by Marie Beaufort
It was a stormy night. The rain was drumming against the windows. Only two small lamps lighted the living room.
"Anna!" Niamh called. Her voice sounded hollow.
A door opened and a girl came down the stairs. Niamh started. Anna had been a year younger than her. Now she was perhaps two years older. Had Niamh come too late?
When she saw Niamh, Anna dropped the flashlight she was carrying. Her mouth fell open. "I thought you were dead!"
"I am," Niamh said. "I've walked a long, dark road and learned many things since I died. I cannot stay long. But I need to talk to you."
The day she died, Anna had told her that she was in love with her. At the time, Niamh had not known how to deal with it. She had just turned and run away.
Ten minutes later, a car had run her over.
"I've come to tell you that I love you, too."
For a long minute, Anna just stared at her. A tear rolled down her cheek.
"And, I don't know how you feel about me today, but if you want to, there are ways that we could see each other. I..."
"I thought I'd killed you," Anna finally said, her voice quivering. "I've thought about you every day. I never stopped loving you." She reached for Niamh's hand. "I think I never will."
Suddenly, the room started to fade around Niamh.
"Then I'll be back," she said. "I promise."