I was fifteen years old. I had my worker’s permit and I had my first real job. I was working in a drive- in restaurant. It was only a couple of blocks from my house so I could walk to work. I made tenderloins, which were the best in town. The boss had a secret recipe for the breading. It was not ground pork stuff for his tenderloins. It was pounded pork and the best tenderloin sandwiches I have ever eaten.
We were young teenagers in the neighborhood and had very little fear of anything, anything that is but of the ghosts. We all had fear of ghosts and of course Halloween was our favorite time of year. There were other things to be afraid of and we were told to be careful of real things to fear. There was a young girl who had been raped in the neighborhood and even though they had caught the guy that did it, we were finally aware that even in our small town there were things to be aware of.
The path that I took to work was straight past my grandmother’s house and the house that used to be next door had been torn down years before I was born. We heard the horrendous story about what happened to the woman that lived there during the depression. She had brain cancer and the cancer ate away her face. My mother in her glorious artistic way elaborated on how hideous she looked. She went as far as to draw her picture. When I walked past there I always imagined that I would see her ghost. I was much more afraid of seeing her than anything else. My mother also would tell us about her grandmother laid out in the back bedroom in her coffin in her little Amish covering. She was a short round woman who was a phenomenal cook. She was also a fantastic ghost story teller who was very superstitious and believed in the supernatural.
There was a Veterinary Hospital where the house that Callie lived in once was, with a gravel driveway. When you walked there would be the usual crunching sound that gravel makes when you walk on it. One late afternoon when I was on my way to work, it was dusk and already getting dark in the fall. The air was crisp and there was a howling wind as the leaves scuttled across the driveway. I was anxious to get to the drive-in because it was a little creepy walking there by myself. There was a dark area between the hospital and the drive- in.
As I was walking, I could feel someone walking behind me. When I would stop they would stop. I could hear their footsteps. They were short rapid footsteps. When I would start walking, I would hear them walk. When I stopped they stopped. I kept stopping and looking behind me, and there was no one there. When I went home that night I told my mother. I wonder now if it could have been my great-grandmother. Maybe she saw something I didn’t see. Could she have been protecting me from a danger that I wasn’t aware of? I have heard stories of people being told by someone with a deathbed confession, that they were going to attack him or her but they saw that they had someone else with them. They didn’t want to try to attack them when they weren’t alone. The person would know that they really were alone but the description of the person that was with them was of a dead relative.
This is not that scary of a story but it is one I will always wonder about. I do believe that there are many things that we don’t understand. I would like to believe that my great-grandmother was trying to protect me from something I was unaware of from the other side.