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December 2002

I have always believed in the supernatural but have never had any real proof (i.e. a first hand experience) until now. I thought I would be scared, but because the experience could have saved my life I feel grateful and warm. Here is my story:

I have suffered from an eating disorder for almost 4 years and finally decided to get help. I phoned a national help line and found out about a self help group which was near me. The group was run by a girl called Clara, and the help line operator gave me Clara's mobile number so I could call her and find out the date and venue of the next meeting.

I spoke to Clara and she told me the meeting took place every 2 weeks in a local community hall. I told her I was nervous as I had only just admitted to myself that I had a problem, and she put me at my ease. She suggested she and I meet prior to the meeting, so she could tell me more about the group and make me feel more comfortable. We agreed to meet the following Wednesday.

On Tuesday night, however, I got a text message from Clara asking if we could make it Friday instead - no problem. We met in a local bar and chatted about our eating disorders (she is a recovering anorexic herself). I felt so much better for having met her, because she was really easy to talk to. After our drink she asked if I would mind dropping her home, as she usually had her bike but chose not to travel by bike that night as the weather was bad. I dropped her at the corner of her street and went home.

When I turned up to the group meeting the following week, I was surprised to find a new girl leading the meeting. Everyone else in the group looked very upset. I asked where Clara was, at which point one girl started weeping hysterically. Clara had been killed the previous Tuesday. She was knocked off her bike in an accident. I wanted to tell the group that this couldn't be true, because I had met her on the Friday. But when I thought about it, little things suddenly came to me that didn't make sense. She asked for a lift home as she hadn't wanted to ride her bike in the rain - but how did she actually get to me in the first place? When I think of her appearance that night, she was bone-dry without a drop of rain on her. She hadn't mentioned anyone giving her a lift to meet me, and the nearest tube station was a good walk away. She also seemed uneasy when I offered to drive her to her front door, and insisted I drop her at the corner of the street.

I went back to the bar where we'd met and asked if they remembered the girl I'd been with that night. Unfortunately they said they were so busy they could never remember each individual who passed through. Clara's text message, however, was still on my phone. Something told me not to delete it.

Clara's funeral took place the following week. There I met her sisters, and strangely I felt a strong connection with one of them. I realised I was running the risk of upsetting her by saying anything, but something was compelling me to do so whilst at the same time reassuring me it was ok.

At the wake I took her to one side and said, "This is going to sound crazy, but I saw Clara three days after she died. We met for a drink and she told me all about the eating disorders group." I then showed her the text message on my phone. Strangely, Clara's sister (whom I later found out was her non-identical twin) didn't get upset or hysterical. She just smiled when she saw the text message, and confirmed that it had been sent from Clara's phone. She also told me that she'd spoken to Clara the day I'd called her, and that Clara had said what a nice person I sounded and what a pity it was that I was suffering so badly with my eating disorder. She'd also said she really hoped she could help me overcome my problem.

I am now in recovery myself, still going to the same self help group and feeling better about myself. I am also still in touch with Clara's sister, and I haven't had the heart to delete that text message from my phone. I firmly believe that Clara came back to save me, and I will always be grateful to her for that.

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