I’m not a nice person. I’m a good person, just not a nice one. I will absolutely help you if you are hurt, but I may laugh at you if you fall down and you’re fine. It’s a delicate balance, but I walk the line.
Eons ago when my husband and I were still dating, he took a twenty-six hour bus ride to visit me over Christmas break. Yes, we did go to the same college. Yes, I was going to see him in two weeks. But it didn’t matter. I missed him, so he took a bus all the way from Tennessee to New York. He got to meet my mother and my sister, and he got to see my house.
I grew up in an Inn that runs costumed Victorian tea programs, so seeing my house for the first time isn’t really about figuring out which way the bathroom is. It’s more about counting how many hair wreaths my mother has and wondering just how many small children have spilled tea on our floor.
Being the loving girlfriend that I was, I gave him the full tour, including the Ladies’ Parlor, which my sister and I dubbed the dead room in honor of its plethora of mourning paraphernalia and the portrait of Louisa.
That portrait had been said to be haunted for years, and I very kindly told dear visiting boyfriend all the ghost stories that went along with Louisa. From her lost love to her tragic death, complete with all the terrifying details. I then wished him goodnight and left him to the guest room just across the hall from the portrait.
Naturally, he refused to sleep in that guest room or in any of the other guest rooms. Instead, he slept on the living room couch. Every time he visited. For THREE years. He never believed me when I told him that I didn’t believe all the stores about Louisa. To this day, he is still skittish in that hallway. And yet for some reason, after all that torment, he still married me.
I suppose love transcends all things. Even ghost stories.
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