As per my last submission...
My dad was dead.
He died November 2002 in a hospital bed after his kidneys went, but his heart was dying too so it would have killed him eventually. He has been on machines for months but they only prolonged the inevitable, as he was a very sick man. Dialysis and oxygen. Hospice. Hanging onto life that wasn't meant to be. I accepted it.
After the funeral and "death party" as I called it--people always have full-course meals after someone goes, it's a little weird--and several days of mourning, I woke up to find my mom looking confused but trying to hide it. I asked what was wrong. She said nothing. I assumed, like me, she was sad so I didn't ask anything else that day.
I was still living home because he died when I was young, but the house didn't bother me despite pictures of dad on the shelves and the obvious memories. Yes my heart was heavy but I was handling it the best anyone could. Mom called me her "rock." But I could tell something was bothering her beyond sadness. Finally, curiosity got me and I pressed her for an answer. She resisted at first, saying it was nothing, that I shouldn't worry; that she knew it was only her imagination. The tone of her voice suggested differently. There was something grave--excuse the pun, I'll see myself out--in her eyes and in her voice, which ignited my curiosity even more until I told her I had to know what was going on.
She paused. Then she asked me if I remembered anything from the night after dad died.
I asked what she meant.
In return, she again asked if I remembered what happened in the middle of that night. Like it was a tennis rally, I shot back another question asking what she was talking about.
She hesitated. After a few seconds, she told me she'd heard a loud voice from my room and when she looked down the hallway, a grey figure was standing at my door and I was sitting straight up in bed, screaming.
I stared at her. I had no recollection of any of it.
"I might not have seen anything," she said, "but your dad used to look in on you all the time when you were sleeping."
I don't remember screaming. I don't remember sitting up in bed. And I certainly don't remember a grey shadow.
Was it in her head?
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