3:32 a.m. | Aislyn’s Room
Startled, Aislyn hops out of bed and turns on the lights to look down at the figure that had appeared and pressed so closely to her. “J.D!” She exclaims, “What the hell are you doing?”
With a laugh, he rolls out of bed to face her. “Come on now, you technically can’t even feel anything.” He says.
Aislyn could feel the heat rising to her face. “Not the point… and I do feel something.” She says while staring back at his cold, dark, ghostly eyes.
“Right, right, you can sense my presence.” J.D. says sarcastically.
“Anyways, what do you want? I just got back from helping someone and I’m not in the mood for your games.” Aislyn says.
“Relax Sunshine, it’s actually something important this time… though I feel slightly guilty now after hearing you’ve just returned.” He says.
“I’m not so sure I want to get involved. You know what happened today? A woman who died wanted me to tell her sister – who happens to own the pub downtown – that she forgave her for stealing her husband years ago.” Aislyn says.
“Well that’s dramatic.” J.D. says with a grin. “What happened after that?”
“She freaked, probably out of shame or guilt or something, and slapped me. So forgive me if I’m not eager to join another fray right away.” Aislyn says.
“While I find that to be hilarious, I’m afraid this situation is different.” J.D. says.
Realizing it was probably something serious for J.D. to come this late at night, Aislyn agrees to help. “Alright, let me take a shower really quick and we can head out.” She says.
“We don’t have time for your hour long shampooing.”
“Relax, I’ll just take a body shower; I was too tired to when I came back, and I need to wake myself up a bit right now.”
“Alright. I’ll be waiting in the living room.”
Doing her best to keep her hair from getting wet while she showers, Aislyn’s thoughts drift to J.D. Unlike all the other ghosts that knew everything about their lives prior to becoming stuck in ghost limbo and eventually coming to Aislyn for help, J.D. couldn’t remember anything. Not how old he was, where he was from, what he had to do, or even his name.
Likewise, he was the only ghost that emitted a warmth from him as opposed to the icy chill Aislyn experiences when other ghosts come into close proximity. Aislyn had jokingly suggested they call him John Doe when they had met and he surprisingly agreed under the condition it be shortened to J.D.
What started out as a temporary stay since he had nowhere else to go, evolved into more of a housemate type of situation. He prefers to stay uninvolved whenever Aislyn helps others move ‘on’ which Aislyn thinks is because a part of him feels sad he won’t be able to do the same until he pieces together his past.
While he initially spent most of his time trying to find out what he could about what he needed to do, or who he was, J.D. eventually came to enjoy ghostly life. Not every ghost chooses to move onwards, so he has other beings to keep him company, but he prefers to spend most of his time at Aislyn’s.
Of course Aislyn wants to help J.D, but given the life of isolation she’s come to know because of her ability, a part of her isn’t so eager to get rid of him right away. For as insensitive and sardonic as he may be from time to time, he has become to her what she has to him: a companion, a confidant, a friend…
“I’m ready, let’s go.” Aislyn says whilst entering the living room.
“I still can’t believe you got slapped.” J.D. says with a chuckle as he rises off the couch.
“If you’re planning on making me relive my horrendous experience, I’ll stop telling you things from now on.” Aisyln says.
J.D. laughs, “Alright, alright.”
“So where are we going?” She asks. “There’s this kid that needs your help.” J.D. responds.
“A kid?” Aislyn asks in a choked voice. That explains why J.D. decided to get involved. She thinks. “You left him alone?” She asks aloud.
“Not much harm he can come to now, is there?” He says.
“J.D!” She exclaims.
“I’m kidding. I told him to wait where I found him while I came to get you. It’s not like I know exactly what it is you do when you help other people ‘find peace’ or whatever. I figure the sooner we help the kid out, the less he has to suffer… Though I do feel bad about waking you…”
“That’s quite sweet of you.” Aislyn says, interrupting him.
“Why are you using a tone of surprise? Let’s go.” J.D. says with a grin.
4:03 a.m. | Oldmerrow River
Aislyn was beginning to feel guilty at her decrease in efforts to help J.D. When he first showed up at her doorstep a year and a half ago, Aislyn found him extremely frustrating to say the least. She went out of her way to roam graveyards, watch the news for unsolved or recent deaths, and read the paper for missing persons cases, but no face resembling J.D’s popped up. As time passed and they grew closer, she eventually got less active in her search.
“You’re being uncharacteristically quiet.” J.D. says, breaking her train of thought.
“I’m wondering why you don’t seem to be concerned for my safety at all, given you are making me walk alone this late at night.” She says jokingly, not wanting to share what was actually crossing her mind at the moment.
“You’re not alone. You have me.” He says.
“And that’s going to do me a load of good how?” She asks.
J.D. laughs but says nothing more.
4:37 a.m. | Kippy Farm
“Are we there yet?” Aislyn asks.
“You know, I could’ve transported here instantly, but no, we ended up walking for an hour because you don’t own a car. So you don’t have the right to complain about how long this is taking.” J.D. says.
“A car is an unnecessary expense.” Aislyn says, too prideful to admit that J.D. did have a point.
“We’re here.” He says after a few more minutes’ walk.
“Hey buddy, come on out.” J.D. says.
Aislyn could feel a chill in the air and sure enough, a few seconds later, a child no older than six or seven popped up. Her heart clenched. From his dark sclera there was no mistaking he was dead. What on earth caused such a young soul to be lost so soon? She wondered.
“This is the nice lady I said was going to help you.” J.D. says gesturing to Aislyn as they walk to him.
“I’ll do what I can. What’s your name?” Aislyn asks nervously. “Jake.” He replies. She hadn’t dealt with kid ghosts yet and wasn’t sure what unfinished business he could already have when he hadn’t even begun to live life yet. “Well, Jake, what’s the last thing you remember?” She asks. “I don’t know.” The kid says with a shrug.
“Think, buddy.” J.D. says. “Um… I was with my mom…” he begins. “And?” Aislyn asks. “We were going to visit my dad… We didn’t get far… We were driving over water I think… And then… and then… I don’t remember what happened.”
He probably was in an accident of some sort… Perhaps he needs to be reunited with his family… Aislyn thinks. She gives a glance towards J.D. who appeared to be thinking something along the same lines. “Come on, let’s go find your mother.” He says aloud.
6:12 a.m. | Oldmerrow River
They spent several hours walking over each and every bridge in Oldmerrow, which didn’t have a lot, but as they were making the journey on foot, the task spread out for longer that it would’ve otherwise.
It was when they had reached the last bridge that they were finally able to find her. The sun was beginning to peek out into the sky and the boy who had been quite chatty, perhaps not fully understanding what had happened, ran to his mother on sight.
Just as they had suspected, the boy’s mother had also perished in the accident; her dark eyes were visible to Aislyn even in the sunless sky. It appears as neither would be able to move on until they were together.
While they embraced, J.D. looked on with an expression that was a mixture of pity, heartbreak, and jealousy.
That feeling of guilt that was still lingering from Aislyn’s earlier thoughts grew when she saw J.D’s expression. “Look. I didn’t forget about you, you know.” She says. “I know.” J.D. replies, with a voice that displayed a calmness that didn’t match his expression.
“I’m sorry I lost you, sweetie. I promise I’ll never let you out of my sight again.” The mother says.
Unable to say anything more, Aislyn looks on at the heartbreaking reunion.
“Thank you for bringing him back to me.” The woman says. “I’m Amelia.”
She steps away from her son and lowers her voice so he doesn’t hear what she says next. “We were supposed to be making a trip to his father’s – he works out of town – when our van went over the side of the road and into the river. As it was so late, and we didn’t hit anything, I don’t know if anyone even knows we are down there. I was avoiding a stray animal on the road and lost control of the car. My son’s safety seat wasn’t secure and he…” Her voice broke slightly as she explained. “He must’ve passed first…”
“We understand.” Aislyn says, not wanting to hear a retelling of this family’s final moments. “And we’ll make sure your bodies are recovered and taken care of.” She adds. “Thank you.” Amelia says with a tearful smile.
She turns back to her son and grabs his hand. “Thanks for helping me find my mama!” Jake says; Aislyn and J.D. smile in return.
They step onto the water’s edge and disappear in a bright light all too familiar to Aislyn.
“Ready to head back?” She asks as J.D. stares in silence with that same expression on his face.
He shakes his head and then gives a small chuckle, “If you think I’m waiting for you to walk all the way back again, you are sadly mistaken. I’ll see you at home.” He replies.
And he disappears before Aislyn, leaving her alone by the water’s edge.
7:13 a.m. | Goldenrod Garden
After reporting the fallen van in the river at the police station, Aislyn takes a break from her walk home. Already sleep deprived, she didn’t have enough energy to carry on and rests on a bench at a local park she spotted on the way back. A little nap won’t hurt I suppose. She thinks as she lets her eyes flutter closed in the morning sun.
Thanks for reading! Feel free to ask for any clarification if my explanations are lacking in any way… At last, you’ve finally met the mystery man from the cover photo 🙂 ~ Also, upon seeing the reasons for one of my fellow simlit authors leaving & deleting her site this week, it got me thinking… I hope no one finds the subject matter of death/ghosts/and moving “on” which will be quite recurring in this story offensive or uncomfortable in any way, whether you are a religious person or not. I just wanted to challenge myself with a supernaturally themed story and as it progresses feel free to let me know if there’s something you dislike, though I’ll be doing my best to keep it light! Take care as always~