Lucas snuck quietly out the back door and crept across the patio toward Evelyn’s grave. He’d just finished having cake with his parents, and Noah and Sam would be there any minute to pick him up. It would have to be quick, but he wanted to see Evelyn tonight, even just for a few minutes.
“Happy Birthday, handsome.” She raised her arms excitedly and smiled as he approached, though her entire form glowed a soft blue. Lucas knew exactly what it meant.
“Thanks!” He replied cheerfully. “Another year down…”
He paused for a moment, looking at her curiously. “What’s wrong?” He asked seriously.
Evelyn sighed. “It’s silly.” She shook her head.
She bit her lip. “You’re older than me.”
“You’re older than me.” Evelyn repeated, embarrassed. “Tonight’s the big one, right? 21? Finally legal?” She tried to smile. “That makes you officially older.”
Lucas shook his head, pointing toward Evelyn’s nearby grave. “Nope.” He said. “See what that says? 1965. So you’re…” He paused for a moment, counting. “Damn, you’re less than 6 months away from 50!” Lucas cried in mock surprise. “You’re way too old for me, Ev. Not the other way around.”
Evelyn could not help but laugh, and Lucas quickly joined in.
“Thanks, that doesn’t sound creepy at all.” She giggled. “You know what I mean though.”
“I do.” Lucas agreed, his voice solemn.
“I always knew this would happen… I guess it just feels so soon…”
“Let’s not worry about it, okay?” Lucas reached out and held her hands gently in his. “It’s not a big deal.”
They were cold and weightless to the touch, like a fine mist. He thought back to his dream from the night before. Just once, he wished he could hold a warm hand in his…
What am I thinking? He quickly chased the thought away, embarrassed for even considering it.
“Look, I should probably get going… The guys’ll be here any minute.”
Evelyn nodded sadly. “Okay… Well, have fun.”
Lucas smiled crookedly. “Of course.”
“But not too much fun.” She teased, a small smile coming to her lips.
He rolled his eyes, but the smile did not leave his face. “Love you, Ev.”
“You too.” She smiled.
Lucas gently let go of the ghost’s hands and turned to head back inside.
He waited until he knew he was out of sight before letting his head hang low. He’d give anything for Evelyn to be able to come too. We can’t even celebrate my birthday together…
No. Lucas told himself firmly. He wasn’t going to mope around like this. Not tonight. It was his 21st birthday, something he’d been looking forward to for a long time, and nothing was going to hold him back.
He looked over his shoulder for one last glance at Evelyn, but she had already vanished back into the darkness of her grave. With a small shrug, Lucas lifted his head, put a smile on his face, and headed back inside to await his friends.