By Paula Bianchi –
“Why are you asking her that?” Lucy interrupted, before Ellen could respond. “You said you were always there if I needed any help. Well, I need you now, and you say you’re not here for me.” Her voice dripped with indignation. “How does that help me?” She asked, staring into his pale blue eyes.
Lucy felt like Remy just abandoned her. She pushed back the tears of frustration she was feeling as she was trying not to be so vulnerable.
“I am not abandoning you, Lucy.” Remy reassured her. “But you are not the only soul I have been assigned to. I am helping Ellen as well as many others who chose to stay earthbound.”
Lucy watched Ellen give Remy a smile of recognition. She tried to calm herself with the knowledge that he scanned her mind and acknowledged that he didn’t abandon her, but patience was never one of her strong suits. The one thing she would never understand, though, was how unconcerned everyone was about spirits attaching to the living. Deciding that this would be the topic of her and Remy’s next conversation, Lucy sat back down on the bed to listen.
“Are you ready to go now?” Remy asked Ellen again.
“I don’t think I can leave Chrissy all alone with that monster.” Ellen shivered with fear for her daughter.
“But you left her when you came here.” Remy pointed out.
“Yes, I did, but I came here to get Lori to come back home with me. We both need to be there for Chrissy, so Bob doesn’t hurt her.” Ellen explained.
“If you come with me, you can still protect your daughters, and you will never be alone in your efforts. There will always be someone with you while you continue helping both of them.” Remy told her.
Lucy could see the indecision on Ellen’s face, and she had empathy for her for having to make this, on the spot, decision.
“How will I be able to help them if I’m not here?” Ellen asked.
“We have many ways of helping earthbound spirits and the living, but I am not allowed to tell you now. It is something we all learn once we crossover and start our orientation on the other-side.” Remy smiled, and his whole face shone with peace and serenity.
“What if I don’t like it there? Can I come back here to my house?” Ellen wanted to know.
“If that is what you choose to do, we won’t stop you. The choice of where you should be is always up to you.” Remy shared.
After watching this exchange, Lucy had a better understanding about the power of her choices. She knew, without a doubt, that she could go to heaven whenever she wanted to. Not that she wanted to though; not while Lori was attached to her son.
Ellen reached over and took Lucy’s hand in hers. “I promise you that I’ll learn everything I can about helping your son, so we can get Lori out of him. I’m hoping I’ll convince her to come with me to heaven.” She gave her hand a little squeeze.
This simple gesture, brought tears to Lucy’s eyes. Finally, someone who wants to help her.
“Thank you for everything, Ellen. You left your house to help me, so I’m forever in your debt. You’ll have to tell me all about the other-side next time we meet.” Lucy squeezed her hand back.
“I’m ready to go now.” Ellen announced.
“I will be back after Ellen is settled. I would never abandon you, Lucy. Please be patient.”
Remy’s grin lit up his face as he wrapped his arm around Ellen’s shoulder because his job was complete. He looked up into a beam of white light as it was coming down, through the ceiling, to surround them in the brightest light Lucy has ever seen. Once it had engulfed them, Remy and Ellen were drawn up into heaven within the beam of light as it retreated out of sight.
Lucy sat there staring at Justin. It was going to be really hard to be patient, while she’s waiting for Remy to return, when her son needed her help so badly. She reached out a hand to touch him, but it passed right through his head, so she bent over him and kissed his forehead. He let out a sigh then smiled.
Suddenly, Justin’s alarm went off startling Lucy so much that she found herself hovering above his bed, looking down at him, as he hit the off button. He stretched and yawned before he got out of bed and turned to throw the covers up over the mattress in his half-ass attempt at making it.
After Justin got dressed, he went into the bathroom. Lucy’s first instinct was to give him some privacy, but something inside told her to go in with him. She stood in the corner out of his way and closed her eyes, until, she heard the toilet flush.
Justin washed his face, brushed his teeth, and combed his brown hair. At this point, Lucy assumed he was ready to leave the bathroom, but instead, he reached inside one of the pockets of his blue jeans and brought out a tiny zip-locked baggy that was half full with white powder. He tapped out some of the powder onto the counter top before he zipped the baggy closed and returned it to his pocket. From his back pocket, Justin pulled out his ID card, from school, and used it to drag and push the powder into a straight line. After taking a dollar out of his wallet, he rolled it into the shape of a straw, then, he bent over the powdered line and snorted it up his nose.
Lucy was beside herself with every kind of emotion imaginable. She just watched her son snort, God knows what, up his nose. When Justin looked at himself in the mirror, it was the first time she could see a noticeable change in his appearance. He looked thin and gaunt around his hazel eyes and cheekbones.
Justin opened the bathroom door and headed for the stairs, but before he went down, he pulled a pair of sunglasses out of the inside pocket of his jacket and put them on. The same mirrored pair Lucy gave him, when the family went skiing last year.
Lucy followed Justin to the front door and just as he was grabbing the doorknob, he heard his father calling him from the kitchen.
“Justin! Come eat something before you go to school!” Michael yelled.
Justin’s shoulders dropped as he let out an audible, impatient sigh. Lucy followed as he made his way into the kitchen, so he could pacify his dad. He headed straight to the fridge and grabbed the milk, then, to the pantry for a box of cereal. He got a bowl and spoon before he sat down at the table. After pouring both items in the bowl, Justin started to chow down.
“Every time I see you lately, you’re wearing those damn sunglasses. Please take them off while you eat.” Michael told him.
“I’m almost done.” Justin replied, with a mouth full of cereal.
Good. Lucy thought. Michael needs to be aware of what their son is up to. She hoped he would start to suspect that something was different with Justin.
“Why won’t you take them off? What’s going on with you lately?” Michael stopped what he was doing, putting all of his attention on Justin.
Lucy had resisted tuning in to Justin, but she couldn’t hold back any longer. When she made the connection, she could feel her son’s heart beating a mile a minute, and his thoughts were in a scramble as he was trying to come up with an answer to his Dad’s questions.
“I…I,” Justin stammered, “…I wear them because Mom gave them to me.” Is how he answered, but Lucy heard, “To hide my eyes from you, so you won’t know I’m high.”
Michael stood in silence for a moment searching for a response, but he honestly didn’t know what to say.
“Well, from now on, please take them off when you sit at the table.” Michael instructed.
Standing next to Michael, Lucy began to scream in his ear, “Justin is getting high on drugs, Michael! Please, look at him!”, but he was in an emotional shut down after hearing Justin’s reason for wearing his sunglasses.
Justin’s thoughts suddenly became fixated on getting out of the house and away from his dad. He quickly got up and put his bowl and spoon in the dishwasher, then, he put the cereal and milk away where they belonged.
“I’ll be home late tonight. I have basketball practice. See you later.” Justin told his dad before he sprinted for the front door.
After the door closed behind her son, Lucy watched as Michael struggled, within himself, to push his grief away as it hit her like a ton of bricks.
“Dad!” Emma called from the top of the stairs.
“Yeah!” Michael yelled as he quickly walked to the foyer.
Emma was standing, in her PJ’s, looking down from the second floor. “Can I stay home again, Dad? I just don’t feel up to being around everyone yet.”
“I guess so, but you’ll have to go back soon. You can’t keep putting it off.” Michael reminded her.
“I know. Maybe next week I’ll go.” Since it was Wednesday, Emma hoped her dad would give her the rest of the week to try and pull herself together.
“Next week?” Michael didn’t seem to keen on it at first, but after some thought, he said, “Okay, but come Monday, I want to see you up and ready for school. If you can’t do that, then maybe we all need to go to some kind of counseling to deal with losing your mom.”
It was upsetting for Lucy to see Emma’s grief close in on her like a falling curtain. With tears filling her eyes, she agreed to her dad’s terms. She ran back to her room and closed the door behind her.
Lucy was at a loss. She had no clue on how to help her family, and she could see they were not handling their new reality very well. In that moment, she decided to concentrate on Justin. She has to follow him and learn all that she can about his life because she knew she would find the key to helping him, while, she waited for Remy to return. She finally had a new plan.
Come back next week to see what Lucy learns about her son. Thanks for visiting my blog. Hope to see you again soon. Bye for now.
If you’d like to read Lucy’s story from the beginning, click on my “Lucy in the Afterlife” category in the bar above and scroll down to the first installment called: The Beginning. Hope you enjoy Lucy’s story as much as I love writing it.