The Ghost of Hermann Lloyd
By Joseph Logsdon
When Lucy Lloyd learned that her husband was dead, she expected him to stay dead. No matter how hard she tried, she couldn't get his memory out of her head. One night, before Lucy went to bed, she saw his ghost. Frightened and out of breath, she ran from the room. The following morning, Lucy consulted her psychiatrist.
"He's alive, I tell you, alive!"
"Oh, come now, be rational. Let's face it, Lucy, you've been under a lot of stress. Why, if I had lost my wife, I would be going through the same thing. Stress, believe it or not, can trigger such delusions. The mind, though powerful, can't distinguish between reality and fantasy. Lucy, I beg you, don't do this to yourself. There won't be any relief, only pain. By trying to live in the past, you'll create a dark future," he stated.
"Mr. Newton, I didn't come here to be bullied. Now, if you insist on badgering me, I'll find another psychiatrist. Just because you have a college degree, doesn't mean you know everything about life. Where I come from, we have to work for our money. At the end of the day, you're nothing but a snobbish, good for nothing parasite!"
"You asked me for help, let me help you. You're not crazy, you just need some time to adjust. I'll tell you what, why don't you go on vacation? I'm sure, once you get away from the house, everything will be just fine," he stated.
"I don't need a vacation, I need answers," Lucy stated.
"As a psychiatrist, I must deal with facts, not speculation. If you're looking for that, then I suggest you call someone else," he stated.
"I'll do that," she stated.
"Will you promise me one thing?"
"Whatever you do, be careful. I know I sound like a cold man, but I do care," he stated.
"Thanks, good to know," Lucy stated as she left the office.
That night, around midnight, Lucy was visited by her dead husband. Before she even opened her eyes, she could feel his breath on her neck. Hoping to escape him, Lucy ran from the bed.
"Why are you haunting me?"
"Lucy, why are you here?"
"This is my house," she stuttered.
"You aren't supposed to be here," he stated.
"Why? Do you want me to join you in the afterlife? I'm sorry, I just can't do that. I have a life, I have friends. I will always love you, but you have to let me go. What are you trying to do, kill me? You would like that, wouldn't you? Even when you were alive, you wanted to control me. Well, I'll tell you something, I'm not your slave. You're dead, you don't matter! Frankly, nothing you did ever mattered!"
"Get out of my house," Hermann commanded.
"Why? Why are you doing this?"
"Get out of my house!"
Unable to cope with the ghost, Lucy left the house. The following morning, Lucy attempted to contact her psychiatrist, but when she entered his office, she was greeted by his secretary.
"Hello, is Mr. Newton in?"
"Why, of course not," the secretary stated.
"Have I said something wrong?"
"Mr. Newton has been dead for a week. I guess, in the end, smoking all those cigarettes finally caught up with him," she answered.
"Miss, you're mistaken. Why, just yesterday, I talked to him. Is this some kind of joke? If it is, it isn't funny, it isn't funny at all," she stuttered.
"Are you okay? I mean, it's not any of my business, but you look terrible. Do you need someone to drive you home?"
"I don't need a driver, I need to know what's going on. Everywhere I turn, people are harassing me. Someone, anyone, help me! What's going on? Why won't anyone answer me? Is this a dream? This isn't a dream, it's a nightmare!"
"Calm down," she stated.
"Don't tell me to calm down, you bitch! You lied to me, didn't you? Mr. Newton's alive, I know it. Well, you won't keep me from seeing him! One way or another, I'll see him, even if it's the last thing I do!"
"Miss, if you don't calm down, I'll call security," she threatened.
After releasing her pain and frustration, Lucy regained her composure. Seemingly, she was back to normal, but like a boomerang, frustration has a way of bouncing back.
"I'm sorry, I didn't mean to explode," Lucy stated.
"It's okay, I forgive you," the secretary replied.
Returning home, Lucy tried to fall asleep. For once in her life, everything seemed completely normal. Unknown to her, the ghost was still lurking about. Just as Lucy started to fall asleep, she felt him breathing against her neck.
"Oh, for God's sake, what do you want?"
"Why are you here?"
"Why do you keep asking me that, huh?"
"Because you're dead, because when I look at you, I only remember the past. I want to forget so badly, but for some reason, you won't let me," he cried.
"I'm not dead, you're dead. Why would you say that?"
"Lucy, you have to move on. You have to believe me, I never meant to hurt you. In a perfect world, you would've lived. Instead of dying in that car accident, you would've gone on. I must say, I didn't expect to see you again. Now that you're here, I can tell you that I'm sorry, I'm so very sorry. So, what do you say, are we good? Do you forgive me?"
"Yeah, I forgive you," she cried.