By Paula Bianchi –
“I’ll be right there!” Michael called out from the office, as he tried to compose himself from what he’d just witnessed, but he also felt a sense of awe, and a calm awareness that Lucy was still with him. The skeptic in him couldn’t explain away what he had experienced in that moment. Chills were running up and down his back, and it wasn’t like anything he’s felt before.
Lucy felt so light she floated up to the ceiling. She could feel she finally connected with her husband, and it was incredible. When Michael slipped his wedding ring back on, she could feel that he truly believed.
Grinning from ear to ear, Michael quickly walked over to the CD player and turned it off. Before he walked out of the room, he turned and said, “Thanks, Lucy.” Then he tucked her ring into the pocket of his long-sleeved white shirt, and he walked to the foyer to greet his guest.
“Kathrine.” Michael reached out his hand as he approached her. “I’m so happy to meet you.” He shook her hand. “Please come in.” He gestured toward the living room.
“Please, call me Kat.” She followed Michael and took a seat on the couch.
“This is my daughter, Emma.” Michael made introductions.
Emma and Kat greeted each other.
Standing in the foyer, Lucy called for Dobson, Ava, and Ben, to come see the new housekeeper, and they immediately appeared beside her.
“Who’s that?” Dobson asked.
“That’s the new housekeeper. I already know Michael plans on hiring her. He just wanted to make sure Emma felt the same way too.” Lucy filled them in.
The first thing Lucy noticed about this woman was how pretty she was. She thought Kat must be in her mid to late thirties, and she was tall, but not as tall as Lucy or her family. Her long wavy hair was a deep shade of strawberry blonde, and her eyes were like shimmering green emeralds. Lucy thought they were very stunning. Her face was covered with freckles and it lit up, when she smiled.
Kat was dressed in a pair of jeans with a casual white shirt and sensible shoes, but what stood out the most about her attire were the many-colored crystals she wore in her matching necklace, earrings, and bracelet.
“I read your resume, and I was very pleased with what I saw. Could you tell us why you left your previous employer?” Michael decided to start there.
“The family relocated due to Mr. Whites job.” Kat answered succinctly. Her demeanor was calm, friendly, and forthright as she crossed her legs waiting for the next question.
“Please, tell us what tasks you preformed, while you were working for the Whites.”
“They hired me to come in once a week to: vacuum, sweep, mop, and dust. I also changed and washed the bed sheets. Then every other week, I would do a deep cleaning in the kitchen of all the appliances and counter tops, and in the bathrooms.” Kat listed.
“Do you do laundry or wash the windows?” Michael asked.
“Yes, I do, but those services require an additional day each week.” Kat smiled.
“You have no idea how happy you just made me.” Emma shared, with much relief.
“I’m happy to help.” Kat said.
At that moment, they were all startled by the sound of the front door closing. Justin was just about to walk right by the living room without so much of a glance their way.
“Hey, Justin.” Michael called out. “Come in here and meet our guest, Kat.”
Lucy was shocked by Justin’s appearance. He was so thin, gaunt, and pale with his hair in disarray as he walked over to shake Kat’s hand.
“Nice to meet you.” Justin murmured, then he turned to leave.
“Wait a minute. Maybe you should take a seat and join our interview for our new housekeeper.” Michael tried to sound like he wouldn’t take no for an answer.
“You know, Dad, I really don’t have the time right now. I have to take a shower before my ride gets here.” Justin turned to leave again heading for the stairs.
“So, how was practice today?” Michael already knew what he was going to say.
“Ah, it went great. That’s why I need a shower.” Justin shrugged. “It was nice meeting you.” He gave Kat a nod before he ran up the stairs.
Lucy watched Kat as she raised one eye brow and looked skeptically at Justin’s retreating back. She had a feeling that Kat was on to him, but how did she know.
“I’m so sorry for the interruption, Kat. Shall we continue?” Michael shared the kind of smile that used to melt Lucy’s heart.
“Of course.” Kat adjusted herself in her seat to show she was ready.
“Could you tell us a little about yourself?” Michael thought this was the best question to bring them back to the subject at hand.
“Well, I’m a housekeeper by day, and a paranormal researcher by night. I have a group of paranormal investigators who investigate haunted places.” Kat’s voice was filled with excitement. “I’ve always been fascinated by ghosts, since I was a little girl.”
Hearing this, peaked Emma’s curiosity. “You’re a ghost hunter. That’s so interesting. Isn’t that interesting, Dad?” She nudged her father’s knee.
“It is. I would’ve never guessed that about you.” Michael unbuttoned the top of his tailored shirt and ran his index finger along the neckline. He felt a little discomfort from his growing interest in the afterlife, and it all resulted from his strange experience before Kat arrived. There was no denying that the sign Lucy had left for him was chipping away at his skepticism.
“Yes, I am.” Kat played with the amethyst crystal hanging from her necklace. This was the first sign, from her, of being nervous. “Because of my ghost adventures, I’m not available during evening hours, or the weekends. Will that be a problem?”
Lucy sensed Kat was holding back some information about herself that she didn’t want to share. When she tried to tune into her, there seemed to be some kind of force field of energy that she could only skim the surface of.
“No problem there. Daytime works well for us.” Michael assured Kat, then, he glanced at Emma with a ‘What do you think?’ look, but he already knew how she felt.
“We would love to have you as our new housekeeper!” Emma blurted out with excitement.
Kat smiled, then looked to Michael to see if he agreed.
“Well, Emma said it before I had the chance.” Michael chuckled. “I would like to hire you on as our housekeeper. Let’s say $20 an hour to start, and you can work on Mondays and Thursdays if you like?” He held his breath waiting for her reply.
“I accept the position.” Kat said, without any hesitation. “I can start this coming Monday, and I have my own cleaning supplies except laundry detergent. You’ll need to supply that.”
“I can supply you with anything you’ll need, but there’s one other thing I forgot to ask you about. Could you also do the shopping once a week?” Michael really hoped she would say yes. Laundry and shopping were his least favorite chores.
Kat was quiet for a moment, then, she looked back and forth between the two of them a few times like she was reading a book before she finally grinned and answered, “Sure. I can do that for you.”
“Great.” Michael released a sigh of relief. “Come with me and I’ll show you the kitchen and laundry room.” They all got up and proceeded to walk towards the foyer.
Lucy, Dobson, Ava, and Ben floated over to the front door to get out of their way. As they passed by, it seemed, to Lucy, that Kat looked right at them, but the moment was so fleeting she second guessed what she saw.
“This is the dining room.” Michael said, as they moved through the room. “Here’s the kitchen and right behind it, through that door, is the laundry room.” He gestured towards the door.
After Kat surveyed her surroundings, she commented, “You have a beautiful home.” She looked around the kitchen. “Is there a space, in here, where I can hang a calendar to keep track of my hours?” She asked.
“Of course. Right over here.” Michael directed her to a niche in the kitchen wall that held a small desk with a cork board hanging on the wall above it. “Will this do?”
“That’s perfect. I’m so looking forward to working for you. I have a really good feeling about it.” Kat fiddled with the crystals on her bracelet. “Now, can you show me the second floor?”
“Sure, but here.” Michael handed her a key to the house. “I better give you this before I forget.” With that out of the way, he ushered her back through the dining room to the stairs in the foyer and up they went disappearing into the master bedroom.
“For a minute there, I thought she saw us.” Lucy shared with the others.
“When?” Ava asked.
“When they were walking past us, she glanced over at us for an instant.” Lucy tugged at the bottom of her navy-blue blazer. “Did any of you notice?”
They all shook their heads no.
“I like her.” Dobson’s cheeks flashed red causing him to shove his hands in his pockets and look down at his feet with embarrassment.
“We like her too.” Ava said, for both her and Ben, who had the biggest grin on his face.
Lucy felt taken aback by the site of Ben’s smile because he didn’t share one very often, which was why they were so infectious making her smile glow too.
“I really like her too.” Lucy agreed with her ghostly roomies. “There’s something about her, though, that I don’t understand. I couldn’t tune into her. It was like hitting a brick wall. Did any of you feel that?” She inquired.
“I did.” Ava was the first to respond. “And I hit a block of some kind too.”
“I didn’t try.” Dobson shared, sounding like he did something wrong.
“Me neither.” Ben said, to make Dobson feel better.
Their discussion was interrupted by the living coming down the stairs chatting away, then suddenly, Kat paused on the step that put her at eye level with the last family photo that was taken before Lucy died.
“Who is she?” Kat asked, while pointing at Lucy in the photo.
“That’s, I mean,” Michael corrected himself, “that was my wife, Lucy. She died in a car accident about ten months ago.” The sound of his voice fell monotone as a wave of unexpected grief washed over him.
“I’m so sorry for your loss.” Kat said, with genuine sorrow. “It’s never easy losing a loved one.” She stated flatly, then, she reached out and took each of their hands in hers and gave them a squeeze before she continued down the stairs.
Once again, Lucy and the others moved out of their path to the front door, while they chatted their pleasant good byes.
After Michael opened the door for Kat to leave, she turned around in the doorway and said, “I’ll see you guys on Monday.” Then she smiled and purposely looked over Emma’s left shoulder, to where Lucy and the others were standing. Looking at them directly in the eye, she gave them a little wink.
Come back next Tuesday for my continuing ghost story, Lucy in the Afterlife. This time I’ve decided not to give a hint about what’s to come. Thanks for the visit. Bye for now.
If you would like to read Lucy’s story from the beginning, click on this link: Lucy in the Afterlife: The Beginning. Take care and stay safe.
Picture courtesy of: Pexels