Thursday, October 18, 2007

ghosts in the bungalow: the attic stairs

After my husband's dad came for his first "visit," I just couldn't shake the feeling of not being alone in my own home. I hadn't seen anyone, yet, but I checked out every window and door each time I passed, determined to prove to myself that nobody was really there. Soon, I relaxed and let it go. I chalked up the nervous feelings to being a new mom alone in a new house at night. It wasn't long until I'd forgotten all about that creepy feeling.

Then one night, when Daddyman was at work and I was home alone with Via, it happened.

I was trying to find the double boiler - I don't know why I thought I needed it to make dinner for myself and a 5 month old baby, but I was absolutely distracted with the search. While Via sat in her high chair in the middle of the kitchen, happily clanging spoons and cooing, I pulled everything out of the kitchen cupboards. No double boiler. I searched the shelves in the basement laundry room - no double boiler. Then, I remembered the box of kitchen stuff that was still in the attic.

I flung open the door that lead to the attic stairs. I wasn't paying attention to where I was going, and I was ready to bound up the steps when I looked up and saw him. I gasped and stopped dead in my tracks. He was just sitting on the attic steps, behind the closed door, listening to the lives of a young mom and her baby.

Just listening.

He was sitting about 5 steps up from the bottom, with his elbows on his knees. We were almost face to face before I realized that he was there. But, of course, he wasn't really there. I could see the steps right through him.

We stared at each other for what felt like an eternity. Then, he smiled at me. A sort of sad, lonely smile. It was not an apology for being in my house or an excuse, just a smile.

When I finally caught my breath, I slammed the door closed. I pulled the dining room table in front of the door. I know that a table will not keep a ghost out of the main floor, but the idea of stopping this man from being present in my house was really important at the time.

I ran to the kitchen and scooped Via out of her high chair. I was holding her and crying and then I hear the lock on the front door click.

"Oh, God. Now what?"

It was Daddyman who walked through the door. Reasonable, calm, logical Daddyman. I fell into his giant man embrace and sobbed. When I told him the story of the man on the stairs, he didn't laugh. He didn't look at me like I'd lost my mind. He just held me.

We left the table where it was for a couple of days - in front of the door to the attic steps.

We left it in front of the attic door until one sunny Sunday in October.

I needed to find something that we hadn't yet unpacked, and I was certain that it was in the attic. Rick was raking leaves out side. The windows were open. I could hear him talking back to the game announcers on the portable radio. I knew that he could hear me, and would be inside in 10 seconds if I shouted to him for help.

I took a deep breath. I could do this. I am a grown up, after all. He probably wasn't there, anyway. I have such an over active imagination... I was so tired the night I saw him sitting on my attic steps... I'm certain I just imagined him being there...

I opened the door.

The man was there. Again. Just listening.

He looked at me. And smiled.

This time, I smiled back.

I took a deep breath and said, "Excuse me. I need to get something up there."

He leaned to one side to let me pass. (Of course, there wasn't any need for him to lean to one side. I could have simply walked right through him.)

We continued this sort of polite relationship of smiling and leaning and passing and saying "thank you" and "excuse me" until I moved out of that little Bungalow on Lincoln Avenue. As it turned out, I was sort of comforted by his presence. Knowing that someone else is home when you feel lonely late at night with a brand new baby when you're home all alone...


Angela WD said...

Oh my gosh, I would be so afraid. I think my heart would just stop cold if that happened to me!

When my grandpa died, my aunt told me that she saw him as a ghost - that he came to say goodbye. Late that night, I got up from my bed to use the bathroom, and I suddenly freaked out with my hand on the door. What if my grandpa was standing on the other side of the door, waiting to say goodbye?

We all know that ghosts can read thoughts, right? :} So I sent out a mental thought to him: "Grandpa, you know I love you. But I don't want to see you as a ghost. If you're on the other side of the door, please don't scare me." Then I opened the door.

Nothing was there.

Kimberly said...

You are fabulous! Can't wait to get caught up and delve in deeper here. Anyone who enjoys my blog, has great taste in music, and loves e.e. cummings is tops in my book!

compulsive writer said...

So nice to find you--thanks for visiting my blog. I love a good ghost story and this one did not disappoint.

hiccupp said...

great! now I can never go in my attic, due to a horrendous case of the eebie-jeebies! thanks a lot



Patti said...

this is way worse than my hobo in my attic fears...

Sue said...

What?! What?! You are freaking me out. Tell me this is an exercise in creative writing. Eeeeeek.

Bethany said...

Tagged you! Give me ten weird things...Ready? GO!

Bethany said...

P.S. Ghost stories...Yikes! Yours are goooooooood.

P.S.S. I (finally) got around to developing the pumpkin patch pics...stay tuned!

Rose said...

Thank you so much for your kind thoughts and words. It really does help.

Bethany said...

P.S.S.S. I just figured out what Bunco really is...I thought it was a fun game!

Silly me.

Yes! We need to do Bunco! Nathan is never home...and that's no fair. I need company...and food and drinks! Let's start a group. There are plenty of ladies around!

nicki said...

I'm with Sue!! What the?? If this is real (I'm sure your not telling), I'm seriously FREAKED out!

JustRandi said...

Ok Ahna- This better be Halloween fiction, because it's seriously creeping me out.