*Disclaimer: This is a fictionalized account of how last night might have gone if we all actually lived together*
Yesterday was a rough day. I had a great weekend, and then a very moody day, which is only ever made worse by my guilt that I am not appreciating the previous good days enough. I had a feeling the others had rough days too, based on the silence as we sat around the living room, each engrossed in our own things.
I was working hard on my forum post by staring at the screen angrily and wishing words would just appear. It isn’t due until Thursday, but my paper is due on Sunday, and I plan to be gone all weekend, so, in a ripple effect, the forum post has to get done now so I can work on my paper without interruption. Rissa was engrossed in a book, having already done the dishes that I completely ignored, and Abby was taking a break from writing her children’s series while she pursued what the internet had to say about being motivated to write. Grace was off on some adventure, as per usual, and all in all, our Ingleside mansion was far too quiet for four girls living there.
Abby must have agreed because after an hour or so of this, she scared me half to death when she suddenly sprang up from the sofa. “Let’s go visit Oswald!”
I eyed her skeptically. “I can’t. I have to do my post.” I am ashamed to say I did not even attempt to hide the grouchiness in my tone. Rissa’s eyes appeared just above the cover of her book, quietly assessing the outcome of the sudden conversation.
“Yes, you can.” Abby responded determinedly. “You aren’t getting anything done anyway, and us sitting around here sulking is a waste of a beautiful night.”
“We have to go to work tomorrow – I don’t have time.” I refused to be easily moved. I can be unfortunately stubborn when I decide I want to be unhappy. I typed a few words and then promptly deleted them.
Abby subsided momentarily, glancing between me and Rissa and then announced. “All right, then I’m going to visit Oswald myself. Rissa, do you want to come?”
“Suure.” Rissa’s slight drawl didn’t sound extremely sure, but she put down her copy of House of Light anyway.
It’s almost like they knew there is no better way to get me to do something than make me feel like I’m going to be left out.
“Fine, I’m coming!” I closed my laptop a little more firmly than was needed, but both girls ignored my temper.
Oswald, for anyone reading this who isn’t familiar with us, is our local ghost. He’s really a friendly ghost – we met him when we were vacationing together in the mountains of Colorado, and since we moved into Ingleside, we’ve decided that he probably resides in the ancient graveyard just down the street from us, so when we go to “visit Oswald”, that actually means we are going on a field trip to the cemetery.
Therefore, we were shortly entering the archway that led into a myriad of forgotten stories. Whether I wanted it to or not, I have to admit that the warm evening air and the stars twinkling overhead lightened my mood. And within a few feet of getting to the graveyard, my paper was all but forgotten. There is something about graveyards that ease the stress from me. I just love meandering the rows and reading the inscriptions, and telling all those loved ones that there are still people who haven’t forgotten them even when they’ve been gone a hundred or so years.
We all walked through the rows quietly, stopping every so often to read the inscriptions when possible, or helping each other make out what a faded word said, but the quiet was far different from the silence in the living room. It was the silence of the revered. The silence of remembering lost hopes.
And as we reached one particular clump of trees, a wind appeared out of nowhere, whipped around us, into the trees, and was gone. We all looked at each other, startled, and even perhaps a little scared, for a moment, and then laughed. “You can’t scare us, Oswald!” Abby called after him. We grinned at each other and started for the exit. I like to think that the souls in that graveyard liked that random peal of laughter – a bit of joy in a sober place.
I know I did. But most of all, I am grateful for friends who don’t put up with my random moods and force me to get out of my own head every once in a while. And I think my school appreciated it too. My post took only about 15 minutes after I got home, which means tonight I get to fully concentrate on my paper again. Assuming Oswald doesn’t decide to interrupt us again.