Two Years Dead

Edited by Julia Rios

January 2018

When I opened up my OKCupid profile, I was already two years dead.

The first few months of my afterlife, I had stuck around my old apartment because it felt like what I was supposed to do but I could tell the dude who moved in had enough problems without walking through a cold patch of air (me) unexpectedly or sometimes catching a glimpse of me out of the corner of his eye. Plus, he was a grad student. So, really, I was just making him lose his mind quicker. Now, I tried, mostly, to stay out of people’s way but it got lonely, floating around from abandoned building to abandoned building.

Sometimes I’d go to the library after hours. I could sneak into the room where they stored the laptops and get on the internet. It looks a little weird when I do it these days, I sort of have to meld partially with it? It’s hard to explain but I look like I have a laptop for my hands. I’d just surf all night until the sun came up. I guess it wasn’t too much different from what I used to do except it wasn’t my apartment and I was dead.

I had decided I wanted to start talking to people again not just read articles about them. So I started my dating profile. I swear, I told myself I wasn’t going to meet anyone, just see who was out there. Chat a bit, you know? I used an old picture from my Facebook, one sort of buried, not my profile pic. Didn’t want anyone image searching me and finding a dead chick. I checked “I don’t want to see or be seen by straight people” because even dead, I didn’t have time for that nonsense.

Her profile had been so intriguing. Bright blue hair against skin almost golden. Her interests were smashing the patriarchy, pole dancing, and baking cookies. Her smile made me wish I could taste those cookies just to tell her how good they were. I was probably doomed from the start. I should never have messaged her.

But then she asked me how I had got my name and it’s my favorite story to tell so I did, and then I ended up telling her I could meet her for coffee! Coffee?! I didn’t need caffeine, I didn’t sleep! Plus, incorporeal, hello?! I told myself I’d just go over and see her but not let her see me.

I was definitely doomed, I should know myself better.

It was nice to be able to float, since the cafe was on the second floor. I looked in the window and melted as I saw her sitting there. She looked so cute, her hair was pink now. I was there watching her for long enough that it started to become creepy. As it got later, she looked sadder and sadder. I just… I couldn’t let her think I was a jerk. I’d rather her know and be scared than think there was something wrong with her; that I wouldn’t want to see her. I wanted to so badly.

So I went in and walked up to her. I shook myself, remaining as solid as I could. Which, if you haven’t seen a ghost recently, is still fairly transparent.

“Uhm, hey, uhm, Kyrie? Your hair is a different color.” Smooth. Maybe if my spirit sticks around for 1,000 years I’ll get the hang of that opening line but somehow, I doubt it.

“Honor?” Her eyes widened when she saw me. I flinched, waiting for her to scream, to be confused, to leave. Still, that look in her eyes was better than the sadness that was there a minute ago.

“Yes, hi, it me.”

“You’re… more of a ghost than your picture lets on.” She said it with humor but I could tell she was shocked, maybe disappointed? I hoped not too disappointed.

“Yes, look, I’m sorry, I should have said but I just… didn’t know how to bring it up and I just… had so much fun talking to you.” I started flailing my arms around as I talked. I still hadn’t sat down and I only missed knocking into someone because I can’t touch things unless I really, really want to. The amount of things I knocked over while alive: infinite. There are some advantages to being a specter I suppose.

She held up her hands to get me to stop and then motioned for me to sit down. “Well, this will make my thing much easier. I’m transgender!” She grinned, shy. I was doomed.

I started laughing as I pulled out the seat, willing my hands to work with the object. “We’re mutually awkward at dating?”

“Yes.” She laughed too; frogs in the sky, that laugh.

“I’m still game if you are?” I said, already smitten, already planning where I would take her if she said yes.

“Yes.” She smiled, relief in her voice.

I was two years dead when I had the first date with the love of my afterlife.

© 2018 Kathryn Kania

About the author

Kathryn Kania

Kathryn Kania is a writer and librarian living in New England. When not thinking about mythological beings, storytelling, or food, Kathryn enjoys swing dancing and walking amongst trees.