ordinary senses? If ghosts are a delusion, then let me be deluded.
— Amy Tan
Elizabeth (Beth) Enright
After being haunted with longing for my ghost girl all night, there was no way I was going to let a little rain deter me from seeking her.
The trip to the local library provided me with information about the original occupants of the house and I discovered an old photograph of my dream girl—Elizabeth Enright.
I drove back to the house and sat inside my SUV in the drive—staring at the house—willing my ghost girl, to appear.
After waiting for some time, she didn’t show, so I got out and began wandering the grounds again as I did earlier that morning. There was nothing but a light rain and gray trees in the distance.
In desperation I began calling out her name, but my voice seemed muffled as if heard through cotton batten.
The mist and the rain enveloped me and the world was far away, leaving me alone in the dank morning air.
I grew hoarse from straining against the clotting fog and dampness.
Finally, defeated, I sank to the wet lawn and sobbed out my frustration.
I don’t know how long I remained there, but after a while, I looked up and saw her at the edge of a yellow grassy field, beckoning.
In an instant, I was on my feet and scurrying after.
She paused, allowing me to catch up, and then led me further, towards a small grove of willows.
She then pointed to a crumbling fieldstone wall and disappeared.
I approached cautiously. The very spot where she indicated was a tangle of vines.
I began pulling, tearing them away from the wall.
That's when I see it—a tall, thin limestone tablet, sticking out of the ground—a headstone.
It’s inscribed in Spenserian script – Elizabeth Enright 1835-1895 – Beloved And Not Forgotten.
I understand what she’s telling me.
I walk back to the SUV, soaked and totally dejected.
I don’t know what I expected to find, but what I did find, was bitter and heart breaking.
As I approach my vehicle, a golden retriever bounds out of the yellow field and begins running dizzying circles around me.
Despite my heavy heart, I have to laugh at his zany antics.
I look up to see a blonde girl approaching, leash in hand. “I’m so sorry—she’s never done that before.”
I crouch down, patting Katie, who is now laughing—red tongue hanging out, bright, like the flame of a butane lighter.
I get to my feet and look straight into the face of Elizabeth Enright.
I swoon, nearly faint, but she reaches out her arms and steadies me. I end up being hugged by her.
“I don’t usually meet men this way,” she smirks. “Are you all right? You look soaked to the skin.”
“I—I’m fine,” I stammer.
She extends her hand to me and I shake it.
“I’m Beth—and this saucy hussy is Katie.”
“I’m James Regal.” I smile.
“By the way, I didn’t catch your last name.”
“It’s Enright—we own this house. Are you the photographer who arranged with Dad to take the pictures?”
“You picked a bad day for photos.”
“No, actually, I think it’s turning out pretty well,” I chuckle.
She looks compassionately at my sodden clothes. “Can I invite you in for a coffee? You must be chilled.”
“Coffee would be great.”
We start toward the house. Suddenly, she stops and looks at me.
She turns her head to the side and squints at me through the drizzle.
“Nothing. I just felt I needed to formally say, Hello.”
“Hello, Beth,” I smile.