Ghost (Story by Risa Peris)

Tammi had great sisters. They talked sweetly to her in the middle of the night when she had nightmares. Tammi told me she was being haunted by a ghost and the ghost visited in the middle of the night.

“What does the ghost look like?” I asked.

Tammi’s face went pale. “The ghost looks like me. But…you know…a little older.”

I laughed. “Ghosts are dead people with issues. You don’t have any issues. Can we listen to Debbie Gibson again?”
It was the 80s and we were crazy fans of Debbie Gibson. We could sing all the lyrics to Out of the Blue.

A few weeks later, Tammi said the ghost kept visiting her and her sisters held her until she fell asleep. I thought that was nice. I couldn’t imagine my sisters doing that to me.

“The ghost is me,” said Tammi. I didn’t really pay attention. I had discovered boys and every time I ate lunch with Tammi I wanted to talk about Ryan, Michael, and Cory. I did notice Tammi seemed ill. Something was going on with her. I assumed it was the ghost.

When junior high ended we went to different high schools and I never saw Tammi again. One day, a foggy Fall day full malevolence, my mother read an article from the newspaper. It was an obituary. Tammi had killed herself and police were investigating her father for sexual abuse. This stunned me. And then I realized, Tammi was seeing a ghost and the ghost was her but slightly older. I didn’t sleep that night but came to the conclusion that the ghost was trying to warn her of events to come. Maybe if she had talked to the ghost she might have been able to turn her father in and survive the sexual abuse.

But who really talks to ghosts?


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