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The Perfect Orange Peel

 

A few years ago on a sultry afternoon, I was sitting at the kitchen table with my mother at her flat in Queenstown. We were remembering departed family members and friends from times long past over a pot of Chinese "oolong" tea. The fragrance of the black tea rose before us in little wisps of hot, curling streamers.

My mother (now in her eighties) had retired from teaching in her late-fifties to be the full-time carer for my father when his Alzheimer's worsened. During the last years of his life, Dad's decline also made it difficult to control his diabetes. His vision disintegrated, along with the rest of his physical and mental state. In the 14 years since Dad's passing, Mum has lived alone for most of this time. In recent years, she has consented to the services of a domestic helper, though she still refuses to move in with my older sister, preferring her independence.

As we sipped at the steaming tea, Mum told me that she had some vivid dreams about Dad in the months soon after he passed away. Sometimes, she would also feel his presence very strongly around the flat. Once in a while, she would catch unexpected whiffs of his scent, something that was uniquely Dad; the salt and muskiness of light perspiration and stale cigarette smoke.

Mum also received a few strange calls in the months following the funeral. There would be no one answering on the line, but she had the distinct impression there was someone listening on the other side. Fearing that she was being stalked by would-be thieves, we advised her to change her phone number and only give the new number out to close family and friends, or essential contacts like her doctor.

But there was one particular incident that really unsettled her. It concerned - of all things - a mandarin orange peel.

The Queenstown flat had a long galley kitchen and the bench top at the time was of brown, textured melamine and the cabinets were a light-coloured pine. Mum liked to have fresh fruit and would keep a bowl of oranges or bananas on the kitchen bench top.

One morning, she woke to find a discarded mandarin orange peel sitting on the kitchen bench top. It was perfectly peeled in a long unbroken strip and neatly arranged back into the rounded shape of an orange. She was sure it hadn't been there when she went to bed.

She had no memory of peeling a mandarin, let alone eating it. There was no sign that anyone had broken in past the outer security gate and the deadlock on the front door. Besides, what burglar would stay long enough to carefully peel and eat a fruit, and then not take anything else of value?

It was such an innocuous thing, that mysterious orange peel. After showing it to my Aunt Rose (not her real name), Mum found the sight of it so unnerving that she threw it straight down the garbage chute, which was located under the kitchen sink.

I discussed this incident with Aunt Rose when I heard about it. She thought that my mother may have taken a sleeping tablet or something else that night, woke up half-asleep and then peeled and eaten the mandarin herself. But when I tried bringing up this possibility, Mum was very adamant she didn't take any such medication that night and on the occasions she did, she only took half a tablet anyway. Mum was certain she wasn't imagining the whole incident.

Furthermore, she pointed out that in our family, only my father had the steady hands required to methodically peel the delicate rind of a small mandarin without breaking it. My sisters and I have all tried at various times to challenge Dad at this and none of us ever succeeded in getting a continuous length of orange peel. Mum never had the patience to even try; she would simply break away bits of the rind until she got to the orange segments inside.

So even if Mum had somehow peeled and eaten the fruit in her sleep, how could she manage to keep the peel intact when she couldn't even do that awake?

Who really made the perfect orange peel?

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Comments about this paranormal experience

The following comments are submitted by users of this site and are not official positions by yourghoststories.com. Please read our guidelines and the previous posts before posting. The author, Jubeele, has the following expectation about your feedback: I will read the comments and participate in the discussion.

Jubeele (20 stories) (820 posts)
+1
4 months ago (2020-03-16)
Fenrispro, I think when it's an account that has been posted some time ago, the OP could have moved on from YGS or not be checking in regularly. But that shouldn't stop you from commenting if you feel the experience is still valid today, and you are sharing something that might be helpful to others.

I'm no expert on the Third Eye, beyond a passing knowledge on the various Chakras. But if you are seeking advice on how to cope with controlling your level of sensitivity, I can share what has worked for me. I went for counselling to strengthen and discipline my mind, as well as learned meditation from qualified teachers. It is about finding that balance between mind, body and spirit.

What we fill our minds is as important as the food in our bodies. Healthy mind, healthy spirit and healthy body. If we are constantly bombarded with negativity, it will wear us down after a while. For me, this means taking time to go sit by the ocean, watch the rain come down, sit in a park, listen to soothing music, not watching violent movies or reading scary stories before bedtime.

Having such sensitivity isn't always a comfortable thing to bear. When I was younger, I used to pray hard not to see or feel anything scary. But now, I feel that it isn't something to fear because it is part of of who I am.

I hope you'll find a way that works for you and you're comfortable with it. Your faith will help you through whatever comes your way. What we are given might not always be what we want at the time, but it could be what we need. It has taken me years to realise this. Life is a constant learning experience.
Fenrispro (49 posts)
+1
4 months ago (2020-03-12)
Oh hey Jubelee 😁 😁 wow u replied! Thx. I was wondering if anyone here check their messages, coz most of them don't. And no inbox notify. I see, how do u cope with 3rd eye? I heard temples can help u to close it.

Hm I suppose god helped me in that aspect, but not reality as I still can't get an ideal job and my parents Ocd 😕
Jubeele (20 stories) (820 posts)
+1
4 months ago (2020-03-09)
Hi Fenrispro

That part of Queenstown is located over a former Chinese cemetery, the first lot of HDB flats built in the 1960s. I've sometimes thought that the shadows under the trees looked just a shade too dark. I'm glad you don't suffer from night terrors anymore; it could your faith that helped you. When I was a child, I prayed every night not to be troubled by them. The night terrors stopped when I moved away in my mid-twenties.

When my father passed away, there had been unresolved issues between my parents. It could be that he was trying to reach out to my mother at the time. The flat was full of clutter from my father, which my mother later cleaned out. She had a priest cleanse and bless the place a few times over the years.

I did 'see' my father in the early morning, a few hours after he left us. He came into the bedroom, as if to check on us. Occasionally, I still dream of seeing him with all the family. A few months ago, I even smelled his old aftershave in the kitchen. Perhaps, it's unfinished business after all. Trying to look out for us to make amends.
Fenrispro (49 posts)
+2
4 months ago (2020-03-08)
since I read somewhere about labrador park recently, I was googling about true Sing horror stories. But avoiding the ones on pontianaks and some very lousy grammar haha.

Not sure if u still check comments. I had not written my own ghost encounters but I believe they exist. But if this ghost was your dad trying to reach out, I wonder why some spirits can't move on to heaven or purgatory? I've had terrible night terrors when younger, I did pray and it seemed a divine being rescued me. Perhaps only spiritually does Jesus or angel step in? Because i've many probs in RL such as father keeping junks, but nothing
Jubeele (20 stories) (820 posts)
+2
2 years ago (2018-04-04)
Hey Em, great to hear from you! ❤ How are things in Texas? Isn't it funny both our fathers shared this talent? Dad always showed off his masterpiece with a flourish too. I remember that "HAH" moment. I can't help this sneaky suspicion that Dad somehow, somewhere had a hand in that orange peel...
EmmalineTexas (10 stories) (163 posts)
+3
2 years ago (2018-04-03)
Jubeele - I wonder if your father tried to contact your mother to make peace but was unable to get the message through. Maybe he settled for a smile at the memory of those perfect mandarin peels? It's a talent! That reminded me so much of my own father carefully peeling apples in one perfect spiral. He always did it and was like HAH look at that. Maybe this was HAH I got through! ❤
Serenflipppity (guest)
+2
2 years ago (2018-04-02)
Dad's a definite die-hard so don't expect him to go anywhere anytime soon, even though Mum's the sometimes scary matriarch:D Must have been a fun household to grow up in ^.^

Reading my way through all your stories and enjoying meeting all the 'characters'.
Jubeele (20 stories) (820 posts)
+2
2 years ago (2018-04-02)
Hi Serenflippity (that's a fun name 😜), thanks for reading and sharing your comment.

Mum showing the middle? Haha - must tell her that. She rigorously cleansed the flat of Dad's belongings after that incident. She wanted nothing of his around. Did I mention she still has issues? 🙄

Soon after that, I started having a few dreams that Dad came to visit me. Nothing spooky; just dreams of him being with us at mealtimes, doing regular stuff. Who knows? Maybe he was making contact with me since Mum had warded the flat against him. Poor Dad. But there's one rule in our family - don't make Mum angry! 😟
Serenflipppity (guest)
+2
2 years ago (2018-04-02)
Hi, Jubeele. I don't have much experience or knowledge on the subject of ghosts etc but I would surmise it was your dad's way of letting you know he's watching over your mom - so don't worry about her too much. Conversely, it could have been your mother's way of showing your dad the middle finger - I see from your comments she wasn't altogether happy with him.

Great read. Thank you for sharing.

All the best, Maxine
CuriousDee (8 stories) (631 posts)
+2
2 years ago (2018-04-02)
Jubeele: Now I understand. I'm glad it has settled down there. Thank you for responding.😊
Jubeele (20 stories) (820 posts)
+2
2 years ago (2018-04-01)
Hi CuriousDee, the orange peel was Dad's special trademark in the family. Mum strongly felt he was around at the time. It really bothered her because there were unresolved issues between them and even to this day, she's still not happy with him. 😠

The flat in Queenstown was built over a Chinese cemetery. Around the time, they also renovated the whole housing estate. I've wondered too if that stirred up a bit of activity around the place again.

But the flat was fairly peaceful when I visited a few weeks ago. It wasn't as unsettled as I remembered from my childhood. Maybe my personal shield is actually working... 😉
Jubeele (20 stories) (820 posts)
+2
2 years ago (2018-04-01)
It was one of Dad's special skills, lady-glow. My sisters and I have all tried and failed to peel mandarins the same perfect way as Dad. I think we also lacked the patience. I still can't get to the end of the rind without breaking off a fragment.

Glad I could share Mum's account with you. ❤
Jubeele (20 stories) (820 posts)
+2
2 years ago (2018-04-01)
Hi Fergie, I've gone over the details a few times with Mum on this. 😉 But even after all these years, she's still absolutely convinced it was Dad.

In the months after he'd gone, there were times she was sure he was standing right behind her in the flat. She could smell his particular scent: cologne, perspiration, cigarette etc. She was quite taken aback. 😲

Glad you enjoyed this. ❤
Jubeele (20 stories) (820 posts)
+2
2 years ago (2018-04-01)
Hi Roy, I've wondered if her medication could somehow make her sleepwalk too. Then again, I'm not sure if sleepwalking could make her fingers suddenly extra nimble. 🤔 Still, I prefer the thought of that than my Mum with a burglar in the flat - now that's seriously scary! 😨
CuriousDee (8 stories) (631 posts)
+2
2 years ago (2018-04-01)
Definitely strange. Do you know why the orange peel would upset your mom? Does she believe your dad is still around the house?
lady-glow (12 stories) (2660 posts)
+2
2 years ago (2018-04-01)
Jubeele.

That's puzzling. If peeling oranges in such a neat way was your father's signature, it's hard to think someone else than himself would have done it.

Great read.
Thanks for sharing. ❤
Fergie (40 stories) (1159 posts)
+2
2 years ago (2018-04-01)
Jubeele, that is truly weird. 😲

I would conclude, if your dad was the only one to do something like that... It must have been the old man himself.

Thank you for sharing another fascinating narrative. ❤
roylynx (guest)
+2
2 years ago (2018-04-01)
Very odd encounter indeed!
Sometimes a person can be so perfect during the time they are "sleep walking" and could be clumsy when they are awake. I am not sure if it was a joke, my friend said that her uncle use to sleep walk ending up on a roof top but then he will not be able to go back down when he wakes up LOL

If we want to be positive about it, let it just be a sleep walk lol

E.Lynx
Jubeele (20 stories) (820 posts)
+2
2 years ago (2018-04-01)
RC, you're the first! I asked Mum about this again a few weeks ago. She still insists it wasn't her who ate and peeled the orange. It's a mystery. But at least Aunt Rose did confirm the existence of that orange peel. 🍊

Thanks for reading. 😊
RCRuskin (8 stories) (633 posts)
+2
2 years ago (2018-04-01)
I got nothing.:P Certain medications can result in doing things while not being aware or remembering afterwards. Such as the time I had a specific medical exam. I remember getting the sedative, and then arriving home from the appointment; a friend drove. I had a $10 bill in my wallet. The next morning, which is the next clear day I have memory of, I had $5 in my wallet and a sandwich in the refrigerator, so I must have walked or driven across the street to buy it.

If someone could not peel the orange that way while aware, I doubt they could do it while medicated. So either there is someone else in the house, or dad got hungry.

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