To be in her arms once again would be like being in the arms of an angel. She radiated beauty with every step she took, every smile that lit up her face, and every movement of her body. Her hair was short and had some curl; it was the color of milk chocolate, with eyes to match. The last image I have of her floats before my eyes, no blood to give her cheeks a rosy blush, and eyes with no life left within. This was Mae Anne, and I loved her.
Mae Anne Stock and I met at Grosse Pointe High in 1926. From the moment we met, she was in love with me as I was her. We would walk, with the lake on one side of us, and the cemetery on the other, we would talk sitting out on her front porch when the weather wouldn’t hold us back, we would spend every moment together when we could. Every moment we spent together was perfect, and we thought they would last forever, until one day when forever ended.
It was 1927, one year after Mae Anne and I had met, and it was going to be a perfect Saturday. I had already asked her father, and with his permission, I was going to propose to her. We had graduated from high school two weeks before, and the day was going to be perfect. As I walked up the path to her house, she flung open the door, and with an enormous she said “Hi Louis.” A simple greeting, just like she always gave me. Her father came up behind her, and with a knowing smile told us to have fun, but be back in an hour. What we didn’t know was that Mae Anne would never come home.
We went for a walk, just as we did every Saturday. We would walk in comfortable silence or talk, I don’t remember what we talked about, and I wish I could. I could feel her ring burning a hole in my pocket. We were about to cross the street, and I had decided that once we crossed it, I would ask her. Mae Anne was a few steps behind me, and then I heard it.
There was crunching medal, and the cracking sound of someone hitting the ground too hard. There she was, lying on the ground, motionless. I ran to her, and even though it was only a small distance away from her, it felt like I was walking a mile trying to get to her. I bent down, screaming her name, but she didn’t respond. Her eyes were looking up towards the sky, unmoving, and lifeless. Her body was still warm, but there was no blush in her cheeks. There I was, on the ground, crying, and holding Mae Anne’s lifeless body tightly in my arms. She was gone, and part of my soul was too.
I don’t remember the weeks after her death. There was a dark cloud that was always hanging over me. I would go out and walk the paths we used to walk, but never past the cemetery again, that’s where she was, and I couldn’t grasp that she was truly gone. After many weeks, I decided to go. I couldn’t stand living in Grosse Pointe anymore, not seeing her family, or the spot where she was hit, I just had to go. I decided to go to Boston. Boston had to be different then Grosse Pointe and that it was. Boston was a large city, lots of life to it; I hoped that some of its life would rub off on me.
I went to college in Boston, and in my Latin class, I met a girl. Her name was Rose, and she looked nothing like Mae Anne. She had blond hair, and blue eyes that sparkled when she smiled. We married three years after Mae Anne died, and I finally thought I was going to be happy. I was wrong.
Rose and I had what should have been a happy life; we had two sons, Charles and Richard, a good house, and I had a good job working at a newspaper. Things haunted me though, things that I couldn’t stop.
I had nightmares, every night, without fail. It was sunny in the beginning, and I was crossing the street, and then I would hear it, the crash. The medal would crunch, the person, whom I assumed to be Mae Anne, would hit the ground. I would turn around, and run to her, when I got close to her, she wasn’t there anymore, and the sky had gone black. I would wake up in a cold sweat, shivering and confused. I wouldn’t be able to fall asleep after that, with the fear that I would have the nightmare again.
One night, in the middle of July, I woke up from my nightmare, and instead of just staying in bed like I normally did, I decided to leave Rose sleeping and go to the kitchen. When I walked in, she was standing there. Her hair was the same the last time I had seen her, short with curl, but her eyes, they were different. Her eyes were the same color, brown like milk chocolate, but they didn’t twinkle like they once did. They just looked at me, and I just looked back. There was Mae Anne Stock standing in my kitchen.
“Louis,” she said in a low, haunting voice, “you left me. You always promised me that you would love me forever.”
“Mae Anne, are you really here?” I whispered in disbelief.
“I’ve always been here, Louis. You just never looked for me. Why didn’t you ever look for me? Did you lie to me?” She said this sadly; the look on her face was one I had never seen before. It would have been a sad look if the look could reach her eyes, but they were as dead as they were on the day I held her in the middle of the street.
“I didn’t know to look for you. You died; I thought I would never see you again. I never lied to you though, Mae Anne.”
“You said that you would love me forever,” she screeched. “You married her. You have them. You love them, and you never even looked for me.” I was looking frantically back up the stairs that led into the kitchen, hoping Mae Anne’s howling wouldn’t wake up my family. As soon as I thought my family, I thought about how that should have been Mae Anne who was sleeping up stairs, and they should be her boys sleeping in the room next to her. I looked back at her then, expecting her to be there, but just like in my dream, she had disappeared.
The next day, I went to work as usual, came home as usual, ate dinner as usual, went to sleep as usual, and had the same nightmare as usual. Instead of staying in bed as usual, I went down to the kitchen like I did the night before. She was standing there again, waiting for me to come down. This time I sat down at the little table with four chairs that sad in the middle of the little kitchen of our house. The ice box was behind me, and I was facing the cabinets. The table had a white lace table cloth on it, and in the center there were flowers that I had brought home for Rose four days before.
“Mae Anne,” I said quietly, “have you been waiting in my kitchen all these years, just waiting for me to come down stairs?” I made sure that I didn’t take my eyes off of her, fearing that she would disappear like she did the night before and how she does in my nightmares.
“Yes, I always have been.” Mae Anne said quietly, like she was hurt. “I thought you would come down to see me, but you never did. You stayed with her.”
“I never knew you were here, Mae Anne.”
“You never came to look, Louis.” Every word she says sends a chill up my spine. I couldn’t determine if I was actually seeing her or just imagining it, but that didn’t matter. It didn’t matter that I was sitting in the dark. It didn’t matter that my wife and sons were unknowingly sleeping upstairs. All that mattered was that Mae Anne was standing in front of me again. “You never even came to my grave. You left me.” Her voice was rising; I knew I had to do something.
“Mae Anne, Mae Anne, Mae Anne. I just couldn’t accept that you were gone. I never looked for you because I never knew where to look.” I looked at her to see if she heard what I said. Really heard it, because it was the truth. I never could truly accept that she was gone, that I would never see her again. I never visited because I didn’t want to be reminded that she was gone forever, and I never looked because I never knew that I needed to.
“Well, we can be together now, Louis. You found me now.” She looked hopeful, but again the look didn’t reach her eyes.
“Mae Anne, you’re not living, I can’t be with you. I love you, but I can’t be with you. I have Rose now, and the boys. They need me.”
“You did lie.” With that, she was gone. I went down to the kitchen every night after my nightmare to see if she was there, but she never was again. After a month, I stopped going down stairs, and then all of a sudden, the dreams stopped.
I tried to convince myself that none of it had happened. I so desperately wanted to see Mae Anne again that my mind had made up her ghost. Until one day, I was walking to work. I had decided not to drive. It was a nice day, sunny like it was the day Mae Anne died, and like in all of my dreams. Then it happened. I felt the impact, felt myself flying through the air, felt myself hitting the ground. I stood up, and looked down, there was my body.
I was lying on the ground, just as Mae Anne had been. Eyes open, looking up towards the sky, still open, with no life left in them. I turned and I saw her. “I knew you would come back to me some day. Come with me, Louis, now we can be together.” She extended her hand towards me, I looked down at my body on the ground, and I took her hand.
I thought I would never feel that touch again. Now that I was the same as her, her emotions reached her eyes. I wondered if someone saw me, the new me, if my emotions would reach my eyes. The darkness that I once felt was gone, though I do feel some darkness. I left Rose, I left Charles, I left Richard, and I left everything I had in Boston. I gained something much more though. I got my Mae Anne back, and she got me.