When I was a little girl I lived in the countryside of Northern Ireland. The house was situated very close to the Giant's Causeway and it had been built by my grandmother's ancestors and had always been in the family. I have the warmest feelings for the place and wish with all my heart that I could buy it back into our family. I lived and played in that house until the age of six. From that point on I moved to other countries and places.
At the age of eleven and a half I had the chance to reminisce with my grandmother. I shared memories of playing outside in the garden, teetering along a wall and climbing a tree as I followed the lead of a friend of mine... But I couldn't remember her name. My Granny was puzzled, "I don't ever remember children coming to play at the house." She said." We lived too far out for most visitors." I was quite sure she was mistaken, I have to this days very clear memories of this girl, she was dressed in a pinafore with a little collar, tall white socks and shoes very similar to my school shoes. Her most striking feature was her lovely, short, ginger hair with its large floppy bow. Granny's face became more than perplexed, almost concerned as she asked what we did together. I followed her everywhere, except to the back of the house. I was forbidden to go back there because of a ground level open well which apparently was no longer used after a cow fell into it and could not be retrieved. On one occasion she beckoned me to follow her back there and I remember shaking my head to say no. Her face changed, she looked scary and beckoned again but I knew better, I'd have been in a lot of trouble if I'd gone with her.
My granny hustled me off after reiterating that I couldn't have played with anyone at the Causeway house. I wanted to know that girl's name and it frustrated me. I don't remember her ever talking to me but I did remember paying with her.
Some time later My Granny invited me to look through some photos of obscure relatives and laid all kinds of photos out in front of me. My heart kind of seized when I saw a brown and white photo of the girl I had described. I picked her up immediately. It was her. My granny paused and then told me her name, it was Ellen. She had been my grandmother's aunt. At the age of nine she had climbed the stone stairs at the back of the Causeway house, crossed the planks which connected the stairs to the barn loft and fallen. Her head injury was severe but seemed to be healing. Her hair had been cut and partially shaved for the surgery and her mother would cover the scar with a large bow. She died of meningitis not long after.
I know so many people, who don't believe in ghosts, I know of many who are very afraid of them, but Ellen was my friend and I still think of her that way. I often wonder if I was to find a way of buying that house back, if she would still be there, as an adult -would I still be able to see her?
I hope one day I have the chance to find out.