Driving to upstate New York seemed to take forever for Josephine, she guessed she could have tried to appear there like she did around the city but she never tried to shimmer that far. Ghost or not she did have a short leash to where she could and could not appear. Max had pulled up in the SUV owned by the shelter, Jared climbed into the passenger. Max smiled into the rear view mirror when he saw Josephine shimmer into the back seat.
You ready to go find yourself?” Max askedwith a grin. "Literally find yourself, usually when people say that they are looking for aventure in Europe. With you you re aactually looking for your body."
“I am past ready, Sometimes I wised I was in Europe. Thank you so much Max for all that you have done.”
“Hey how many times will I get to save a ghost?” he replied.
Now on the highway the trio could feel the excitement building. How would this go? Would this even work? What would happen if she could not get back into her body?
So many questions that none of them had the answers to. Finally Max pulled the large van into the driveway of a small hospital. The facility had gardens surrounding the building for the patients who could still get outside. Josephine looked at the building through the window of the truck. The excitement was being replaced by apprehension and dread. They walked into the two stories building together and up to the front desk.
Jared spoke to the nurse at the desk who looked up as they walked in. To her there were only two very handsome men coming in through the door. “Good evening ma’ am could we have the room number for Miss Josephine Coulter?”
Cute or not the nurse was instantly suspicious. “Miss Coulter has been a resident here for over a year and I have never seen anyone come visit except her sister. Who are you?”
“Tell her you are my cousins from Connecticut, Mark and Curtis.” She would not know what they look like.” Josephine whispered in Jared’s ear. Max heard her as well but both men kept their faces passive as she spoke.
“Uh we are her cousins from Connecticut; we just came into town and wanted to see her.” Jared relayed the message.
“You know she is in a coma right?” the nurse asked.
“Yes ma’am we just want to sit with her for a bit and talk to her. Isn’t true that she could hear us and it could help to talk to her?” Max piped in.
The nurse smiled at Max. “We believe so. You have to sign in before you go up.”
Jared and Max signed the sheet and the nurse told them. “She is room twenty-B take the elevator to the second floor and turn right.”
“Whew that was close.” Josephine blew out a breath. When they were in the elevator.
Both men looked at her incredulously. “You are invisible unless you ant people to se you! How was that close for you?” Jared asked in amazement. “We were the ones sweating out there.”
“I was nervous ok.” Josephine said with a smile.
The elevator dinged signaling that their one on the second floor. The door slid open. For some reason Josephine’s steps slowed as she approached her room. She didn’t know if she was ready for this.
Jared turned to look at her, her steps had gone to complete stop. “Hey I am with you every step of the way.”
Josephine nodded and began waling again. Max pushed the door slowly open and the trio walked in. In the middle of the room a lone figure laid in the bet solitary and not moving. The beeps of the machine that kept time with her pulse and the almost imperceptible rise and fall of her chest as she breathed, it was Josephine that was lying in the bed. A small gasp of despair escaped her lips while standing and looking down at her self. She was so pale and still what if it was too late?
“Hoe does this work now? Jared asked softly, the room was so still it felt like anything above a whisper was wrong.
“I don’t know.” Max replied.
“Do you feel anything Josephine?” Jared looked at her hoping that something was happening.
“No nothing.” She didn’t feel a thing and that scared her more than anything.
The door to the room open and a woman that was a little taller but resembled Josephine entered, she was digging in her purse as she spoke. “The nurse told me that my two handsome cousins were here.” She looked up and almost dropped her purse. “You're not my cousins! Who are you before I call the cops!” She rushed forward to press the call button next to the bed and she picked up a metal bedpan holding it above her head as a weapon. "Don't make me use this!"
“No wait! Wait!” Jared said rushing forward to stop her. “We are her friends!”
"Death by bedpan," Max said smiling. "We know Josephine, seriously."
“No you are not she would have told me, Why are you in her room!”
“Cynthia don’t be afraid,” Josephine said softly.
Her sister whirled and this time her purse hit against the floor. “Oh Jesus! Oh my god! Josey, is that you? You’re dead aren’t you?” Her sister’s voice began to break with tears. “I thought you would come back but—but…”
“No! Cynthia I’m not dead well not really.” Josephine stepped forward to touch her sister and she gaped as she felt Josephine’s energy against her shoulder. “Could you explain Jared… Max…please.”
“You’d better sit down,” Max said and Cynthia sat in a chair next to the bed. And he began to explain how they thought Josephine would get back in to her body. Jared interrupted a few times to explain how he met her. By the time they all had related the story Cynthia was shaking her head in disbelief and amazement.
“So all this time you were in the park and could not remember who you were?” she asked looking and Josephine. “Oh Josey I am so sorry.”
“How were you to know Cynthia? You have been taking such good care of me here. I can sense that. Sometimes I heard a voice..your voice I think but I didn't know who it was or where you were, so I stayed in the park” She replied. “But I think something is wrong, I can’t get into my body. We don’t know why.”
“I have been reading up on when people are in comatose states.” Cynthia jumped to her feet and began to pace the room, something that she did when she was thinking. Josephine remembered now as she watched her sister move across the room and smiled, Cynthia kept on talking as if she was musing to herself. “Maybe when I was talking to you, you were to far away! Sometimes when I talked to you, you would move your hand or twitch.”
So you are saying that maybe if we talk to her now she would be close enough to find her way into her body?” Max asked.
“Exactly!” Cynthia said excitedly. “Josey sit down here on the edge of the bed! Close your eyes and we’ll see if this works!”
Josephine looked at Jared who nodded his approval, she sat down on the edge of the bed and closed her eyes. Cynthia started talking about when they were growing up and all the fun things they did. She reminded Josephine how close they had to be after their parents died and how much she needed her to come back to her. Max went next, he let Josephine know that he hadn’t known her long but she needed to come back so he could get to know her better. He considered a friend even though she was not in her body.
It was Jared’s turn and for a while he stood silent, he reached over and took her hand that lay at her side and began to speak. “I thought I was crazy when I first saw you in the park pleading for help, but from the time I saw you I could not get you out of my head. I knew I had to find you and save you some how. I don’t know when it happened if it was out walks in the park when we talked or when you first asked to stay with me instead of being alone in the park.”
Jared stopped and took a breath. “But I fell in love with you, your mind and your soul, I could feel you even though you were not there in body. Josephine wake up for me please. Let me show you that I can love you as a human and well as a ghost. Please come home baby I need you.” He implored.
Josephine felt a pull as if she was tied and was being reeled in, something was changing, she opened her eyes. “Jared! She cried out in fear she did not know what would happening and reached for him. He reached his hand out to her bit Josephine disappeared.
“Where did she go!” He looked around the room and she was not there. He could tell she was gone but where?
Jared, Max and Cynthia looked at her lying in the bed hoping to see her eyes open but she was still, unmoving as she was when they first came in. Hours ticked by that led into days. Cynthia and Max came and went but Jared stayed night and day. When max came her brought Jared a change of clothes and the nurses began feeding him. Bringing him in breakfast, lunch and dinner because Jared would not leave her bed side. Whoever came in found Jared the same place sitting next to her bed and talking to her.
He was alone, it was six days since he saw her last and he was beginning to lose hope he pleaded “Please Josephine please don’t leave like this. I need you so much.”
He laid his head against the bed and closed his eyes. This was supposed to work! Why didn’t it work! His eyes flew open as he felt something stroke his hair, he felt it again and was too afraid to move in case it was just dream. He felt the caress of fingers that trailed from his hair to his stubbled cheek.
“You’re scratchy. I like it.” A hoarse voice whispered.
He looked up, it was soft and weak but it was the voice he knew and loved so well. “Josephine?”
“I can feel you, I can touch you.” She said softly.
“Oh baby! Jared leaned his forehead against her and kissed her softly. “You came back to me.”
“I heard you calling me Jared, it seemed so far away but I came towards your voice.” Josephine said softly. “I thought it was dream, all of it but I heard everything you sad and everything my sister and Max said.”
“It’s been six days love and I was so worried. As soon as we get you healthy and walking out of here, I’m going introduce you to my parents, marry you and love you the rest of our lives.”
“All that huh?” Josephine smiled. ’I love you Jared, you brought me home.”
Jared kissed her again and held her to him. That is how Max and Cynthia found them a few minutes later. Between the joy and happiness was an intense love that formed between a man and an apparition. Love had made her whole once again.