So this story isn't as warm and fuzzy as my last one, but it has a good ending. All the names in this story are changed.
My son Dude and I had moved to Tennessee with my boyfriend Frank in '06. We moved into a dilapidated old rental house, fixing it up was part of rent. The place was pretty nice as it was; only one bedroom was totally broken down, part of the roof caved in, and mould everywhere in that room. It had a big living room/dining room, a big kitchen off of that, and the bedroom, bathroom, bedroom circled around the whole thing all connected to each other by doors. We all slept in the one good bedroom, on bed rolls while working on the house, so we were all side by side at night. I should also mention that Frank was an alcoholic and would get abusive with everybody, yelling at Dude a lot.
When we first moved in, it was pretty average. Frank had slowed down his drinking, we worked on the house, had people over, and it was nice. Then Frank met people, drank more, and got mean. Then weird things happened. My son irritated him for some reason, and he would go into a rage for the slightest thing, and when he did, we would always hear this crack in the bathroom, like somebody punching the tile.
One night at dinner Dude spilled some of his water when he set it down, and while Frank was yelling at him for this, the beer that he was holding just slipped out of his hand spilling spectacularly all over the floor.
Frank was always upset about the movies Dude watched, they were too childish, or not manly or something, but he ejected one out and turned around to shout at Dude, and woops the movie was playing again. He said I turned it back on, "there's the trouble right there..." and while he was watching, the movie slid back in by itself and started playing. That night Frank woke me up about midnight or so, and said "Hey, you need to find out what Dude is doing in the bathroom for so long." I Said, "He's not in the bathroom, Frank, he's right here beside us." Frank said," He just walked right past my feet and woke me up and walked into the bathroom there, and has been there for thirty minutes! I know what I saw." The shouting was getting louder, we're all awake now and the door to the bathroom popped open loudly and just swung to.
For the next week we were getting regaled with movies turning on and off at any time of day, footsteps walking through the bedroom, Frank kept losing his beer. Then, while we all were in the living room. I saw a skinny kid; about twelve maybe, walk from our front door and into the bedroom. This kid looked solid, in a pair of jeans and a long-sleeved checked shirt, and he did look kind of like my son. I thought it might be a friend of my son's, and I said "Hey buddy, what are you doing?" And Frank asked me who I was talking to. I said "The kid that just walked into our bedroom." He said "Was he skinny and looked about twelve years old? " That was who he saw the week before. That was who kept knocking Franks beer out of his hands, and made occasional appearances in our home until Frank left us. Then the kid still made an appearance now and again, but it was peaceful.
I called a friend of mine and we both figured the kid had done us a favour, and there were better places he could be. So we, Dude my friend and myself, got together one evening and plaid one of his favourite movies, and sat down in the bedroom, all of us with the light in the corner whom we assumed was the skinny kid, and told him thank you. And if he didn't have any more attachment to us, maybe he should go to the light. That was it, we never heard any more from him.
We later learned that there had been a family that lived there before who had a son with polio. He was very skinny from atrophy from the polio. He was known to be friendly and tried to get out as much as possible, but became weaker and weaker and eventually died in that house. The house had originally been built around a central fireplace that opened into the kitchen and the living room, with smaller hearths in the bedrooms. At the time we made our goodbyes we asked him why he (as the light ball) always hung out in the same corner of the bedroom? We felt he said he liked it there because it was warm, and he was always cold. That corner would have been where the fireplace was. Hope he's in warm sunny places, he's a nice kid and was a great help.