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Goldie Kohli Goldie Kohli
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She had a friend.

I used to come here many years ago with her. In a fit of sentimentality I decided to revisit the Gardens alone while I was travelling through that city.

I stopped the car and parked on the street, as usual the Garden was empty being a weekday afternoon. They had still not repaired the iron gate as it lay hanging sideways from one of the pintles. I had never closely looked at the ornate design. The metal had been rusting yet had not fully disintegrated.

She slid her arm into mine. I looked around and there was no one was around me. I smiled at myself or maybe at her. The imagined touch still felt present.

The gravel made ground under my expensive shoes as it led me to the fountain where we used to sit for hours. It was amazingly old but the fountain still ran, the water appeared clean and sparkled in the sun. I sat on the fountain wall and droplets fell on my arm and sprayed on my shirt.

I did not notice him coming towards me until I heard him say “Hi there”. I replied “Hi”. He continued “So, where is she?”  I was taken aback “Who do you mean?” I asked.
“That girl you used to sit with on this fountain with?” as he looked straight into me.
Funnily I did not feel threatened and somehow felt connected with him just through that question he asked.

“Do I know you?” I felt urged to continue the conversation.

“Remember that café in this garden where you used to spend hours with her?” he explained.

“Oh yes, did you wait in there?”

He smiled “No, there was a picture of mine on the wall there.”

“Oh yes, that was the owner’s son’s photo that had died in a motorbike crash…..” I had goose bumps.

“Yes you do look like that photo. But if you had passed on at that time, how would you know us”. ‘Us’ it sounded different now.

I was surprised at myself as I was matter-of-factly discussing this him. I had heard people jumped and ran away scared when confronted with a ghost.

“But you two created a lot of memories. Where do you think memories go when they die? After all aren’t they too part of humans? I met your memories where I live and recognised you from there” This seemed bizarre. Here I am a living breathing middle aged man come to relieve some past events and have struck up a discussion with a spirit.

I did not believe what this guy was saying. At worst I did believe he was dead and I had just had a conversation with him.

He continued smiling. I did too. Then he left muttering “See you” without waiting for a reply. I would have called myself a lunatic had I not seen him walk away and then disappear into the distance.

She laughed. I looked around, got up and went towards the gate and my car.

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