Last Goodbye

by Season

1983

I was ten years old and always dreaded bedtime. Being alone in my bedroom at night terrified me. That’s what makes this story so amazing to me. We lived in a two story house and the top floor only consisted of two bedrooms with a little platform at the top of the stairs between them. One was my older sister’s room, the other was mine.

It was around 9pm when I told my mother that I was going to bed. It must have shocked her as much as it did me because she looked up in surprise, raised an eyebrow, and said, “ok” in a strange voice. Not only was I¬† going to bed a half hour before my bedtime (which NEVER happened) but my older sister was spending the night with a friend so I would be on the second floor alone. I remember being so surprised at my own bravery, but the unexplainable warmth of joy and comfort spreading through my chest and the incredible urge to go to bed was very powerful.

I had just climbed into bed when not a MINUTE later I heard my mom coming up the stairs, or so I thought it was her. This is very strange and extremely rare! My mother hardly ever came up those stairs because she had weak legs and it hurt her to walk up them. Normally if she needed my sister or I she would just call to us from downstairs. And she knew I wasn’t asleep yet as I had just went to bed literally a minute or less before.

Nevertheless, I heard normal sounding footsteps start from the lower platform, all the way up the steps, and ending on the upper platform. This house was very old (90+ years) and you could hear every step someone  made because of the floor creaking. When the creaking got to the top platform where the door to my bedroom was and in plain view from the bed I was laying in, I looked over to see what my mom wanted. Only no one was there! I just kept staring, and blinking, thoroughly confused.

You would think that at this time I would have bolted screaming out of my bed and down the stairs but that same strange but wonderful feeling was still with me. I was confused, but oddly, I felt very safe and even joyous. We lived on main street and the streetlights shining through the window provided enough light to see clearly in my room.

After the short pause on the platform, the footsteps then entered my room and started across the floor to my bed in the corner. My eyes followed along with the steps looking exactly where there should have been somebody. Another short pause at the end of my bed and then to my utter astonishment, the bed dented in next to my feet just as it would if someone had sat down. I watched the indention slowly fill back in and felt a brush on my leg. Then, the footsteps started alongside my bed and as it went along, I could feel these slight brief touches going up my leg, to my hips (I was lying on my side with my head on my arm), and up to my shoulder. The footsteps and touches coincided with each other perfectly.

The footsteps stopped right in front of my face and there was another pause. Then I felt a soft hand run it’s fingers lovingly through my hair. I can’t tell you how joyous and warm I felt, it was overwhelming. After a few¬† seconds, the steps started back down alongside my bed, across the floor, and back to the door. The creaking was heard once again at the top platform, down the steps, and all the way down to the bottom platform. I lay in bed for a long time, just feeling comforted yet wondering what had just happened. It was at least an hour before I fell asleep and I still can’t believe I just stayed there in bed unafraid.

I never told anybody about this. The next evening my parents called my sister and I down from our rooms and told us they had some bad news. They went on to explain that we would be making a trip the next day because my grandmother had just passed away the day before. As soon as those words were out of their mouth my mind immediately went back to the night before and the strange experience I had. I never got to know my grandmother very well, we lived far apart from each other and were never close. But she was sweet, I remember that. I don’t know if it was her that came to visit me or not, but it’s a nice thought!