The sound was unmistakable. I heard the pounding twice. Who would be knocking on my door at eleven o’clock at night? Quietly I walked down the stairs, and turned on the outside light, while lifting my toes to look through the peep hole through my door. Suspiciously no-one was in sight. Next, I opened the door, then my screen door, and stepped onto the porch to look around, but again no soul was around. Turning around to walk back inside I was stunned to see the kitchen light on when my house had no lights on moments before. What was happening?
“Who’s there?” I called out but only silence was in reply.
Slowly I walked back inside and peered into the kitchen only to find it as empty as my porch was. Then I noticed my kitchen table, and on it was a leather journal I had never seen before. I opened it to find all the pages blank except for the first page. On that page the only writing was today’s date: November 7, 2015. The pages were lined and the journal brand new. Where did it come from? I sat it down and proceeded to walk through my home making sure to turn on every light I passed. All rooms were empty and quiet on this silent night.
I walked back to the kitchen and picked up the journal to bring back to my room. Turning off all the lights I decided it was time to turn in for bed. Just as I was about to turn off the light on my night stand I noticed a new detail on the journal. On the bottom right-hand corner was my name: Property of Renee Lee Hendrix.
Nerves kept me awake the entire night and 9 a.m. seemed to take forever to arrive. As soon as the clock turned I immediately picked up my phone to call my best-friend, Jessica. The phone rang three times before she answered.
“Jessica! Thank God you answered! I had the stranges….”
“Hello? Anyone there?” She said sounding confused.
“Jessica! Can you hear me?”
Just then I heard her hang up. I tried to call again but she still could not hear me. I then tried to call my mother but only got her voicemail. I asked her to call me right away and then hung up the phone. I walked through the house again to ensure I was definitely alone before jumping into the shower. It was time to get ready and drive to Jessica’s house. I needed someone to see the journal besides me. I just didn’t know that strange was just getting started.
Stepping out of the shower I quickly dried off and put on my bra and underwear. Walking back into the bedroom I froze at the door. On my bed lay a dress that I didn’t put there. The dress was mine but not something I would ever choose to wear on a normal day. The day had to be really special for me to put a dress on. On top the dress laid the journal. Tossing the journal to the side I picked up the dress to return it to my closet. Picking the journal back up there was a new detail on the second page. Once again the date of today was on the second page in the top right corner. Suddenly the tears were flowing down my face without effort, and I threw the journal in frustration. Putting on a robe I tried again to make phone calls, but no one could hear me when they would answer the phone. I needed help!
Just then I heard a car door close outside. Looking out the window I saw my mom and aunt heading toward my front door, but they didn’t look happy to be there. Running down the stairs I was surprised when they didn’t knock, and instead my mom used her spare key to walk right in.
“Mom, what is going on? I have had a terrible ni…”
She didn’t even look at me. It was if I wasn’t even there. She walked past me, continued up the stairs, and both her and my aunt walked into my bedroom. Once in my room my mom walked to my closet, and pulled out the dress that was on my bed just minutes before.
“She will look beautiful.” My Aunt Terri said in the most consoling tone.
“I know. She would be happier in a jeans and t-shirt though.” My mom said while holding back tears.
“Yes, but even Renee wore dresses on important occasions.”
They both turned together and left the room with the dress. They can’t see me but they think they are going to see me? And I will need a dress? My stomach was in knots and my mind more confused than ever. I watched them leave from the window and turned back toward my bed. Today’s newspaper laid open and was conspicuously opened to the obituary section. Picking up the paper, and reading the names of the recently deceased, suddenly everything became more clear.
Renee Lee Hendrix died unexpectedly on Friday, November 6, 2015. Renee leaves her Mother Martha, father Joseph, and younger sister Kaylee behind. Services will be held on Monday, November 9th, 2015 at 2p. The family respectfully asks that in lieu of flowers donations be made to A Life Worth Living in her memory.
Stunned by my own obituary I was startled by a knock at my door. I walked down, opened the door, only this time to see a man in plain clothes staring at me. I didn’t know him, but I was relieved to see in his eyes that he could actually see me. Checking that my robe was shut I opened the screen door.
“Hello Renee. Did you get your journal?” He asked in a dry but careful tone.
“I did.” I said quizzically. “How did you put that in my home? Who are you? I demanded.
“My name is Adin. I am here to help you move forward.”
“I don’t understand. I have a newspaper that says I died yesterday, and that I am being laid to rest on Monday. How is that possible? I am not dead!”
“Renee, unfortunately your body did die on Friday. Services are scheduled to lay your body to rest on earth. Your spirit lives on and it is my job to help your spirit move forward.”
“I don’t want to be dead! I need to talk to my mom. I need to fix this. Please!”
“Your chances to fix your earth life are gone. The journal will help you to let go of your mortal life and move on. Use it. It will help.”
“No!. This is just a nightmare and I need to wake up. If I died wouldn’t I remember dying?”
“You will know everything tomorrow about the time of your death. You will remember everything at that time.” He said patiently before turning to leave.
Suddenly I was so tired. I returned to my room and went back to bed. Maybe I will wake up if I go back to sleep? Please let me wake up.
When my eyes opened from a restless slumber I found that I was no longer in my home. Instead I was at my family’s church and most everyone I knew was there. Walking around I found a room with a couple of familiar voices. It was Jessica talking to my mother, and both were crying during the conversation.
“I don’t understand. What happened?” Jessica asked in a frustrated voice.
“We don’t really know. She was found at her front door. We think she was running to get help, but her heart stopped before…”
“I have been getting phone calls from her house since Saturday. Every time I answer no one is there.”
“I got a call from her house too. I don’t know who it could be.”
I didn’t stay for the service. I couldn’t. I didn’t want to be there, and I didn’t want my body there. Instead I walked home and to my bedroom to accept my new reality. Looking down I notice I am wearing the dress my mom picked for me to wear. I sat down on my bed and opened the journal to the first page for my November 7th entry.
My name is Renee Lee Hendrix. I died on Friday, November 6th after opening my front door to run for help because I knew I was in trouble. My heart stopped from over-dosing on cocaine and alcohol, and I didn’t have enough time to get help. To my friends and family… I am so sorry!!