He walked down the steps and stared at the red bike leaning against the wrought iron fence. The sight of her bike bought back a flood of memories but also raised new questions—frightening questions.
Sam was his wife. They were still in college and living in his parents’ brownstone when she disappeared. The police suspected he had something to do with her disappearance but released him after hours of questioning checking his alibi.
It had taken him years to get past her disappearance, and in many ways, he never did. When his parents died, he could have sold the house, but he felt connected as if he couldn’t leave. Years later, as people continued to wonder what happened to Samantha, he chose not to discuss it. She was gone.
He debated what to do. The bike was hers. He recognized the bike chain covered in pink fabric and the scratch on the fender, which happened when she took a turn too fast and fell. He needed to think about what his next move was. Until he decided, he rolled the bike to the backyard, hiding it in the shed where he stored junk.
As he backed out of the drive, heading to work, fear crept over him. He never expected to see the bike again. It wasn’t possible, but it was back, and a cold shiver crept over him. The bike had returned.
That night as he lay in bed, unable to sleep, images of Samantha as he last saw her swirled in his memories. Trying to fight the fear, he froze when he heard a noise outside the bedroom window. He rose slowly and walked to the window pulling back the drapes. He stifled a scream and nearly passed out as he saw who was staring back at him—Samantha, wearing the same yellow cotton dress she wore that day, the bike beside her.
Sam smiled and motioned for him to come to her. His legs were wooden, he tried to resist, but she was drawing him to her. The air was cool, and he shivered as he stood in front of her.
“Raymond, I’m home,” she whispered. She wrapped her arms around him and kissed him. “I was hoping you were still here. But then you couldn’t leave the scene of the crime, could you?
“How are you here?”
“Ahh—that is the question, isn’t it? How could I be here? I’m dead. It took me a while to find my way back, but I did. And now, you are going to pay for killing me.”
“Samantha, it was an accident. I didn’t mean to hit you that hard.”
“No, it wasn’t. You were jealous. You thought I was cheating on you. I wasn’t.”
“Don’t lie to me. You were.”
Her beautiful face became skeletal, and as her bony mouth opened, Raymond screamed.
An early morning jogger found Raymond’s body on the sidewalk at the foot of the steps. The bike was gone.