Do You See Me?

Image of Katla Ignis

Katla Ignis

108 readings

34

"Sit, sit!" The girl said, pulling out a chair. I sat down as the five-year-old placed a plastic teacup in front of me.
"How is Princess Lillian doing today?" I asked her.
"Lovely. How is Princess Hannah?" I smiled. The door to the bedroom creaked open and through it came a middle-aged man.
"Dad!" Lillian raced over and gave him a hug.
"How's my little princess doing today?"
"Come play!" Lillian dragged her father over to the table. He sat in my chair, passing right through me.
No matter how many times it happens, I could never get over the sadness every time a person walks right through me.
"Dad! You're sitting on Hannah." Lillian complained.
"Who?"
"Hannah, my friend."
"Ah, my apologies." He moved to a different chair. "May I have some tea, Princess Lillian?"
* * *
Seven-year-old Lillian scribbled away with her crayon.
"What are you drawing?" I asked her.
"You and me," She said. "Dancing in a ballroom." The door opened.
"Lillian, you should be doing your homework." Her father said. "There will be time to play later."
"But-"
"Now, please." Lillian sighed and set down the crayon.
* * *
Lillian sat at her desk, frantically trying to type up an essay that was due the next day. The bags under her eyes and her untamed hair made me wonder if she did anything else but study. I sat in the same chair as always, wiping the dust off the teacups, waiting for Lillian to have a spare moment.
* * *
Lillian and a boy I had never seen before walked through the door. She was smiling and laughing the way she used to when she played with me. She's found her prince, I thought. I rushed over to greet him.
"Hi! I'm Hannah. What's your-" Lillian walked right through me.
* * *
The room was packed in boxes. There was nothing left that showed the princess who had once lived here. Lillian placed some framed piece of paper in the last box before taping it shut. There was only one thing she hadn't packed.
I crawled under the bed. In the far corner covered in dust and webs was a single wooden box. I clawed at it trying to get it to move. But my hand went right through it.
I made my way out from under the bed. How could she have forgotten about it? About me? Unless she believed, there was nothing I could do to tell her that it was there.
The door opened. The boy she had brought to the room so many times before appeared. "Hey, Lil. Your parents asked me to help move your bed. They said they wanted it under the window to turn it into a guest room."
The two of them lifted up the bed and maneuvered it around the boxes. They set it across the room. Lillian noticed the dust-covered box and walked over to it.
"When was the last time I cleaned under there?" Lillian asked, picking up the wooden box. She brushed the dust off of it. She opened it.
Inside was a single drawing. Two princesses dancing in a ballroom, drawn in crayon. Lillian looked confused before smiling. A single tear escaped her. She turned to face me.
"Hannah?" She said. I took a step towards her. She smiled, "How about a cup of tea?"

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Image of William Thompson
William Thompson · ago
Katla: thanks for pointing me to your story. It's very nicely done. Everyone needs a Hannah. And thank you for your kind words about Dancing on the Wings of Angels.
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Image of Ken Brake
Ken Brake · ago
Very Nice!
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Image of GITA
GITA · ago
A sweet story. I would love to know how Hannah met her demise. You get my vote.
If you care to spend a moment, here is my story: https://short-edition.com/en/story/1-min/the-curve.

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Image of Tiziana L.
Tiziana L. · ago
Loved your story!
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Image of SayKidd
SayKidd · ago
Thanks for the invite to read your story. I enjoyed how you had me wondering who the narrator character was. I was trying to chose if she was a dead relative or lillians childhood alter ego. The end did not define but it i like the idea that you left the definition of characters open for the readers imagination. P.s. i decided that hannah would be lillians childhood imagination/alter ego.
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Image of DMRFX
DMRFX · ago
This story made me smile. I agree with RB Frank about its conciseness and how just a few words conveyed so much. I liked the reason for moving the bed --- it made perfect sense. I also liked that the boy was indirectly responsible for Lillian's re-connection with Hannah. Sometimes stories about the afterlife or an alternate universe are too grandiose or exaggerated for my taste, so I liked the simplicity around "live" people moving right through the dead ones. And the sadness that the dead feel. There was so much packed into this short, lovely piece. Really enjoyed it very much!
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Image of Katla Ignis
Katla Ignis · ago
Thank you for your feedback! I’m really glad you enjoyed it!
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Image of Marie-Louise Mills
Marie-Louise Mills · ago
Loved your story! Charming delightful and a wonderful read! Thank you! Marie-Louise Mills
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Image of Caio
Caio · ago
Hi it’s Caio
I liked your story especially the end when Lillian remembered Hanna

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Image of Katla Ignis
Katla Ignis · ago
Thank you! I’m really glad you enjoyed it.
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Image of RB Frank
RB Frank · ago
Well done Katla. It’s concise and moves quickly. Sparse words that tell a lot. Moving and touching for readers to connect. Authentic dialogue. All around, well done.
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Image of Sophia Lagrimar
Sophia Lagrimar · ago
Well done!!
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