that's life (Australia)

Spooky Story

Andrea discovered just why the spirit she saw was so sad

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Andrea Johns, 70, Adelaide, SA

Can you come in at 7am tomorrow?’ asked my boss. ‘We’ve got a big order for curtains and the customer wants them asap.’

I worked in a soft furnishing­s store which had been converted from an old house years before.

It now held a showroom, storeroom and of ce, where our boss worked with the shop assistant, Mary.

At the back was the workroom where I made up curtains with my colleagues, Jill and Barbara.

The next day, I arrived at 6.50am. Jill and Barbara were already there and I got straight down to work.

At 7.30am, Jill asked me to fetch some fabric from the storeroom.

Pushing the door open into the darkened shop, I saw Mary sitting at her desk, her head in her hands.

‘Good morning,’ I said, but she didn’t answer.

Picking up the fabric, I hurried back to my colleagues.

‘Mary doesn’t look well,’ I said. ‘She’s sitting alone in the shop with her head in her hands.’

‘She hasn’t come in yet,’ they said in unison.

‘But I saw her at her desk,’ I replied. ‘Come and I’ll show you!’

But the shop was empty.

‘Mary, where are you?’ I called out, to no reply.

‘Come on, Andrea, let’s get back to work,’ Barbara said.

‘I didn’t imagine it!’ I insisted, but she couldn’t stop laughing. ‘That’s enough,’ Jill said. I knew what I’d seen. At 8.15am, Mary walked past the workroom.

‘Were you in earlier?’ I asked.

‘No, I’ve just arrived. Why?’ ‘Oh never mind,’ I replied. Soon after, when we were alone, Jill turned to me.

‘Andrea, I believe you did see someone because I’ve seen her too.’

‘Really?’ I said, stunned. ‘Yes, many times. She never replied when I spoke to her so I know she’s a ghost. I never told anyone in case they laughed,’ she added.

Amazed, I agreed to keep it quiet but I was curious to know who the spirit was. Then one day, I bumped into the elderly man who lived next door to the shop.

‘How long have you lived here?’ I asked.

‘I was born here,’ he said. ‘My parents built this house when they married.’

‘Do you know who owned the shop when it was a house?

‘The original owner’s husband went to ght in WWI just after they married and never came back,’ he said. ‘I heard she never smiled after that.’

He said people often saw her through the window, at her desk writing letters, even after she’d died.

‘Have you seen her?’ he asked.

I nodded tearfully.

‘So have I,’ he whispered. I told Jill what the old man had said.

‘She’s still there, waiting for her husband to return,’ I explained.

‘No wonder she’s sad,’

Jill replied.

After that Jill and I saw her often. We didn’t speak to her, just went about our jobs and let her be. After all, it was her home.

A few years later, the curtain shop closed down.

Maybe she’s still there, waiting patiently for her lost love. ●

People often saw her at her desk writing letters, even after she died

 ??  ?? Her husband went to war
I saw the ghost at her desk
Her husband went to war I saw the ghost at her desk

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