A woman mourning her late husband kept having dreams of him telling her to open the drawer in their bedroom — what she found in it changed her life.
“Ghosts don’t exist!” Grace Stone yelled at the mirror in her bathroom. She had woken up in the early hours of the morning from a dream that baffled and, for some reason, set her nerves on edge.
The widow had been mourning her late husband, Ryan, for two months and had started having dreams about him ever since. When the dreams started, she thought it was because she was yet to let him go, then they evolved and started feeling real each time.
The one she had the previous night was the most vivid dream of her late husband she had ever had. She was walking along the beach, something they loved doing together. Her husband was walking in front of her, just a few steps ahead; however, she could not meet up with him no matter how fast she walked or ran.
Desperately, she would call out to him, her arms reaching out, and as though he could feel her hand on his shoulder, he would stop then speak to her.
“Open the drawer,” he would say without a glance backward.
“The drawer?” she would ask at which point she would wake up.
There was indeed such a drawer, but it was situated in their master’s bedroom, the same place they had spent a lot of beautiful time loving up on one another. Grace dreaded entering the room to clean out her husband’s things, and so she had not touched them.
She had moved to the guest room the same week her husband passed, returning to the room only when she wanted to feel her husband’s lingering presence, which was often in the first few weeks after his demise.
Ghosts don’t exist, she said again as she washed her face and looked at herself once more. You’re not crazy. Still, there has to be something symbolic about that drawer, she thought.
Later that day, she summoned up the courage to enter their bedroom, immediately making a beeline for the drawer where her late husband used to put his things.
There were three drawers; the first held some stationeries while the second contained a mix of random things, including a tiny female gnome that was somehow satisfying to stare at.
“Oh Ryan,” Grace murmured as she held the figurine to her chest.
Her husband had liked gnomes, and she could remember how excited he had been when they happened upon the small figurine in a yard sale one day.
After several minutes of quiet sobbing, Grace reached for the last drawer, but it contained nothing but a brown envelope. With trembling hands, she reached for it, feeling its lightness.
She opened it and saw within some papers; the widow had no idea how the documents came to be in the drawer, but she was fully convinced that she was on the right path.
“Ghosts may be real after all,” she said.
Along with the documents, there was a photo of an unknown boy and a business card with only a name and a number. She put it aside for later inspection, then picked up the photo and focused her attention on the child. Doing so, she quickly noticed that he looked a lot like her deceased husband.
You should stop now before you find out something you’ll regret, a voice said in her head. However, it was too late. Grace had to know. She quickly picked up the documents and pored through them but there were no clues pointing to the boy’s identity.
Who is this boy? she wondered. Or is it simply an old picture of him? Or he cheated on you, the voice said again.
With a willful urge, Grace banished the voice and the thought. Her husband had been nothing but faithful to her, and she would not disrespect him in death.
Besides, the boy looked like a five-year-old, around the same time she and Ryan tied the knot. Had he decided on adoption without telling me anything? she asked herself.
As she thought it through, the business card caught her eyes again, so she picked it up, flipped her phone, then dialed the number. “This is the Ferret Agency, how may I help you?” a gruff voice asked.
“Um, hi, I’m Grace Stone and I came upon your business card in my late husband’s things,” she said.
“What was his name?” the man asked, a bit less gruffly.
At that, the man suddenly hesitated and started giving vague responses, forcing Grace to end the call and decide to go see him in person.
The next day, she went to see him, but he was in no mood to speak about her husband and what business they had together. It took a lot of coaxing and a few bucket loads of tears to convince the detective to reveal his secret.
He eventually caved and told her everything when he couldn’t take seeing her cry anymore. According to him, Grace’s late husband had been with a woman before meeting her. They were separated for several weeks when Ryan was introduced to Grace.
When the woman revealed to him that she was having his baby, Ryan was divided; he did not want to give up his kid, and he was not ready to deal with losing the love of his life.
“Please carry this child to term Mia,” he begged the woman one day on their secret phone call.
“You want to be a dad that bad?” she asked.
“Yes, I do. I’m even willing to pay you to keep this child alive and well,” he said.
“How much are we talking here?” Mia said, licking her lips. They both settled things then he started to send her money for upkeep, just to make sure she had everything she needed.
His desire to become a father was thwarted when he was told that the baby was stillborn. Without his knowledge, Mia had schemed with one of the nurses to switch their child with one that no longer drew breath.
The woman who ended up with their child had been desperate to have a breathing child but when she realized the defect the child was born with, eventually abandoned him.
Mia had also gotten rid of him for the same reason, so Ryan was not given a chance to meet his boy. I’ll spare us both the headache of having to raise such a child, she told herself while keeping Ryan in the dark.
It wasn’t until one day that he went for a medical check-up at the same hospital where the child was born that Ryan found out what Mia had done.
Another nurse who was part of the delivery had seen him and asked after his “boy,” wanting to know if the boy could now communicate since he was born deaf.
Ryan replied that the child died but was pulled aside by the woman and told that there had indeed been a baby but that he had been deaf.
“What happened to the baby?” he asked.
“I wasn’t the nurse in charge, I only assisted her but I’m very certain sir that your baby was born alive.”
After this discovery, Ryan started to search for his son. He even reached out to Mia in desperation, telling her he knew what she’d done but that he was only interested in his child’s whereabouts.
“If you know what happened then you should also know there’s no way I would have seen him since I gave him up,” she told him before hanging upon him. Faced with no leads, Ryan hired a private investigator who found the boy after a month.
“He wanted to tell you everything,” the detective named Willie Barnes told Grace.
“Why didn’t he?” she whispered.
“He thought he had time,” Barnes said quietly.
He didn’t need to say more. Her husband had died in an automobile accident on his way back from work shortly after he found out where his child was.
Grace requested for the contacts of the orphanage and soon proceeded to adopt the boy who reminded her very much of her husband. On the first night the child spent inside the home that used to be hers and Ryan’s, Grace dreamt of her husband.
This time, rather than chasing after him, she was walking by his side, and when they reached the end of the beach, he turned to her, placed a kiss on her forehead, and said, “Thank you. Goodbye” and then disappeared. It was the last time she had the dream, and deep inside, Grace knew that she had done the right thing.
What did we gain from this story?
You are not your thoughts. When Grace finally opened the drawer, she was assaulted by negative thoughts that could have driven her to make negative decisions; however, she was also aware that those thoughts did not have to take priority, so she banished them from her mind, immediately freeing herself from their clutches.
Do it now; later may be too late. Ryan held off on telling his wife about his child thinking there was a lot of time until suddenly there wasn’t any at all. Because of that mistake, Grace had to find out herself, and he had to help even after he passed. Call it his unfinished business.
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