Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Let the Ghosts Sleep Tonight

Jonathan came into to talk with me early yesterday morning, a newspaper tucked up underneath his arm and a coffee in either hand. I was upset with him at first for not calling, but then I remembered how much I enjoyed his company, also how much I enjoyed the crackling sound a newspaper made in the morning. Both were things I hadn't thought about in an awfully long time. As we sat down, I noticed he was wearing two different colour socks, both blue but of very different shades and patterns. (I even thought one might have been turned inside-out). I asked him what was wrong and he placed the newpaper down on the table between us, his eyes welling up slightly. I sipped my coffee, hoping he might do the same, wishing I had been the one who had brought the newspaper, who had also brought the two steaming cups. I wanted him to take his time, now that he was hear. I tried to show him I was listening. I tried to take a deep breath for him.

Then he told me what he had realised, and it floored me. You see, it had dawned on Jonathan that he had actually hurt Emily's feelings, all those years ago, not because of who he was, or even of his own volition. It wasn't because he meant to, or because he didn't love her--no, it was because of who she had believed him to be. There was the culprit. All that anger and sadness, he told me, hadn't really been directed at him, but at a ghost, a phantom. He had forgiven her, he told me, and he had forgiven himself. Oh Emily, he cried. Again, he showed me the scar on his forehead, that little dent above his eyebrow, and said, amazingly, that it hadn't been meant for him, but for this ghost. That scar wasn't his anymore. This isn't mine, he told me, brushing aside his forelock.

Then I wondered about the ring Emily gave me. This wedding band I have continued to wear even after she left me for Jonathan, after she ran off with Magnus, then with Edward: I felt it tap gently against the hot paper of the coffee cup as I leaned forward to inspect the scar that Jonathan said was his no longer.

Then we began laughing hysterically, our voices carrying more loudly in the early misty hours. It was an earnest, sincere laughter that seemed to voice for us how much we missed everything in our lives. How much we wanted to forgive and forget. How much we wanted Emily there, laughing with us. How much we missed her. How much we wanted this morning to redeem everything and put these ghosts of the past to sleep.

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