Dig Baton Rouge

The Bitter Lemon

By Holly A. Phillips

“Nights that followed found us up late, laying in my dorm bunk, our bodies both fitting on the twin mattress, staying warm in the slight chill of the October air.”

Growing up in Indiana, I have always loved fall – the leaves changing from green to red, the crisp air, and the feeling of the holidays just around the corner.

Once I moved to Baton Rouge, I quickly realized that a true fall is a rare treat. In fact, October was establishing itself as a month I came to dread.

My second October in Louisiana, I got dumped. I was in a long-distance relationship with my then-best friend, whom I lost my virginity to. He dumped me by ignoring my texts and calls, and he eventually posted pictures of him with his new girlfriend, dressed as a pirate’s wench for Halloween.

The following October, I had a new boyfriend, and we celebrated the season by carving pumpkins on his front porch. Our relationship was moving fast, and I was falling for him hard.

So, we drove to Indiana later that month, so he could meet my friends and family. When we returned from our trip, he dumped me in the same fashion the previous October had delivered.

I was really starting to hate fall.

But I got a phone call the following April that made my heart stop: my friend, and crush, was hit by a car as he attempted to cross Nicholson Avenue, leaving Tigerland.

He was dead at the scene.

That night, I sat on the floor of the sorority house, drinking cheap champagne right from the bottle.

I couldn’t stop thinking about the times we shared. We’d met during orientation, and emailed all throughout the summer. Once we started school, we both joined student government, and got jobs working retail at the mall.

He was so cute, so cool, and I had to give myself a pep talk before calling to ask him if he’d be my date to a sorority function.

He happily agreed, and I was ecstatic. That night, we took tons of pictures, and shared a kiss. I felt so special.

Nights that followed found us up late, laying in my dorm bunk – our bodies both fitting on the twin mattress – staying warm in the slight chill of the October air.

At his funeral, I tried my best to keep from crying. I knew he wouldn’t want me to be sad. But “Mr. Jones” by The Counting Crows played in the background; it was one of his favorite songs to sing, and I couldn’t hold back the tears.

It’s been nine years since he died, and I still miss him often. But in that time, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t hear “Mr. Jones” nearly everywhere I go.

I had the pleasure of meeting with paranormal investigators this month for another article, and I mentioned the song, wondering if it was a sign from my friend on the other side.

Without hesitation, they nodded, telling me it was his way of saying hello.

I’m scared shitless of just about everything, including ghosts. But the thought that my October friend might be watching over me is comforting.

Casper is pretty much the only Halloween movie I can handle, and I sometimes wonder if it’d be possible to have just one night with my old friend, like Casper (Devon Sawa, such a cutie) got.

It’s wishful thinking, but it’d sure make me fall in love with Octobers all over again.

Read more about ghosts of relationships on Holly’s blog, TheBitterLemon.com.

Ghostly Baggage

Getting Signs From the Departed:

1. Be Open: Have an open mind about getting signs from a loved one.

2. Look Everywhere: A sign could be something very small, so keep your eyes and ears open.

3. Be Thankful: Don’t be scared of the signs, be happy you can still “hear” from your loved one.

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