Day and night Yenn was on Ethan’s side. Time stopped existing. She wasn’t sure how long she’d been at the cemetery for, but she wasn’t going anywhere. Not until…
“Yenn?” A voice called to her.
It was her sister.
“Yenn, come home. I know you’re hurting, but you need to eat, and you look…” Chell paused and looked away. “What are you wearing anyway?”
“It’s Ruby Perrin’s wedding dress,” Yenn explained.
Chell’s face was blank: “You mean, our grandmother?”
“Yes!” Yenn perked up slightly. “This is the dress she got married in, at this very spot. Her and our grandfather’s love was so strong he brought her back from the dead, remember? She was a ghost for years, and then…”
Chell stroked her sister’s arm gently: “Yenn, he’s not coming back… Let me help you.”
“You don’t understand,” Yenn interrupted her.
Chell looked at her, the pain apparent in her face: “I’ve lost my husband recently too, don’t you remember? Out of all people, I think I should understand.”
“No, you don’t,” Yenn shook her head. “You and Knox, you had everything. You made him so happy. I’ve let Ethan down.”
“I should have said yes.”
Eventually, Chell realised it was no use and left her sister alone.
“Oh, I know who you are! You’re the guy from the Agustin speed date that is looking for a soulmate and all that nonsense!”
Yenn meditated, to save energy. He’d turn up. He would.
“Hi Yenn,” a man’s voice greeted her.
It was Booker: “Chell told me you were chasing ghosts here.”
“Booker, I know you’re trying to help, but please let me be,” Yenn said.
“No, you’ve got to listen to me,” Booker demanded. “I’ve been letting the ghosts of my past get to me all of my adult years, and it’s no use. You have to move on. Come on Yenn, you know this! You’re the smart one!”
“Go away Booker!”
They didn’t understand. Ghosts were real. Yenn knew it.
“Ethan… let’s do this! Let’s give us a try. No labels. No boyfriend and girlfriend, no talk of marriage and kids and the future. Just you and I. Together. What do you say?”
Another day, another sunset. They meant so little without him.
Yenn pulled out her violin and started composing a song. At least grief was inspiring.
“I love you Yenn, but the violin might be one of the skills you haven’t quite mastered yet.”
“I admit you’ve gotten a bit better, but there’s still a lot of room for improvement,” the ghost smiled.
“Ethan,” she dropped the violin and fell into his arms. Well, as much as she could, in his current state. “I knew you’d come!”
“What can I say, that noise would wake the dead,” he chuckled.
“I missed you,” she said simply.
His face turned serious.
And then he kissed her. It was as if time had truly stopped, and they were not separated by life and death. If only it could last forever.
“You look beautiful,” he smiled and picked up a rose for her.
“I… I wanted to give you something too,” Yenn took a deep breath as she dropped to her knee.
“Ethan, I was wrong. I should have never said no to you. I thought… I thought it didn’t matter anymore, but I’ll always be yours, no matter if you’re dead or alive. I want to be your bride, your wife, forever.”
“Yenn, I was the one who was wrong,” the ghost shook his head. “I was being stupid trying to claim you as I was already on my way from this world. It wasn’t fair of me to ask you, and you were right to reject me, like I have to reject you now.”
“But Ethan, what about all those things you wanted in life? All those things I refused to give you,” Yenn hung her head down.
“You’ve given me all I ever wanted, and more,” Ethan helped her back up. “I couldn’t have dreamed of a better life. But it’s time for me to move on, and you still have so much living to do. You need to let me go, Yenn. Release my spirit.”
“No, I can’t,” she held on to him. “I… I don’t want to.”
“Don’t you think I deserve more than being a ghost endlessly roaming this graveyard?”
Yenn sighed. He was right.
“Don’t worry, Yenny,” he kissed her cheek. “Life’s only temporary. I’ll be waiting when you’re ready to join me. But now you have to move on. We both do.”
And with that, he disappeared back into his grave.
She released his spirit, like he asked. It’s only temporary, she repeated to herself.
She knew she’d miss him every day, and that she would never love another man the way she loved him. But she needed to find a way to go on living, without him.
Author’s note: Special thanks to iheartdinosx3 for creating Ethan for the Agustin speed date. I hope you don’t mind that he didn’t get picked; turns out he had a whole other life waiting for him in my game. A life I think he enjoyed. He’ll be missed!