As I picked up my to-do list, I was reminded of something. “Aha!” I excaimed. Today’s the day I meet up with Natty. Every week Natty and I meet for a cup of tea and a treat. One week the sweet treat was apple scones with blackberry compote, while another day it was marmalade muffins. Today was my day to bake something, and I had decided on chocolate pound cake. So I put down my to-do list and headed to the kitchen.
“Natty’s going to love this,” I told myself excitedly. As I got to work on the pound cake, I accidentally glanced at myself in the cupboard reflection in front of me. “I look quite ghostly with this flour all over my face and hands,” I said shyly and giggled.
After the cake was done, with chocolate frosting and sprinkles, I began decorating the room for the tea party between Natty and I. My color choice for the table decor was a delicate pink. Pink teacups, pink tablecloth fringed with lace and a cute little pink teacup cake topper. “Perfect enough for anyone no matter who they might be,” I said as I admired my work. “Well, look at the time! Now all I need to do is wait for Natty to arrive. “
Natty did arrive, right through the staircase that is. As a matter of fact, I forgot to tell you that Natty was my best friend, and also a ghost. While your first instict might be to run from the supernatural, you might be surprised to find that not all ghosts intend to inspire fear in the people here on earth. After all, it’s important to be accepting of the differences of others, even if you’re a ghost.
And here she is. “Hello, my dear Hetty. I’m sorry if my arrival wasn’t on time.” Natty said breathlessly. When she was alive, Natty and I were the best of friends. As children, we spent all of our waking hours together. We’d wade in the creek searching endlessly for frogs to catch, bake delicious meals of cookies and cakes in our Easy Bake oven and trade the latest Barbie doll cards. Age never tore us apart as we continued to spend a lot of our time together throughout our entire lives. Before Natty died, we’d even get together for tea on a weekly basis, just like we do now.
Natty’s death wasn’t something I like to talk about, but if you’d like to know then here it is. Ever since childhood, she was an animal lover, and I should have noticed how her fondness for all creatures furry and not so furry would eventually be the death of her. When we were five years old, Natty saw a rabbit and ran madly after it. I saw her in the distance and went chasing after. When I got there, Natty was laying sideways on the ground crying. Then I saw the splinter in her finger and knew she’d tried to grab the bunny but got poked instead. As time passed, Natty involved herself in all sorts of dangerous incidents because of her love of animals. Finally, her kindness towards these simple beasts got the best of her.
Natty turned 69 years old so I had a birthday party. We had tea and scones, and I handed her the gift I bought her. She opened it up and saw that it was a brand new pink fashion coat. I’d spent exactly $259 on it at the department store and was initially flabbergasted at the price tag. But I thought about it and figured Natty was worth all of that and more. So I bought it and was mighty proud of my choice for her. It was everything I’d hoped for. “Absolutely beautiful.” she said with wonder and held it up for inspection. This was the last day of her life.
After she opened her present, we ate our lunch of tea and scones then headed outdoors to play croquet. As we played, Natty thought she saw a chipmunk peek its head out of one of the holes. So we both went over to look, and nothing was there. We thought it was strange and rejoined the game. Then something else happened. As Natty lifted up her arm to swing, she saw the chipmunk in a nearby hole. Instead of swinging, she ran as fast as she could and tried to chase the animal away to prevent it from being hurt by our game playing. She tripped and cried out, then fell to the ground. I ran swiftly to the scene and felt her pulse. “She’s dead.” I said sadly.
Luckily, that wasn’t the end of my best friend. She began visiting me every Tuesday for tea and treats. I needn’t have worried about her because I’ve learned that real love never dies. In fact, it lives on forever in one form or another. And so do ghosts…