You Told Me to Go to the Graveyard Because I Believed In Ghosts
WRITTEN BY EMILY KHYM
I. You’ve got to release your angels from your walls, you whispered into my ear. We visited the graveyard twice a day to remind ourselves of our devils.
Our fingers interlaced, hairs beating to the breeze, we watched the figure engrave some people dream of angels, we held one in our arms into the marble. Angel you spelled out in braille on my skin. We cried together.
II. I told you I believed in ghosts and angels and devils. You squinted at me in disbelief. Your eyes were like fall foliage, so crisp, so clear.
“Do you believe in ghosts?”
You sat in silence, pondering. You gave me a red tulip, i love you, placed your hand over my fidgeting fingers. Photographs scattered across the gravel in front of the marble. A finger pointed downwards at them. I leaned on your shoulder, a few tears escaping into your shirt.
“Maybe, my mother used to tell me stories of ghosts that haunted her house.”
You tilted your head back to trace your smile onto mine.
“That’s nice,” I muttered.
III. My father had told me that the key to a successful marriage was to listen to you. I didn’t listen to you. I guess father was right.
You came in half-alive, body heaving with alcohol. A dragging thud and you reached the wine cupboard. You threw the whiskey bottle.
Shards of glass littered the floor. I imagined they were your angels. I grabbed a shard of glass, blood seeping through my fingers.
My devils boiled through me. I gave you a scar on your delicate cheeks.
IV. I didn’t leave, you left.
I just wanted to make sure you knew.
V. I remember when you showed me your picture books. We were in the graveyard drawing angels onto the back covers.
Mother told me to go to the graveyard—leave her house and be next to my angel. I took a cardigan and a photo book of you to trudge down the soiled roads to the graveyard. From afar, it looks so beautiful, so foreign like the picture books I used to flip through in your aunt’s house. I traced the rusting gate. A sliver of dust stamped my thumb. I dragged my thumb across my shirt, the one you had given me on a rainy day.
I listened to my mother because I hadn’t to you.
VI. There are scars on my arms. You had declared they were beautiful.
I stare at my reflection in the marble stone. I’m disappointed in myself. Everyone’s disappointed in me. I remember the moments we would steal names from gravestones to re-write into our stories, mold new worlds of red tulips and marble as our laughter oozed into drifting souls. I remember how we would play hide and seek as droplets of rain pattered across our ghostly steps.
VII. I wore black today when I visited my angel.
I wonder where you are. I wonder what I am—for wishing you were here. You were my wall to face against the world.
The grass tickles me, gravestone cold under my fingers. It’ll be alright, right?
Emily Khym is a 17-year-old senior attending The Loomis Chaffee School in Windsor, Connecticut. In her free time, when she is not writing, she enjoys listening to music, playing the flute, and going on long runs. She is currently preparing her writing portfolio for university. Her literary works have been published in Inlandia, Elevation Review, Elan, Teen Ink, and West Trade Review literary magazines among others.