It's been a while since I last published a short story It's raw and barely edited, and not one of my best either, but I hope you find it somewhat enjoyable just the same.
Let me know what you think in the comments!
I came to you when you were three and afraid of the ghosts under your bed.
I heard you cry out in the middle of the night; saw you in a mass of light. Your mother came in as I watched you, waiting, wondering. She kissed you and said it was all going to be alright, that there was no need to be afraid, because you lived with only friendly ghosts who would protect you. When she left, you were still whimpering. That was when I approached you. Your finger was in your mouth. With bright green eyes you looked up at me from the piles of blankets, accepting me for what I was before you even knew me.
I didn't understand much about your pain, but I kissed your cheek and you feel asleep.
I came to you again when you fell off the backyard swing set. You had scraped your knee. I wiped the dust from your red hair and I wiped the tears from your eyes. You then began to put your trust in me. I would never hurt you, as I was a part of you.
You grew attached to me before you started school. And when you did start school, I was there with you, helping you with the weight of your backpack. That morning had already made you sad. There was yelling between your mother and father, and they had nearly forgotten to drive you. You had to draw your best friend for homework that night, and you handed in a blank sheet of paper.
You were chastised and as you sulked, I was there to hug you better.
Every day was a day of battles, a day of trials, a day of learning. You needed me each time. I often didn't understand why you were crying. The only thing I understood was that you needed me, not why. I was meant to protect you.
You talked about me to the friends you made at school. Neither of us understood why they laughed, but it made you upset and I did my best to comfort you.
The day you needed me most was when your parents came in to your bedroom and told you they didn't love each other anymore.
They would of course always love you, but they had said some things to each other that they couldn't pretend to ignore.
You were alone that night and I was the only one that protected you against the demons in your head.
You needed me for a long time after. We found ourselves switching homes quite often, but I never grew tired of following you.
As the years passed, you began crying less. You grew accustomed to the hurt you faced every day, and I needn't watch over you every night like I had before. I instead took a background presence, there to reassure you for your first oral presentation, there to smile when your feelings toward a girl were not reciprocated.
You began growing older, and didn't always appreciate the few times I was there. I felt myself fading away, becoming again enveloped by the shadows, until you barely remembered me and I was simply the figure you thought you saw, across the street, under the lamplight.
In grand moments of your happiness and misery, I came back for a fleeting moment. You saw me, and your face twitched, and you looked at me the same way you did so many years ago, as you lay under the mobile, a layer of melancholy haunting your features. In every moment of joy there was a cloud of sadness, and in every journey of sadness there was always a bit of joy. I think I began to understand as I saw you less, because every time you reminded yourself of me, the ghost of your past, sadness lurked in the corners of your shining eyes.
I remember after many years of flailing in the darkness, in my mind trying to solidify the image of your face, a burst of joy that caused me to come back. I saw you, just for a single glimpse, one minute, as you slipped a gleaming diamond onto the finger of your lover.
Then, months later, I was the flicker you saw in the mirror. I was the feeling that swept over you when you fixed your tie. You realized the feeling had little to do with what was facing you. You brushed a piece of hair from your face- you should've cut it a long time ago- and you smirked and nodded at the mirror, rushed with the same confidence we practiced for your first day of high school. Under the wrinkles on your skin lay the emotional scars only I could see, word imprinted on your soul. Names people would call you when you were just a little boy, and names mommy and daddy would call each other at night when they thought you were sound asleep. Things you called yourself while standing on the scale, because you thought no one could hear you. But I was there for all of it.
As you walked out of that room, it felt like we had officially reached our end. I wanted to reach out and stop you from going on, but as I put out my arm, I suddenly felt weaker than I ever had been. I couldn't hold onto you, and I could barely hold onto myself. I choked and sputtered and fizzled until I was nothing but particles, molecules mixed with dust made of dead hair and flakes of skin.
I am hardly waiting. I am hardly anything at all.
But now, I feel myself being tugged away from the shadows. A face is shown in an overhead ball of light. A sad little girl by the name of Hope, with your red hair and bright green eyes, who is only now learning about the ghosts underneath her bed.
The light is growing. She is growing. I am becoming corporeal.