29. Let Me Call You Sweetheart

“Lookaway” is the name of the old house on Manila Street. It was a wedding gift from Mr. Whitson to his new bride, Beth Slater Whitson. You have probably never heard of her.  When the house was for sale a couple of years ago, the listing made no mention of her ever having lived there.  The last thing anyone who wants to sell that house wants to do is to draw attention to Mrs.Whitson.

Of course, after a while, you can’t help but notice her.  You’ll come home to find your clean pots out of the cupboard an arranged on the kitchen stove. You’ll be sitting in the living room, reading a book, and the television will come on and start to flip through channels. Lights will be on in rooms you know you left dark.

And sometimes the air will hang heavy with the smell of magnolia blossoms, even with the windows shut, even when the magnolias aren’t in bloom.

Even the neighborhood children who use the huge front yard like a neighborhood park will come home singing “Let me call you sweetheart, I’m in love with you. Let me hear you whisper that you love me, too.” And when their mothers ask, “Did you make that up?” the children say, “No, that woman in the funny dress sings it when she’s on the porch.”

And, by this point, the mothers don’t even bother to look out their windows in suspicion.

“It’s like this,” one says to me, “I don’t want to live there and I would scream if I ever saw her, but she’s kind of our neighbor, so what can you do? I heard they called in a pastor to bless the place, but he said he didn’t think she was evil or trapped there. She’s just where she wants to be. There’s nothing he can do. Just wait for her to move on.”

“Or be forgotten?”

“How are you going to forget someone who’s teaching your kids those old-fashioned songs? Did you listen to what I told you?”

2 thoughts on “29. Let Me Call You Sweetheart

  1. I guess it’s just another one of the many, many ~”Coincidence is…”~ associated with my ~”book”~ ( which is free at http://www.LoveGodIsLove.org ). But the map above shows the street where I lived, which I mention in my ~”book”~. It’s also another ~”Coincidence”~ that today is the 3rd anniversary of my mothers death. She died on 10/29/06. And the address of the only house she ever owned is 1029 Granada Ave. Here’s another excerpt from my ~”book”~ about my mothers death. This excerpt is not in my ~”book”~ on line. This hadn’t happened when I had the first printing of my ~”book”~ done. Here tiz:
    “My mother died on 10/29/06. The next night I was in the kitchen, when my wife yelled up at me from the den, “Where’s this smell coming from?”. I replied, “What smell? What does it smell like?”. She said “Perfume, there’s the very strong smell of perfume down here. Where’s it coming from?” Then she began yelling, “Hurry, come down here before it’s gone.” I stopped what I was doing, walk to where she was sitting and took a whiff of the air. Sure enough, there was a very, very strong smell of perfume. And it smelled just like the perfume my mother wore when I was a child. It brought back childhood feelings, emotions and a couple of vague memories. A second or two later, I sniffed the air again, and it was completely gone. Strong smells do not vanish instantly.
    A week later, I found, “XXX-999-444 ?” had been left on my caller ID three hours after she died. Never in my life have I seen a “999” prefix. “999” and “444” are very significant to this story. I called it; it had been disconnected with no information available.
    In the nursing home she often talked about ~“going home”~. The street address of the only home she ever owned was ~1029~.”
    Here is what is above this excerpt about my mother:

    “Event #527

    This is on the next to last page of the book ~ “Holes in the floor of heaven” ~ by Steve Warner. It was the first thing I opened to, the first time I tried my ~“A.D.”~ with this book.

    Once in a dream I saw the flowers
    That bud and bloom in paradise;
    More fair are they than waking eyes
    Have seen in this world of ours.

    ~ “Who has seen the wind …” ~ Christina Rossetti (1830 – 1894)
    My mother died on 10/29/06. The next night I was in the …”
    Isn’t is ~”odd”~ that you would post a story about a house that is just down the street from my mother’s house on the date of death. ~ “Coincidence is God’s way of remaining anonymous.”~ Albert Einstein

  2. I think I would prefer a ghost who sits on the porch and sings to the one who lives in our house and just messes with the electrical system.

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