Arriving Unannounced

I was sat at the kitchen table when I saw it, just the other week. Behind me, a window above the sink displayed the garden, which was still but not quite tranquil. Whilst there was no wind to disturb a single leaf or branch, there was no warmth or sunshine either, and so the lawn and its many accompanying plants were a somewhat unremarkable sight on this particular day. It tended not to interest me anyway, and my attention was indeed commanded by my laptop, at which I was typing away eagerly with only a mug of tea for company. The brightness of the screen had been turned down to preserve battery power, so the light from the great outdoors shone heavily on the screen. In this was reflected myself and everything behind me – cupboards, the kettle and the aforementioned window. 

Very little is capable of breaking my concentration when I am engrossed in typing, but I would soon be stopped instantly in my tracks when the bottom-left hand corner showed me a most unexpected but intriguing visitor. Framed perfectly by the right-angle of the laptop corner, I was sure that a face had appeared for a split second in the window, as though someone was standing on the garden path that ran in front of it. I initially thought that maybe it was Dad, but if that had been the case, I would have recognised him immediately. Instead, I struggled to make out any features at all. No eyes, ears, nose, mouth or hair. No clothing of any kind. It was almost like whoever I had seen was merely a silhouette.

My reaction to this seemingly shapeless figure was what surprised me the most. I did not wheel round to see if anyone or anything was actually there. I was not scared, and I did not fear for my safety. The possibility of the visitor being an intruder or even a ghost – if you believe in that sort of thing – never crossed my mind. I was as cool as a cucumber and, interestingly, I found myself thinking back to somebody I used to know, but unfortunately am no longer in contact with. I had always longed for a reconciliation since we last spoke, and this desire had intensified more than ever in the weeks leading up to this visitation. I imagined the visitor taking the form of this person and granting me my dearest wish, but sadly it was not to be. As I have already said, the appearance was fleeting, but the impact it made has lasted. Some unexpected visitors are cold callers, frowned upon by those on the receiving end and swiftly forgotten once the encounter is over. Mine, however, had the effect of causing me to reminisce about better times, and hope once again that they may be rekindled one day. Perhaps it was less of a ghost, and more of an angel.



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