Chantia ran her hands nervously down her sides, trying to make sure her dress was sitting correctly. She was going to see someone at the bank to try and take out a loan for the house, but she wasn’t sure if the dress created the image she wanted to go for. She wasn’t the type to wear dresses or makeup, but she wanted to appear slightly older and hopefully more mature in order to increase her chances at the bank.
“I’m not so sure about this dress…” she fretted nervously. She hadn’t had a lot of chances to prove herself at her job, so she was rather worried that she’d be refused a loan. Weren’t people supposed to be properly established in their jobs to qualify for a loan?
“Chantia, you’ll be fine,” Evelyn reassured her daughter. “You have a well-paying job and no bad debt on your name. There shouldn’t be a reason for them to refuse you. You shouldn’t worry so much.”
Chantia sighed heavily and dropped her hands from her sides. She couldn’t help that she was worrying so much – this meeting was going to be the making or breaking point as to whether she’ll be able to buy the house or not! Add to the fact that she had only recently started working and she was pretty sure it was acceptable for her to worry.
The doorbell rang. Chantia took a deep breath, knowing it was time to face the challenge lying ahead of her.
“Hey,” Sam greeted her with a smile. Chantia was irrationally glad to see him. She had asked him to accompany her to the bank (as moral support) and she had been half afraid he would refuse. Instead, he had smiled at her and promised her he’d be there. He wouldn’t be there at the actual meeting itself, but he would be waiting for her when she was done with the meeting.
“Hi,” she greeted him back nervously before giving him a hug. She was nervous, but already she was slightly calmer. Sam really was a good influence on her. He patted her comfortingly on the back before he pulled back and smiled reassuringly at her.
“Come on, let’s go,” he told her and led her to the taxi that was still waiting for them. Yes, she had a perfectly functional car, but she didn’t want to arrive at the bank in a car that looked like it was held together by duct tape.
On the way to the bank, Sam drew Chantia’s attention away from the upcoming meeting by threading his fingers with hers.
“You know, today’s the last day the spring festival will be in town,” he reminded her. “Do you want to go? After the meeting, I mean,” he suggested.
Chantia smiled at him. “Sure,” she agreed happily. It might be fun to go to the festival. She hadn’t attended a festival in years. She was suddenly reminded of the last time she had attended the fair, causing her to burst out laughing. Plumbob, she’d been a sulky child.
“You know, the last time I attended a fair it rained out,” she informed him nostalgically. “I refused to go home, so instead I stayed at the fair and got soaking wet. The pollen in the air also caused my allergies to flare up, so in the end the day was such a let-down,” she laughed reminiscently. She continued telling Sam about her first festival visit for the rest of the trip, and by the time they reached the bank she had completely forgotten about her nerves.
Of course, the moment they arrived at the bank she was instantly reminded again. Who was she, a girl in her early twenties, to think she’d be able to qualify for a loan? She continued fretting until Sam reassuringly squeezed her hand.
“You’ll be fine,” he parroted her parents. “Good luck.”
Chantia smiled shakily at him and nodded before entering the building. It was time to face the music.
In the end, the meeting was a bit anti-climactic. Chantia didn’t know what she had been expecting, but the woman behind the desk only asked her to complete an application form and hand in some documents before taking everything and telling Chantia that she’d be informed within several days whether her application was approved or not. After that Chantia was brusquely dismissed, leaving her to stare at the woman in bewilderment.
“Wait, that’s it?” she asked, somewhat confused by the proceedings. The woman looked up with a slightly irritated expression.
“Yes. We’ll contact you if your application gets approved,” she repeated impatiently.
Chantia decided it would be better to leave the woman to her work after that, leaving with Sam for the spring festival instead.
When they arrived at the festival it was already quite busy. There were people at every activity, either participating or just mingling around. The entire atmosphere surrounding the festival was filled with infectious excitement and it wasn’t long before the excitement infected Chantia as well.
“This was a great idea,” she informed Sam smilingly before pulling him away to attempt the activities provided by the festival.
They spent the rest of the day at the festival, trying out the numerous activities available and simply enjoying the wonderful weather. By the time they broke for lunch they had done the horseshoes (which Chantia had won), the greeting card and the Love Tester (where their love had been declared as passionate).
After lunch, they spent the afternoon doing the more physical activities, like skating and dancing. Chantia was somewhat sceptical about the skating rink at first – sure, she had gone ice skating before and there wasn’t a lot of difference between the two…but skating in a dress was a different story entirely.
“This is a bad idea,” she complained nervously once she got onto the rink. “What if I fall? Wearing a dress is pretty, but it really doesn’t provide much protection,” she explained worriedly. Sam chuckled at her and put his hand of the small of her back to help her along.
“Don’t worry so much,” he teased her with a fond smile. “You can use me to break your fall, if you really think it’s necessary.”
“It’s a bad idea,” Chantia repeated, but her broad smile took the sting out of her words and she allowed Sam to guide her along on the rink. In the end, she did fall, but because Sam went down with her and only laughed when they fell, it didn’t bother her that much.
Still, after that Chantia decided the risk for falling was too high, so instead they retreated to the dance floor (where the risk for falling was much lower).
By the time they had enough of dancing, the fair was winding down and darkness was starting to fall. One by one the lights started to come on and the noise level started getting down as the park were depleted of children and filled with couples celebrating Love Day instead.
“Thank you for today,” Chantia told Sam as they relaxed at the fountain. “I had a lot of fun. We should do this again.”
Sam smiled happily at her. “I’m glad you enjoyed it.”
Chantia sighed contently and wrapped her arms around Sam, enjoying his presence. The time she spent with him always seemed so endless. She could honestly see herself spending the rest of her life with him.
A slight breeze started blowing softly, rustling the leaves in the park and causing the water of the fountain to patter slightly louder onto the residue water. In a bush to their left, a cricket started chirping, creating additional ambient sound. Chantia allowed herself to just relax and enjoy the moment, but the moment lasted far too short before Sam pulled away from her.
He rubbed his neck, a sure sign he was nervous.
“I, uhm, there’s something I want to tell you,” he told her somewhat nervously. At her quizzical ‘okay’, he took a deep breath and started talking.
“People have told me before that I have a gift with words; that I have a very beautiful way of stating things and provoking emotions from people’s hearts. The thing is, I tried extremely hard, but I just simply couldn’t find the words to describe you,” he confessed. “There are so many ways to describe you, and yet, none of those ways quite manage to do you justice. So, Chantia, instead of waxing fancy poems and the like, I’d rather keep it simple and let my actions speak for themselves.”
In conclusion, he did something Chantia really hadn’t been expecting at all.
Time stopped. She couldn’t tear her eyes away from the man in front of her, and the small black velvet box in his hand, opened up to reveal one of the most beautiful rings she had ever seen. It was perfect. Sam didn’t even need to ask the question anymore, but he did it anyway.
“Chantia, will you marry me?”
She couldn’t speak. She couldn’t breathe. All she could do was stare at him and hope her growing smile and nearly imperceptible nod would answer him.
“Yes,” she finally agreed breathlessly. “Yes, I will marry you.”
Chantia walked around on clouds for the next couple of days, constantly pausing to look at the ring on her hand. She honestly couldn’t remember ever being so happy before. How many times had she daydreamt before to spend the rest of her life with Sam? He was the only person she’d ever dated, but he was so perfect for her. He was everything she could ever hope for.
Her happiness only increased when the bank finally contacted her and informed her that her application had been approved. It would take several weeks before everything would be finalized, but pretty soon she’d be the proud owner of the house on the hill.
The wonderful news caused Chantia to make a long-overdue visit.
“I missed you,” Chantia told Charlotte as she gave her oldest friend a hug. Between attending university and making arrangements for the house, it felt like she hadn’t seen her friend in ages.
“It’s been a while,” Charlotte agreed with a smile, just as happy to see her friend. Chantia took a deep breath and launched into conversation, explaining the real reason she visited the ghost.
“I’m buying the house,” she informed her best and oldest friend. The ghostly girl hadn’t changed at all in all the time Chantia had known her. “I’ve made arrangements and signed a contract and everything, so it’s official: I’m buying the house. Now you guys don’t have to worry about losing your home.”
For a long minute Charlotte just stared at Chantia, before a broad and genuine smile appeared on her face.
“It wasn’t really necessary,” Charlotte assured Chantia, “but thank you. Really, thank you. You have no idea how much this means to us.”
Chantia gave the ghost a hug, happy she made the long-dead girl smile again. It had been a long time since she’s seen such a genuine smile from the ghost.
“Oh, and I’m getting married!” Chantia continued enthusiastically. “To Sam. Well, his name’s actually Samuel, but we just call him Sam. He’s been my boyfriend ever since high school,” she explained excitedly. “It’s a pity he’s unable to see ghosts – I’d have loved to have you meet each other.”
“Oh,” Charlotte replied with surprise in her voice. “Well, congratulations then. I hope the two of you are happy and I wish you the best of luck.” She hesitated slightly before continuing. “What…kind of person is he?” she asked hesitantly.
Chantia smiled happily and told Charlotte everything she could about Sam; about how supportive he was of her; of how he just understood her; of his dream of being a professional writer and everything else she could think of. By the time she finished, Charlotte had a carefully blank expression on her face, but then the light flickered slightly across her face and Chantia was left uncertain if the expression had really existed.
“He sounds nice,” Charlotte replied with a smile. “Even so, I’d really love to meet him. Maybe…Mia’s potion?” she suggested hesitantly. “If Mia can replicate her potion, then…Sam…will be able to see me, right?”
“Hmm,” Chantia mused before she nodded. “You’re right, it should work. I’ll ask her when I see her again,” she promised.
As promised, Chantia talked to Mia. Mia still had her notes of creating the potion, so she had absolutely no problem with giving one to her sister. Charlotte was an important part of Chantia’s life and Sam was also an important part, so Mia could understand why her sister wanted the potion.
“As promised, one ‘ghost potion’,” Mia stated as she handed the potion over. “Don’t drink it – it must be thrown on the ground. Once you step into the vapours it should start working,” she delivered the instructions.
Several days later, Chantia managed to convince Sam to use the potion. He was a bit sceptical, but Chantia had to admit his expression was pretty funny when he noticed he had turned into a ghost.
“What the – did this thing kill me?!” Sam asked in a panicked voice. Chantia laughed and pulled him closer to her, proving he wasn’t quite as incorporeal as he appeared. Of course, the fact that it was Chantia touching him instead of someone unable to interact with ghosts didn’t exactly help his cause.
“You’re still alive, silly,” Chantia assured her fiancé. “I told you this would happen, remember?” Sam raised an eyebrow, clearly disagreeing with her.
“Not quite,” he disagreed. “You told me this thing would make me see ghosts, not make me become a ghost.”
“Details, details,” Chantia waved her hand dismissively. “The end result is the same. You’ll be like that for three hours, and then you’ll be able to interact with ghosts further on.”
Sam agreed to meet Charlotte, so Chantia took him to the house she now owned and introduced him to the ghosts. Charlotte in particular made sure to talk a long time with, seemingly trying to decide whether she approved of him or not.
Chantia, meanwhile, took the time to reconnect with the other ghosts again. While she still considered them as some of her best friends, it had been some time since she had last spoken with them.
“Clint’s gone?!” Chantia asked incredulously after hearing the news. She had noticed the blue ghost had been missing the last couple of times she had visited, but she had never considered that he might actually be gone.
“Yes,” Angelica confirmed with a complex tone – Chantia could hear sadness, happiness, and yes, even a bit of envy in the ghost’s voice. “That sweet girl of his passed away, so he moved on to be with her again,” the age-old woman explained. “He was so in love when he died, and she was so heartbroken, that he decided to stay and watch over her,” Angelica explained reminiscently. “She’s joined him now, so they moved on together.”
Chantia stared at Angelica, her eyes burning slightly. Clint was her friend, and she’ll really miss him, but the way Angelica talked about it…she couldn’t help but to feel happy for him.
“Oh,” she said, her voice catching slightly. “Well, in that case, I…well, I guess I’m happy for him. I’m really going to miss him, though.”
Angelica smiled sadly. “I know,” she agreed tearily, “but I’m so happy for him. Life as a Lost is very lonely, and so very few of us get the chance to resolve our reason before being forced to move on. That Clint satisfied his reason…” she wiped away ghostly tears, shaking her head. “He is such a lucky man.”
“Yeah,” Chantia agreed softly, feeling her chest tighten. She couldn’t help but be sad that he was gone, but put like that…she really was happy for him.
“Anyway,” Angelica changed the subject, wiping away the last of her tears, “I hear you’re getting married. I just want to say congratulations,” the woman congratulated Chantia with that decidedly proud tone that only elders seemed to get correct.
Before long, the sky started to darken, heralding the end of their visit. Just before Chantia and Sam left, Charlotte pulled Chantia away, anxious to talk to her.
“Your Sam is…he’s a very nice person,” the ghost informed her diplomatically, but Chantia wasn’t blind. She could see something was bothering her friend. She crossed her arms across her chest, slightly on edge.
“But something is bothering you, right?” Chantia asked suspiciously. “Like what?” Sam was a wonderful man. Why would Charlotte have a problem with him?
Charlotte hesitated slightly before taking the plunge. “I don’t trust him,” she stated bluntly. “He’s a nice guy, Chantia, but…” She shook her head, “…he’s too perfect. Nobody’s that perfect.”
Chantia scoffed, highly offended. “Excuse me? Sam is a wonderful person – there’s nothing wrong with him! I can’t…why would you say something like that?”
“I’m not saying he’s a bad person Chantia,” Charlotte protested, “I’m just saying you should –”
“No Charlotte. I don’t care what you say. I have never been so offended,” Chantia interrupted angrily. “How can you say that? You know how important he is to me!” With that she stalked away with angry tears in her eyes, ignoring Charlotte’s calls to listen to her.
Sam was a wonderful person. She knew him. Nothing was wrong with him, and he wasn’t hiding anything from her. She couldn’t believe Charlotte would implicate he wasn’t to be trusted. Sam was everything she had ever wanted in a man. He was amazing and understanding and loving and supportive and perfect and –
- and nobody’s perfect, her mind whispered traitorously.
So Chantia managed to get the house after all. I’d say she had some interesting ups and downs in this chapter. The wedding was originally supposed to be in this chapter, but the scenes with the ghosts sneaked in so I had to move the wedding to a later chapter. But I managed to sneak some plot in, so I’m happy. :)