Title: Ghosts of Three

Author: Jo-Jo

Spoilers: William

Keywords: William fic. Series 9 has not yet aired over here though, so please excuse any continuity errors.

Feedback: Would mean the world to me. This is my first ever fic and I'm scared to death. Please let me know what you think.

E-mail: foxcat@btinternet.com

Disclaimer: None of it belongs to me, and no infringement is intended.

Ghosts of Three
By Jo-Jo

There are ghosts that haunt everyone. Some people believe in them and some people spend their whole lives pushing them away and pretending that they don't really exist. I believe that if you listen to the ghosts that haunt you they can tell you secrets about yourself that you never imagined. They would tell you of your past, of your future, of who you really are right down deep inside your most private and undreamt of soul, and they would whisper to you in your blackest hour, when you think that everything is lost, that you are never alone. They would tell you that in this staggering universe of infinite possibilities it is impossible to be truly alone. Every soul is connected to every other in an intricate cats cradle of links and knots, reaching out across time and space, shattering the walls that would otherwise divide us. Each spirit searches for the others that it knows to be its home, which is as familiar as your own heartbeat. I know this because I do listen to my ghosts. I'm greedy for everything that they have to tell me and the way that they love and nourish me. For I am haunted by the ghosts of the feelings and people and experiences of the first 6 months of my life.

I still remember my parents. The last time my mother held me I was 6 months old and I can still remember how it felt to be cradled in her arms, and how she looked and how she smelled and what she was feeling. I knew everything. When she gave me away she thought she'd never see me again. She thought that I'd grow up not knowing who she really was or who my father was and that by sending me away to live with someone else she was somehow parting with me forever. As if that's possible. It's not possible. That's just geography. Just points on a map. It's only where we happen to be at any point in time that keeps people apart. Because even now, after all these years, I still remember her.

I remember the feelings mostly. The way I felt when I was still with her and how it felt to be taken away. And now as I get older those feelings become stronger and stronger, as if I'm going through it all over again, and I wonder if it will ever stop hurting. Every day I remember how much we loved each other, but instead of getting to feel her holding me in her arms again all I have to live with is the memory of how it used to feel. It's so painful to have memories like that and know that the reality is so far beyond you. Sometimes I wish I was just like other kids. My mother smiles at me sometimes, when I'm sitting at the table doing my homework or when I've asked her a question that she doesn't quite know the answer to, and she shakes her head - you're always so curious William, she says. You always need to know exactly how things happen and what makes things work. And sometimes she looks at me and laughs and says I have the bluest eyes she's ever seen. Eyes like the big blue sea. I know she must wonder to herself where I get these blue eyes from, and I almost feel guilty because I know, I know that my mom's eyes are blue like crystal and I know what it feels like when they look at you and smile at you, and I know that anything else just isn't enough.

Other kids don't have that. I often wonder if it's better not to know anything other than the life that you're living now. They say that ignorance is bliss. But then I think that if they took that knowledge away from me it would be like dying all over again. I am different. I am special. And no matter how much it hurts, at least I know, beyond any doubt, how much they loved me.

It makes me smile sometimes to think of all the things that I know. Every day I imagine the day when I'll finally get to see them again, and how amazed they'll be when I tell them everything. I'll tell them that I'm a nicks fan just like dad and that my favourite song is Joy to the World, and they'll look at each other in wonder, astounded that the child they thought they'd lost never really left them at all.

Some of the things I remember I would rather forget. Memories from before I was born drift over me before I'm even aware of them sometimes. We shared so much then. Everything she went through we went through together. For the first 6 months of my life before I was born I was knotted up inside with the enormous weight of her loss and her grief. She was so scared sometimes. Sometimes even now I wake myself in the middle of the night, my pillow wet with my own tears and my heart breaking right there in my chest, because of the nightmares I have about what they did to him up on that ship. They were my mother's nightmares first, but I was there when she was having them and when she was going through all that pain, so now they're my nightmares too. My inheritance. It's bitter, but at least it's mine.

My mom was like a candle where my dad was concerned. She lit up when he came back and she went out whenever he was away. The first light I ever felt in my world was when he breathed again in that hospital bed after having been so far away from us for so long. I had been so long in the dark I thought that light would blind me. I felt whole then. It's more painful than I could ever express to know that part of your soul, of who you are, is so far gone from you like my dad was gone from me back then. When he came back and all three of us were finally together I felt happy for the first time ever. I don't think I've ever been so happy since. We belong to each other, the three of us. I've known that since before I was born. It's my secret and my comfort. We can't be separated. Even now, I can still feel them.

I was with my dad for such a short time. He was holding me in his arms for the first time ever the day that they named me. That's one of my favourite ghosts. That's the one that haunts me the most, the one that keeps me holding on. It's a wonderful thing to be held in your father's arms. It's such a simple thing, but it's the most precious thing in the whole world. I can feel the ghost of it haunting him sometimes too. When he thinks of me, that's what he thinks of most, and I like to remember it with him. It makes me feel close to him again, to know that we're both thinking of each other at the same time, no matter where we are. I hope that one day he'll be able to feel it too.

We were so happy then. My parents think that it's all gone forever, I know. I can still feel them when they think of me, like a burden around my heart. They don't understand that I remember everything, and the weight of their despair is crushing because I don't know how to let them know. It comes over me like a tidal wave sometimes, and all I want to do is shout to them that I'm right here and that I always have been, and that I understand. I need to tell them that I miss them too. I've been missing them since I was 6 months old. They're always so close, but so far away. Close enough that I can always feel them, but too far away for me to be able to give them any comfort.

I believe that there are ghosts all around us, that haunt us and teach us, and shape the people that we are going to become. Some people are haunted by their past, or their disappointments or their expectations. I'm haunted by who I really am and by the life that I led until I was 6 months old. But most of all, more than anything else, I'm haunted by the thrilling, aching, desperate, hopeful ghost of the day when we'll all be together again. And that's the sweetest ghost in the world.



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