Rufus sat and thought. He still had no idea if it really was Amy in the dream, or if he was just wishing it.
“I really miss you, Amy,” he sobbed to the room.
It was as if he was expecting to get some sort of reply, but nothing came. Sitting with his tea, he wept, thinking of Amy.
“Remember the first time we met?” He smiled, “I just about shat myself. Mind you, you were pretty spooked too. I think that’s what brought us together. A spook being spooked, it’s pretty ironic, don’t you think?” Still no reply came, but the very act of just sitting and reminiscing with his ghost, even though she wasn’t there, was enough.
Rufus finished his tea and set his cup down. Before he realised it, he’d fallen asleep. Meanwhile, at Gloria’s, the girls were talking about Rufus.
“So, do you think he’s gonna be okay?” Claire asked.
“Rufus is strong, he’ll get over it. He knows what the score is. When I speak, he usually listens,” Gloria smiled.
“Yeah, he knows better than to disobey his mummy!” Cynthia laughed.
Gloria got up and fetched another bottle of wine, pouring it, she sighed: “I just wish he’d told me about Amy. I have no idea why he didn’t.”
“I think he just wanted something to himself. It seems he just... I dunno, he seems to have taken comfort in Amy, somehow,” Cynthia said.
“Well, whatever it was, he should have told me. I’d have understood.”
The ladies chatted amongst themselves. Moving on from Rufus, they started talking about work.
“Claire, are you ever going back to nursing?” Gloria asked.
“I don’t think so. I can’t quite be arsed with it all. I’ve always wanted to do something else, but I’ve never been sure. How’s that bakery idea happening, Cynthia?”
“Put on hold, since the recent events. I’m still gung-ho, but I can’t do anything until Rufus gets better.”
“I think you should just go for it. You’ve got my backing and you can always start from home at first,” Gloria tried to reassure Cynthia.
As much as Cynthia wanted to get into her bakery idea, she just couldn’t bear the thought that she might have to leave Rufus behind, while she went ahead and started business.
“Are you two staying the night?” Gloria asked.
“No, I should get back to the flat, it’s been a while, it’ll be thinking I’ve abandoned it!” Claire giggled.
“Okay, but you’re welcome to stay,” Gloria offered.
“Thanks for the offer, but I’ll stay at mine. I fancy a wee bit alone, anyway, if you don’t mind.”
“No, that’s fine, just let me know and I’ll pay your cab fare.”
“You’re too kind,” Claire blushed.
“I think I’ll stay here, we can see Rufus in the morning,” Cynthia suggested.
“Good idea, meet you two at the flat then?” Claire asked.
“Sure, about nine?” Gloria confirmed.
Gloria called a cab for Claire and got the spare room ready for Cynthia. Once they had said their goodbyes to Claire, Gloria and Cynthia said goodnight and went to bed. When Claire got to her flat, she just thumped down on the couch and fell straight asleep. She was just so exhausted that she didn’t even have time to take her clothes off.
Back at Rufus’, he awoke in his favourite chair and decided to relocate to the bedroom.
“Well, goodnight, Amy, wherever you are,” he smiled.
He didn’t know why he smiled, but somehow it felt right. Rufus had no trouble drifting off to sleep, but once there, it turned rather bizarre. He dreamed that Amy had come back, but she wasn’t the same. She was, instead, a boy. She was still the same person, but in a different body. Rufus woke up with a start.
“No, please, no!” He shouted to the empty room.
Wearily, but wide awake, he stumbled to the kitchen and got himself a bottle of water.
“That was bloody bizarre, what the hell?” He crashed back to bed and fell asleep again. He didn’t dream, but there was a really surreal feeling, as if something was about to happen. It wasn’t quite foreboding, though.
When he awoke in the morning, it was to a knock at the door.
“Who in blazes?” He muttered.
He got his robe on and headed to the door, sleep dripping from his eyes. Turning the key in the lock, he groaned and opened the door.
“Yeah?” He asked, not even noticing the person in front of him.
“So, that’s how you greet an old friend, eh?” The person asked.
Rufus looked at this person, then away and back again.
“Is this some sort of joke?” He rasped.
“Nope, it’s me!”
Beckoning the person in, he went to make tea.
“Here let me,” the person said.
Rufus went to his favourite seat and awaited his morning cuppa. His head was spinning and he felt like he was still dreaming.
‘I’m going mad, it can’t be...’ he thought.