GHOSTS (and the girls who love them) #FlashFiction FINALIST #1
I first met Derek the day he tripped through a wall of the local morgue and straight into the ER waiting room. I was being treated for a broken wrist, the result of falling up a flight of stairs – a frequent occurrence for many, though only the most uncoordinated. I had been unaware ghosts could trip over their own feet, but Derek proved me wrong. As he plunged head over heals, across the room and through oblivious strangers, I knew we were meant to be.
I soon discovered there were definite benefits to dating a ghost. For one thing, sneaking him past my parents was never a problem. Not that they had much to worry about, since the physical side of our love life ultimately proved somewhat wanting. Attempts at stolen kisses ended with me stumbling through empty air, not to mention that one concussion when an attempt at passionate embrace had me crashing into nearby furniture.
Derek always tried his hardest to keep the romance alive, so to speak. On more than one occasion, I found him in the garden, furiously and futilely swiping his hands through rose stems in an attempt to bring me a posy. It’s the thought that counts, no doubt, but I didn’t find that a great consolation on discovering my boyfriend manically shouting at rose bushes. Thank goodness the neighbours couldn’t see.
I’ll admit Derek was never the smartest ghost in the graveyard, but I wasn’t dating him for his brains. Given his ghostly transparency, I wasn’t dating him for his looks either. Once he tried to hail me a taxi, but, sadly if not surprisingly, the taxi failed to notice Derek and drove straight through him. He was coughing up smoky bits of himself for days after that. Unattractive, to say the least.
Practically speaking, it was hard to see why I kept him around. He was certainly no help opening jar lids, and he was completely useless when it came to removing spiders, which had always been my primary prerequisite task for any boyfriend. Unable to pick up the spider, or any spider removal devices, he instead attempted to scare away the fiends by shouting “Boo!” I was sure I could see their evil, little, furry faces laughing back. At times like this, I found our relationship a deep disappointment.
However, while the downsides to dating a ghost were obvious and many, the perks outweighed these in quality if not quantity. Derek never once messed with the TV remote, or left the toilet seat up. More importantly, he never ever stole the Turkish Delight or Peppermint Creams from my chocolate box selections. And, let’s be honest, that’s all a girl really wants.
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