PURGATORY

This is a weird, random idea that I got with Aina a looooooooong time ago. I've changed it since then. I personally don't think it's thaaaaaaaaat good, but Steph liked it. In a weird way.

Love Lolly.

DISCLAIMED TO MEG CABOT.


It all began on a day that seemed no different to any other.

All my days seemed to mimic one another. Nothing stood out. Nothing interested me.

Until she came.

A girl. Younger than I. She was sixteen. Her mother brought her up into her room, and asked her what she thought.

And smiling, the girl replied happily that she loved the feminine pink shades on the walls, and the lace on her bed.

It was then that my heart, a heart that had not pounded for a century and a half, skipped a beat.

Something about this girl . . . something about her made me realize how badly I yearned for life.

Susannah was her name. Susannah Simon. She was . . . beautiful. Happy, innocent, young, so beautiful.

And she could not see me.

For I was dead.

Oh, at that moment when her mother asked her if she liked the decorations of her bedroom, a fleeting, desperate hope flushed through me when I could have sworn that her gaze met mine . . .

However, I was wrong. Wrong indeed.

She could see me no more than I could touch her.

The days and weeks and months passed. I watched over her, so carefully, granting her the privacy that she most richly deserved. When she came home from her school, I'd watch her write pages of round, irregular cursive that looked eccentric to me. I'd watch her hair fall around her shoulders as she talked into her "phone." I'd watch her as her eyes would drift closed, late at night, as she fell asleep. I'd watch her cry into her pillows, sometimes, and I'd want nothing more in my God forsaken existence, than to hold her. Tell her that it was all right.

It wasn't very long before I realized that I'd fallen in love her.

If mi Dios had wished to damn me, he could have chosen no finer method to do so. Here, was a woman that I wanted so desperately, and yet, I was invisible to her. I did not exist.

I was merely her silent spectator.

Then came the day that she brought home another man. His name; Paul.

Her mother was out, as was her step-father. It was a late hour, a time that was highly inappropriate for men such as this Paul to be seeing mi querida in her bedroom.

And yet, there he was.

It was not long before he had her pressed down on her bed, kissing her in a brazen, disrespectful manner. I saw her leg slide up, her knee pressed between his legs.

I should have looked away. Dematerialized. It would have made things easier. But I could not. An insane, dark, repulsive jealousy pumped hotly through my veins with acidic effect. My fists were balled, and my lips were parted in fury that this man that was NOT me, was touching Susannah like that.

Not that I would have ever been as forward as to kiss her while she was beneath me.

Not that I ever could.

The fact that this "Paul" could made me blind with a loneliness, envy, and misery. As he ran his hands up her legs which she covered so little, comparatively to the women in my day, something broke within me.

As a result, Susannah's mirror shattered.

The pair of them sat up hurriedly. Susannah looked flushed, and alarmed, and this "Paul" looked accusatory.

Then, his blue eyes fell on me.

And his eyebrow rose.

He – he could SEE me.

Nombres de Dios . . .

Susannah rushed to ask him if he was okay. He only stared at me.

'Leave,' my word was so thickly choked with anger and offence.

In reply, he only smirked, turning back to Susannah, and kissing her deeply.

Susannah sighed, and he, once again, touched her along her body in ways that were only inappropriate, but were violating her. She touched his chest and giggled his name.

When she went downstairs to bring up "soda," Paul turned to me, grinning.

With a hateful glare, I took a step toward him. 'You leave Susannah alone,' I warned him.

He snorted. 'And I should listen to a ghost . . . why?'

'You are not good enough for her,' I informed him distastefully. 'Get out of her room. You only set out to disrespect her.'

He crossed his arms, and laughed a little. 'Can't blame me, right? I mean . . . what, you're from the 1800's or something?' he looked down at my clothes scornfully, 'And still, don't tell me YOU don't want to – you know.' He motioned toward Susannah's bed with a sinister grin.

My eyes widened in a sudden surge of pure, chaste, untainted hate.

'Get out.'

'Make me,' he smiled, his dishonest eyes sparkling at the challenge. I did nothing. I had not met someone who could see me before . . .

He laughed at me tauntingly. 'Yeah, that's right, ghost. You can't make me do anything. If it weren't for the fact that I plan to be very preoccupied very shortly, you'd be gone,' he told me.

. . .Gone?

'I asked you to leave,' my voice rose. 'You will do nothing more with Susannah.'

Paul's brows rose suddenly. 'Oh God,' he said in disgust. 'What, do you love her or something?'

I felt my face paling.

'I – I watch over h – '

He had the nerve to laugh at my love, and my good intentions. He laughed openly. 'Whoa,' he said, laughing, 'I don't think I've ever heard anything so SAD. A dead guy loving a chick who doesn't even know he's there. I really ought to put you out of your misery.'

Another wave of this fury that he continuously inspired flared up, clenching my muscles. I made a motion to strike him for his indecent words, but Susannah came back through the door, aluminium cans in her hand. She smiled at Paul shyly. 'What were you laughing at?'

Paul shrugged, and then motioned to a picture on her dresser. It was a photo, with a small girl being held in the arms of an older man.

'You were a cute kid,' Paul said. 'Who's that?'

'My dad,' Susannah mumbled. 'He's, um, dead.'

Paul looked unmoved by this information. Within twenty minutes, I was forced to dematerialize.

For Paul meant what he said. That he would be 'busy.'

'Watch this,' he said. A statement directed at me.

And I could not bear to watch such an act.

- 8 -

One month, and Susannah still cried from what Paul stole from her. She cried at night. She talked to no one in particular about her stupidity, and how "dirty" she was. And how much she hated herself and Paul after how he treated her subsequent to . . . their relations.

She cried, and I could not hold her. I could not run my fingers through her hair, whisper comforts in her ear, and reassure her that someone did love her enough to respect her in the way she needed.

I loved her.

I was always so close to her, and yet so far away. An entire plane away from her.

I must have done something truly horrific in my last life, to have deserved this fate.

To exist, and yet to not.

To want, and to not have.

To love, and to not be loved.

To see, and to not be seen.

Or heard.

Or felt.

If I thought dying was painful, it was nothing compared to the pain I felt after I'd stopped breathing.

How could I have sinned so severely to have been trapped in this purgatory?

. . .Susannah was crying again. She was cold.

I closed the window for her. She sat up, looking around.

'Hello?' she asked hesitantly, sniffing back tears.

'Hello,' I said warmly. 'Hello, querida.'

Oh, if only she could have heard me.

Looking wary, she slowly settled herself back down to sleep. The moonlight shone through her window and bathed her in stark white. It was cold outside, for deep in the might, the window began to fog up.

Sadly, I smiled. I walked over to the window and scripted words with a dead finger.

"Someone loves you."

She'd just never know who that someone was.

This half-life is a curse I would wish upon no one.

I merely wished I knew what I'd done to deserve it.

To deserve to love such a beautiful woman who was so out of my reach that it was cruelty.

Such things make me question the existence of my God. For he truly could not be so callous as to do this . . . could he?

I closed my eyes, feeling, for the first time, how truly cold it was in the room of my death.

It had never been this cold . . . not even when I was alive.

Now, though . . .

. . .it was freezing.