Always have a meal with the people you love... or of the people you loved.

The day was colder than it had been for a while, and I knew it was my chance when my skin turned to gooseflesh. I had watched her, this lovely lady, grow up. She went from an adorable infant to a wild child to a classy college lass. She grew from a hard-working office gal to a passionate mother to a kind elderly woman. It seemed to pass so fast. Everything seemed to pass all too quickly. The memories she made, the moments she captured, and the people she loved all seemed short lived. However, nothing changed. She was everything I wasn't from the very start, and I loved her to the moon and back. Nothing would ever change that.

She was in a hospital now. Her body was dying and failing. If I didn't know any better, I would say she was rotting. I didn't want to watch this... but I had to. I wasn't family. I would never be a part of her family, not really. No one noticed I was in there in between the many bodies packed of that room. So many people were in such a small space. She was so well liked it was hard for the nurses to keep their backs turned. They had to, so her family could hurt.

Her daughter - her beautiful, beautiful daughter - stood beside her mother her in her time of need, touched her hand, and cried. The tears fell onto the blanket that gave her mother warmth. I could imagine she didn't want her mother to die. I didn't either, no. Nobody wanted that. Not the nurses or the doctors or anyone else. Her daughter, as tearful as she was, nodded her head towards the doctor. He turned the blinking gizmo that made her chest pump up and down off.

I watched as she slowly woke up. I could tell she wanted to comfort her crying family, but her efforts were useless. I should say something, but I was filled with grief and guilt as well. I watched as she fearfully started to panic. No one could see her, but she was right there! I sniffed my nose and grabbed the edge of her papery hospital dress. I knew I would cry harder the more she panicked.

She was startled. Something had touched her? I looked up at her eyes; her pretty, pretty eyes. It was then she was starting to see.

A noisy man no longer shouting, a stranger who was in an unfortunate accident, and a lingering child who had an illness were here. She was seeing it all, all the ghosts. She was dead now sadly. This was hard to take in. Bloody and pale, dark and cold, ghosts of all kinds wandered. They were common especially in and near the hospital.

She had seen me before, so she calmed around me. I had shown myself to her when she was a child, back when she lived farther away from the hospital. She had made me into a sort of imaginary friend. We 'played' together a lot when she was a child, but I never could touch her until now. Yet, the only thing I felt was the smooth paper and my beating heart. She started asking me, a friend to seek answers in, questions, but I put a finger to my lips. It was time for a moment of silence for the dead.

I pulled out my fork; my trusty, rusty fork. I was crying, nearly sobbing, but I needed to steady my hand. I turned to her and raised my hand to her neck. Before she could protest, I pulled out her soul, and I ate it whole. I didn't get to see what it looked like clearly through the rush. She hadn't made a noise. It tasted like coffee, so bitter. That was her favorite beverage when she was alive.

They were tastier when they were harvested freshly. I can't help it. I need them to survive, and it just seemed like the souls of the people you loved were so much more yummy. During the years, I had fallen madly in love with her. My tears fell more openly, hot droplets on my frozen face. I regret it as soon as I watched her ghostly body fall. It would take a while, but it will eventually vanish.

Just like her beautiful, beautiful daughter. She may not be her mother, but I guess I could love her too.