Cole appeared. I didn’t turn around, but I felt his ghostly presence behind me.
“I’m so glad you’re finally here, Diana. Even though …”
I squinted as I looked up to see what caused him to hesitate. Perhaps he paused to watch the sun as it set in the sky. The golden light shone through his transparent form, coloring it. But then he smiled down at me as though he was claiming a victory. “Dying didn’t hurt. Did it, darling?” He stroked my shoulder.
A denial left my lips in the form of a chuckle. “No. Dying didn’t hurt. But Cole, leaving our son was the most painful thing I’ve ever done. I rose out of my body, and for a long time, I watched him as he sat close to my hospital bed. Aden was motionless—silent. Our son didn’t cry for me.”
“Not even one tear?”
“No, but I felt his devastation.” Cole continued to stroke the outline of my shoulders. “Aden wanted to let the fear out. I could tell. He wanted to tell me he loved me.”
Cole sidled closer as our spirits hovered on the rocky ground. “I’m glad you realized that. He loved us.”
“Yes.” I nodded, feeling the breeze drift through and around our spirits. “I’m worried for him, Cole. He’s not coping. He needs to know that whatever happens—”
“Diana.” Cole’s expression hardened. “You know there’s—”
“I know. I know. We can’t go back for him. We can’t do what we should have done all those years ago. I know.”
Cole sat down and began to waver and rock, and I relaxed enough to rock with him. “Darling Diana, we’ve got nothing to feel guilty about. We made it. We did it. And we did it together. We lived our lives as best we could, and look at us now. We’re finally free. Life has its advantages, but then, so does death.”
I smiled. “Yes, you’re right. Aden will find his own way, and we will find ours.”
Thank you to my writing group for pushing me to write this. I hope you enjoy this little piece of flash fiction.