Lunch with a Ghost
I noticed him before he saw me.
Unkempt, cold in the October air, alone.
He saw me then, and stared.
Eyes, unclear, flashed recognition.
The previously expressionless face showed surprise.
His rambling gait paused, his dirty hand raised and still I said nothing.
My guarded eyes betrayed me, revealed my angst.
He saw this, pressed his face against the glass and still he stared.
Other guests took notice, glanced from him to me and back, murmuring.
Embarrassed and unbidden I walked outside.
I knew what he’d say before the single, whispered word traveled across his weathered lips and settled in my ears.
Before I had enough control of my emotions to summon my voice he continued in a haunted whisper,
“They told me you died.”
“She did, Sir. I am her daughter.”
As he reached out to touch my face, which so resembles hers, I begged myself not to flinch.
Still embarrassed, I stood quietly while he touched not just my face but the scar she and I shared.
“She was beautiful, too,” is all he said.
He walked away and I returned to my seat, hardly noticing my half- eaten meal had been removed.
My midday hunger had given way to something the sandwich wouldn’t satisfy anyhow.
I ignored the curious glances and indiscreet stares, lost in my own thoughts until my Grandma returned from the washroom.
‘You know Jenn, you look just like your mother today.”
With a knowing smile instead of the usual mix of emotions that declaration evokes I simply said,”I know, Gram. And that’s fine, because she was beautiful, too.”
One thought on “Lunch with a Ghost”
Pingback: Heroin dreams: There’s a hole in Daddy’s arm where all the money goes – JENN'S LENZ