Ghost in White
It was shortly after midnight, just after a movie, my girlfriend and I took a stroll to enjoy the cool morning; the morning had an ambiance of romance, which made it difficult to part company.
After some walking, we thought it would be nice to go for an ice-cream. We hailed a tricycle taxi and hopped in. We asked the driver to take us to St Bernadette Street. To our surprise, he refused. When we asked him why, he told us he was afraid; he had had an encounter with a ghost once when driving through St Bernadette Street.
We were so intrigued that we took a joy ride instead. We listened attentively while he told us this story:
With a best friend, Sunny, I would take rides along St Bernadette Street to pick up passengers. Sunny was a fun guy to be with. He would tell me many jokes and make our work fun. One night, I'll remember this for the rest of my life, Sunny... The driver choked back tears, but one trickled down his cheek.
My girlfriend and I looked at each other and felt guilt building up, but we said nothing. Maybe it would do him good to talk, I thought. But actually, I was yearning to hear more, and waited for him to continue.
Wiping the tear away, he asked, You sure you want to hear my sad story, I dont want to bore you with it?
We nodded enthusiastically. Of course we do," I said. "Unless it bothers you to talk about it, then wed
Before I could continue, he interrupted, No, its no bother. Actually, I appreciate your interest. Ok, so where was I? Oh yes, Sunny. You see, there was this lady all dressed in white, she smiled at Sunny, so he struck up a conversation with her. Sunnys like that you know." He turned from his vantage position and looked at us.
"She was a beautiful woman, very beautiful," he continued. "Sunny then asked her what she was doing all alone at that time of the night.
He took his eyes off the road and turned to us. He shrugged. You know, this was around 2 am., and she was all alone. His tone went up a pitch.
Her reply to Sunny was that she was lost and confused. She didnt know why she was wandering about. Sunny asked her where she wanted to go, and she replied, home. Sunny, without asking where her home was, offered to send her there. He invited her into his tricycle, and she got in."
The driver looked at me—only me—and said, "Sunny had that satisfaction in his eyes, you know. You know, the kind of look which speaks volumes for a guy who believed he was going to score big."
He then looked at my girlfriend, and said rather bashfully, "Err..its a MAN thing.
I looked at my girlfriend, and we smiled. I saw how absorbed she was in the story, and kissed her on the cheek. She didn't even react to it.
Then, our driver just stared into the distance for some time, as if in his own world.
Has he forgotten we are here? I wondered.
Hated being left in suspense, my girlfriend asked while trying to hide her impatience,So what happened?
Jolted out of rapt, he blurted. What? Oh! Sorry. Well, Sunny rode away
he, he turned the corner up ahead." He paused. Another tear rolled down his cheek.
We didnt push him that time. We just waited quietly. I reached down and held my girlfriend's hand. She looked at me, then at the rider. I tugged at her a little and leaned back in the seat. She got the message, and leaned closer to me and rested her head on my shoulder. We sat like that and enjoyed the slow cold wind in our faces.
Then, the driver suddenly stopped paddling. He turned to look at us. I saw in his face, a man burdened with unanswered questions. His mouth opened, and he said in a soft voice. She was nowhere! It had been only seconds when she disappeared! I didnt see her walking away or anything, you know.
What do you mean? I asked instinctively.
He took a deep breath and let out a sigh. "There was an accident. Sunnys tricycle was crushed and broken to pieces right before my eyes. I rushed to him and
he was bleeding from the head. He muttered a few words, but I couldn't understand. Then he...he was dead!
The man's eyes were filled with genuine fear. I tightened my grip on my girlfriend's hand and waited.
"And the girl...she just disappeared! I looked for her but she was nowhere to be found!" He paused and rubbed his arms; goose bumps had formed. "She was a ghost!" he finally said, albeit reluctantly.
"A ghost! I repeated.
My girlfriend squeezed me tightly. I knew in her eyes she was afraid, truly afraid.
He was quiet after that last word—ghost. He just rode on, and ten minutes later, we saw a romantic cafe where we asked him to drop us at. We felt kind of obliged, and invited him to join us for coffee, but he refused politely and rode away a tortured soul.