshirt closed, but it didn’t help. Her nose started to run, and her hands started to ache from the cold.
“Don’t even think about bothering my child,” she said.
“Child? He is a grown man.”
“Don’t even dare…” she said as she tried not to panic.
“Dare what? I’d never hurt your child. He could have been our child.”
“You would have been a horrible parent. You didn’t want children anyway,” said Cat.
“Catalina, you took that choice away from me.”
“No,” she said. “Stay out of my garden.”
A blast of frozen air hit her again. A shadow of man stood in front of her. He was handsome and much younger than Cat’s 64 years.
“You’re still beautiful Catalina,” he said.
“You tried to kill me,” said Cat. By then she was so angry she was about to scream. Now she knew who the ghost was who had been haunting her for the past year.
“That was a long long long time ago,” said the ghost.
She remembered the night she’d broken up with him, then he drove the car over the cliff with both of them in it. She lived. He died.
“What do you want Dan?”
The ghost said nothing and took a few steps towards Cat.
“You’re such an asshole. Get out of my garden and don’t ever come back.”
“Did you ever love me?”
“For a minute before I realized what a selfish, misogynistic prick you were. Go away.”
“Catalina, you can’t be serious.”
“I’m dead serious.”
Cat’s chest started to tighten. Nausea spread through her body. She thought she was going to throw up. Then it was as if someone had crushed her chest and crushed her lungs. Unable to breath she sat on the porch steps and tried to gasp in air.
She could not let him kill her. She would not die and spend forever with that jerk. As her head grew light her husband opened the front door.
Cold air blew in his face. He stepped back, then noticed Cat on the front porch. He sat next to her.
“Honey, Cat, are you alright?”
As Cat tried to answer the pain and tightness in her chest went away. The ghost vanished.
“Was it the ghost again?” Her husband asked.
“I don’t think he’ll be back. Holy crap. I figured out who it was,” said Cat.
They went inside and then called their son to make sure he was alright.
The ghost never came back, at least not since Cat has figured out who he was. That was three weeks ago. With any luck he’d never come back.
In the meantime, she noticed more buds coming out, and hummingbirds were zooming around the trees, as bees happily harvested their bounty from the lavender plants.
Living in past wasn’t Cat’s favorite thing to do. The ghosts of her past were never going to let her alone, but she was always ready to fight off the assholes. Besides, she had better things to do, like grow more flowers.
Thank you for reading this short story written over half a cup of luke warm coffee just now.
~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman