Ghosts Next Door

Ghosts Next Door
by Lopaka Kapanui

Aug 24, 2019

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2019 #70


Valerie, can't shake herself out of her depression. She sits there at the table for most of the day until she has to use the bathroom or shower. Eating she never did, picking at snacks she did do. Mostly, she nurses a full cup of whiskey until she eventually polishes it off and refills it and sits there and repeats the cycle.
She's stewing over some married asshole who hasn't contacted her in weeks. He'll show up and turn her world upside down with all kinds of promises and against everyone's advice and warnings, she'll take off with him. Then he'll drop her off at home and swear up and down that he's leaving, but he falls off the grid and she doesn't see him weeks or months at a time. This last round, he bent down on one knee and produced a set of divorce papers. Valerie was shocked. He produced a ring and proposes, she accepts and her world is right again. The next morning is bliss, he drops Valerie off at her office but there's a quick round of lovemaking in the back seat of his car beforehand. She barely makes it to her office.

Up until six months ago, a year had passed since she last saw him. One evening she was in the check out line at Safeway when she glanced over to the self-checkout stand and there he was with his wife. The wife was pregnant and well along from what she saw. He looked in her direction and they made eye-contact. She paid for her purchase and walked directly toward them. A look of panic came over his face and she stared him down the closer she got. He took a deep breath and looked away for a second, all the while muttering to himself, 'Shit, shit, shit.'

"Forbes? Forbes Davies?" Valerie screeched with her arms open. Stepping forward she gave him a big hug. "How have you been?"

"Uh, fine," Forbes feigned ignorance. "Uhm, you are....?"

"Valerie," she said with her hand on her chest. Looking at Forbe's wife, she introduced herself. "I'm so sorry, I'm Valerie. You're Mrs. Forbes?"

"Yes," the pregnant woman smiled. "I'm Tina."

"I'm so sorry for the intrusion," Valerie smiled graciously. "Six months ago my father was on a sleep apnea machine and with no warning, his insurance company tells him that they're not going to cover the machine. My mother was desperate and we found Forbes' insurance company purely by accident. He saved my father's life and my parents have been trying to get a hold of him so that they could thank him properly but they've never been able to."

"Oh, Forbes!" Tina gasped and slapped him on his shoulders. "I'm sorry he gets so scattered sometimes! Here, give me your phone number and I'll key it into my phone and I'll text you our address. You bring your parents over for dinner okay?"

"Oh no," Valerie shook her head with affectation. "That's too much, it's easier if I just bring my parents by the office!"

"I won't hear of it," Tina smiled and rubbed Valerie's shoulder. "You guys are coming over. I'll text the date as well."

"Okay," Valerie nodded her head and smiled. " 808-555-0628."

"Great," Tina pursed her lips and smiled once she recorded Valerie's number into her phone.

"I don't mean to be nosy," Valerie said quietly. "How far along are you?"

"Oh," Tina sighed while rubbing her stomach. "I'm due anytime now, and before you ask, it's a girl."

"Awwww that's so beautiful! You know, there's this old wives tale about people who name their child after their very first love. Can you believe that?" Valerie shook her head in disbelief.

Tina threw her head back and covered her mouth as she giggled hysterically. "That means that if this baby were going to be a boy, his name would be 'Chuck' after my first ski instructor!"

The two women laughed uproariously while Forbes stood there looking very uncomfortable.

"Well, I have to get going," Valerie opened her arms and hugged Tina and then Forbes. "It was so nice to meet you!"

Valerie relished in having made Forbes shit his pants. that is until she got into her car and was about the drive away. Her phone pinged and when she looked at it, she saw a text message.

'Hi Valerie, this is Tina Davis, Forbes's wife. It was nice to finally meet you, just wanted to say that if you come anywhere near me or my husband again, I will go to your house and kill your parents right in front of you, and then kill you myself, you fucking bitch. Have a nice life and go fuck yourself."

After that, Valerie has never been the same. She just sits there nursing her cup of whiskey while I sit here watching her do it. I can't do anything to help her, I wish I could really but I think I've screwed her life up enough. Tina waited until we got home and faked being ready to give birth. She insisted that I go bring the groceries in the house first and then I could take her to the hospital. I did that, I did exactly that. When I came back out into the garage, she was in the driver's seat and she plowed over me again and again. Drive, reverse, drive, reverse.

So, this is my afterlife, watching the damage that I did to Valerie.

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