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ONE LAST GOODBYE

Growing up in the foothills of the Appalachians in Up-State South Carolina, I was always surrounded by nature and, because of this, developed a love of the great outdoors and the many creatures that inhabit it. My natural love of animals led to me, as most kids do, begging for a pet from my parents.

After a few years of begging, crying, and multiple persuasive arguments, they finally gave in and let me adopt a cat from the local animal shelter. As I was going through the shelter trying to decide on which of the many cats I wanted, and playing with them all as I went through, I stumbled across one in particular that caught my eye.

It was a stark-white-tom-cat with one blue eye and one green eye. I don't know how to explain it but still to this day I can remember how even from that first encounter he had a supernatural feel to him, like he was something more than just a cat.

It was never an ominous feel but rather a comforting one, almost like a feeling of being watched in a protective sort of manner. I instantly knew that I wanted him and within a week he was mine and living with me in my large forest side home.

We instantly became friends and would go exploring together whenever I wasn't at school, whether it be in the forest, down by the river, or in the ruins of the old abandoned mill town that bordered my home town.

Now, from the day I brought home my cat, whom I coincidentally named "Ghost" because of his white fur and strange aura, I began to notice a lot of strange feelings and small subtle occurrences that I hadn't noticed before at these places we explored.

Whether it was a darting shadow or a blur in a window, or simply a weird feeling, it was like I was seeing everything for the first time. I could tell that Ghost sensed it too, even stronger than me, and he seemed to seek out these things as if it were his purpose in life.

The most shocking of these occurrences, and the one that I will surely never forget, happened one chilly September night in the old abandoned mill itself. It was around 10 at night and me and my friend, whom I will call Seth for privacy purposes, decided to go explore the old mill. Ghost tagged along, of course.

I had been to the mill hundreds of times, and even though it was technically trespassing, the local police didn't mind as it was almost tradition for the youth of the town to explore the creepy old mill and they had all done the same in their day.

It started out as a routine night of adventure: crawling through tight spaces, squeezing past collapsed walls, making the treacherous journey down rotten stair cases. Your typical late night being places you shouldn't be as a young child.

The only thing that seemed different was Ghost's attitude. At that point, Seth and I had reached the lowest level of the mill where the workers quarters used to be and at the end of the long hallway. There were two open doorways that led to what used to be the bathrooms.

Ghost had been with me for years now and I could tell he was on edge, even more so than usual. Even Seth commented on his behavior, asking "Dude, why is your cat acting so weird". Knowing my cat and his heighted sense for things supernatural, I had a feeling what it was but I didn't say anything because I didn't want to scare Seth.

As we continued down the hallway towards the bathrooms I too began to feel weird, and soon thereafter Seth commented that he shared the same feel of unease. Then we entered the bathroom and I saw something that I still can’t erase from my mind to this day.

In one of the old broken mirrors against the opposite side of the room I caught a glimpse for a brief second of what appeared to be a person standing right behind where Seth and I were standing. By that point it was some minutes past midnight so we bolted back up the stairs and out the mill with Ghost, the cat, fast behind us. The next day at school we told everyone about our adventure, so the next day we returned with a large group and the many days following but I never saw that figure again.

Several years later, and a few years ago from now, when I was in high school and Ghost was up in his years, he disappeared for a few months and I feared the worst. We put up posters and searched all the places he liked to go, but there was no sign of him anywhere.

Just when I was starting to get over the loss of one the best friends I had ever known and accept that my cat had died, he reappeared one day. He was very loving, more so than usual and he stayed with me the entire day and we just hung out and had a lazy day.

I finally went to sleep with him at my feet curled up around midnight. When I woke up the next morning he wasn't there and I couldn't find him all over the house. That very day my dad came home with bad news. Our neighbors had found the dead body of a cat in the greenhouse in their backyard that they had seldom used.

From the looks of it, it had been dead for at least a month. It was Ghost. Only then did I realize what had happened the day before. My childhood companion and the best friend I could ever ask for, with whom I had gone on so many adventures with had come back to see me for one last goodbye.

ANONYMOUS SUBMISSION.


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