Journey of Thanks

Tully looked down at his hand and reviewed the note that was firmly attached. He stared at the writing and remembered dying while attempting to save the life a little girl. Unfortunately, that particular memory was still hazy, and the only thing he could remember with perfect clarity was the crushing coldness as the water pulled him under. As a shiver ran down his incorporeal spine, Tully looked up from the address that was perfectly imprinted upon the paper. As Tully stared in front of himself and saw the building that he had been directed to.

Tully was unsure what he should do, the note had an apartment number, but he was not sure it would do him any good. The ghost looked around the street, but he couldn’t see anyone there, a fact that was more unnerving than even regaining consciousness as a ghost. Tully had been stalking the streets, ignoring the address attached to his hand because the streets of the city that never sleeps should have been teeming with activity. Despite the emptiness, Tully was able to catch glimpses of people as he drifted above the sidewalks. Unfortunately, he had not been able to communicate with any of these people, his guess was because they were alive and he was no longer.

Once he had decided to go to the address, he caught sight of someone, and it had been the last face he had seen. The face had been distorted, kind of like a television filled with static but he had thought it was a woman walking down one of the city’s streets. And for a split second, he thought he recognized her, but the glimpse had been so brief that he had promptly dismissed the thought. Yet now that Tully was loitering in front of the apartment building, it was one of the only ideas circulating around his mind, the other was ‘Why was he here?’ He drowned that he knew, yet here he was able to explore the world around him, in a limited fashion. With a scrap of paper leading him to this very building. Specifically, to an apartment inside its walls.

After a few moments of internal deliberation, Tully decided to get his answers. So he moved his body through the front door of the apartment building, beginning his search for the specified apartment. It took him a while, but Tully eventually found apartment forty-five. He hovered there in the hallway thinking just in front of the door for a while. Finally, glancing down at the note Tully hoped something would be different, but it was not to be. There was nothing special about this door, so again he wondered why he had been directed to this apartment.

He knew he would have to enter the door to get the answers, but it felt wrong entering someone’s home unannounced. Yet the siren song of answers proved too strong for Tully, as he entered the apartment. Upon entering the room, the world became more vibrant to his eyes, as if a sheer piece of lace had been pulled away from his eyes, yet not everything was crystal clear. But with the improved clarity he explored the apartment noticing little things as he went, and what he found made no sense to him. Yet the most startling thing was the newspaper clippings littered upon a desk since he couldn’t move them he read what he could.

From what he could read, the clippings all seemed to center around his death, but that shocked him. He didn’t have any family in the city, there was no one here who should have cared this much about him. Yet there they were, and as he hovered above them, he began to hear voices from farther back in the apartment. So Tully started searching for their source. As he drew closer to the sounds, he caught sight of pictures, with faces just out of focus. Upon reaching the source, Tully looked at the door blocking his path and read the plaque with a single word upon it, Heather. Obsessed with the clarity the name offered he tried to focus upon the conversation beyond the door.

As he listened Tully managed to catch a few words from a deep voice that he didn’t recognize, “…glad… you’re here…”

Then he heard a response as loudly as if the speaker yelled right into his ear yet the voice was the most beautiful and angelic thing he had ever heard. “I love you, daddy.”

Tully was so stunned by the clarity that he almost missed the pair of words that followed from a different feminine voice, “…sweet dreams…”

And once again that trumpeting angelic voice rang in Tully’s ear. “I love you, mommy.”

Tully’s curiosity was too invested in the answer to let a door block him, so he pushed his head through it, and saw a family sitting on a bed. And something must have attracted the little girl’s attention because she instantly looked into his eyes. And like a switch being thrown to illuminate a room, Tully knew who this girl was. It was the girl he had died trying to save, but he hadn’t remembered actually achieving that. Yet here she was alive surrounded by family.

The girl smiled as she stared into his eyes saying, “Thank you.”

Tully’s own smile blossomed wide as he replied, “Your welcome little one.”

With his journey now complete Tully began to fade away, the note that had directed him to this sight fell from his hands to the floor. When he looked down the scrap of paper that had been his silent guide, he no longer saw the address. Instead, he saw five words written in an elegant hand, She lived, thanks to you.

Looking back up Tully caught sight of the girl once more, as her angelic words filled his ears that final time, “Thank you for saving my life.”