I saw her in my attic, sitting in the big overstuffed chair in the corner by the old bed. The small circular window let the reflections of street lights filter through the grime of time. She was wearing nothing but a long tee-shirt and some underwear, and was sobbing quietly. If I were to guess I'd say she was seventeen.
I moved to her side, but when I tried to touch her I found my hand went clean through her arm. I guess that happens to ghosts, but she looked around, her sobbing having stopped suddenly.
I watched her stand as I tried to hold her again. She felt warm, not cold as I thought it would be; my hand again slipped through her.
As each day went by I found her there, always with just a tee-shirt and panties, sobbing in that chair. Each time I stood by the chair and told her my name. Each time I tried to hold her, to stop her sobs. Each time she felt warm, and when she felt my touch, would cease her crying. Eventually she was saying my name, “Jake?”
A time came, as soon as I would come in she would stand and stare into the dark attic room, and whisper, "Jake?"
Time went by, days to weeks as she became more and more real to me. Her long, soft brown hair, her beautiful, deep blue eyes, her lovely smile breaking out just below her perfect little nose. She would sit and talk to me for hours. Tell me of her problems with her drunken mother who felt she was a nuisance to be barley tolerated. About her never known dad. Her mothers never-ending supply of new boyfriends, and always making her come to the attic from the single bedroom, third story flat, through the little pull-down ceiling ladder. Always warning her to keep quiet while she 'entertained' her 'guest', who usually showed up with a bottle of something to drink.
As time passed, I found she took on substance and had a name. Raylin, it felt so sweet as it rolled off my tongue. I could hold her and touch her. She became human to me, real, alive, and warm.
One day she showed me I was able to kiss her. I would hold her and caress her. She sobbed no more. Yes, she became so real I could even love her.
Day after day we kissed and loved, and made love. My dream and me. Each day she seemed so real as I removed her tee-shirt and lay her down on the old bed and we whispered sweet nothings.
I cannot say how long it was, time slid by as she waited for me each day, sitting in the chair in the attic, no longer sobbing. I admitted to her I was in love, and she just smiled and touched my face tenderly with her hand.
One day she was crying again and asking me what she should do.
I asked what was wrong, as we kissed deeply, and she squeezed me hard.
"Jake, mother is talking about moving!" She cried in my arms, her tears wet against my chest.
"That can't be!" I told her, "You’re a ghost!"
She looked deep into my eyes with those tear-filled blue orbs of hers, back and forth, tearing my heart apart. Finally she said, "No Jake, no, it is you are the ghost my love."