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Emily’s List

When seven people from the same town go missing, investigators come up empty. Around the same time, Emily Davis, a seemingly innocent girl-next-door type begins having nightmares that include eeries details about the murders she would only have if … she had been there.

Age Rating: 18+

 

Emily’s List by Steve Gee is now available to read on the Galatea app! Read the first two chapters below, or download Galatea for the full experience.

 


 

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Read the full uncensored books on the Galatea iOS app!

1

Summary

When seven people from the same town go missing, investigators come up empty. Around the same time, Emily Davis, a seemingly innocent girl-next-door type begins having nightmares that include eeries details about the murders she would only have if … she had been there.

Age Rating: 18+

Original Author: Steve Gee

SARAH

Sarah Moon reclined in her lounge chair as she glanced around the crowded bar. The number of patrons had grown since she and her colleagues arrived for their weekly Thursday night drinks.

The pretty young redhead with the heart-warming smile loved to socialize with her friends but for some reason, tonight she wasn’t feeling it.

The drunken conversation throughout the popular CBD bar made chatting all the more difficult. The noise was no different to any other Thursday night, but tonight, Ben’s Bar irritated her.

Whatever the reason, continually being asked to repeat herself or asking her friends to repeat themselves, grated on her as the evening wore on.

Sarah checked her watch, then emptied the last of her drink. She gestured towards the door. “I’m gonna hit the road guys…”

She stood from her chair and straightened her skirt. She shouldered her handbag, ignoring the pleas to stay a little longer or to have one more for the road.

Sarah brushed the fringe of her salon-styled hair from her pale face. She forced a smile. “I’m just really tired tonight…It’s been a long day. I’ll catch you all tomorrow, OK.”

Her work friend, Melanie leaped to her feet. “I’ll walk you to your car, Sez…”

“Don’t be silly…You stay.” Sarah motioned for Melanie to sit back down. “You’re enjoying yourself.”

“Are you sure?” Melanie asked, slowly lowering herself into her seat.

“Of course,” she said with a dismissive wave of her hand. “My car’s not that far away, anyway.”

Following one last reassuring smile and a wave, Sarah zig-zagged through the room, through the gathering of mostly male patrons, to the street exit.

The summer breeze welcomed her as she stepped out, making a casual check of her surroundings. After a short stroll along the busy main street, Sarah turned onto Park Street.

She balked briefly at the paucity of street lighting, conspiring with the cloudy moonless night to create dark shadows. She checked over her shoulders before slowly continuing.

Sarah’s eyes flicked from dark spot to dark spot. The deeper into the darkness she moved, the faster she walked, reassured all was well by the occasional check back over her shoulder.

She was deep down the lonely street before she was comforted by the sight of her car up ahead. Only two other cars were parked near Sarah’s. The isolation added to the eerie silence.

She started to understand why she’d never parked down there before and never would again.

A sound caused her to stop and quickly turn towards the main street. Her darting eyes scanned the path behind her. So many dark shadows.

Sarah continued, this time her pace matched her heart rate — fast. She hadn’t traveled far when the sound of running footsteps caused Sarah to gasp.

She stopped and turned back, clutching her handbag close. Her wide eyes darted. Nothing there but dark shadows.

Sarah frowned at the darkness. She continued to her car, which was now close, all the while rueing her decision to refuse Melanie’s offer.

With a push of a button on her remote, she unlocked the doors as she approached. Her tension eased slightly when her vehicle’s indicator lights flashed twice, briefly tinging the darkness in yellow.

She heaved open her car door. Her small hand struggled to grip the car keys and the door handle. The keys fell from her hand. She cursed to herself as she bent down to collect them from the roadway.

When she stood back up, a leather-gloved hand came from behind her and covered her mouth. Before she could react, a large blade was thrust deep into her back.

The knife was like a hot iron. Its long blade struck a bone, possibly a rib. Blood flowed down her back while the gloved hand muffled Sarah’s agonized screams.

Sarah’s knees buckled. Before she could fall, the attacker withdrew the knife and plunged the bloodstained dagger twice more, deep into her back. The actions were so swift and clean Sarah did not feel any pain, only the force of the blows, followed by a tingling sensation in her back.

She hit the ground with a heavy thud. The balaclava-wearing attacker stood over her with eerie eyes that peered at her through the narrow slits. Nothing was said to explain the attack.

Her terror-filled eyes dropped to the blood-soaked knife held in the attacker’s gloved hand. She held up a hand. “I don’t want to die…Please…Why are you doing this?”

Her assailant did not respond.

All Sarah could do was watch helplessly as the attacker casually bent down and plunged the blade into her chest. Its blade pierced the sternum with ease before dissecting her heart.

The intense pain she felt was short-lived. The last thing Sarah would’ve seen was her attacker closely watching her as the light abandoned her eyes.

MAX

Max Higgins was mid-conversation on his mobile phone when a uniformed constable entered the office and approached his desk. Max held up a finger to the young cop while he completed his call.

“What time was this…?” Max said into his phone. “Aha…” He quickly scribbled some notes. “And that was the last time you saw him…? OK. Great. I have your number if I need anything else. Thanks for your call.”

He pushed a button on his mobile phone and dropped it onto his desk. He sighed heavily. “What can I do for you, mate?” He asked the young cop in a tone devoid of enthusiasm.

“Sorry to bother you, Detective…” The cop held out a single sheet of paper. “I think you might be interested in this.”

Max scanned the page. “If you have anything other than a foot-long Subway and a Pepsi there for me…I’m not interested. I haven’t had lunch yet.”

The young cop’s eyes lifted to the wall clock with its hands pointing to 2.55 pm.

Max checked his watch then rolled his eyes. He accepted the page and reclined his chair. He crossed his legs while he read what was so important.

“Hasn’t been seen since she left Ben’s Bar a little after 10.30 pm last night,” the young cop said.

“Last night…?” Max blurted. He glared at the cop under a heavily furrowed brow.

“When she failed to turn up at work this morning, her Manager called her mobile to check she was OK because she didn’t call in sick. The call went to voicemail.”

“How old is she…?” Max asked, devoid of any interest. He scanned the report. “26,” he said, answering his own question. “She probably picked up some guy last night at the bar and has been at his place fuc—”

“Her friends said she left alone…” The young cop said firmly.

Max peered over the report at the cop. “Why are you showing me this…?” Max said, holding a frowning glare. “I’m missing my lunch for this…”

“Well, you handle missing persons…this woman is missing. Her friends were worried because her social media accounts have been inactive all day, which was unusual, apparently.”

Max glared at the cop. “All day…You mean…she hasn’t used social media for a whole day. My God… Quick, call in the special ops…” he said, oozing with sarcasm. “I still don’t understand why you brought this to me?”

“Some of her colleagues visited her apartment and she wasn’t at home and her car was missing.”

Max rolled his eyes. “Did you consider she wasn’t home and her car wasn’t there because…she drove it somewhere…?” Max said. His patience wore thin.

His experience was in trying to locate long-term missing persons that were presumed murdered, and hopefully bring their killers to justice.

He didn’t care about people that failed to turn up to work after one day. History usually showed these people were located alive and well within a short period of time.

The young cop continued. “Her friends were worried about her, so they drove to where she parked her car last night, to check she had actually driven it home…”

“And…? I’m assuming there’s more to this…”

“She parked in Park Street, ’round the corner from the bar, but the car was not in the car park when they arrived there this morning.”

Max’s shoulders slumped slightly. He lobbed the page back at the cop and fell back in his chair.

The cop watched the page come to rest in front of himself. “What was there was a substantial amount of dried blood on the road,” the cop said.

Max’s eyebrows lifted. “How substantial…?”

“Substantial enough for it to have congealed…about one-meter square.”

Max leaned his elbows on the desk. That volume of blood loss concerned the experienced Detective. “Do we know if the blood is from her…?” He lifted his chin to the report on the desk.

“No.”

“OK. Let’s get crime scene down there to take a swab before it gets too contaminated. Is she married…? In a relationship…?” Max asked.

“No. Single. Lives on her own.”

“She’s probably just gone home to visit mum and dad for the weekend…Are we looking for her car?”

“Yeah, I informed the afternoon shift Sergeant and he mentioned it at the readout.”

“Ok. Good.”

“And what do you think about the blood on the road then…?” The young cop asked.

“I don’t know mate, I’m not clairvoyant… If it is hers…maybe she was assaulted or something. I don’t know.”

Max flicked a finger at the report on the desk. “So the friends have filed this missing person report because this…this…” he gestured to the page.

“Sarah Moon.”

“Sarah Moon never turned up to work this morning. Never answered her mobile phone and she was not home when they visited and her car was gone…”

“Correct.”

“So why do you think I would be interested in this?’

The cop nodded at the whiteboard off to the side of Max’s desk.

Max’s eyes followed. He eyed each of the four photos spread horizontally across the whiteboard. Each photo was a head and shoulders shot from a driver’s license photo sourced from the VicRoads database.

Each one was a missing person and each one was suspected of having encountered foul play.

Those are missing persons, mate,” Max said, lifting his chin to the photos. “They have all gone missing, disappeared under suspicious circumstances, and have been missing for some time…

Not one day like your Sarah Moon there,” he said, flicking a dismissive hand at the report.

“But doesn’t the blood on the road qualify as ‘suspicious circumstances’?” the cop asked.

“Is she actually missing? Does the blood belong to her? I don’t know and it is too early to tell at this stage.”

Max pushed himself from his seat and approached the whiteboard. “See here…” He tapped the first photo. “Brian Taylor. 29. Last seen when he left home to buy some milk for his wife. Missing since March 2016.”

He pointed to photo number two. “Jenny Cox. 26. Left to visit her parents in Bacchus Marsh. She never arrived. Missing since August 2016.”

He moved along and tapped photo number three. “Libby Vassillou. 27. Last seen as she set out hiking in the Otways, near Lorne. Missing since December 2016.

And Lance Edwards. 29. Last seen going for an evening jog and never returned. Missing since April 2017. No one has seen or heard from any of them since they went missing.”

He waved a hand across the photos. “That is what qualifies as a missing person…”

“What do you want me to do with this?” The Cop held up the missing person report.

“File it. Let me know if we get a match on the blood type found on the road. If she’s still missing in a few weeks or so, come back and see me then.” Max held his glare on the cop. “If there’s nothing else… I’m goin’ to get something to eat.”

Max watched the young cop traverse the bullpen and exit the room.

He rubbed a thoughtful hand across his mouth. The blood on the road concerned him, but until he was certain the girl was actually missing, he couldn’t take it much further.

***

In Australia, one person disappeared every fifteen minutes with more than 38,000 people reported missing each year.

While most people were found within a short period of time, there remain over 1,600 long-term missing persons.

Some people go missing with the intention of never being found again.

For whatever reason, some faked their own deaths, while others, usually the loner types, had no idea people were looking for them until they were located.

Then there were those who had met with foul play. These were the ones from the region that involved Max.

Invariably, those that were found after long-term disappearances were often located deceased and became cold case homicides.

However too many were never found again, leaving their loved ones, and cops like Max, wondering what happened to them.

It was this unknown that drove Max to try and find the answers to the mysterious puzzles of why these people went missing.

Max Higgins was a career cop working in the regional town of Geelong, located in the state of Victoria, in Australia’s south-east.

His male pattern baldness, “standard issue” police mustache, and expanding waistline all conspired to give the stereotypical appearance of a cop with many years’ experience.

He would love to boast greater success in his missing person’s investigations, but sadly he can’t. His current caseload of four missing persons had remained with him now for some time.

The oldest case dated back to late 2016. So the last thing he wanted was to add Sarah Moon to this list.

EMILY

“Go away,” Emily Davis screamed into the darkness, shattering the early morning serenity. She sat bolt upright in her bed.

Her chest heaved under her oversized night t-shirt. Her wide eyes scanned the darkness in front of her while her resting brain awoke.

Boyd flicked on the bedside light. “Are you alright?” Concern etched into his face as he regarded his wife sitting upright beside him.

Emily’s chest continued to heave under her heavy gasps for air. Her stare was blank.

Boyd rubbed a comforting hand across Emily’s back. “It’s OK. Breathe slowly…,” he said. His tone was calm. He rubbed large circles around her back. “Did you have another one…?” he asked knowingly.

Emily nodded slowly. Her shoulders slumped and her head dropped.

“It’s OK…Just breathe…” Boyd pressed a button on his mobile phone beside his bed. 3.23 am lit up on the display. He briefly shook a disapproving head at yet another early morning interruption.

Emily cupped her forehead as she fell back onto her bed. “I don’t know how much more of this I can take…” she said.

Boyd lifted himself onto an elbow as he regarded his wife. “I know… I know. They appear real… but they’re not. You know they’re not real. They’re just dreams…”

She draped an arm across her eyes, as Boyd’s words resonated. When awake her logical brain reassured her that she just had a vivid dream.

But it was her subconscious brain that presented these realistic nocturnal visions and they were frightening.

Boyd slipped out of bed, returning a short time later with a glass of water and a pill. He handed them to Emily.

Her hand shook as she raised the glass to her chapped lips. The first sip was like gravel in her parched throat.

Boyd gently eased the glass back to her mouth. Emily took another sip. This time the water passed more freely; it moistened her dry mouth.

“Do you want to talk about it?” Boyd asked.

Emily took another sip. She shook her head.

“It’s OK,” Boyd reassured.

Emily took comfort from her next sip of water. With a big gulp, she emptied the glass.

Boyd held out his hand. “Do you think you will be able to get back to sleep?”

Emily handed him the empty glass. “I can try…” She reclined back and snuggled under her covers.

Boyd watched her settle. He placed the glass beside his phone and turned out the bedside light.

***

The next morning, Boyd was sitting at the breakfast bench reading the Saturday morning newspaper when Emily shuffled her way into the kitchen.

“Good morning, Hun,” she said. Her disheveled, matted hair was evidence of yet another restless night.

Boyd lifted his eyes from the paper. “Good morning. How’d you sleep…?” He said, watching her move through the kitchen.

Emily grabbed a mug. “I’m so sorry for waking you up, again.”

“Don’t worry about it. I keep telling you that.”

Emily forced out a smile. “I slept OK. Once I fell back to sleep, I slept pretty solid. There were no more disruptions.” She poured a coffee from the percolator.

“Good to hear.” Boyd watched her slip onto the stool beside him.

Emily held her mug with both hands as she sought comfort from her early morning coffee. The black rings under her eyes and ashen appearance were testament to the effect these nighttime interruptions had on her health.

For some time now, too long for her to remember, Emily had been visited in her sleep by these unknown people; often a different one each time.

She knew they were there because she felt them nudge her, or tap her on the shoulder. At least that was what her subconscious brain told her while she slept. To her, it all appeared so real.

For the most part, these visitors, all adults, usually stood beside her bed and stared at her, only leaving when she woke in fright. Nothing was said and no reason was given for these recurring nocturnal visits.

In recent weeks the visits occurred more regularly. The stress they caused impacted Emily’s general wellbeing. It wasn’t so much the sleep deprivation these visits caused, although Boyd would probably argue otherwise, it was the psychological stress that affected Emily.

Who were these people? Why did they visit her in her sleep? Were they nothing more than figments of her overactive imagination?

Were they people that had passed on? Did they want some help from her? These questions and more occupied her waking thoughts for hours following each nightly episode.

“Which one was it last night…?” Boyd asked while he regarded his wife.

Emily sipped on her coffee for courage. History had taught her that she felt better if she talked about it the morning after it happened. It seemed to help purge them from her conscious thoughts.

“The man with the full-faced beard…” Emily said.

Boyd nodded. He was fully aware of all Emily’s nocturnal visitors; their physical descriptions at least. “He hasn’t been back for a while, has he?”

Emily shook her head. “No. No, he hasn’t. Last night he woke me up and then stared at me for so long. Then he moved to the foot of the bed where he continued to stare at me in complete silence.

I wish I knew what they wanted from me.” Her fixed glare shifted to her husband. “Do you think I am being haunted by ghosts or something?”

“All I know is…they are not real. They are manifestations in your subconscious brain while you sleep. They can’t hurt you because they do not exist. They are not really standing there.”

Emily sipped on her coffee as she silently wished they would all leave her alone.

 

Read the full uncensored books on the Galatea iOS app!

2

MAX

Wednesday morning was about to get a whole lot more unpleasant for Max. He received the memo, but simply forgot the significance of this date. He was distracted by his growing caseloads.

Max sat at his desk in the back corner of his office. Earlier in the morning, he noted that most of his colleagues were absent, but he never gave it another thought.

He was about to learn the reason for their collective absenteeism.

His Detective Senior Sergeant entered the bullpen, accompanied by two senior officers from upstairs and the Victoria Government Police Minister. Max’s shoulders slumped when he saw the visitors enter the room.

He rolled his eyes then as if by instinct, quickly scanned for an escape route. Problem was, the only way out was blocked by the entering entourage. He was trapped.

Today was a day that all cops like Max tried to avoid.

Usually when dignitaries were scheduled to visit, Max and many of his other like-minded colleagues, intentionally made sure they were absent from the station for the period of the visit.

As the entourage approached, Max silently rued his carelessness. He knew the Minister was coming for a visit, he just simply forgot.

Frankly, he couldn’t be bothered with all the protocol bullshit that surrounded these visits. And all the arse kissing made him sick.

“Ah, over here we have Detective Sergeant Max Higgins…” The Senior Sergeant said as the group moved towards Max.

Max was like a deer in the headlights as they approached. He froze, watching them near, step-by-step.

“Max leads up our missing persons team here at Geelong,” The Senior Sergeant said.

The Minister approached Max and shook his hand.

“Minister,” Max said with a nod. He didn’t vote for the incumbent Government and he did not like the work this particular Minister did for the police.

“You are doing a wonderful job here Detective,” the Police Minister said. It was a perfunctory comment that attempted to disguise his lack of genuine interest.

The Politician glanced around the near-empty office before he returned his focus to Max.

He gestured to Max’s whiteboard containing five photographs. “Are these people all missing?” he asked.

“They are…” Max said.

“Why don’t you run through some of these cases for Minister Newel,” Max’s boss said.

“What about this one here,” the Minister said. He gestured towards the photo of a female. “This young red-haired woman here. She has that typical Irish appearance, doesn’t she? Red hair. Pale white skin and green eyes.”

“That’s one of the more recent cases. She went missing about four months ago.”

Newell approached the board and read the name under the photograph. “Sarah Moon…26 years of age,” he read. “Hmmm. What are the circumstances of her disappearance?”

Max had no interest in entertaining this Minister with war stories, but he did so under sufferance. Frankly, he wanted to keep his job, so he played along.

“She was last seen at a CBD hotel drinking with friends. Left the hotel shortly after 10.30 pm and hasn’t been seen since. A substantial quantity of blood was found on the roadway beside where she parked her car.

We have obtained DNA from the blood, but we don’t have anything to match it to, at this stage. Her abandoned vehicle was found burnt out in farmland south of Winchelsea about two weeks after she disappeared,” Max said.

“Winchelsea is a small country town about forty kilometers south-west of us here at Geelong, Sir,” The Senior Sergeant said to his visitor. “It has a population of about 2000 residents.”

“I see…Yes, yes. I think I know that town,” The Police Minister said, without any semblance of conviction. “Any leads on this one Sergeant?”

Max shook his head. That was always the question he found hardest to answer. The longer a case went on, the less likely they would be found alive, if at all. And that brought with it a sense of failure.

“No. nothing much is known about this disappearance at this stage.”

Newell strolled the length of the board examining each of the photos on display. He gestured to the first photo.

“This poor gent has been missing since 2016,” he said, stating the obvious. “And what about him? Not much is known of his whereabouts either?” The Minister said as a question that to Max, sounded riddled with condescension.

Would he be on the board if we knew his whereabouts?Max thought. Using all his restraint, what he actually said was, “That’s correct.”

Max checked his watch. He’d had enough of this time-wasting bullshit. Fortunately, the Police Minister took the not-so-subtle hint.

“Well, we shall leave you to it, Detective. I won’t take up any more of your valuable time. Thank you for running through your cases with me,” he said.

Max nodded once. “You’re welcome,” is what he said. Now piss off, is what he thought.

EMILY

The lack of sleep from this morning’s nocturnal visitor started to show on Emily. She had already shut her eyes twice while sitting at her desk.

So the timely morning coffee break stroll from the office to her favorite café reinvigorated her.

Her workmate, Naomi entered first then held the door for Emily to enter behind her. The tantalizing smell of freshly Barista-brewed coffee welcomed them as they stepped inside.

“I never get tired of that aroma…” Emily said.

The queue was long, but it moved fast. Emily ordered for both of them then moved over to stand off to the side with Naomi.

Naomi watched Emily approach. “You look so tired, Em… Are you sleeping OK?”

“This morning I didn’t, no…”

“Another visitor…?”

“Aha.”

Naomi shook a slow sympathetic head. She was Emily’s closest workmate and the only person at their work who knew of Emily’s strange, early morning visitors.

It helped Emily to have someone at work to discuss these “visitors” with; someone who didn’t think she was a complete nutcase. Someone who believed her for what she thought she saw.

And that someone was Naomi, who loyally kept Emily’s secret.

Emily couldn’t afford her boss to find out about her dreams. She knew in her own mind that if it was anyone else who claimed to be visited by unknown people in their dreams, she would be cynically judgemental of them.

So, through fear her boss would question her mental stability, Emily kept her problems from her boss.

She loved her job as the Accounts Manager in one of the country’s big four banks and could not afford to have her sanity questioned over these early morning visits.

While waiting, both girls casually monitored the coming and goings of the many office workers seeking their morning cuppa of choice from the popular café. People watching helped pass the wait time.

“I was a little uncomfortable bringing this up…” Naomi began. “But seeing how tired you look…I figured, what the hell.”

“Uncomfortable bringing what up…?” Emily said. She nudged Naomi then discretely lifted her chin to the hot guy entering the café.

Both girls’ heads followed the suit-wearing man as he moved to join the back of the queue.

Naomi smiled knowingly to Emily as she lifted her phone and tapped on the screen. “Do you ever wonder why these people who visit you, picked you…?”

“Only every day,” Emily said while she continued to leer at the cute guy.

“What if these people were murdered and they were coming to you for help…”

“Why me…? How can I help a ghost?”

Naomi turned her phone screen to Emily. “I saw this the other day and I thought of you.”

Emily took the phone and read the screen. She shook her head and handed the phone straight back to Naomi. “See, I don’t believe in that shit, Nomes,” Emily said. Her tone was direct.

“Hear me out, Em…These people that come to you in your dreams are most likely dead. Stands to reason, doesn’t it?”

“Order for Emily…” a Barista called.

Emily pushed herself away from the wall and collected their order. She handed Naomi her coffee. As they strolled to the exit Emily said, “I have no idea if they are dead or just dreams…All I know is…I wish they would stop.”

Naomi lifted her phone screen to Emily. “Could this really hurt? What if it gave you some answers…? Would that be so bad?”

“And what if it didn’t…? I’m not into all that witchcraft hoo haa.”

“It’s not witchcraft… Look here…” Naomi read from her phone. “A Medium is a person who mediates communication between spirits of the dead and the living.”

“Aha… Just like I said….Witchcraft.”

Naomi rolled frustrated eyes at Emily. “I’ll go with you, if you want company. If you can talk to these experts, it may give you answers… reasons why you are visited in your sleep.”

Emily had to admit, Naomi made some sense. But the cynical part of her, the part that disbelieved in ghosts and the afterlife, prevented her from embracing Naomi’s suggestion.

Maybe it was time to step outside her comfort zone and explore some alternatives to why these visits kept happening.

She held out her hand to Naomi. “Give me a look at that.” Naomi smiled her satisfaction as she handed Emily the phone. Emily read from the screen.

“A Psychic Medium’s skills and connection to the after-life support investigations and assist law enforcement agencies solve crimes.”

She lifted her eyes to Naomi. “Could this be what it’s all about, Nomes…? They just want my help?”

Naomi shrugged. “Could be.”

For the next twenty, or so metres, while reading the screen, Emily unwittingly became one of those people she observed on a daily basis who annoyed her.

Like those inconsiderate people, she now walked along the busy footpath with her eyes buried into a mobile phone. And yes, on more than one occasion, she did almost career into oncoming foot traffic.

“Scroll all the way to the bottom,” Naomi said.

Emily scrolled.

“See there…” Naomi began. “An actual Medium is holding a seminar in Melbourne next month…I reckon you should go.”

“Aren’t these things just tricks…you know scams…? Don’t they have people planted in the audience, or something?”

“I don’t know Em…What have you got to lose?”

“$140 for starters. They’re kidding themselves, aren’t they? Who’d pay that?”

Naomi scoffed. “You’d be surprised Em. Look, think of it as an investment into curing all this. What better way to get the answers you seek…I’ll come with if you want.”

Emily lifted the phone to Naomi. “You’d spend $140 on this bullshit…just for me?”

“I’d do anything for you if it will help you with these nighttime visitors.”

Emily hugged Naomi. She was warmed by her friend’s loyalty.

Naomi moved ahead and opened the door to their building. Emily moved through first, handing Naomi back her phone as she passed.

As they strolled to the elevator lobby Naomi asked, “Well…what do you think? Interested in going?”

“I’ll have a think about it and chat with Boyd. See what he thinks.”

“Good girl.”

Emily watched Boyd top up her red wine, then his own. She was keen to discuss Naomi’s suggestion about the Medium seminar with Boyd.

However she was a little nervous discussing something they both believed were scams, run to profit people who preyed on the vulnerable, or even the gullible.

She had it all planned out. While enjoying their pasta dinner tonight, she would casually raise Naomi’s suggestion, to seek her husband’s opinion, and gauge his response. Problem was, dinner was almost over.

Boyd caught Emily’s contemplative expression. “You OK…?” he asked. “You seem a little quiet tonight. Did you have a bad day at work?”

Emily forced out a smile. “No. No. work’s good. I’m just really tired from this morning’s episode. I didn’t sleep well after it.”

Boyd twirled his pasta around his fork. “You and me both…” he said, then shoveled the sizable serving into his mouth.

“There’s something I want to talk to you about…” Emily said. She surprised herself. The words came out of her mouth before she had time to think about what to say.

Boyd reached for his wine. “What’s up? Everything OK…?” He said. He regarded Emily as he sipped on his wine.

Emily’s long pause in responding must’ve worried Boyd. It wasn’t intended, she just searched for the right words.

It was always going to be difficult to sell the seminar idea to Boyd, when in her own mind, just like Boyd, she was a disbeliever.

Boyd leaned on his elbows. He regarded Emily with a frowning brow as he waited for her to respond. “Em…? What’s up? Talk to me. Are we good..?”

Emily’s face lit up. “Yes. Of course, we’re good.” She placed a reassuring hand over Boyd’s hand. “It’s just that…well…I think I’m becoming desperate for answers as to why I keep getting these early morning dreams.”

“That’s more than understandable, Hun. I wish I knew the answers. I wish I could help more.”

“You know Naomi from work…?” Boyd nodded as he shoveled some pasta into his mouth. “I was chatting with her today about my most recent visit.

She showed me something she found on the internet that she thinks might help me understand what, and why things are happening to me.”

“OK…”

“Naomi thinks I might unknowingly have some sort of ability to communicate with the afterlife…” Emily cringed slightly as the words left her mouth.

Boyd held Emily’s gaze for an extended, uncomfortable pause before he responded. “And what do you think about that?”

“Honestly…I’m like you. I don’t believe in that afterlife stuff…But do you have any other alternatives as to why this keeps happening to me…?”

“I wish I did. But I don’t.”

Emily slid her phone closer and brought up the website she visited earlier with Naomi. She slid the phone to Boyd. He read from the display.

Emily thought she saw his shoulders slump, ever so slightly. Boyd scrolled the screen as he continued to read.

He pushed the phone back to Emily. “OK,” he said. “And you would like to go to that seminar…?” he said, lifting his chin to the phone. His tone sounded disappointed.

“I don’t know Hun. It sounded like a good idea today, but now I’m not so sure. I’m just over all this…”

“Hey,” Boyd began. He placed his hand over Emily’s hand. “If you think this, this seminar thing will help…then why don’t you give it a try.”

Emily’s face lit up again, this time with excitement. “Really…? You don’t think I’m being gullible..?”

“I didn’t say that…” Boyd said. “But if you think it will help you cope with it all, then I think you should give it a try.”

“It costs $140…”

“I saw that. Look at it this way…It is an investment in your health. If we went for an MRI or a CT scan over something wrong with our health, it would cost more than that and we would still do it, regardless of the cost.”

Emily smiled her relief. “Naomi said she would come with me…”

“With us…” Boyd began. “I’ll request a day shift, or a day off. So if she wants to go to this seminar, she can come with us.I’m not letting you go on your own…”

Emily cupped her hands to her mouth. Her eyes welled with tears. She was so happy her husband had chosen to support her. “Thank you so much, Hun,” she said.

’Go ahead and make the bookings, “Boyd said. “Who knows, it might be entertaining.”

 

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