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Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Old Story I Found About Josh

Fair Warning: this is going to be a long post. I found this short story I wrote... a while back, probably about late 2005. And the best way to post it is to just type it out. It's is a fictional story, but the facts are true, if that makes sense lol.

      Almost 5 years ago, I lost my husband. It was a slow and painful death. He was having the symptoms of a heart attack - although I didn't know it at the time. He suffered with what I thought was the stomach flu or food poisoning for 2 days before he went to the hospital. His heart was too weak by then, so although they did everything they could, it wasn't enough to save his life. I've been mourning the loss ever since.
      At first, I cried all the time. Every night. And days passed where I would sit around with a heavy heart. I moved to a different state, thinking I could start my life over - a fresh beginning. But it didn't help. Everything still reminded me of the special man I'd lost.
      March 8th was coming around again, and it wasn't something I was looking forward to. I still hadn't healed properly. And even though my friends told me to celebrate his life on March 8th; the day he passed away remained just that.
      I had one date in the last 5 years, but I never called him back. Not because the date had gone badly, but because I couldn't handle the guilt of ever beginning to love someone else besides my late husband. I could barely look at other men in ways that weren't professional. How could I ever fall in love again?
March 8th, 2010

     To escape from the pain and the realization of my tragedy, I went to a local coffee house to have a mocha. Suddenly, this man walked to my table.
     "I don't know what came over me, but I just had to introduce myself. I'm Peter Boyle."
      Barely noticing him, I answered:
     "Kathryn Clark. Nice to meet you."
     "You don't sound very enthusiastic."
     "Sorry to disappoint, but I've had a rough day."
      I looked up at him, and suddenly his eyes kind of glazed over. It was the weirdest thing I had ever seen. And then he spoke.
     "Maybe some Whose Line will cheer you up. Isn't Brad your favorite on that show?"
      I stared at him confusingly and with a bit of surprise.
     "Yes... but how did you know that?"
      And then, with the metaphorical snap of the fingers, his eyes returned to normal.
     "I'm sorry... I don't know why I said that. Can I join you?"
     "Oh I don't know. You seem kind of odd -"
     "I promise I won't bite."
      I thought about it for a moment, thinking back to what a wreck I was after that date. I was just racked with guilt over the whole thing.
      But that was three years ago, I told myself.
      Looking down at my coffee, I nodded, and he sat across from me.
      "So," I started, still looking downwards, "What are your hobbies?"
      "Fis - F - martial arts."
       I looked up at him with an eyebrow raised. What was wrong with this guy? Was he schizophrenic or something? He wasn't making a very good first impression. In fact, he was beginning to scare me.
       "Look, I don't know what your problem is, but I don't want anything to do with it, ok?"
        I got up and started to walk away; but he stood with a start and said:
       "Wait, Kat. Please give me a chance."
       "How do you know my nickname? How do you know anything about me? Were you following me?"
       "No! No, of course not. It's just a lucky guess. Please, don't leave."
       "I don't like a man that begs," I answered coldly, turning back towards the door.
       "Don't you?"
        A memory flashed before my eyes of my late husband when we first met. We had had a semi-serious argument, and for some dumb reason I told him that this wouldn't work between us. He completely broke down and begged me to reconsider. It opened up my heart and made me realize that he really did want me in his life no matter what. It wasn't that I preferred a man that begs, but one that could beg when they really needed to, to show me how much they wanted something important. In essence, I liked a man that would let down their guard and be vulnerable. And this man was doing just that.
       But how did he know?
       When I turned back and looked at him, I saw, for the first time, a good looking man. Instead of seeing him as a professional businessman, or someone trying to steal my memories away, I saw blue eyes. Full lips. Dark hair. Triangular jawline. He was, well, handsome.
        The guilt began to fight its way to the surface, but I tried to suppress it. I loved my late husband dearly, but I just couldn't be alone anymore. This might not be the right man for me, but it was a good start in the right direction. I had to go with it.
        Finally, I sat back down, and he joined me once again.
        We had talked all day. He was a strange man - that was for sure. He kept changing his answers as if someone was arguing with him in his head. Maybe he was trying to impress me or make me laugh; I just wasn't sure. But he was funny.
2 months later
        We began hanging out more, and realized that we had a lot in common, like Josh and I used to. And although he kept changing his answers, he apparently like Asian things and martial arts.
        One day, I had asked him to show me his skills but he said he didn't have any and wondered why he would say he liked martial arts when he didn't.
       "Why do you keep lying to me? Are you some kind of pathological liar or something?" I finally asked.
       "I honestly don't know why I say these things, Kat. It's like someone is forcing me to... I know it sounds crazy, but... -"
        Just then, his eyes glazed over once more.
       "A few years ago I knew a man, named John, who was a pathological liar. But it was in the stories he told. He elaborated them so much they became out right lies. He just wanted attention. I'm not like that. I like martial arts, but I've never tried it. I'm sorry if that sounds like I'm lying all the time, but I'm not - I swear."
        His eyes returned to normal and he looked confused. And frankly, so I was. That story sounded an awful lot like one Josh told when he was working for IPC. John Waldron, Sergeant. A pathological liar. This couldn't be a coincidence, could it?
        But I never asked him. I decided that I could let it go.

        A month later, I finally got the courage to invite him to my house. It was a small abode, but comfortable. And despite his... problems, I was beginning to fall in love with him. He was a lot like Josh in many ways, which surprised me.
        I decided to turn on my computer and show him some of my artwork. He watched the computer boot up and a "bzzzzzt" sounded as the start up noise once it loaded Windows. I had completely forgotten about it  and began to blush when Peter answered:
        I went into total shock. How did a stranger know Josh and my inside joke?!
        "What?" He asked when I stared up at him.
        "How did you...? But that was -" I couldn't even finish.
        That was when I began to put the pieces together, and wondered what was going on here.
         The essence  the spirit, the soul of Joshua Clark left the shell of the body behind and felt saddened by how much his wife was hurting. She couldn't see him or touch him, and he wanted to touch her badly. But he had to leave, and have God decide his fate.
          God saw that they were soul mates, and being compassionate, he allowed Joshua Clark to become a wondering spirit, and to find or create a way to be with his love without his body being reincarnated. At first, he wasn't sure what to do, but he knew he had to find her first. She had moved away - the memories too painful for her. And he understood. It had taken him 4 Earth years to find his wife, having searched in every house in every city. And in those 4 years, he had come up with a plan.
          He began searching for a compatible man for Kat.
          Another year went by and everything had been planned out. He planted a seed of affection into Peter Boyle's heart to grow when he saw Kathryn, and Josh Clark, the spirit, settled into Peter's brain.
          He was difficult to control. He could only spurt clues about who he was to Kathryn, which was why she that thought Peter had been insane at first. When he began to gain more control and they were getting closer, he did all he could to not touch her and kiss her and tell her everything. That was God's one rule. She had to find out for herself. As he practiced, more and more of Peter was becoming Josh. His whole personality and his likes/dislikes were becoming parallel to Josh. He was re-writing Peter slowly, until he would have full control completely. But it was taking time, and Josh was doing all he could not to scare his precious sweetheart away. And now she was so close to putting it all together.

        "Okay Peter... tell me... what's your favorite sandwich?"
       "Oh that's easy. Wheat bread with ham, cheese, ranch, BBQ sauce, bacon bits, Dorito pierces, and teriyaki sauce." 
         I almost fainted. Was I dreaming? What was going on here?
        "I... I must be hearing things. Did you just say the Sodium Deluxe?"
         Peter genuinely laughed. 
        "If that's what you want to call it."
        "Okay, this may sound crazy but... how well do you really know me?"
         He smiled, "I know you quite well, sweetie. I know that you get frustrated at the little things, but keep your cool in large situations. I know you think you're not beautiful - which isn't true - and I know you're an angel."
        "An... angel? But only Josh called me an angel..."
        Peter's eyes sparkled and I suddenly knew. I wasn't sure how, or why, but this man was my husband. I could suddenly feel his energy wrap around me and tell me that he was here, waiting for me.
        "Oh Josh!"
         I hugged him so hard that I never wanted to let go. But I had to let him explain.
        "Are you...? Is Peter...?"
        "I can't go into details but I'll tell you the basics."
         So we sat down and I held his hand and held back the tears of joy. My heart was overflowing with love for my sweet husband. When he was done explaining, I asked:
        "So where is the real Peter?"
        "Well, um... he's kind of asleep, I guess. He was being recessed into his inner mind as I took over. When I leave, he'll return to normal."
        My heart suddenly stopped.
       "When you... leave? But I love you! You can't leave me again!"
        Tears streamed down my face and we hugged.
        "I have to," He whispered to me, "I can't just run his life. It's not fair to steal someone else's life to help your own."
        "Then why... why do it at all?" I had to ask.
        "Because I love you sweetie, and I had to see you again to tell you that I love you more than anything and I forgive you for not knowing my illness. I mean, it was never your fault. Please stop punishing yourself because of my stubbornness. And I want you to be happy, all right? I know you need companionship. Don't feel guilty or ashamed for liking another man. We had a special connection, but that's over now..."
        "No!!" I screamed, crying, "Please don't leave me! God I love you so much! I feel so cold and empty without you. I need you. Please..."
        "You need someone, yes. But I'm not the only one for you, Kat. Give Peter a chance. I picked him out for you. And he loves you. Please don't force yourself to be alone again like you did with the last man three years ago."
        "But we're so perfect for each other..."
       "I know, sweetie. We were. Thank you for making my last years happy and memorable. And thank you so so much for being by my side when I was in the hospital. You have no idea how much that means to me. I know you love me more than the world and so do I. And I'll miss you terribly. But I'll be waiting for you in heaven, all right? So enjoy your life... please?"
       I stopped crying for a moment and nodded.
      "I'll try. It does make it a little easier to know that you'll be waiting for me."
      "Promise to give Peter a chance?"
       I nodded again and smiled slightly.
      "Good. One last thing before I go..."
       He leaned in closer and we kissed passionately. It wasn't Josh's lips, but it was Josh. I felt him as we shared this one last intimate moment together. Then, I felt his presence disappear.
       "Wow Kat. Heh. I wasn't expecting that," The real Peter said.
        I chuckled slightly and wiped away my tears.
       "Have you been crying?" He asked concernedly.
       "Uh, happy tears, that's all," I lied.
       "I'm here if you need to talk."
        I smiled slightly.
       "I know."
        My journey had just begun.

The End

Author's Note: The only thing that's a total fib was that he was my fiancee, not my husband.
The "bvvvvvvt" "Vvvvvt" thing is a joke Josh and I shared because we both loved playing the original Sim City 3000, and that's the sound the electrical lines made every time you placed them down on the lot. And yes, at one point my computer actually did boot up with that noise.

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