Hell on Earth (a wannabe love story)

“No, no, no…” I said waling faster. A few people looked at me strangely as i passed, but then looked away when they saw me look back. I took my phone out of my pocket and pressed it against my ear, pretending to pick answer a call. “Leave me alone! Why won’t you leave me alone?”

“You are the only one who can see me.” he said, simply. He was tall. And he was smiling. He wore a black t-shirt and black jeans, and he was barefoot. Also, he was dead.

Yea, I see dead people.

And it was horrible.

See, dead people never shut up. They go on and on about how they are so tired of roaming the afterlife and how they just want to go home. Every single one of them wanted something. I once saw a little girl who kept crying because her mom didn’t love her anymore. She had been dead for 20 years.

I blamed myself. Once the dead notice they you can see them, you automatically become their lifeline. Their link to the living. They’d want you to start doing everything for them. One insane spirit once asked me to run her boyfriend over because he dated and married her best friend, who she accused of killing her. She called me a few choice names and left me alone when I refused.
I had to learn to ignore them and most of them went away. I sometimes saw some of them around my apartment. I have one of them in my bathroom who sometimes gave me tips on how to keep germs away. She was sweet, but obviously troubled. But she was content to stay in my bathroom, so I left her alone.

Then there was Hassan.

Fine boy, Hassan. He was the only one that refused to leave me alone. I “met” him a few weeks the accident that turned my life into a living nightmare. He mostly just watched me and smiled. He irritated me a lot but he was funny. I guess I liked him because he was the only spirit that didn’t ask me for anything.

Until a few weeks ago.
“I need a favor.” he said, one night as I was going home from work. “And you are obviously, the only one that can help.”

“No.” I said immediately. “I am not helping any of you. I can’t. My life is already crazy as it is. I do not need any more crazy.”

He laughed. “It’s not like that.” he said. “It’s not for me. It’s for you.”

“That was what Mimi, the germophobe in my bathroom said, before she asked me to describe the smell of my toothpaste to her.”

“Please.” he scoffed. “I’m nothing like that nut job.”

“Nevertheless, I’m not helping you with anything.” I smiled and put my phone down. Signalling the end of the conversation.

“If you say so.”
“Hassan.” I snapped. “You have to stop this.”

“I can’t.” he sighed. “I’m trying to protect you.”

“From what?” I asked, rolling my eyes. He suddenly appeared in front of me.

“I can’t come over there.” He sighed. And for the first time, he was not joking or smiling, he looked genuinely worried. “But you can come here.”

“Wait, what?” I asked.

His hands passed through my hair. “See you at home. You are safe now.”

Then he was gone.

The rest of the day was a total blur. I had never seen Hassan so worried before. He was dead, a spirit. He had nothing to fear, except maybe going to hell, but then he had told me that there was no such thing as hell. That we were in it. Earth was basically hell. And that the heaven, our pastors told us about was just a place all the spirits go when they were able to let go of whatever was keeping them grounded.

“He likes you, you know.” a small voice said, next to her. I jumped. It was the crying girl spirit. She was surprisingly without tears today. I looked around and put my phone to my ear. “What?”

“Hassan. He likes you.” she said. She stared into space for a minute. “My mommy died today.”

“Oh.” I didn’t know what to say. “Are you OK?”

“Yes.” then she smiled. She was a pretty little girl. “My mommy loves me. She’s waiting for me…” She stopped and cocked her head as if she was listening for something. “I have to go now. But remember what I said.”
“I don’t understand.” I told Hassan later that evening. He stood at the foot of my bed and watched me pace. “She just left. She said you liked me. And I had to remember what she said. Wht do I need to remember that?”

“Can you remember what I said about Hell?” Hassan asked suddenly.

“That Earth is basically Hell and there is no such thing as the “real Hell”” I said. “What has that got to do with anything?”

“I really like you.” he said. “And I can’t do anything till you come here.”

“Come where?” I blinked. “Whats going on with you today?”

“You have to decide. You have to remember…” He sighed, suddenly looking very tired. “I can’t keep shielding you. Babe, I won’t leave you, but it’s killing me to stay here.”

Something he said, nagged at me. Something he said…I looked at him. I knew him. As in, I really knew him…not just as Hassan, my spirit crush. But….
“I can’t believe you’d do that to me!” Zoba screamed.

“Babe, I’m sorry.” Hassan said, following her through the apartment. “I’m sorry.”

“I told you I loved you…I have never said that to anybody before.” She said, “And you go and sleep with her?! You are supposed to be mine! Mine!”

Hassan looked stricken. “Chizoba, calm down. Lets talk about this. Don’t leave like this.”

“And she sent me pictures!” Zoba continued like he didn’t say anything. “And she laughed at me. Telling me she still had you, whether I liked it or not.”

“I made a mistake.” Hassan said. “I fucked up. Don’t leave like this, please. I’m sorry.”

“I have to go.” She turned and walked out of the house. Hassan ran after her and jumped in the car with her. It was raining and she was crying. “Babe, please, you cant leave like this. I’m yours. I swear. I know I made a huge mistake. I promise you, I won’t make another. Babe, chill!”

She started the car and stepped hard on the accelerator. The car lurched forward onto the street…into the path of a speeding trailer…

She opened her eyes and saw a bunch of people staring down at her. “Are you OK, dear?” she heard someone ask.

“What happened?” she asked.
“I…I’m dead?” I whispered.

“We are dead.” Hassan said.

“I killed us.” I closed my eyes. “Oh no…I remember. I remember!”

“It has been six years.” Hassan said. “You were too traumatised or something to remember what happened. She told me to give you time.”

“She?” i asked, looking at my arms, touching my legs. “Who is she?”

“God? An angel?” Hassan shrugged. “You know I don’t believe in all that.”

“Even now?” I asked. “Now you don’t believe?”

Hassan smiled. “Babe…I’d believe anything you want me to.”

“Does this mean I can touch you?” I asked, looking down at my hands. “That I could touch you all this time?”

“I dunno.” Hassan said. “I haven’t touched you in years. And it has been killing me.”

I walked towards him and hugged him hard! “All this while, I thought I was crazy for having a crush on a dead guy…but I love you, Hassan. I realize that now.”

He leaned over and kissed me. “I love you too.”

“So what now?” I asked him.


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