Thursday, June 25, 2015

Microstory 89: Gift Horse

Maxwell Morgenstern’s best friend in the entire world, Maria Gali died a week ago. They had met when they were young children, and their families soon learned quite how difficult it was to keep them apart. They never developed romantic feelings for each other, but their profound connection still put pressure on relationships they tried to form with others. After the burial ceremony, Maxwell began to see Maria’s face everywhere he went. It started off subtly, as the faces of strangers tended to look more like her than he would have previously thought. Soon she became her own person, appearing in full view, and even striking up conversations with Maxwell the likes of which they would have had when she was alive. His continued relationship with his dead friend raised concerns amongst his family, despite the fact that it wasn’t interfering with his responsibilities. He finally felt forced to visit the doctor about the situation. They ran scans and discovered a mass in his brain, which they had no choice but to remove surgically. He put off the procedure for as long as he could, but time eventually ran out. When his mother asked him if he now knew that the apparition wasn’t actually the ghost of Maria, he responded, “I knew from the first second that she wasn’t, strictly speaking, real. But I held on to her because I considered it a blessing; a gift that my brain gave me in order to help my transition. I know the tumor needed to be removed, but I do not regret the extra time my perception allowed me to have with her.”

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