It’s Christmastime. The tree is set up in the corner of the small living room, lights are gleaming on the tree, and it’s even snowing outside.
It’s bedtime. Time to get on your pajamas, brush your teeth, comb your hair, and climb into bed. At six years of age, it takes awhile to make my way through that list, but I eventually do. I finish in the bathroom and turn out the light.
It’s dark in the hallway. It’s dark in the bathroom. It’s dark everywhere. Suddenly, I’m scared of the dark, scared of what’s hiding in the darkness.
Mom! I cry and make my way into the living room, slightly illuminated by the lights on the tree. I see her in the distance of the room, walking toward the tree. But something’s wrong. She looks sad. She’s not looking at me as I call out to her. She just keeps walking, out of my range of vision, blocked by the hallway wall.
I start to run, just a little quicker. Where’d she go? What was wrong? I turn the corner to find her, but nothing’s there. It’s just the Christmas tree, standing alone in the corner.
I start to cry. Where’s my mom? I need my mom!
All of a sudden I hear her calling me from back by the bathroom. I turn and run to her voice. She sees I’m upset and hugs me close.
“I just saw you,” I say, trembling with fear. “But it wasn’t you!”
“You’re ok now. Don’t worry sweetheart.”
The occurrence that will forever replay in my mind when thinking about or discussing ghost stories.