After my first episode with Gregory’s spirit, things began to change.
Thinking upon it now, it was very probably a combination of factors: my epiphany in the heath, my experience with Greg, my starting to write again and my being with child, although the only proof I had of that back then was my vision in the snow.
But, whatever the mix of factors was, I felt myself opening, seeing Greg in everything. It was as if, in dying, he’d dispersed into a million spirit pieces, embedding himself in anything and everything. I saw him when the clock struck three or half-past ten, in coffee cups and keys, feather pillows, plums and custard, chairs and words, waistcoats, cravats and five o’clock shadows, ribbons, pearls and windswept grasses. For others, this collection would seem nonsensical and random; but for me, these things were conduits to our memories. There was nowhere I could go and there was nothing I could see without some vision, big or small, of Gregory and me.
And when I wrote about him, the way I’m writing now, I felt him there in every word, in every sentence, coming back to life inside the fibres of the page. I heard his voice, his way of speaking, the way he called me ‘Jus’, the way his sentences fragmented just before he climaxed. When I captured him in ink, I felt his sexuality, his surge, his passion, often to the point I’d have to drop the pen and make love to his spirit just to carry on. Although, that said, I loved the ache his phantom caused between my thighs. Whenever he possessed my body like that, I often left the lust to swell into unbearable proportions, adhering to Greg’s mantra that the more it hurt, the deeper the release. And it was true, but truer in his death; if I could hold the urgency and let the pleasure build, I could make his sexual presence last. For as I gained a foothold in this new relationship of ours, I found that once we’d climaxed, joined as ghost and person, he’d leave my body for a while and sift back into everything else: objects, statements, memories.
Greg was absolutely everything.
That was, of course, until one afternoon in late July, when in Foxglove’s spare room, with the midwife and my husband Anthony standing by, I saw Greg in his baby Sidney’s eyes. From that day forward, Greg’s child became my everything. Sidney Winterbourne became my world.
And, come what may, I could never, ever, lose him –
Without there being hell to pay for anyone responsible for taking him away.