There was no reason for me to go to the romance festival with Archer back, but the girls went. Apparently it was lovely, with tea, romance advice and wisdom, and rose petal throwing.
The girls came home and told me all about it, they had a great time. Attica apparently got told that she would have to wait “many moons” to be with her true love. I wondered if that would mean she would be single for a long time, or just wait a long time to actually be with her love? It wasn’t really my concern for now, the good news was she would find love.
Though Archer was back it was different, it was strange. At first I had been so excited, so enamored. Now, it was different. I was literally living with a ghost. I was sharing a bed with a ghost.
Attica began to take up yoga to help calm with her mood swings, similar to my grandmother Sapphire. Similar to Sapphire, Attica had a… condition. I knew Sapphire had worked very hard to help people with similar conditions but her work only went so far and not everyone was understanding when a person was unstable. Maybe that’s what the love guru person had meant with Attica.
Attica and Folsom went to a little thrift festival where things were traded and what not. There she met a friend whom she said was great. They didn’t talk much about what went on but Folsom bought a lamp that we have no where to put.
Folsom began to take up fishing in her spare time with the many little fishing spots around the house. In retrospect the lot I had bought us was so far out of the way that it isolated us. I didn’t want to be isolated.
Sometimes it was tiring being with a ghost, getting scared as objects floated around my house, spooked. Even if I should be used to it there just wasn’t getting used to somethings. There was a bit of tension, a bit of stress, from living with a ghost.
The yearning of human companionship, male human companionship… I know it wasn’t good. I know it’s definitely not good to flirt with my boss. I know it’s definitely not good to flirt consistently with my boss. It was even worse to turn that into a romance. We were both married… kind of. My spouse was dead. And till death we part, right?
I got a promotion, and after work a call from Declan to celebrate said promotion out at the club. I went by myself this time- I went to meet Declan alone. I didn’t mean for it to turn into this, to be like this, but I just needed a warm body in my arms. Maybe finding a way for Archer to return was a mistake, maybe I should have just mourned, grieved, and most importantly, moved on.
But there was no taking back what I did, and I was obviously moving on now. Declan and I had plenty of fun during that night out but once he left and went home… I couldn’t. I couldn’t go home. I couldn’t face Archer after what I had done. We weren’t even married anymore, our marriage had been nullified by death, I had no real obligation to stay faithful but yet the guilt.
And so I didn’t. I moved around to a new club, one I had never been to and one that was pretty dead. Just me and the bartender. He was a very good listener, and he listened. For hours. While I had drink after drink, roll after bread roll, and stayed there for quite a long time.
I was lucky that it was my day off, and this binge went well into the night. I didn’t go home. Even as the sun began to come up I was still drinking. I needed to drown what I had done.
I got so very drunk that I even began to converse with a toilet that did pretty shows and talked back. Or at least I think it talked back, I’m pretty sure? Not sure? I’m not really all that quite sure, I can’t remember all that much from that point onward.
But I remember sobering up in an entirely different district of the city with a realization- pregnant. I was pregnant. And it wasn’t Archer’s baby. Not only had I cheated on my dead husband (kind of), but I had gotten pregnant with another man’s baby. I called Declan so we could talk about this.
I tried to go into the conversation as optimistic as possible, this wasn’t really a good thing, it wasn’t really something to be super excited about. Nervous laughter was killed by the look on his face and the harsh rejection he shot at me, he needed to think, he needed to go home, whatever… whatever.
I didn’t know where to go, so I went home. Not my home, with the ghost of Archer and my girls, but my home- the one I had grown up in, the large gothic mansion my mother had spent an age building with the red walls and intimidating structure. I went home.