Paul was a young professional who had life in the palm of his hand. He had friends. He had money. He had it all. He lived in a medium sized apartment in a nice neighborhood in the city. Life should have been great.
But he didn’t feel that way.
Sarah was also a young professional with life in the palm of her hand. She had friends. She had money. She had it all. She lived in a large apartment in a nice neighborhood in the city. Life should have been great.
But she didn’t feel that way.
Everyday, they both got up and prepped for work. Paul would shower and shave. Sarah would shower and put her makeup on. They’d dress in a stylish and conservative manner. Paul would stop by a coffee shop and get a bagel and coffee. Sarah would take granola and yogurt with her, then stop at the same coffee shop for her latte.
They would occasionally say hello to each other. But nothing more.
One day, they both arrived at the coffee shop around the same time. Paul was across the street. Sarah happened to look in his direction just as he crossed the street.
Neither one of them saw the Prius.
Paul was struck on his side as he was crossing the road. Sarah immediately ran to his aid. He was alive, barely, but his leg and arm were badly mangled. Passerby’s called 911. Paul began to cry.
“I’ve never felt at home here. I’ve wasted my life. Please don’t let me die,” Paul said to Sarah.
“I’m here. You’re not going to die. You haven’t wasted your time. I’m here,” Sarah said.
“I haven’t lived the life I wanted. I’m going to die a failure,” Paul said.
“Stop that!” Sarah said, “You are not a failure! I see you here every morning. You’re well dressed. You’re well off. You’re handsome. You are not a failure!”
“Are you an angel?” Paul asked.
“No.” Sarah said, “I’m just me. Sarah.”
“My angel… Sarah,” Paul said, before he passed out.
The ambulance came. They loaded Paul into the back. Sarah asked what hospital they were taking him to. They told her and sped off. She gave her statement to the police and stood on the side of the road staring at the blood spot. She couldn’t get one thought out of her mind.
“My angel… Sarah” he had said. Who was he? She saw him everyday and she didn’t know his name. She’d held his hand. Comforted him. She had his blood on her clothes.
And she didn’t know his name.
One year later.
Sarah is at the coffee shop. She hears a voice behind her.
“Sarah? My angel?”
It’s Paul. He’s got a cane. He’s much thinner than the last time she saw him. His arm is held close to his body. He’s walking towards her. He’s got tears in his eyes. He’s dressed in jeans and a t-shirt.
“That’s you, right? You’re Sarah?!” Paul said
“Yes. I’m Sarah. I’m no angel though.” Sarah said, blinking away tears.
“You are to me. Do you have time? Can I buy you a coffee? Can we talk? My name is Paul” Paul asked.
His name! “Yes,” Sarah said, without thinking.
Paul; bought her a bagel and a coffee and explained what happened to him. He spent a few weeks in a coma. Upon waking he’d learned that he had broken his hip, leg in 3 spots, his collarbone and his arm in 2 spots. He’d spent the next 9 months rehabbing. He’d learned to walk again at 7 months. He would never regain full mobility in his arm.
“The only thing I remember from the accident is you. Sarah, my angel” Paul said.
“I didn’t do anything,” Sarah said.
“You did enough.” Paul said, “I have thought about you everyday for the past year. I don’t have family. My friends are more acquaintances than anything. I pulled myself through the past year by thinking about you. I want to take you on a date. Please say yes.”
“You don’t know anything about me!” Sarah said.
“I know that you’re the type of person who comforts complete strangers in the street. I know that you’re more beautiful than I remember. I know that whether you like it or not, you’re an angel.” Paul said, “Please let me take you to dinner.”
“Okay,” Sarah said, her pulse quickening, “When?”
“Tonight,” Paul said, “I’ll pick you up at 8.”
“Okay,” Sarah said, “Where?”
The day flew by and stood still for Sarah. She couldn’t quite believe that he had shown up AND that she was going on a date with him. She wasn’t normally this type of girl. Her mother was constantly warning her about the “city psychos” and she refused to try online dating.
She wanted to cancel the date.
She didn’t want to cancel the date.
She was excited.
She was scared.
Seven rolled around. She was already dressed for a night. Her hair was done. Her makeup was done. She started walking to the coffee shop.
She arrived first. She went inside and got a decaf. She didn’t need any more jitters. As she was sipping she saw Paul across the street.
Her pulse quickened.
Her stomach dropped.
He started crossing.
Leaning on his cane.
This time, they both saw the Prius.
She squeaked. He stopped.
The Prius passed by.
He stood in front of her and extended his good arms elbow.
“Fool me once… Shall we?”
They went to an Italian restaurant where they could talk. Their table was in the back corner. Sarah was shy at first, but eventually found herself sharing details. The wine was delicious. The food superb. The conversation was easy and comfortable and perfect. They stayed for hours.
“I feel like I’ve known you forever,” Paul said.
“So do I,” Sarah said.
“Can I see you tomorrow?” Paul asked.
“Yes,” Sarah said, “Same place. Same time”
“I’ll be there,” Paul said.
Sarah cabbed home and went to sleep.
The next day, she met Paul at the coffee shop again. Once again they walked to a restaurant. Once again it was a perfect night.
“Walk me home?” Sarah asked.
‘My pleasure,” Paul said.
They spent the early night walking through the city to her apartment. Paul became quiet and thoughtful.
“What are you thinking?” Sarah asked.
“I want to tell you something. I’m afraid to say it though.” Paul said.
“Please tell me,” Sarah said.
“I will. Eventually.” Paul said.
They got to her apartment. She looked at him. He looked at her. She looked at his lips. He looked at hers.
“Have a wonderful night,” Paul said. “Can I see you aga–”
Sarah pulled him in for a deep kiss. They held it for an eternity.
“Same place. Same time.” Sarah said. Then she went into the apartment.
The next day Paul met her at the coffee shop. They started walking. This time, Paul took her to a park.
“I need to tell you something,” Paul said.
“Anything,” Sarah said, nervously.
“When I woke up from my coma. Things were different.”
“I see things now. Real things that others can’t see.” Paul said, looking down at the ground.
Sarah pulled his chin up to meet her gaze. “What kind of things?” she asked.
“Dead people,” Paul said, “Ghosts.”
Sarah sucked in her breath. She studied his eyes. She studied his hands as they fidgeted with his cane. She studied his neck, the pulse visible through his skin. He was telling the truth.
“How do you know they’re ghosts?” she asked, cautiously.
“They ask me for things. They speak to me. I can’t turn it off.” Paul said. He began to cry. “I am in love with you. I’ve been in love with you since the accident. I’m not lying to you. I see ghosts and they talk to me. There’s nothing I can do about it. I’m going to start helping them. It’s the only way to let them rest. I want you to help me. You must think I’m insane.”
“No. You’re not insane. Let me think about it,” Sarah said.
“Take your time,” Paul said, “I’ll be at the shop every morning. for the next month. Then I will leave. I don’t expect anything from you. Just know that I love you.”
Days passed. Sarah avoided the coffee shop. She spoke to no one about Paul. What would she say? She thought about Paul. She thought about what he had said. Ghosts? This couldn’t be true.
Finally, the month was up. Sarah woke up. She dressed and did her makeup. She looked at the granola and yogurt. She left them in the fridge. She started walking. Her legs carried her to the coffee shop almost as if by magic. She saw Paul sitting in front of the shop.
He smiled and waved.
She stared at him.
She stepped off the curb.
His eyes got wide.
The Prius hurtled by.
She finished the walk.
“I love you. I believe you,” Sarah said, “What now?”
Paul kissed her.
Over the next decade Paul and Sarah traveled all over the world. They helped people with ghost issues. They became the world’s leading ghost hunters. Life was amazing.
One day they were approached by a young man who needed their help.
“I need help,” the young man said, “My family needs help. We’re losing our minds. My daughters can’t sleep. My wife is losing her sanity. I need your help. Please.”
“What’s going on?” Sarah asked, handing the young man a handkerchief.
“I own a farm in Delaware. My wife and I are beekeepers. It’s our dream. We bought an old house on a large property. We built our hives. We built our dream. Life was supposed to be perfect. But it’s not.” He said, as he began to weep.
“It’s okay,” Sarah said, stroking his arm.
“Tell us your problems,” Paul said.
“The hives. The house. They’re haunted,” the young man said, “At night we hear sounds. Screams. My daughters are pinched. My wife’s hair is pulled out. I can’t approach my hives anymore. I get burned and scratched. Our honey is vanishing. I can’t sell it. We’re behind on our mortgage. I am losing my customers. Whenever I touch the honey we have collected, I am thrown across the room. There is a ghost on my farm, and he has taken control of my hives.”
Gently Paul lifted the young man’s face up. “Your problems are not so great young man. You’ll have your farm back very soon” Paul said.
“Why do you say that? How could you be so confident?” the young man asked.
“Because, young man, a ghoul and his honey are easily parted.”