“Am I hallucinating or is that girl sitting with her back parallel to the ground on the bridge side rail?” Hal said. “I must be seeing things because she’s defying gravity.”
“What girl?” Rich asked. “I don’t see any girl on that bridge.”
“Dammit, quit bustin’ my chops, Rich,” Hal snapped. “She’s right there, in the middle of the damn bridge. She’s wearing a black dress, she’s barefoot, and she’s blonde and stunningly beautiful. How can you not see her?”
“Wait a minute, Hal, do you hear yourself?” Rich said. “You’re describing Annie.”
“Well, yeah, she does kind of remind me of Annie, but Annie’s gone,” Hal said.
“Yes, she is, Hal,” Rich said. “But you described what she was wearing the day they found her body by the creek. She had on a short black dress and she was barefoot. Jesus, Hal, is this the bridge that runs over the creek where they found her?”
Hal, his eyes most, looked around, turned to look at Rich, and said, “Yeah, I think it is.”
Rich walked up to Hal, put his hand on Hal’s shoulder, and said, “Let me take you home, buddy. Annie’s been gone for a year, and as difficult as it may seem right now, you need to move on with your life.”
The two men started walking away when Hal took one last look back at the bridge. The girl was still sitting on the bridge rail in that impossible position. She looked up, smiled and waved at Hal, and then slowly faded away until she completely disappeared.
“Thanks for being a pal,” Hal said to Rich. “I think I’m going to be okay now.”
Written for this week’s What Do You See? Prompt from Sadje at Keep It Alice. Photo credit: Island perspective by Chloe Smith.