Dead to Me
My life would be a lot easier if the dead in this town would just cooperate. Maybe it was the living. They never seemed to cooperate, either.
I hefted one eyelid by sheer force of will and spied the time on my alarm clock. That alarm clock was just for show. No one—not even me—used them much anymore. Lately, it was there so I didn’t have to look at the time on my phone. Said alarm clock was blinking 12:00 at me.
The power had gone out sometime since I’d fallen into bed. Figures. It didn’t matter that I lived in a nice neighborhood. Mother Nature was a testy woman on the best of days, but in the spring in this part of the country? She was downright spiteful.
The knock—well, more like pounding—on my front door rattled through my house again, which was what had woken me up from a very deep, much-needed sleep in the first damn place. I knew that insistent cop-knock. J was pounding on my door like the badge-wielding tool he was. Granted, I, too, had a badge, but I wasn’t the jerk accosting his door at oh-butt-thirty in the morning.
Groaning, I peeled myself from my oh-so-soft mattress and stomped to my door, yanking it open before J could splinter the wood.
“What?” Yeah, it came out more like a bark, but it wasn’t even dawn, and I was in no mood.
Instead of saying anything at all, J waved a to-go cup of coffee in my face as a peace offering. I fell on the caffeine-laden cup like a junkie, sucking down the brew like my life—or more accurately, J’s life—depended on it.
Only after the cup was half-drained did I let him pass the threshold into my living room. Shuffling past me, he plopped onto my overstuffed sofa like he owned it. He didn’t, but Jeremiah Cooper, AKA, J, was my best friend—hell, my only friend—and he’d spent many a morning, evening, and afternoon on that couch.
J wasn’t the only person sitting there, but he paid exactly zero attention to the slightly see-through dead man perched right next to him, lounging on the cushions like the Queen of Sheba. J—and everyone else in my life—couldn’t see him.
No one could.
No one but me.