Chapter Six

The present


Who the hell is William? Who the hell is William?  I keep repeating it in my mind over and over. I was desperate to talk to Adele and Rob because they must know what happened to me. Even if they don’t know the full story, they will know more than I do! But despite all my efforts they could not hear me. I even attempted to read Rob’s mind, but I failed at that as well. It was so bloody frustrating.

   And then they vanished through the gate and onto the plane en-route to their love nest in Rome leaving me with that alluring prospect of someone called William who I was apparently involved with. Who was he? Who is he? Was I really supposed to be meeting him here at Terminal Three?

   Actually, it does answer one question. I think I may have mentioned that I had the distinct feeling I was due to meet someone at Gate 132. I think I just assumed it would have been Alex. I wasn’t aware I knew anyone else in trousers! Not that well anyway. It seems I did. Intriguing!

   And talking of Alex all I am aware of at the moment is that I was going through a stormy patch with him, mostly because of his controlling behaviour which was irritating in the extreme. It was as if he considered me to be one of his possessions; an accessory to be flaunted to the outside world whenever it suited him. I know that sounds completely off the wall, but I sometimes had the feeling he thought it endeared me to him. Yes, I know that sounds insane and I suppose there are women who would argue that controlling behaviour is better than indifference. Well, all I can say is good luck to them. I will go for freedom – of thought and action – every time.

   All I know is that I was not ‘owned’ by anyone and any man who thought otherwise could kiss my ass. Alex may have thought he could control me by belittling me or telling me how to dress, but he soon found out what a mistake that was. Instead of being the demure and obedient girlfriend, it had quite the opposite effect and I would become outrageous by unashamedly flirting with other men when we were out. I suppose that must have made him feel like someone was stealing his car!

   There was one occasion when we were invited out to dinner at a posh restaurant with two friends of his. They were both in the PR trade and I was not looking forward to it, so I thought if I dressed down, he might suggest I stay at home. But he didn’t. He just moaned at me, and he still had a face on him even when we sat down in the restaurant.

   The two guys were Raphael and Sebastian who I think quite quickly sussed out the situation. I also suspect they were not exactly bosom mates of Alex’s, despite what he may have fondly thought. Anyway, the evening was a riot – for me – with the two of them flirting with me shamelessly. I lost count of the number of times I had to remove a hand from my thigh and the atmosphere was thick with complements which I naturally revelled in.

   No, I don’t care what you think. I thoroughly enjoyed the evening. It was pure fun and made me think that perhaps not all PR guys are boring assholes. It could not have been fun for Alex, I suppose, but I really didn’t care. It was his fault for treating me the way he did.

   It’s really strange, but while I remember how the evening ended, with him almost pleading with me to allow him to come in for a chat, I don’t remember much after that. I remember that he announced his plan which was for us to move into a flat largely paid for by me selling my house. And, oh yes, getting rid of Sonny into the bargain too. I know I must have stared at him as if he had just landed from Mars. He must have thought I was a bit simple if I was likely to agree to that. Get rid of my adoring Sonny? Not to mention my lovely house. I think not. I would get rid of him first.

   I don’t recall what happened after that. My life after that is blank. I am pretty bloody sure I did not sell my house though. As if! I also don’t know if we stayed together or not. Quite honestly, I would say that it was unlikely given the way he was behaving but I just don’t know. My amnesia extends from then until my death apparently.

   There is something else too. Something I realised just a short time ago. I know this is going to sound really weird, but I am not always in the terminal. There are occasions when I am literally nowhere which must be difficult for you to understand; I don’t understand it either!

   Being a newcomer to the ghost club, there are obviously many things I am not yet aware of. You see, I am either in the terminal or I am not. I have no idea what happens in between. I’m not asleep either – obviously – because ghosts don’t need to sleep. What I don’t know is how long that situation is likely to last.

   I am wandering around the check-ins at Terminal Three. I have always thought that it is the poor relation of the terminals at Manchester, as though it was almost an afterthought with some desks situated in what can only be called a corridor. There aren’t that many airlines that are based there either; only about seven I think, among them British Airways which only flies to Heathrow.

   I have flown with them many times, to Heathrow and then to Canada to visit relatives so I got to know a few of the staff over the years, including a lady called Sarah who has the patience of a saint. There was John too, a tall guy with rugged good looks who I quite fancied but sadly I doubt he even noticed me as he hauled my bag onto the conveyer and handed me my boarding pass.

   He is not there today but Sarah is, smiling patiently at a traveller who is not sure what he is supposed to do. He is elderly and is very probably new to the routines of checking in.

   I am next to Sarah at the desk. She is unaware of me – obviously – and it is new for me as well to be on this side looking at the queue which is not really that long. Sarah is asking him for his e-ticket. He looks confused. He probably has no idea what an e-ticket is, so she explains that it was probably printed out for him by somebody. His face lights up and he searches an inside pocket and produces a passport with a print-out inside it.

   He apologises for being stupid and she assures him he isn’t at all. She goes out of her way to help him and re-assure him. If only they were all like her!

   As I look at her chatting to him I suddenly ‘know’ that she had to have an abortion after her lover abandoned her and that she has an elderly mother at home who has cancer and probably does not have long to live. I can picture her at home in bed. I also ‘know’ that her father died a few months ago. I feel immensely sorry for Sarah who must have much on her mind but stoically does not show it.

   And then it dawns on me. How did I do that? How did I ‘know’ all that? I was not able to do it with Adele and Rob. If I had I might be nearer to knowing what I am doing here. Has something happened to me? Is it a new ability?

   I wasn’t aware of anything changing. There was no message from the guy with the long white beard informing me that if I play my cards right, I will be able to read minds. I daresay there are conditions. There has to be rules for instance. There are always rules. Maybe there is celestial small print as well. It can’t be that simple. The old cliché about there being no such thing as a free lunch really is true. It usually ended up in the bedroom I discovered over the years. Well, no lunches anymore, free, or otherwise. No bedroom either. I just wish I knew what the rules are!

   So, does this mean my abilities will slowly expand without me realising it? Is this how it works? All I really want to do is to find out what is going on at home, to Evie and Pam and to Sonny. And if my new abilities help find out why I am here, so much the better. I will obviously just have to just keep trying.

   There are also other things I need to find out too. Let’s get back to William. Who exactly is he? Was I in a relationship with him? I can’t see me flying off to somewhere exotic if I wasn’t. There are so many other things I want to know as well. How did I meet him? What happened to Alex? Was I having an affair? Did it having anything to do with my death? It could be the key to my situation.

   I stare at Sarah. She is smiling at another passenger. If only they knew how difficult life is for her. I once read somewhere that everybody has a story. How true is that.

Published by pod1942

I am a cereer journalist having worked for the London Dail Mail, Reuters and latterly the Liverpool Daily Post on Merseyside as well as the journalists’ leader in the region. I have experience as a crime reporter, feature writer, business editor and latterly, a senior sub-editor. My qualifications include a BA (Hons) English, from the University of Liverpool; a BA (Hons) Fine Art and an MA in Creative Practice both from Liverpool Hope University. I now divide my time between art and writing. I will shortly be publishing my first full-length novel, The Poseidon Files and as a taster I have written a short story which features the same central female character in which she talks about her world and her life. It is, however, essentially a ghost story.

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