Please refer to the Plaid Blanket and Mommy, you saw him too if you wish to be kept up to speed with my next story. The particular house was the scandal of gossip between our friends and family members while we lived there.
After Clint shipped out Hope and I resumed life as usual or as usual as could be expected. I had grown quite fond of finding the blanket in the tub every morning. It quickly became part of my morning routine. However something much different was happening in Hope's room. She was becoming reclusive. Every day she would spend more time sitting Indian style crossed legged with her back against her wall. She would giggle and talk to her imaginary baby doll. I tried to get her to come out of her room more often but she insisted on playing with her imaginary baby doll in her room and on the occasions where she would get out of her room she would hold a delicate invisible hand in hers and skip, dance, bounce and run with through the house and yard.
I would often be told not to sit on the couch or chair because Hope's imaginary baby was sitting there. The first couple of times this happened I really wasn't alarmed it was actually a bit cute but as Hope's fondness of her imaginary friend grew stronger I started becoming worried. I knew that the house was haunted and I was a little afraid for her safety and sanity. Then I got an idea that could win me the "Mom of the Year" award in my house. I would go get Hope her own television. I had always objected because I thought she was too young but in a last ditch effort to bring some sort of outside influence on her this flash of genius bolted through my mind.
Hope and I went to the local thrift store and there I let her pick out her own television. I wanted her to feel like this was a big deal. She giggled holding hands with her invisible friend and picked out a Sony 18 inch flat screened tube television. She seemed to be excited about her new television and for a few precious moments I was looking at my bright bubbly baby girl. When we got home I unloaded the television and placed it on the kitchen table because we were going to take on the craft of a lifetime. We were truly going to make this television hers I came up with the idea of decorating the television any way she wanted. Loads of sparkly stickers and squiggly lines of tee shirt puffed paint were placed and drawn on by her little hands. She had made the television hers. She had taken interest and it seemed that the imaginary baby doll had taken a backseat.
Several hours later when the glitter paint and glue had dried I placed the television in Hope's room on a shelf that was built into the wall. She was sitting there on her bed giggling and when I brought the VHS player from mine and Clint's room and hooked up to her television and I was so proud of myself when I popped her favourite tape into the player, The Power Puff Girls theme music streamed through the speakers and life danced along the screen. When I glanced down to Hope, expecting her big blue eyes gazing up at me I saw her smiling at the empty corner of her bed. And my ego took a huge wallop. My heart sank as she held the imaginary baby doll's hand then she glanced up to me and asked me to turn the television down. I did with a heavy hand and heart until there was no sound. She said, "Thank you Mommy."
Hope was happy with her television but it didn't give the effect I had hoped. But, anyone who knows about parenthood knows that with as much as you teach your children you learn from them. I learned that Hope wasn't easily distracted. And, she will come around when she is ready.
I would see the shadows dancing in the hall from time to time and I would still get the chest tightening frightened feelings from time to time but my worries about Hope. I would quickly pass the spine tingling muscles burning breath shortening blankets of awe and confusion from my thoughts. I was becoming just as obsessed with the imaginary baby doll as Hope had been.
Then a few days after Clint had gotten home I finally got to see what Hope had been seeing the whole time. Hope was by one of our friends' houses, I was scheduling a lot of play dates where she was forced to leave the house I thought it was best with her current behaviour.
Clint was being lazy just lying around in our room which was normal. He was off and needed time to rest, Hope was hopefully having a great time at Meredith's and I was doing my every day routine. I suddenly felt this over whelming feeling that I needed to turn around. As I've stated before in my other stories the house had an extension which made all of the windows on one whole side of the house to be boarded up. In mine and Clint's room where the side window would have been where they had boarded up the window to accommodate the extension they had placed a mirror to cover the boarded window. It was plain.
When I turned I saw Clint staring into the mirror. He had his arms folded and he was leaning over the little shelf. He was staring into the mirror with such fascination it sparked my interest. His eyes didn't leave the mirror but he motioned for me to come to him.
My hall was not long, short in fact but that was the longest trip down any hall I had ever been down in my life. My legs were heavy and my breath was quickened. I was scared before I got there but when I reached him and my eyes met the mirror I felt the floor fall from beneath my feet. The reflection in the mirror was not what it should have been. Where Clint was leaning, where his reflection should have been there was the face of a small girl. She had dark brown hair that fell in little ringlet curls around her face. Her clothing was faded it was a light blue dress that had a big bow on the right hip.
The room was not decorated in my room. The bed was on a different side of the room with different bedding. There was carpet where my room didn't have carpet. My room had yellow faded linoleum. The girl was smiling and pointing at Clint. I grabbed Clint's arm and watched as this little baby doll looking girl smiled and pointed at Clint.
"It's Hopes little girl," Clint stated with a shaky voice.
"I know," I replied.
What else could be said? Several breaths later, just the blink of an eye the room was back to normal. Clint stood up he grabbed me close and we hugged for what seemed like an eternity. We saw Hope's girl. We both saw Hope's imaginary baby doll. I quit obsessing over her new friend after I saw what she did. I don't believe that the little girl was the blanket ghost. I do believe it was Hope's imaginary friend because after Hope got home later that day we sat down and asked her what her friend looked like to her. She explained everything down to the colour of the little girls bow on her dress. There was a difference in her description compared to what I personally saw Hope said that the little girl always had a bloody nose when she saw her.