Leo stood next to the bridge, looking down at the dark water below. The wind brushed through his short blonde hair, making a mess of it. He didn’t care, not anymore. Depression had grown into despair, had clawed its way through him until there was nothing left but an exhausted husk. He hurt, body, mind and soul. Nothing helped, not booze, not drugs, or even women. It still ate at him, making him sick. He felt a knot form in his throat as he stepped up onto the first rung, his right hand grabbing onto the beam next to him. Tears burned his eyes as he stepped onto the top rung and he felt the full force of the wind hit him. He looked down into the dark abyss and swallowed the lump in his throat. He stepped out, his foot hovering over space and just when he was about to let himself drop to freedom, he felt hands grip the waist band of his jeans and he was wrenched back, away from silence, away from peace, away from death. He hit the ground with a thud, the air whooshing out of his lungs, his vision bursting with points of color. He blinked as he breathed and when his vision cleared he found himself staring into the most beautiful pair of green eyes he had ever seen.
“Who?” He asked and her eyes widened as she pulled back, revealing a gorgeous face framed by brown hair. He blinked again and she was gone, seemingly evaporating before his eyes. He sat up, looking around him, but she was really gone. She had vanished and he wondered if maybe she had really existed. He felt like he was going crazy and he nearly laughed at the thought. He had just tried to commit suicide, of course he had to be crazy. “The wind, it was the wind.” He told himself as he got to his feet and hurried away from the bridge, but he couldn’t get those eyes out of his head.
If Abigail had a body, she knew her heart would be beating frantically in her chest. She was surprised that she had been able to actually save the man on the bridge and the fact that he had been able to see her, even for a brief moment only added to it. Something had drawn her to the bridge, an urgent need had tugged at her to rush there. The moment she had seen him, she knew she had to save him. She didn’t know what had given her the power to grab onto him, but she had managed to save his life before it was snuffed out. She followed him as he speedily walked away from the bridge, waved her hand in front of his face, but got no reaction. She didn’t understand why he had seen her, was confused by her need to be close to him. No living creature had drawn her in like this, like a moth to a flame, and she had never wished more that she was flesh and blood human. She had to leave, had to speak to Cora and see if she could help her understand what was going on.
She found Cora wrapped in her favorite blanket on the couch. It was something she ordered off Amazon when she went through a phase of serious addiction to Supernatural. She still enjoyed the show but her hype for it died down considerably. Cora’s mind was obviously deep into the book, picturing what she was reading. She had just started it a few days ago. Ghost Abi remembered her saying it was about some college student and a paper but not much else besides the title being The Life We Bury which Cora had found interesting for a plethora of reasons.
Abigail ended up having to blwo around the pages to get her friends mind back. “Abi! I don’t know where I was”
“sorry, I kept trying to say your name but you wouldn’t respond”
“It’s so good”
“I can tell but I need to talk to you” Cora put a book mark where she now was and would figure out where she really was later. “what about?”
“I felt compelled to go to a bridge and when I got there this man was trying to commit suicide. I stopped him, I don’t know how but I was able to grab him and pull him to safety. Granted I pulled back too hard and knocked the air out of him when he fell back but I saved him and for a brief instant he was able to see me…”
“He looked right at me, like I was a flesh and blood human. I think we both must have been wearing the same surprised expression. Once he got up, he couldn’t see me again.”
Cora tapped her fingers. “It could be because he was so close to dying. You know like he was right between here and wherever spirits go when they move on.”
“You don’t think he’ll try again do you? I mean what if that first time was just a fluke, what if I can’t stop him again? He looked so sad Cora, I’ve never seen somone look that way before, like they had nothing to live for..”
“It’s okay Abi, we’ll find him.”
“But how, I don’t even know where he lives. I should have followed him.”
“Sweetie, Abel’s a cop, he’ll find him. We’ll check back at the bridge tomorrow night.”
“We have to go as soon as the sun goes down, just in case he tries twice.”
“We will, I promise.”
Abigail tried to settle down. It was just extremely hard when there were so many ways to kill yourself. For all she knew he had gone home and was going to try another way. She just had to be patient. Frantically flying around the city wouldn’t accomplish anything. Cora tried to distract her ghost friend with talk of what was going on in her book so far but it didn’t seem to help so she asked “is there anything on TV we can watch?”
“I doubt I could concentrate”
“How about we go see my daughter”
“How could I say no to seeing Abi Jr and those sweet boys of hers?”
‘Exactly, I need to see my grandsons” Cora called her daughter but she didn’t answer so Cora then called Christian “Hey” he said at the second ring “Is my daughter home?”
“No but I am with the kids. She forgot her phone”
“Can we come over? Ghost Abigail needs a fun distraction”
“It looks like someone broke into our home and ransacked it”
“pft, who cares, I’m coming”
“Just be prepared for a war zone.” Cora smiled then they said their goodbyes. She pulled on her shoes then grabbed her keys and made sure the door was locked before getting in the car. Abigail sat beside her, trying her best not to worry about the young man who had nearly jumped to his death.
Leo stared up at the ceiling of his bedroom, unable to get any sleep. Every time he closed his eyes he saw not the woman he had lost, but the eyes of the woman who had saved him. They had seemed so worried, so afraid for him before the confusion set in and she had vanished. Yes, he thought, vanished was the right word. She had been there for the briefest of moments and then she was suddenly gone as if the wind had carried her away. “Hallucination.” He said out loud, trying to convince himself that he had finally truly snapped. He had tried to jump off a bridge after all, but the image of her face stayed with him no matter how much tossing and turning he did.
Cora was barely through the door with Abigail when Lewis and Rorie came running “Gam Gam!” They yelled happily and ran into her arms. Abigail Jr and Christian soon followed “hey mom” she said with a hug then greeted Ghost Abi. “Looks like the kids have been having lots of fun” Christian chuckled “thats one thing to say about this place” Cora smiled brightly “Looked just like this in mine and Abels house when our daughter was their age. It’s better to make memories than waste these fleeting years with them” Lewis had just turned six and Rorie wasn’t far off from being four. “so what timing, I thought you were out” Cora said as they sat down. “I got back right as you were hanging up with Christian.”
Cora had texted her husband so when he got off of work he came right over and Cora explained what was going on with Ghost Abigail to everyone.
“Do you remember exactly what he looked like?” Abel asked.
“He had messy blonde hair, amber eyes, he was kind of on the pale side and he was taller than me, but shorter than you.” Cora relayed Abigail’s message.
“Amber eyes is good, it’s rare so chances are it’ll narrow down who we’re looking for.”
“How is he going to find out who he is?” Cora repeated the question.
“DMV and arrest records. I’ll also cross reference them to make sure I get the right guy.”
“It’s going to be wierd if we find him. He can’t see me and he might think you’re bonkers Cora, but I just want him safe. I hate being dead.”
“All we know is how to change you into a werewolf.” Abigail Jr. replied, looking apologetic.
“Is there no one who can help you?” Cora asked.
Abigail sighed. “There is one person, but he’s kind of well…he’s kind of Death, you know the Grim Reaper. I’m afraid to talk to him, not that he’s mean, but he’s Death and he might know someone. I want to wait after we find that guy though, I want to make sure he won’t hurt himself again.”
“I’m not sure why I’m surprised the Grim Reaper is a real thing” Abigail jr said and Cora responded “I want to meet him. I bet he’s awesome” Abel rested his hand on his forehead “Only my family”
“You picked me Abel” He smiled “and you know I’d do it again. Before we make our daughter puke though let me eat and I’ll go back to the station. I could run out and bring something home so nobody has to cook and little Abi doesn’t have to wrestle her boys ready.” They all decided on what to eat and he fetched them dinner. When Abel was done he hugged everyone and went back to the police department. “dads got that serious face” Abigail Jr said and her mother looked at ghost Abi “He’ll find him”
“Abel! Back so soon?” One of the men called “Yeah, need to find someone for Ghost Abigail”
“Who would a ghost be after?” Abel gave him a look and the man waved his hands in front of him “okay okay” Abel sat at his desk, glancing at one of the family photos that rested on his desk a brief moment before getting to work.
Leo checked his phone messages, a habit he had not broken even after losing his fiance. There were a couple of messages from the school he had taught at again, once again reassuring him he could still come back if he wanted. He deleted them then started a pot of coffee as the next one played. It was from his mother, her voice worried as she asked how he was and begged him to call her. He felt that same stab of guilt, but he couldn’t bring himself to talk to her. He didn’t know what she would say if she found out what he had nearly done. Even now he felt like going back and jumping to his death, but every time he would see those green eyes and he felt like crying. His stomach growled and he ignored it, just leaning against the counter and staring out the kitchen window.
Abel hadn’t realized he had been at his desk so long when he found the guy and finally looked at the time. “shit” He hoped Cora wasn’t worried. He took out his cellphone and called her. She sounded wide awake “You found him?”
“I think so, have ghost Abigail come in. Sorry I didn’t text or anything until now”
“I knew you were just determined. I’m glad you found him”
“I need her to confirm it first”
“You did, Abi and I will be there soon”
Cora and Abigail showed up sp fast he Cora must have still been fully dressed and ready to go. Abigail looked at the screen “It is him Cora!!” Cora spoke for her “It’s him Abel”
“Good, If only we could head over there now before he does something stupid. Hopefully he’s asleep at this hour”
“for now lets all grab something to eat then head to bed. We’ll go see him at a decent time” Abel was glad his wife suggested food. It had been such a long time since dinner with his family and he was starving. Abel shut off his computer then waved bye to everyone “don’t you come back again tonight!” One of the female officers called. They stopped at a sonic on the way home since they were twenty four hours then got some rest for the night.
Abigail worried all night if he was okay, if he would believe Cora and Abel about her being a ghost, and how they were going to keep him alive. They couldn’t just lock him up, not that she wanted too. She didn’t think he was crazy, just in pain. She sat in the living room all night staring at the TV until morning. The sound of the house waking made her jump to her feet. She paced as she waited for them to eat something, not wanting to rush them. “Leo, his name is Leo.” She kept repeating, not wanting to forget. When breakfast was over, Abel made sure everything was locked up then they left. They were sure he would be up by now, hopefully eating.
When Abel came to a stop in front of the house, Abigail had to keep herself from going inside. She wanted to see him, but she didn’t want to intrude and in her panic, she could very well cause poltergeist activity which wasn’t something Leo needed right then. She waited on the front porch, her eyes taking in the slightly over grown grass and dead flower beds.
She hoped changing the plan from waiting to see if he returned to the bridge tonight to coming to his house was a good one. Cora and Abel would have to explain how they knew and she wondered if ghosts would be a bit too much for Leo. She guessed that it didn’t matter, it was most likely better not to tell Leo about ghosts while he was considering jumping off a bridge. Inside Leo showed Cora and Abel to his living room. He wondered what an officer and his wife would want with him. Cora took in his home. It wasn’t disgusting but it showed a man too depressed to even make sure all his trash got thrown away. There were various bottles of alcohol, take out bags and even a single condom wrapper nearly under the love seat. Cora guessed he hadn’t noticed it.
Abel began to speak, bringing Coras attention to Leo. “You haven’t done anything wrong. We’re just here to talk to you about last night. I understand you tried to jump off a bridge” He seemed embaressed “There’s camera there or somthing?”
“No, my wife can see and talk to ghosts. Her best friend is a ghost, the same ghost that stopped you” Leo went a bit pale “so…I wasn’t imagining things” he was seeming to accept the idea even though it obviously shocked him. “yeah, she says you saw her for a moment. I think it’s because you were so close to death” Cora added.
“It would have been better if she had just let me.”
“I saw the police report, you were mugged and you reacted. It wasn’t your fault.”
Leo felt tears sting his eyes. “I killed her, doesn’t anyone understand that? If I had just given him my wallet, she wouldn’t have died. It should have been me.”
Abigail sat down beside him and reached out, resting her hand on his, surprised when she could touch him again. His eyes widened and he stared down at his hand. “That’s Abigail.” Cora said.
“Can you tell him that being dead doesn’t get rid of what happened to you, that even if you do forget for a time, you’ll remember eventually. The people who love him will be just as pained as he is if he gives up, it’ll turn into a never ending cycle.” Cora relayed her message and a few tears escaped Leo’s eyes.
“I deserve everything that’s happened to me for letting her die.”
“You don’t, you should live, you should smile knowing she loved you.” Cora told him what she said and he chuckled.
Leo wiped at his face. “You remind me of her, not the way you look, but you were both stubborn. Why did you even bother, you could have just walked right by and let me jump, why did you save me?”
“She told me she was drawn to you, to the bridge and that when she saw you, she just reacted like she needed to save you.” Cora answered.
“I felt this tugging where my heart should be. I needed to be there, I needed to help. I’m so glad I freaked you out.” Cora repeated her words.
“I feel so lost and stupid.”
“You lost your fiance, if I lost Cora, there’s a chance I’d do the same.” Abel said as he took his wife’s hand. “She’s my everything and that’s not easy to bounce back from. We came here because Abigail wanted to help, she wants to be here for you.”
“She shouldn’t worry about a mess like me. Besides, I can’t even see her. I’d love to see her again, especially her eyes.”
If Abigail could have blushed, her cheeks would have been bright red. “T…tell him I’m working on that, I have to talk to Death and then we’ll see what happens and if he’ll let me, I’ll help him through this. I’ve been friends with a lot of grieving souls so I’m kind of an expert at it.”
Cora relayed the message and Leo gave a brief smile “You can talk to death? So the grim reaper is a thing too. Huh”
“Just promise us you wont try to kill yourself again. Give Abi a chance to become human once more and help you” Cora said then Leo responded. “Okay, I wont” Abigail got up “I’ll go talk to death then” when she left Cora and Abel stood “She’s gone, can we do anything for you?”
“Not really, thank you”
“Then we’ll be coming back and hopefully with my best friend in human form” The thought excited Cora and she wished Ghost Abi had thought of talking to death before. Maybe she hadn’t because she had needed an actual reason to be brought back and felt this was somthing death would actually consider now. They had been friends a long time and she was wanting to come back to help someone.
Leo wasn’t sure what to do with himself when they left. It had felt like forever since human interaction had really mattered. He hadn’t let himself think of the possibility of companionship again until now. He looked around his home, feeling more embarrassed as he saw the beer bottles, garbage and dust. He decided if Abigail was going to be spending more time here, he should at least clean for her and maybe shave.
Abigail was a bit nervous as she stepped through the void that connected the world of the living and the dead. She wasn’t one for coming here, always afraid she would be made to stay if she did. Ardan was showing off his powers to his daughter when she got there, making the little girl laugh every time he brought up the illusion of his face being a skull. It made her smile a little at how much braver the Grim Reapers children would be. Having Death for your father would make them fearless. He paused and looked in her direction, illusion vanishing as he stood, lifting his daughter onto his hip.
“Hello Abigail.” He said as he met her part way. “This is my little angel, Adamaris. Say hello to Abigail.”
“Hello.” Adamaris said with a big smile.
“Hi, nice to meet you.” She smiled warmly back then met Ardan’s eyes. “I need a favor.”
“Does it have anything to do with Leo?”
“You know about him?”
“I know all the souls who stand on the threshold, you saved his life.”
“So, what do you need?”
She shifted nervously from foot to foot. “I want my body back, please. I want to help him and I feel…I feel drawn to him, like really drawn like a magnet. I need my body.”
“I can’t do that.”
“I said can’t, not that I wouldn’t if I could. I can only do like I did for Grace and put a soul directly back after it leaves the body.”
“Now, now don’t get upset. I know of someone who can bring you back, a demon and a good man, but I have to go and ask him so give me a couple of hours.”
“Oh okay, Can I come?”
“I don’t see why not. Obviously he can’t just bring everybody back thats ever died so maybe seeing you and talking to you about it will help your case”
“I just want to be with Leo so badly, I want to help him Ardan”
“Let me say bye to Grace and we’ll go.”
“Thank you so much” Ardan soon came back and they traveled to Chthons world, popping up right in front of his castle. Abigail gasped, shocked at how different this place was “You okay Abi?”
“Yep, come on.” Her attention was quickly and easily refocused. She cared much more for being human again than this new, amazing world. It was Ruth who answered the door “Ardan hey” she glanced beside him “Hi, I’m Ruth, who are you?”
“Abigail, you must be a demon too then since you can see me”
“Yep, though long long ago I was human” Once again Abigails curiosity was peaked but there were more important things going on. Ruth guided them to her husband who hugged Ardan and introduced himself to Abi. Ardan had Abigail explain what she wanted then he said “I feel she deserves it Chthon. She’s been my friend a long time and Leo is a good man. You of all people should know what losing the love of your life does to someone. She just wants to be a woman again to try and heal him” Chthon held his mate a little closer. Those heartrenching memories easily coming back of when she died and the years without her.
“I’ll do it for you and him. He’s going to need you.”
“Thank you so much.” Abigail said with a relieved smile.
“I’ll go and assist you.” Ruth said and kissed her temple.
“Give us a few minutes and we’ll follow you back. You’ll need clothes as well.”
“I’m sure Cora has something I can borrow.”
Ardan waited with her and she felt more and more nervous. She hoped Leo liked the human her. “I know that look.” Ardan said, making her jump.
“You’re in love aren’t you?”
“I…I just met him.”
He smiled. “Do you want to know something interesting?” She nodded. “Some souls are born to be together, it’s just the way it is. Ruth and Chthon, Cora and Abel, little Abi and Christian, then there is you and Leo.”
She looked at the floor. “But he already had someone.”
“He loved Gillian very much, but the day I met her she only wanted Leo’s happiness. No one wants to die, she didn’t, but she accepted that that is how things were supposed to be. I believe you can fulfill her wish, that you can heal Leo’s heart. I think she’d like you, you’re very similar. Love can heal the worst of pain, it just takes time and patience.”
“You really think he could fall in love with me?”
“I know it” Abigail smiled, knowing he wouldn’t make that up just to comfort her. He was a nice man but not one to give false hope. When Chthon and Ruth were ready Abigail asked Ardan to take them to Cora’s so she could fill them in before they went to Leo’s. “Of course” he answered and they soon found themselves in Cora’s living room. “Oh hey” she said a little startled. “sorry” Ardan said “Oh no, um, you’re death then?”
“Yes I am and these two are Ruth and Chthon. They’ve come to bring Abigail back to life” Though Cora didn’t know them she hugged the man and then his wife, thanking them both. “This ghost is my best friend. I’ve always wanted her to be a real woman with me. It’s hard to do a lot with her the way she is”
“Has anybody talked to Leo?” Chthon asked and Cora answered “Yeah, he knows. He doesn’t know it can be done but we’ve told him Abigail would try to be brought back.
“Would he like to be present?”
“I think in his mental state it might be better if he isn’t. He’s not crazy, but something like this is so new to him and seeing a dead body coming back to life might be a little too much right now.”
Chthon nodded his understanding. “She’ll need clothes and we need to go where she was buried.”
Cora went and retrieved a pair of shorts and a t-shirt while Abel grabbed his keys and cell just in case he was needed at work or Christian and Abigail Jr. needed them. “I’ll take us all there, it’s much faster.” Ardan said.
“I suspect Cora and Abel have never used portals before, it may feel a bit strange and throwing up is completely normal.” Ruth explained.
“We’re not worried, we just want Abigail alive and happy, a little bit of vomit is nothing.” Cora replied. “Especially once you’ve been a mom.”
Ardan took them through. Both Cora and Abel handled it surprisingly well for their first time but they were by no means regular people. Chthon frowned, she had been burried but if death hadn’t brought them there you wouldn’t have been able to tell this was where she was burried. The one advantage was that they didn’t have to worry about people coming to mourn their loved ones and see what they were doing. In Chthons world people wouldn’t give this a second thought but here he knew people would freak out. He looked at Abigail “I’ve never done this with the ghost of the person beside me. I don’t know what it will be like for you. Are you ready?”
“Then we begin”
Abigail stood staring at her own body in surprise while Ardan and Abel kept watch in case another mourner showed up at the cemetary. Abel being a cop would come in handy since he could lie and tell people it was for an investigation. Cora was ready with the clothes and waited patiently while Chthon and Ruth started the ritual. Abigail felt a strange pulling sensation and she was shocked to find she was starting to fade. She felt panic set in and Ardan glanced back at her then reassured her that it was normal and she wasn’t fading away. She forced herself to calm down, letting the pulling take her away and she squeezed her eyes shut. She suddenly felt like her entire being was slammed down to earth and she gasped, sitting up, her eyes flying open. The bright light stung her eyes and she blinked as she tried to bring the world into focus.
Ruth was laying unconcious in Chthon’s arms and she looked around in a daze. Cora was next to her, her words muffled for a moment as Abigail’s ears started to work again. “Abi, are you alright, can you hear me?” Cora repeated and she nodded.
“I…I can, I’m just a little um…” She couldn’t find the right word, but Cora smiled in understanding as she helped her up. She stumbled and Abel jumped down, helping to steady her while Cora helped remove the clothes she had been buried in and then helped her into the clean ones.
“I can finally see you.” Abel said with a big smile. “You look just as unkempt as I thought you would.”
Abigail smiled. “Jerk.”
“I can’t believe you’re really here.” Cora hugged her. “Abi, Christian and the kids are going to be so excited.” She turned to Chthon who was cradling his wife in his arms. “Thank you so much and you as well Ardan.”
“I would hug you, but my body is so stiff.” Abigail said.
“It’s okay, we were happy to help. I need to get Ruth home so she can rest, the ritual takes a lot out of you.” Chthon replied with a smile.
“I also need to get home, I’m sure Grace wants to know how things went.” Ardan added.
“Thank you again, so much.” Abigail smiled. “I think I want a shower before seeing Leo, I’m sure I look like a crazy person.”
Ardan took Abigail, Cora and Abel home then went back to Grace. Cora showed Abigail how to get the shower going then asked “do you want me in here incase you need something? I know you were human before but you’ve been a ghost a long time now. I can’t imagine adujusting back”
“Go be with Abel. I think I have this” Cora hugged her again “I’m so happy you’re human Abi, so so happy” Abigail managed a small hugged but it was still hard getting her body moving. “I want to call our daughter” Cora said to her husband who had been outside the door “If you do make sure she will wait and let Abigail Sr see Leo first. You know that’s where she wants to go right now”
“I’ll make sure” Cora took out her phone and walked to the living room couch to call her daughter.
Abigail was excited to be able to feel the water and nearly started crying at just that. She was shaky and warm and really alive. When she got out, she dried, dressed then just looked at herself in the mirror for a few minutes, wanting to make sure that this wasn’t all a dream. When she came out, she could hear Cora talking on the phone and as she stepped into the living room she could hear Abigail Jr. talking loudly and excitedly on the other end of the line. Abel stood when he saw her and walked over to help her to the couch since she still looked a bit wobbly on her feet.
“Abi sounds excited.” Abigail said as she sat down.
“Very, she’s going to come and see you in a couple of days.”
“I’m happy to be able to hug her and the kids and Christian.” She started laughing and Abel gave her a questioning look. “Sorry, it’s just going to be weird getting used to not walking through things anymore. I see a lot of bruises in my future.”
Abel chuckled. “We’ll have to get you bumper pads so you just bounce off things.”
Abigail’s smiled widened. “Probably a good idea.” She rubbed her hand up her arm, her body still acclimating itself. “When can I see Leo?”
“As soon as Cora’s off the phone we’ll take you.”
Cora told her daughter she had to go and got off the phone “let me help you get ready?” Cora asked and Abigail happily took the offer. She hadn’t had to make herself look nice in such a long time. Cora brushed her long, brown hair then asked “Down or styled?”
“Does it look okay down?”
“It’s gorgeous Abigail”
“Then down” Abigail said with a blush. Cora painted her friends face with light make up then let her look in a mirror “Like it? I’ll do it over if you don’t”
“No, you’re better at it than I ever was”
“You really are pretty Abi. I’ve always been able to see you but looking at you in your human body you are gorgeous”
“What am I going to do if he doesn’t like me? I’ll be so embaressed”
“He’s going to fall in love with you Abigail” Abigail blushed again, feeling a rush of nerves “I feel so nervous Cora” Cora took Abigails hand “this is what best friends are for. I’m taking you to his house even if I have to tie you up to get you to sit in the backseat of Abels car”
Abigail was still nervous when they left, but she knew this was the right thing to do. Even if he did end up rejecting her, she would still lend him her support. Leo was looking his house over when the knock came and he went to the door, hoping it was Cora and Abel back with Abigail. He pulled the door open, his eyes falling immediately to the young woman standing between Cora and Abel. He wasn’t prepared for her so he just stood there staring, his eyes wide, breath caught in his lungs.
“Hello, Leo.” She said softly and he reached out a shaking hand, his fingers brushing her skin then his hand sliding over her cheek.
“Holy shit.” Was he could say, it was all that would come out in the moment.
“I hope I’m okay, that I’m what you expected.”
“You’re real, I can feel you.” His other hand came up so he held her face in his hands. “And you’re so beautiful.”
She felt relief at his words but didn’t know how to respond. Cora just smiled “I guess Abel and I will go now. You two need anything? Do you have plenty of groceries Leo?” It took him a second to respond as he was still lost in the woman before him. “I actually don’t think so but” Cora held up a hand “No buts, my husband and I will be right back. You two go inside and get to know eachother.” Abigail swallowed. The two stood in the doorway until Abel had driven off with Cora. He cleared his throat and withdrew his hands from her “come in, it’s much cleaner now…I’m sorry you had to see it before”
“It wasn’t that bad”
“It wasn’t fit for you being in it” Abigail went in and he took her to the living room again.
“Would you like some water or coffee? It’s all I have right now.”
“Water please.” He was obviously nervous as he went and filled her a cup and brought it back. He was still shaking as he sat down and ran his palms over his pant legs. “It’s okay.”
“I feel like running.” He replied honestly and she smiled at him, making his heart do a flip. “I didn’t expect you even with that brief moment of seeing you. You’re really something else.”
She reached over and grabbed his hand, stilling his nervous movements. He swallowed and raised his eyes to meet hers. Those beautiful green eyes that had so easily captivated him looked back, showing compassion and understanding. “I’m just as nervous you know, I wasn’t expecting to actually get this chance. I just want to be here for you, to be your shoulder to cry on or someone you can talk to. I’m not going to hate you for anything you’ve done. You lost the love of your life, it can’t be easy.”
He looked down, feeling a lump forming in his throat. “That night I died too, at least I thought I had. I felt so torn apart and I blamed myself everyday as I spiraled further and further down. I tried everything to forget, drugs, alcohol, even women. I just wanted to forget. Then you showed up and now I don’t know anymore.”
“Maybe you just need to face what happened, really face it and let it all out. You’ve been bottling everything up and it’s turned into a poison. It’s okay to be upset and it’s okay to let go. She won’t hate you you know, I don’t think she was like that.”
“How do you really know?”
“Because I was told by someone who is an expert with the dead that all she wanted was your happiness. I think she’d smile knowing you were healing.” She swallowed nervously. “I’m not saying I want to take her place or anything, I know you love her and always will, but I’ll be here for you as long as you need me.”
His hand shakily rose and grabbed hers “I don’t deserve you”
“You do and I’ll make you realize you do. Even if you end up not wanting to be with me I’m going to help you heal and become happy” She hugged him and he let loose the flood gate of tears he was always keeping sealed away. “That’s perfect, just let all your pain out Leo” she said tenderly. He held her there long after he had finished crying. he was simply unable to let her go. She made him feel better than anything else ever had since loseing his fiance. She held him back, understanding how much he needed this contact. It felt nice being in his arms even if he hadn’t needed her for a security blanket.
When he let go he looked a bit embaressed and she flashed him a warm smile “I’m here for you no matter what you need okay?”
‘Can” he was going to say more but a knock sounded at the door. Abigail answered it, finding it was Cora and Abel back with groceries. She was surprised, he had been holding her much longer than she thought. Cora and Abigail put everything away then her friends left. Abigail returned to Leo “what were you saying?”
He actually blushed. “It wasn’t important.”
“Leo, tell me.”
He rubbed his neck. “I was going to ask if I could kiss you and if you could stay, but then we got interrupted and I thought it would look bad since I’ve been a bit of a whore. I don’t want you to feel guilted into giving me what I want.” He felt like an idiot and was about to apologize when she leaned in an kissed him. He was frozen, eyes wide open in shock, his heart beating a thousand miles per hour. She was bright red and when he finally managed to move she pulled back, looking embarrassed.
“Sorry, that bad? It’s been awhile since I’ve kissed someone so I’m sorry if I suck at it.”
“No…no, it was perfect.” He hugged her. “You’re just so amazing and I feel guilty having you here just willing to give me everything. I’m such a coward.”
“Stop saying stuff like that, you’re a good person. I’ll stay here every night.”
He felt like crying again, but managed to hold them back. The rest of that day was spent trading questions and stories. She was even happy to hear about Gillian and their time together. She brought him to meet Abigail Jr, Christian and their children who all greeted him with hugs and understanding. His adoration for Abigail only grew. Every time she woke him from a nightmare or stayed up for hours just talking to him, he fell more in love with her. She had even managed to get him to call his mother, a call that was more tears and apologizing than anything else, but it made him feel less burdened.
“Now you just need to get your job back.” Abigail said as she climbed into bed next to him. She had taken to staying in his room in case she was needed.
“Abigail, can we talk?” He turned to face her, his fingers brushing her hair away from her face.
“Is something wrong?”
“No, at least I hope not. I just wanted to thank you and tell you how important you are to me. You’ve given me so much, a life worth living and I want to give something back.”
“I don’t need anything, I’m happy to be here.”
“I know, you’re so selfless, but you deserve everything. I…I love you, I really do. I know you might not believe me, but it’s true. You’re such a gift, an angel and I love you more than anything.” Tears filled her eyes and he pulled her into a hug, pressing a kiss to her forehead. “Please don’t cry, it’ll kill me.”
“I love you too.” She replied softly, making his heart stutter.
“I promise to make you happy, I’ll do anything, I’ll work hard.”
“You already do, just keep smiling for me.”
“I will, I promise. I just want you with me always.”
Abigail scooted closer and kissed his cheek, making his entire being warm. He felt incredibly lucky to have her, whether it was a twist of fate or just dumb luck, he wasn’t going to diappoint her and he was going to work hard to become the man she deserved. “Thank you, Abigail, for everything.” He whispered then allowed himself to drift into blissful sleep.