The Night I Picked Up a Ghost

I was driving home from school late one night when I saw a  woman in a white robe standing in the street. Read what happened next in this comedy/tragedy/horror story.

by Lynn WL

One night I left school quite late after studying with some friends. Instead of taking the freeway I decided to take the road less traveled - a longer and winding road which is more scenic although at night I probably wouldn't be able to see much. But I just wanted to wind down after the long day.

So I played some relaxing music as I drove down the deserted highway. I came to an area with lots of big trees on both sides of the road, and I suddenly saw a figure in a white robe with long dark hair in the distance.

"Oh fuck, not a ghost!" I thought. What now? I figured if the ghost was determined to "meet" me, there was no avoiding it. I could turn back, but it would still manage to stand in front of me. So I decided to just drive forward.

As I approached the figure I could see it was a woman. Not too old, maybe in her 30's. Her face looked... well, ghostly - pale with dark eyes. She was standing on the right side of the road. So I stopped and opened the passenger side window. "Hey, what's up?" I said trying to be as calm as possible although my heart was racing.

She looked a little surprised that I wasn't scared (I must have done a good job not showing it). "Do you know what I am?" she asked.

"Of course, you're a fucking ghost!" I swallowed as I felt my hands shaking a little.

"And you're not afraid?"

"I ain't afraid of no ghost!" I told her, still trying my best not to show any fear.

"What, are you with the Ghost Busters or something?"

"No, but I've met quite a few of your kind throughout my life, so I know how to deal with you," I still managed to appear calm. In fact, I was gaining a little confidence. "So, what do you want?"

"I need a ride."

"Well, hop... or float in! I know you don't need to open the door," I looked at her with a smile, feeling more confident yet.

A second later she was seated right next to me. "Hi, I'm Lynn, by the way," I said extending my hand but I quickly pulled it back. "Never mind, I won't be able to feel your hand," I said giggling. I was quite at ease now.

I thought I saw the ghost stuck her tongue out at me before replying, "I'm Maggie. You're really not afraid of me, are you?"

"No, cuz you're fucking dead. You can't hurt me!"

"Ok, ok... enough with the cussing already! Many kids your age think it's cool to cuss, but it actually makes you sound like unintelligent brats!" she said sounding a little annoyed.

"Hahaha! Yeah, that's what some people on Reddit told me too," I said as I started driving again. "But I don't give a fu.. I mean, I don't care what others think."

"Reddit, huh? Well, I was a Redditor too before I killed myself," said Maggie solemnly.

"Wow, really? You killed yourself?" Now I was intrigued.

"Yeah, my husband left me for another woman, then I got laid-off, and both my parents died soon afterward. All within a year. It was too much, and I got sooo depressed. I hung out on social media sites including Reddit trying to find answers. I met a number of other depressed people with suicidal thoughts. Some of them often asked for ideas on how best to end their lives. Many would try to talk them out of it, but a few would sometimes jokingly or ignorantly give suggestions. One night when I was feeling so down and hopeless, I decided to..." (Edited out so as not to give anyone any ideas).

"Fuck! Oops, sorry... I mean, that's just horrible!"

Maggie was silent. My thoughts went back to the time when I saw a question by a Redittor who was depressed and had thought of ending his life. But he wanted to know how to make his life worth living again. Another poster had already given him the suicide prevention number, so I proceeded with giving some advice on how to have a positive outlook on life.

I'm a college student but I've studied personal development, so that was right up my alley. I hope it made a positive impact on him, and I wished I had met Maggie before she decided to take her own life.

"So, where are we going?" I asked her after a long silence.

"The cemetery," she replied.

"Figures!" I muttered. "So... do you feel better now that you're dead?" It was an honest question, I wasn't trying to be sarcastic or belittle her.

"Well, not really. I haven't met God... or the Devil for that matter. There doesn't seem to be a heaven with St. Peter standing at the pearly gates. And hell? I haven't seen any place that closely resembles a lake of brimstone and fire. I'm in limbo. I feel this huge emptiness. I guess you could call that hell." There was sadness in her voice.

"I've always believed that heaven or hell is how you experience your life while still living. If you're happy most of the time and enjoy your life to the fullest then you're in heaven. Hell is the exact opposite," I said to her.

"Well, since I'm dead now, do you think I can still find heaven?"

"I don't know, Maggie. I don't know..." I said feeling somber.

We arrived at the cemetery. "Well, here we are, Maggie."

She looked at me sadly and said, "Thank you Lynn, for the ride although I didn't really need it. But thank you for not being afraid of me and running away like everyone else. Above all, thank you for spending some time talking with me."

Before I could say anything, I saw her floating among the tombstones and finally disappearing behind a huge banyan tree.

I had a restless night. I couldn't get my mind off Maggie. She thought she would find peace by ending her life, but proved herself wrong.

The next morning on the way to school I stopped by a flower shop and bought a bouquet of roses. Then I drove to the cemetery. I walked towards the big banyan tree and examined the headstones behind it. Finally I found it. "Margaret Bxxxxx (1988 - 2016)." Wow, she was only 28!

I knelt down and carefully placed the flowers on her grave. "Rest in peace, Maggie. Hope you find heaven... soon..." I said softly. I stood up, wiped the tears off my cheeks, blew my nose, and walked towards my car.

The content of this blog is copyrighted, and may not be reproduced in full or in part.


These Week's Popular Stories

Sleepy in Seattle

The night I went trick-or-treating

The little girl in a cold October night