Vanish

Vanish

August 25, 2015 was the third anniversary of when I met my boyfriend Damien. We had finally gotten over the one time he’d cheated on me and decided to celebrate our anniversary by going to the bar where we met three years prior. It was all going great until he got a text and didn’t want to tell me who the text was from. That sparked an argument between us and in the middle of it, he got up to go to the bathroom. I was still angry but decided that I was going to apologize once he returned to our booth. Sadly, he never returned. I never saw him again.

Three years went by and the authorities had long given up searching for him. His family didn’t care because they’d disowned him for being gay. I was all he had and he was all I had. It just didn’t make sense and I couldn’t make it make sense. How does someone go into a bathroom and then disappear without leaving the place? I looked at the camera footage over and over again and Damien never left the bar. He went into the bathroom and never walked back out. He simply vanished.

Needing answers, I decided to go talk to a specialist that I’d been referred to. Her name was Erica Breaux and according to the person who had referred me to her, she could communicate with the dead. I didn’t want to believe it but I knew in my heart that Damien was dead. I needed to know what happened to him and who did it to him. As I walked up the walkway to Erica’s big house, I stared at the last picture I’d taken with Damien on the night of our anniversary.

“Come on in,” called out Erica’s voice before I even stepped onto her porch.

I walked up the steps and then entered the house. It was a very old house but the inside had clearly been renovated recently. I closed the door behind me and as I approached Erica—her back was to me—she began to shiver and quickly turned around to face me. She was an older black woman with big green eyes. Judging by her accent, she was most likely from the islands.

“I need your help, Ms. Breaux,” I said to her. “My name is…”

“I know who you are, Rafael Jameson. I know who you are and I know what you are.”

“What I am? What are you talking about?”

Instead of answering, she gestured. “Please, have a seat.”

I sat down on a nearby sofa and pulled out my wallet because I’d been told that her work was expensive. However, she put her hand up and shook her head. Confused, I said, “Your services aren’t free. I was told that they’re expensive.”

“Not for you. You’re here for something that money can’t buy, my dear.” She smiled as she sat down beside me on the sofa. “You’re here about Damien, aren’t you?”

Tears immediately filled my eyes as I answered, “Yes.”

“Tell me, have you been feeling like no one listens to you? Have you been feeling invisible lately?”

“Well, not really. I mean, I still do things with my friends but…”

“Do they ever bring up Damien?”

“No, but probably because they think I can’t handle talking about him.”

She stared at me for a long time silently before smiling again and saying, “I’m sure that’s the reason, dear. So, what do you need me to do for you?”

I took a deep breath and then asked her, “Can you communicate with Damien?”

“I could but there is a lot that I already know.”

“What do you know?”

“I know that your heart is broken. I know that your spirit is also broken. Rafael, I am so sorry.”

The tears rolled down my face as I looked into her beautiful eyes and asked, “What happened to him?”

She was silent again for a while and then she simply replied, “Nothing.”

“What?”

“Nothing happened to him.”

“But he disappeared. He went into that bathroom and disappeared.”

“No, he didn’t. And you know it. You just refuse to remember. I can help you with that, Rafael.”

“What the hell are you talking about? There isn’t anything wrong with me.”

“Yes, there is. And I can help you. But you have to want the help, dear. I can’t help you if you won’t let me.”

“All I need is for you to explain why my boyfriend went into the bathroom and never came back out. Was it something supernatural? Just tell me, I can handle it.”

“Rafael, you have to first remember everything about that night. You’re only focusing on the argument and Damien going to the bathroom. I need you to remember.”

“That’s all I do remember.” Without thinking, I blurted out, “It happened so fast.”

Her eyes widened as she asked, “What happened so fast?”

“What?”

“You just said it happened so fast. What are you referring to?”

“I…I don’t know.”

“Can you try to remember? Close your eyes and try to remember.”

I closed my eyes and after trying to remember more about that night, I blurted, “Look out, he’s got a gun!” I had no idea why that came to my mind nor did I know why I blurted it out, but it came from my memory.

“Who has a gun?”

“I don’t know. I just remember it. I’m not even sure if it’s from that night.”

“Try harder to remember.”

“I am trying! I don’t understand what this has to do with my boyfriend disappearing.”

“He didn’t disappear, Rafael. If you try harder to remember, you’ll understand what happened.”

I closed my eyes again and tried harder to remember that night. All that I could remember was hearing someone say that a man has a gun. Feeling like my session with Ms. Breaux wasn’t going anywhere, I stood up and told her, “Thank you for trying, but I should get going. It’ll be dark soon.”

“Rafael, you’re lost and I may be the only person who can help you.”

“You’re not helping me! You won’t even tell me what happened to Damien! I need him. I need to see him or at least hear his voice one more time before I…”

She stood up and asked, “Before you what?”

“I don’t know. I don’t know what I was about to say. What’s happening to me?”

“The answers are all right in front of you. You have to realize it for yourself. That’s the only way, Rafael.”

“Isn’t there some other way?”

“No. Well, there may be another way to help you remember.” She grabbed my hand for a quick second and then asked me, “You know of a place that’s special to you and Damien, don’t you?”

“Yes.”

“I want you to go to that place and on the way there, I want you to think about Damien. Think about him and only him. Try to say everything you’ve ever wanted to say to him on your way to the special place.”

“Why?”

“This may be the only other way for you to learn the truth. If Damien is your one true love, this will work and you will be provided with all of the answers you seek. I guarantee it.”

Needing to learn the truth, I hurried out of her house and then drove to Smithfield Creek, the place where Damien first told me that he loved me. The whole way there, I thought about that day and all of the time we spent sitting on a bench by the creek. When I arrived, I made my way down by the creek and sat down on the bench. Tears filled my eyes again and when the first one dropped down onto the bench, I felt someone’s presence behind me. I turned back to see Damien standing there.

“Oh my God!” I jumped up and moved around the bench to hug him. The moment I felt his arms around me, I began sobbing uncontrollably.

“I’m here, baby,” he said to me. “I’m here.” He pulled back and wiped my tears. “Look at you. You look just as good as you did the last time I saw you.”

“I feel like shit.” I laughed and told him, “You look great.”

“Baby, I don’t have a lot of time so I want you to focus.”

“A lot of time? What do you mean? Damien…”

“Rafael, something happened that night and…”

“Yeah, you disappeared after going into the bathroom. Now that you’re back…”

“I didn’t disappear, baby. Do you honestly not remember?”

“Remember what?”

“We were arguing and then I went into the bathroom.”

“And you never walked back out.”

“No, I did walk back out. Baby, I walked out and you…” He got choked up but kept his composure as he looked into my eyes and continued, “You were gone. You were gone and there was nothing I could do.”

“No, I wasn’t gone. Baby, you never came back from the bathroom.”

“Remember, Rafael! You have to remember, baby.” He placed his hands on the sides of my face and repeated, “Remember, baby!”

I closed my eyes and didn’t see anything, but I did hear something. I heard gunshots and screams. I reopened my eyes and told Damien, “He’s got a gun. I remember hearing that and then gunshots and screams. Baby, what happened?”

With tears filling his eyes, Damien gasped and told me, “I went into the bathroom and I heard the gunshots and the screams. I came back out and you…you were gone, baby.”

“What do you mean? What do you mean I was gone? I don’t understand.”

“Close your eyes again and focus. Focus one last time for me, baby.”

I closed my eyes and took a deep breath. When I reopened them, I was no longer standing out by the creek. Damien was still standing in front of me but we were no longer out by the creek. We were in a cemetery. It was then that I felt this incredible sensation in my stomach. I’d never felt anything like it before in my life. Slowly, Damien stepped to the side and when I looked down at what he’d been standing in front of, I saw the truth.

Carved into a headstone was my name, my date of birth…and the date that I’d died: August 25, 2015.

“This messed-up white guy barged into the bar that night,” Damien explained to me. “He had an AR-15 with a bump stock attached. He killed you and thirty-two other people within the span of a minute before pulling out a pistol and killing himself.”

“No,” I said while shaking my head. “No, that’s not possible. I’m not dead.”

“You are. Baby, your spirit has been lost since that night. You haven’t been able to remember because you won’t allow yourself to remember. You have to remember it so that your spirit can finally leave this earth.”

“This makes no sense. If I’m dead, then how am I here talking to you?”

“I’m not really here, baby. My body is at home asleep right now. This part of me, the part that’s talking to you right now, is only going to be here temporarily. Once I wake up, this whole thing will feel like a dream. And that’s if I can even remember it.”

“No, that can’t be.”

“I’m sorry, baby. I love you so much, but it’s time for you to go to a better place. You have to because staying here is only going to get more confusing and darker for you.”

“But Ms. Breaux…”

“Ms. Breaux can’t help you cross over. She tried to get you to remember what happened. Baby, let me help you remember. I’ve already told you but you need to remember it. Come here, baby. Let me hold you.”

I stepped closer to him and he wrapped his arms around me. It all felt so real. He was so warm and he smelled like he always smelled, a scent of shea butter and Dove men’s body wash. I rested my head on his shoulder and when I closed my eyes, I remembered it all. I remembered the argument. I remembered him saying he had to use the bathroom and walking away from our booth. And then I remembered someone saying a man had a gun and I heard the screams. I never even got to see the man before a bullet struck the back of my head and came out through my forehead, making my face completely unrecognizable.

I did die that night three years ago. I’d died and completely forgotten about it.

I reopened my eyes to see that Damien was gone. However, I still felt his embrace and warmness and I could still smell his scent. I looked back at my grave and after gently touching the headstone, a bright light beamed down from the night sky. I pulled out the photo of me and Damien to look at one last time and then dropped it at my grave before walking to the light. The closer I got to the bright light, the better I began to feel.

“I love you, Rafael,” his voice whispered into my ear even though he was no longer with me. “I love you, baby.”

“I love you, too,” I said to him as I entered the light. “I’ll always love you, Damien.” I closed my eyes as the bright light immersed me and took me away forever.

Written by D.A. Morrison

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27 Comments

  1. Boiden
    November 22, 04:59 Reply

    **wipes tears and takes a deep breath**

    This story (either fiction or non-fiction) was beautifully written and I must say I’m impressed. Well done D.A Morrison!! My mind is vivid as I played the entire story like a movie scene in my head. Kinda reminds me of the 1992 movie ‘Ghost’ Patrick Swayze, Demi Moore & Whoopi Goldberg.

  2. Andy
    November 22, 05:58 Reply

    Unrelated,but does anyone know of a free LGBT clinic for STDs and HIV treatments in Port Harcourt? Pls help👃

        • Andy
          November 25, 09:41 Reply

          Please where or can I get your mail or something so we could talk,I’d be very grateful

    • flame flame
      November 28, 02:33 Reply

      You can always get free HIV treatments at any government hispotal. UPTH is your best bet in Ph. Them BMH too.

  3. Mandy
    November 22, 07:19 Reply

    😢😢 I can’t believe I actually got teary over this story. God. It’s a painful thing, when senseless tragedies like this happen. Made me remember the Orlando shooting. May the souls of all those who leave us so abruptly and violently rest in peace.

  4. Quinn
    November 22, 08:04 Reply

    Oh this is so beautiful!….Great job, now if we could have the full novel…lol. really great job. The way you came at it, all very nicely.

  5. Richiemichie
    November 22, 08:29 Reply

    Damn, this is so beautiful. U left me wanting more.

  6. Ace
    November 22, 08:39 Reply

    Beautiful story although I see some plot holes.

    • trystham
      November 22, 20:31 Reply

      Yes, we see them too. Just cry in peace jare. The story is too tragic to start picking it apart

      • Ace
        November 23, 08:49 Reply

        Apologies, it is indeed a beautiful piece. I just tend to look for plot holes or gaps in stories (occupational hazard).

        I’m pretty sure I’m dead inside at this point or maybe all the plot and character deaths in supernatural have desensitized me to this kind if tragedy plus I kinda saw the ending coming…supernatural has ruined me sha *sobs while checking to see if the new episode is out*

  7. Black Coffee
    November 22, 10:03 Reply

    Such a beautiful piece. Held me spellbound till the end.

  8. Queen Blue Fox
    November 22, 10:25 Reply

    *crying*
    May the souls of all the people we have lost rest in perfect peace.. My darling doctor, wherever you are i love you.

  9. Dickson Clement
    November 22, 11:53 Reply

    I’ve been reading stories on this blog, this is the second best story so far- the first being the one about a mother who became lonely on a Christmas after estranging herself from her children. Please if I can be pointed to that story one more time- I’d love to read it again!
    Well thought out, intriguing and captivating! I’d like to know what inspired this story? Kudos to the writer- I’d vote you for best story for 2018!

  10. Isaac
    November 22, 18:20 Reply

    Chai!😭😭
    This is stupid deep!
    Really sad..

  11. trystham
    November 22, 20:39 Reply

    I actually seem to learn about the gay life in the Abroad. I think I already know two ‘pick-up-tricks’ of DL guys

  12. Dickson Clement
    November 23, 13:45 Reply

    Thanks @ Milo- I cried the first day I read that story. I still had a wet eye reading it again today. We have talented storytellers here.
    I find it difficult now to compare these stories and pick the best for myself !

  13. Yazz
    November 23, 21:56 Reply

    Well nothing special ..
    The plot of this story ..
    Has been used severally in Hollywood nothing surprising to us American Horror story and supernatural fans…

  14. Leon
    November 23, 22:07 Reply

    This made me weep, especially with the current ongoing sorrowful situation of my cousin’s death…
    It’s so sad to lose a loved one whichever way
    Beautiful piece, great writer

  15. Mhiz Resa
    November 23, 22:40 Reply

    O. M. G
    I actually got teary….. Can’t even imagine losing this great. Not sure I can survive it. I almost did 2017 and I know how it was.

    • Leon
      November 26, 11:32 Reply

      I can relate with you right@Mhiz Resa

  16. Sworld
    November 30, 08:28 Reply

    I almost vanished with “Vanish”
    I have never a read a piece that took me to the land of the dead so clear like a movie in a long while.
    This one got me almost crazy n lost.
    Morrison I salute you.
    #Bestpiece 2018.

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