“You’re really here, aren’t you?”
I spun around looking for the source of the voice but because I was still stood within the light from the candle, my eyes couldn’t pierce the darkness to find the source of the voice.
Solen stepped forward into the candles light. His face wore that same expressionless mask that he used so well to mask his true emotions, but his eyes were finally fixed on me.
I felt a moment of regret that I wouldn’t need to put all of my haunting plans into action after all, but it, along with my former anger at his callous reaction to my situation, was quickly washed away by the sheer relief that I again had someone who I could speak with.
It had only been a day and a night since my whole world had been turned upside down, but without the human interaction, which I had taken so for-granted for the whole of my life, those hours had seemed the longest of my life, or whatever this new existence of mine was.
“What am I?” normally it would have irritated me how much my voice shook as I asked the question, but right in that moment I was too overwhelmed to care. How was it possible that I was a spirit when my body wasn’t even dead? No wonder I can’t move on. What if my body stays this way for the rest of my natural life?
My mind flew to images of the long years ahead with only Solen able to see and hear me. Never able to walk my life’s true path. No home of my own, no husband or children. Just trapped in this half-life having to watch as everyone I knew moved on and forgot me.
I had thought that the pain of being separated from those I loved by death was the worst possible outcome of the Amphis’ bite, but this…this was far worse. I slumped down on the edge of the bed and dropped my head into my shaking hands as despair and hopelessness rose within me like a tide threatening to wash what little there was left of me away.
Moments passed and then I felt the bed give slightly as Solen sat next to me. His presence should have been a comfort but it only left me feeling hollow. I wanted to bury my head in his shoulder and cry out all my sadness and fear but I knew that if I tried I would only pass straight through him.
He seemed to sense that fact as well as he made no move to comfort me. Had I been in his position I think my curiosity would have driven me to reach out a hand and watch with fascination as my fingers passed straight through him, but not Solen.
We sat in silence for a time, and after a while his solid presence next to me started to drive away a little of my hollow despair. He seemed to pick up on this too, and when I finally lifted my head I found his solemn gaze on me once again.