Final chapter :D
Look for my new story in the next week or two or three or four or more ;)
Michael swallowed the bile rising in his throat. During Avery’s story, he had fallen to his knees and remained on the floor as Avery spoke, telling him of how he died. Michael shook his head.
“No...I didn’t...I would remember! I don’t....I don’t remember I couldn’t have...” Michael stumbled over his words, but even as he spoke them he knew they were a lie. As Avery spoke, memories that he had long blocked off began returning. He remembered listening to the sound of his grandfather dragging the lifeless body up the steps to the third floor, and the sound of him scrubbing for hours, trying to remove the blood from the walls and floors. To no avail. He remembered the terrified look on Avery’s face as he took his last breath, watching as the person he trusted most let him die.
Now Avery stared off into space, not looking at anything. He floated above the ground a few inches lazily. Seeing the body stored in the third floor for years now, had sparked the memories in both of them. Now they both sat silently, not knowing where to go from here. The murderer and the victim sharing the same room.
“Avery...I didn’t....” Michael closed his mouth, silencing himself for a second. “I can’t say I’m sorry. I...It doesn’t...” Michael shut his mouth again. All words were lost on him. He didn’t have any more words to use.
“I know.” Avery said, his ghostly form flickering. They sat together for another long moment, before Avery vanished.
“Why!” Michael shouted at his grandfather. Several of the nurses starred at the unusual scene. Usually Michael and his grandfather were quiet but now Michael was furious. He didn’t know if he was more furious at himself or his grandfather. He didn’t know, but he didn’t care either.
“Michael, what are you-”
“You just let him die. You let him die, and he was scared and alone.” Michael sat down and pointed at his grandfather angrily.
“You remember....” Thomas said, pale and shocked.
“We found him. The real him the....we found the body.” Michael said.
“You weren’t supposed to go on the third floor...” Thomas said weakly.
“So that makes it okay? Why don’t I remember?!” Michael shouted again. “People should remember something like that!” Michael said, tears falling.
“I don’t know. After I....cleaned up....I went downstairs to talk to you and you were just playing videogames. I tried to talk to you but you acted like nothing had ever happened. You never...You just...I don’t know. You didn’t even remember Avery.” Thomas said, eyes filled with sorrow and regret.
“Why didn’t you help him? Why did you just let him die?!” Michael shouted, slamming his hands down on the table.
“You don’t understand! If I had helped him, you would have suffered your entire life. Everybody would have known you were a murderer. Everybody. What was I supposed to do?!” Thomas shouted back.
“YOU WERE SUPPOSED TO HELP HIM!” Michael said, and both of them went quiet. They stared at each other before Michael stood up, and walked away.
“Michael, wait!” Thomas called after him. “Michael!”
Michael stepped into the house and looked around. The lights were off and there was no sign of the ghost.
“Avery?” He called out gently. He walked up the steps and stared at the closed bedroom door. That was their bedroom. It was Avery’s and his grandfathers. Then it was Avery’s and Michaels. He felt like it should just be Avery’s for awhile. He went downstairs and laid down on the couch, staring up at the ceiling. He sat there quietly, not able to sleep when he heard the familiar creak of the door opening upstairs. He listened and knew Avery was making his way down the hall and after a moment, he could almost feel the ghost looking down on him.
“I know it means absolutely nothing. But I’m sorry.” Michael said, not looking at the top of the stairs for the ghost, only starring at the ceiling.
“It doesn’t mean nothing. It means very little....but it’s something.” Avery said, his voice fragile.
“I’m sorry for my grandfather, too. God, why didn’t he help you?” Michael covered his eyes with his hands. He pulled them away and stared at them. He could practically see the blood from all those years ago.
“He wanted to protect you.” Avery said. “You were just a child, Michael. You can’t be blamed for what happened.” He said, unsure if he was trying to convince himself or Michael.
“But you blame me anyways.” Michael said. Avery was silent. “So what now?” Michael asked. “I thought you were supposed to find your murderer and then you get to pass on or whatever....” Michael said.
“I don’t think that’s whats keeping me here, anymore.” Avery whispered.
“Then what is?” Michael sat up and looked over the back of the couch, seeing Avery leaning against the wall at the top of the stairs.
“I...I’m confused.” Avery looked away, staring down the hall.
“About what? I killed you, you’re dead. The end there’s nothing left to be confused about.” Michael said, voice growing louder.
“It’s not that simple!” Avery began to yell back.
“Yes it is! There’s nothing left, Avery! There’s nothing left for you!” Michael yelled. The windows shook and furniture began to rattle as Avery’s anger grew.
“You’re left! I love you and hate you and I don’t know what to do!” Avery shouted. Michael stared and Avery stared and the windows were silenced and the furniture sat still. The world froze for those few seconds.
“What?” Michael said softly.
“I fell in love with you a long time ago, Michael. As soon as you started treating me like a person, and not a ghost. Then...when I remembered...” Avery sighed. “I don’t know what to do.” He whispered again.
“I don’t either.” Michael stared at the couch. They sat together silently for a minute longer, before Avery ‘walked’ back upstairs and shut the door behind him. Locking himself in the room he died in.
Avery watched as Michael slept. He sat against the wall, across from the bed, leaning against the stain that marked the spot where he took his last breath. He always felt at home in this room. But now that he remembered, it felt cold and empty. He stared at the sleeping man. He had finally allowed him to sleep in the bedroom, but only because he wanted to sit and think. Specifically, he wanted to think about Michael.
His head was filled with thoughts he couldn’t control. He wasn’t angry, but he was overwhelmed by his own mind. A Lamp shook on the nightstand, and Michael’s keys vibrated on the dresser. Small things shook throughout the house and there was an eerie buzz in the air as his energy coursed through the building.
‘What am I supposed to do?’ He asked himself. ‘I thought when I figured out who murdered me, I would be able to pass on.’ He sighed with lungs that didn’t really exist anymore. ‘I hate him so much. I want him to suffer like I did. I want him to hurt.’ He frowned and the windows and doors began shaking. The bed vibrated the tiniest amount but Michael didn’t stir. ‘But I can’t stop loving him.’ He relaxed, and the entire house went still. ‘I just can’t.’
He stood up from where he was resting against the wall and walked over to the sleeping man. He stood over him, just staring. When he looked up next, he realized four hours had passed. He moved his eyes back down to Michael, and reached out a hand. He paused above Michael’s head. He concentrated hard, and let his hand rest on the soft hair. He stroked Michael’s head once, before losing his focus and his hand fell through. Michael shivered in the bed and Avery paused, hand straight through Michael’s body. Michael sighed, before he opened the lips Avery craved so bad.
“Avery...” He whispered. Avery frowned.
‘Could Michael somehow sense him?’ Then, suddenly he was gone.
The room went dark around him, even darker than it had been before. He pulled his hand back from where he had let it rest, and looked around.
“Where am I?” He mumbled. His voice echoed in the darkness and he turned around in a circle, trying to find anything that would tell him where he had gone.
“Avery?” Michael’s voice rang through the darkness.
“Michael? Where are you?” Avery called out. Michael suddenly appeared in the distance, walking towards him slowly.
“I’m right here.” He said. Avery ran towards him, and before he could think about it, hugged him. He realized his mistake and waited for his body to fall through Michael’s but was pleasantly surprised when he felt Michael’s chest touch his own. He gasped in surprise and let Michael hold him.
“I’ve wanted to do this forever.” He said, without thinking.
“Me too.” Michael agreed, and stroked Avery’s hair.
“Where are we?” Avery looked up, forgetting all of his troubles. Delighted that he could be touched again. It had been forever since he had been touched.
“We’re wherever we want to be.” Michael said, and tilted his head up for a kiss. He claimed Avery’s warm lips in a kiss, and slid his tongue into Avery’s mouth. Avery moaned around Michael’s tongue and let the bigger man take hold of him. Michael pushed him down on a bed that wasn’t there a moment ago, and began tearing off the clothes Avery wore. Avery relished the feeling of every scrape and touch against his once numb body. Soon, Michael had him on his back and was pushing his legs up onto his chest. Avery moaned as Michael began licking from his small pucker, all the way up past his balls to the tip of his cock. He continued to lick and ravash every bit of Avery’s body, until neither of them could take it anymore. Michael pushed his fingers into Avery slowly, starting with one, and adding another in slowly until he pumped three fingers in and out.
Avery moaned as Michael stood above him, lining his cock up with his asshole. Michael pushed in, and as he slid deep inside Avery, he leaned in for a kiss. Avery kissed Michael passionately. He moaned as Michael began fucking him slowly. He gasped as Michael hit his prostate. Michael thread his fingers through Avery’s hair and kissed him again. Their mouths refused to separate as their love making continued. Avery craved every touch from Michael, from his cock in his ass, to his medium length hair tickling his face and chest. Michael nibbled hungrily on Avery’s ears and neck, kissing and nipping at his delicate skin and his hard jaw.
Michael felt himself nearing the edge and told Avery this in a rough whisper, his chest heaving between them as their fucking grew to its climax. Avery tossed his head back as his cock began spurting between them. He coated their chests with his cum and as he clenched his ass down on Michael’s cock. Michael cried out as his cock was squeezed tight. He grunted loudly as he filled Avery with his seed. The two fell together, chests sticking together with Avery’s warm cum. Michael kissed Avery’s hand and stroked his hair with his other hand.
Avery sighed in the blissfulness that surrounded them, and when he felt warm liquid running down his side, he moved a free hand down to scoop up the cum that had dribbled past their chests. He brought his hand back up and realized it was coated in blood. He stared and when Michael saw, he pulled away and watched as the knife wound in Avery’s stomach leaked crimson blood onto the white sheet’s on their bed and Avery stared up at him. Michael had hurt him again. Why?
Michael looked at his own hands covered in blood and cried out. He screamed in anguish as Avery slowly died again, in their own bed.
Suddenly Avery was pulled back, and was in their bedroom again. Michael sat up, and screamed. Avery fell against the wall as he searched his chest for the stab wound that had long since disappeared. Michael fell off the bed and pressed his back against the wall opposite Avery. They finally realized where they were and looked up at each other. They both sighed, relaxing a little when they realized that nothing had really happened.
“I just had the most....unusual dream.” Michael said.
“Me too.” Avery laughed, before freezing. He didn’t sleep, he couldn’t dream. How had he been dreaming if he couldn’t sleep? He looked up and Michael looked just as confused as he was.
“I had a dream that I found you and we...”
“Had sex.” Avery whispered.
“And then you were covered in blood!” Michael stood up suddenly.
“And so were you! Your hands were....” They both paused.
“Were you in my dream?” Michael asked. Avery frowned. Had he really forced himself into Michael’s dream without knowing it?
“I...I don’t know. I don’t....I didn’t know I could do that.” Avery looked down at his hands, which were once again pale gray and transparent.
“I didn’t either.” Michael said, and went to make the bed. He froze and Avery frowned at him.
“What?” He asked. Michael looked up and blushed.
“Uh, nothing. It was just....It was just a really good dream.” He said, and grabbed a separate pair of underwear, before stepping into the bathroom in the hallway to change. Avery blushed and vanished as Michael changed the sheets and got dressed for the rest of the day.
“He must have been terrified. We haven’t really talked about it, I don’t think he likes thinking about it.” Michael said, sitting across from his grandfather. “Why would you send me there? Why would you have me take over the house if you knew what had happened?” Michael looked up at him with a hard gaze.
“I thought maybe it would get Avery to leave. If he saw that you had grown up, and had seen that you didn’t hate homosexuals anymore.” His grandfather admited. “We never really talked when he would haunt me. He would just break things and scream. I didn’t know that he didn’t remember you, or even me really.” His grandfather said, making his move on the board.
“I don’t even remember him. How could I not remember murdering somebody?” Michael put his head in his hands. He finally looked up again. “Will you tell me what happened? After the murder. I want to know.” Michael said. His grandfather sighed, and began talking.
Thomas walked downstairs, holding his bloodied clothes and shoes. He threw them in the fireplace and watched them burn. He turned back around to find Michael, and was surprised when he heard the sound of videogames coming from the living room. He followed the sound and found the young boy sitting on the floor, playing games.
“Michael? What are you doing?” Thomas asked. almost disgusted by how easily the child had forgotten about the man he had just killed.
“Look, Grandpa I almost beat this boss.” Michael didn’t look up from the T.V. Thomas stared down at his grandson with disgust.
“Michael, we should talk about...about what just happened.” Thomas said.
“About what, grandpa?” Michael turned his head, the fight continueing on the T.V.
“About...About Av-...” He choked back a sob. “About Avery.” He clenched his jaw as the name felt sour in his mouth.
“Who’s that?” Michael turned back to his game. Thomas froze. He didn’t remember.
‘How could he just forget him? How could he just ignore what he did.’ Thomas asked himself, but Michael didn’t seem bothered at all. He continued with his game. And Thomas accepted that. If Michael didn’t remember, it was for the better. He could go on with his normal life. He could grow up and get married and have kids and die old and never know what horrible things he did.
Michael set his keys down and sighed. The house was quiet and the only sound came from the large clock in the study ticking steadily. He rubbed his eyes tiredly and climbed the stairs to the bedroom. The door was shut so Michael knocked quickly.
“Avery? Can I come in, I’m tired.” Michael said. Avery opened the door silently and Michael saw him sitting across the room in the window. He nodded at the ghost and proceeded to strip down to his underwear. He had grown comfortable with the ghost in the time he was living here, and neither of them were bothered by Michael’s nudity. He crawled into bed and shut his eyes, his own deep breathing beginning to lull him to sleep.
“Michael?” Avery spoke quietly, hoping Michael was asleep.
“Yeah?” Michael answered, a little annoyed. His conversation with his grandfather had been stressful and he only wanted to go to sleep.
“I...” He turned his head towards the sleeping man. “I forgive you.” He whispered, and vanished. Michael opened his eyes and looked around the empty room, and was startled when Avery appeared in front of him. He bent down, and kissed Michael’s lips gently. The cold, transparent skin of the ghost sent waves of exhaustion over his body. In seconds, he was asleep.
It had taken Avery a lot of time of just sitting in the dark and thinking to come to the conclusion that he didn’t hate Michael. He hated that he was dead, he hated that he had died, he hated how he died, and he hated that Thomas had done nothing to help him. But he didn’t hate Michael.
Michael had been young, and corrupted by his homophobic parents. He couldn’t be blamed for what he had done. He was grown now and he knew that he was wrong. He knew what he had done was horrible, he also knew he couldn’t do anything to fix it. He had spoken to his grandfather, and made it very clear that he no longer enjoyed the old mans company. But he knew there was one last thing he needed to do to finally end Avery’s torment. Afterall, that was the least he owed the ghost.
“Michael, this isn’t a good idea.” His grandfather said, as he was pushed through the front door by a willing Michael.
“He knows you’re coming. He has more control over himself than you think.” Michael said, but wasn’t so sure he believed the words himself.
“Right...” He muttered. Michael shut the door behind him and hung up his jacket.
“Avery? We’re here!” He shouted. He heard the bedroom door creak open slowly, but the ghost didn’t appear. They heard footsteps on the hallway above, and they stopped at the top of the stairs. Michael knew the ghost was there, but he refused to show himself. “You don’t have to show up, just hear what he has to say.” Michael said.
“What if he has nothing to say?” Thomas stared up at the top of the steps, which appeared empty, but it was inhabited by a very sad spirit.
“Avery? You guys need to work this out, okay?” Michael said. He paused and looked at his grandfather before clearing his throat. “I’ll leave you two alone. Be nice.” He warned, and left the room.
Avery stared down at the man who had done nothing to save him when he took his last breath. He seemed so mighty then. He held the difference between life and death in his hands. Now he was just a weak old man with eyes filled with regret.
“Avery...I’m sorry.” Thomas said. “I want you to know that I always loved you, and I still do. I just...I had to protect my family.” Thomas said.
“I was your family, too.” Avery appeared at the top of the stairs, as pale as the day he died.
“I know. There’s no excuse for what I did.” Thomas stared down at the ground, tears falling from his eyes. “You don’t need to forgive me. I can’t expect you to.” He told the ghost.
“I don’t forgive you. I don’t love you anymore, Thomas. And you don’t love me.” Avery shook his head.
“No you don’t. Anybody who loves someone would never just let them die. Maybe you did love me. Back then. But the moment you refused to call someone to help...You stopped loving me.” Avery said, his voice not waivering in the slightest. Thomas stood silently, like a child being repremanded by his parent.
“I-...I’m sorry.” He sobbed quietly. Avery stared at the man he used to love with cold eyes.
“Get out.” He said, before floating down the hallways, and shutting the door behind him. Thomas cried for a second longer, before walking out the front door.
Avery sat in the window when Michael knocked softly on the door. He said nothing, and Michael poked his head inside.
“Is he gone?” Avery asked.
“Yeah. He’s gone. I took him back.” Michael said. Avery sighed and nodded. He felt oddly at peace. He didn’t hate Michael. He still hated Thomas, if only just a little bit. But he accepted the fact that he was dead. And he wasn’t coming back. “Are you okay?” Michael asked him.
“I think so. Everything feels so....calm.” Avery said. His form began flickering slightly.
“Avery?” Michael turned his head.
“What?” Avery turned to look at him.
“Why are you flickering?” He asked, walking across the room.
“I don’t know. It’s been happening lately.” He shrugged, and turned to look out the window again.
“Can I...Can I ask you something?” Michael sat with him in the window. They sat with their backs to the walls, their feet up on the bench, facing each other.
“What?” He asked. Neither of them looked at each other, both focused on the weather outside. Drops of rain hit the glass of the window silently.
“Did you mean what you said the other night? That you love me?” Michael asked.
“Yes.” Avery whispered. Michael stared at him while Avery stared out the window.
“I love you too, Avery.” Michael said. Avery turned to face him and saw the truth in Michael’s eyes. He smiled and leaned in towards Michael. He forced himself to be solid, and kissed Michael’s lips. Michael smiled.
“I love you too.... and Michael?” Avery cleared his throat, though really there wasn’t a throat to clear.
"Will you do me a favor?" Avery asked, looking a bit nervous.
"Of course." Michael smiled.
"Will you take care of my body? I want to be buried. Properly. I don't want to just rot in that bathroom." Avery looked paler than normal and a little sick at the thought of his own body.
"Of course. I'll take care of it...you..."Michael blushed at the awkward phrasing of words.
"Thank you." Avery smiled. "And Michael?" Avery said again.
"Yeah?" Michael responded again.
“I’m not sad anymore.” Avery smiled, and he flickered once, before he vanished completely.
Michael sighed as he climbed out of the shower. It had been three weeks since Avery had vanished, and he hadn’t heard anything from the ghost since. He remembered the spirit’s last words, and it made him smile. He was happy that, no matter where he was, Avery was happy. But it didn’t soothe his loneliness. His heart ached for the geist, but he was just nowhere to be found.
Michael looked out the large window that he had spent the last 60 years of his life in, and smiled. He had never heard from Avery again, but he was sure the ghost had finally passed on. It made him sad that he would probably never see the ghost again, but he didn’t think he would have to worry about that much longer. He had been diagnosed with cancer over a year ago, and he and his doctors knew it was a losing battle. He was now bedridden and couldn’t do anything but stare out Avery’s favorite window. He spent all of his time thinking about the happiest days of his life. When he was with Avery. The ghosts bright, but somehow shaded, energy was always coursing through the house, but now it was just an old building that should have been torn down years ago.
People said it was dangerous to live there, but he ignored them. He had met the love of his life in that house, and he was going to die in that house. He smiled at the thought of his love for Avery. All those years ago, it had seemed like a curse. A horrible thing that he had killed the man that would later be his love. Now, it was more like an ironic happenstance. Michael sighed as he felt his lungs grow tighter. He had been getting worse the past few days, and he knew now that this was the end for him. He shut his eyes and prepared himself for his final days. He wasn’t scared. He was happy with how his life was spent, and was happy to see it go just the same. He opened his eyes when he felt an odd, but familiar, presence in the room.
“It’s time to go, isn’t it?” He asked, his voice surprising him. He was always surprised when he spoke, or looked in the mirror. It felt like just yesterday he was kissing Avery while they sat in the old window.
“Yes.” Avery spoke. The ghost appeared behind him, though Michael couldn’t see him, he knew he was there. Michael smiled when Avery answered.
“You came back.” He said, his voice shaking with age.
“I never said goodbye, after all.” Avery walked around to the front of Michael. Michael smiled even wider at the sight of Avery. He looked the same as the day he died, and the day he vanished for good.
“Why did you come back?” Michael frowned a bit, at the thought. He didn’t want Avery to be trapped here anymore. He wanted him to pass on. He wanted him to be free.
“I came back for you.” Avery said. He held out a hand, and Michael realized that he didn’t look exactly the same. His hair was the same, and his clothes, and even his smile. But he wasn’t the pale sickly blue gray color he was before. Or the tan and rosy pink color he was when he was alive. But he was a bright golden color. Michael took his hand and felt himself be lifted off the bed like he weighed nothing.
“What are we doing?” He asked. Avery smiled and nodded at the bed. Michael looked down, and saw himself lying there. He felt his heart speed up and began to panic. He looked down at himself and saw he was in his twenties again. He felt better than he had in his whole life. Nothing like what he thought being dead would feel like.“What’s happening?” He asked Avery.
“You’re dead, Michael.” Avery said with a smile, like it was a cheerful thing.
“I’m dead.” Michael said, in shock.
“Yes. But don’t be sad.” Avery said quickly, when Michael swallowed and began looking a little pale. “It’s a happy thing.” He smiled again.
“How can being dead be happy? Why do I look like this? Avery, I don’t understand.” Michael began to panic.
“Calm down, Michael. It’s happy, because you’re at peace. You can be with me. Forever.” Avery said, grabbing both of his hands.
“I’m not a ghost?” Michael frowned.
“No.” Avery laughed and shook his head. “You weren’t tormented by your death, you were peaceful. You get to pass on.” Avery said, his hair shaking as he laughed.
“Oh...Why do I look like this?” He gestured down at himself.
“When you die, you look like you did when you were happiest in your life.” Avery explained.
“Oh...I was happiest when I met you...You were happiest when you were with my grandfather.” Michael nodded, putting his head down. Avery giggled happily.
“Michael, I looked like this when I met you too.” Avery smiled and Michael beamed when he realized the truth.
“Oh... Is there a crash course, or a pamphlet or something I can read on all of this? How did you get all this information?” Michael laughed. Avery laughed with him. It was good to hear him laugh. It wasn’t the cold bitter laugh he had had in death. But it was warm and happy.
“We have all the time in the world, Michael. All the time in the world.” Avery kissed him, and the two vanished from the house. The house that held them in life, in death, and all the places in between. But now they were free. Finally able to be alone, and together. Forever.