“If I ever die,” he said to her, “I hope I become a ghost.”
She raised an eyebrow and waited.
“Ghosts can go where they want,” he said. “I wouldn’t bother haunting one place, or even haunting anything at all. I’d just be free, to see how history turns out.”
“Mm hmm,” she said.
He looked out of the window and back again, smiling. “And then, you couldn’t go anywhere on earth without my being at your shoulder. I’d be watching over you, every moment.”
“Ooo,” she said. “That sounds like a threat.”
“Just imagine,” he said, “I’d always wanted to go to South America, and as a ghost I could, quite free. I could fly up to orbit, or descend to the depths of the sea. I could see how history turned out. I could be where the wild things are. I could...”
“Hey,” she told him. “Don’t get carried away.”
“Fat chance,” he grinned. “After all, to become a ghost you have to die, and I’ll never die.”
She nodded, smiling, and rose. “I’ll be back tomorrow,” she said.
“See you then,” he replied cheerfully, and pulled up the blanket on the hospital bed.
Later, after the funeral, her friends wondered why she hadn’t broken down.
“They were so much in love...” they whispered. “So why is she...?”
“She’s got a heart of stone,” one of the others said, someone who had never liked her.
She knew what they were saying. She ignored them all.
High up in the sky, a bird soared, flying towards the setting sun. She soared with it, flying with its wings to where the wild things were.
Copyright B Purkayastha 2014