The names have been changed but the story is true
It was a warm, sunny day with just enough of a breeze to keep the temperature comfortable. I was sitting at a picnic table in front of the apartment I shared with my “then” boyfriend, Dale. Seated on the table with my feet on the bench I stared at the front door, pondering my options.
The apartment had a split floor plan with two master suites separated by a living room. One of the suites had been converted to an office for Dale’s business. He was in his office at that moment on a long distance call to his new love interest, Annie, with whom he had begun a relationship while in the mid-west attending his brother Evan’s funeral. Annie was Evan’s presumably bereaved girlfriend and mother of his child.
As I was sitting there trying not to listen to the steady drone of conversation coming through the wall behind me I caught sight through the window of a man walking out of our bedroom and heading towards Dale’s office. I waited for a break in the conversation or some other acknowledgement that the visitor had entered the room. Who was this person and how did he get into the apartment when I was sitting in front of the only door and had a clear view of every window? Completely puzzled, I waited for the phone call to end.
Finally I heard Dale say his good-byes. Walking into the apartment I met him in the living room. “Did a man walk into your office”?
He almost laughed, “No”.
“You didn’t see anyone”?
“No, how could anyone get into the apartment? Did you see someone”?
“Yes. I was outside and saw a man through the window. He came out of our bedroom and was heading towards your office”.
Dales face went slack. “What did he look like”?
“He was tall and thin, about the same build as you but he had dark hair”.
A few moments passed as Dale stood there staring at nothing, “You just described my brother”.
That night I was awakened by Dale talking in his sleep. He kept repeating the words “Annie, I love you”. So I did what anyone else would do; I woke him up and asked him if he knew what he had been saying in his sleep. He said he did and that it wasn’t him, it was his brother talking through him. I passed this off as him not being ready to admit his feelings to me and was disgusted that he would use his deceased brother as a scapegoat.
During the remainder of that night I was awakened twice more, not by talking but by the feeling of someone choking me. The first time I was pulled out of a deep sleep. The second time it was just as I was drifting off. I finally decided to get up and it was there in the early morning hours that I understood the message.
Evan had been schizophrenic and had refused to take his medication. During his last episode he had committed suicide. His spirit was troubled at leaving Annie with a six-month old baby. He was trying to tell us that he was in support of the union between Dale and Annie. He wanted Dale to take care of his family.
In the days that followed Dale was troubled, not because his brother had visited but because I was the one to see him. He began trying to contact his brother; he even created a scrying booth in which he would sit every evening but Evan did not return. He asked me why his brother appeared to me when I had never even met him.
Well, this is the best answer I have. On top of our mantle was an urn holding some of Evan’s ashes. Dale and his mother agreed they would each keep an urn for one year and then meet and scatter the ashes together. Dale had wanted to keep lit candles next to the urn at all times as a memorial. The problem was he did not pay attention to the wax level and the candles would burn out which would upset him Out of respect for his loss I took it upon myself to keep tall, glass cylinder candles lit at all times. Each time I lit a new candle I would say a little prayer for Evan that he may be at peace. It was only later that I learned that souls travel by candle light. I had been the keeper of the flame; the one who opened the door.
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