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By Wakefield Mahon
"It just feels weird Lis! It's such a big step."
“I understand, but you need to move on Katy”
“Like you did when you lost your puppy?”
“Hey, I was devastated when I lost Floyd! Look, I’m just saying it’s been almost two years since Barry died. Rick is a good guy and you guys are great together. It’s not like Barry’s going to be upset because you’re seeing other men.”
Katy dropped a glass, shattering across the floor.
“What was that Katy? What happened?”
“I’m going to have to call you back Jen, Barry’s here.”
“What do you mean? What’s going on?”
“Hi, I’m back!” Barry offered one of those silly puppy smiles that drove Katy insane.
“You’re back? That’s all you have to say? You’re dead! You can’t be here.”
“You don’t want me here?”
“That’s not what I mean. It's impossible, there's no such thing as...”
"Ghosts? Maybe not, but whatever you want to call me I’m here.”
“Why are you here?”
“I’m here because I missed you.”
Katy stared at the floor.
“It’s that guy isn’t it?”
“That guy’s name is Barry. He’s been really good to me since you … left.”
“Well, I’m here now so you don’t have to worry anymore.”
Katy felt a chill as Barry caressed her cheek. “But how can you…?”
Barry cut off her question with a soft sensual kiss. “It can be like it was before. All we have to do is seal the deal before my
second death day.”
“Death day… the anniversary of your death? But that’s…”
“That’s when I was supposed to leave for Dallas with Rick.”
Barry shrugged. “Well there’s no need for that now, is there?” He reached for Katy again but she pulled away.
“I need to talk to Rick.”
“Yeah, that’s probably a good idea. You’ve got to let him down easy.” Barry winced at the glare Katy pointed in his direction.
“Hey Babe, what’s up?” Rick’s gentle baritone steadied Katy's fluttering heart.
“Hey Rick. Listen, I’m not getting cold feet and I’m not crazy or I don’t think I am, anyway. Here’s the thing, Barry’s back and he wants me to stay with him.”
“Are you there Rick? Are you okay?”
“I assume you’re being serious.”
Katy suddenly felt the weight of the words she’d put on Rick. “Yeah… I am.”
“Do you want to be with him?”
“I don’t know. I’m a little confused right now.”
Rick sighed, but it sounded more frustrated than sad to Katy’s ears. “I’ll change your tickets to open-ended and bring them by your place this weekend. Whenever you feel ready, I’ll be waiting for you. I love you Katy.”
“I love…” Barry cut off the phone connection.
“Alright, now that that’s settled, let’s seal this deal.”
Katy stared at Barry in disbelief. “I didn’t say I was going along with this.”
“Come on, Katy, it’s me!”
“Don’t try that smile with me, Barry. Why did you wait until now to show up? What about all of those nights I cried my eyes out over you? Where were you then?”
“I don’t know, but I’m here now. It’s not too late. You don’t have to go with that guy. We can be together forever!”
Katy finally understood. “You’re just here because you’re jealous!”
Barry looked stunned, but he didn’t deny the allegation.
“You know what Barry? It is too late. You know, you always were a little selfish.”
“But I’ll die. You know, forever!”
Katy wiped the tears from her eyes. “Dammit, Barry I already cried over you once. I don’t know what lies beyond the grave. I know what I hope, but who really knows? Barry, if you love me. If you ever really loved me, then please let me go.”