Entry 18: Telling Donna: Wednesday July 27
Today has been a horrible day. Didn’t get much sleep, and of course Donna was cold to me this morning. When she did speak it was to try and get me to explain Mischa. But how can I explain it, when even I don’t know what’s going on?
“You want to talk about this girl now?” she asked.
“There’s nothing to talk about,” I replied, then realized how mean my reply sounded.
Like an idiot I just went into our bedroom, changed out of last night’s clothes and put on new ones. I put my dirty clothes in the wash hamper and slipped into my shoes.
“I’ll see you,” I told Donna as I headed out the door to work.
“Maybe,” she replied as I stepped out onto the porch. I wanted to cry hearing that, but I didn’t know what else to do. So I just went to work.
I really couldn’t concentrate on my job. This place is coming between Donna and I. Maybe I should just quit and we could move back to where we came from. But no, that would be fuel for the in-laws. The good-for-nothing Paul couldn’t make it. Can’t stick with anything. Can’t provide for his wife. I would never hear the end of it. No, I have to stick it out here. But I can’t lose Donna. She’s the love of my life. The only one I’ve ever truly loved. And yet here’s a ghost coming between us. How do I explain that to her? Sorry hon, the girl who left her lipstick on my cheek is a ghost who kissed me through the window of a moving vehicle.
Tonight wasn’t much better than the night before. As soon as I came home, she wanted to talk about things. It must have been eating away at her all day, and yet all I could tell her was Mischa meant nothing to me.
“I don’t care if she means nothing or not. She obviously kissed you.”
“It’s not like that.”
“Then tell me what it’s like,” she prodded.
I hung my head not knowing what to say.
“You know Paul, I don’t know what hurts worse, knowing you bought her a keepsake, or the fact that you’re having an affair with a teenager.”
“What the heck are you talking about?”
She laid a photograph down on the table and I realized instantly what it was. The picture of Mischa and her family from the church photo album. And right beside it, Donna laid the anklet. Both taken from my pants I’d placed in the hamper.
“When were you going to give it to her?”
“Donna, please, it’s not what you think.”
“How the hell do you know what I think?” she burst out. “How do you even know how I feel? We’ve been going through the motions ever since we moved here. You’re distant, preoccupied. And now I know why. I should have realized since we’ve only made love once since we moved in. You don’t even touch me anymore.”
I started to cry, this was too much. “Honey, I’m so sorry I didn’t realize. I’ve just been so busy, but I swear there’s no one else.”
“Then tell me about Mischa or I’m leaving right now.”
So I told her. I told her everything. Strange happenings at the church, our house built over a cemetery, and my suspicions that Mischa’s a spirit trying hard to communicate with me. I told her what I thought had happened to the girl, that somehow she had not run away but died, and that however she died, it left her restless and not at peace.
“And so you think you’re the one who can put her soul at rest?”
“I don’t know Donna. All I know is I think she needs my help.”
“Paul, that is the lamest excuse for an affair that I’ve ever heard.”
I grinned, but she wasn’t grinning back. She was serious. She didn’t believe my story. She thinks I made it all up to cover up an affair with someone else.
“You don’t believe me?” I asked her.
She didn’t say anything.
“Why would I make something like that up?”
“I don’t know.’
“I swear to you Donna, it’s the truth. The church is haunted and there’s a teenage girl who died tragically there and cannot rest.”
“Just listen to yourself,” she replied, “and then ask me to believe you.”
“I love you, Donna. Don’t you at least believe that?”
“I don’t know what to believe anymore.”
And that was the end of the conversation. She left me there and went to bed.
I picked up the picture of Mischa. “Look what you have done to me,” I mumbled. “I can’t help you anymore.”
I grabbed the anklet, got up and went into the bathroom. I threw it in the toilet and flushed it down. I walked to our bedroom but the door was closed. I knew what that meant, so I went back into the den to spend another night on the couch.
And so here I sit, notebook in my lap, pen in my hand, wondering if the next time I write it will be to say Donna’s left me.
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“Resurrection Diaries” by Paul D Aronson.
Original text copyright 2007.
10th Anniversary Edition 2017. All Rights Reserved.