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He Came To Say Goodbye

March 2003

Many members of my family have experienced encounters with ghosts, (including yours truly) but this story is from my aunt.

This is as close as I can remember it.

My aunt used to work in an elementary school. She was an assistant to the principal. One of her duties was to take care of the attendance records. Each day, the attendance was taken during the second period class. It was a very, very small school and she pretty much knew the students by name.

There were two brothers, I'll call them *Jim and *John Roberts, who attended the school. Jim was the older brother and John was a couple of years younger. One day when my aunt was looking over the attendance sheets she collected from the teachers, she saw that both brothers were marked as absent. She was writing down the names of all the absentee students and got up to get something from the other side of her office. When she turned around, she saw John standing just a few feet away looking at her. She was startled to see him. She asked him what was he doing there as he had been marked absent by his teacher. John just shrugged his shoulders at her, but said nothing. A little irritated, she told him he had better hurry and get to class. As he turned to leave, my aunt went to get the item she was looking for and returned to her desk. It was a few minutes later when she was thinking, something about that encounter bothered her.

She had not heard the door open or close when John entered the room.

The door to her office was a big, noisy door that could always be heard each time it was opened. Before she saw John, she had not heard it open, nor did she hear it close when he left the room.

There was also another thing, but she couldn't quite place what it was. Dismissing it from her thoughts, she resumed her work and thought nothing more of it the rest of the day.

The next day, the two boys were marked absent again by their teachers. During her coffee break, my aunt sat with some of the teachers and was surprised to hear them talking about a student that died. One of the teachers remarked how sad it was since the boy who died was so young. My aunt joining them halfway into their talk asked to whom they were referring to. One teacher said it was John Roberts. My aunt was shocked. She asked did he die today? No, they told her he died early yesterday morning. My aunt said they must be mistaken. It had to be the older brother, Jim Roberts who died. All the teachers said no, it was John, the younger brother. " But that couldn't be" my aunt said, "I saw him in my office yesterday around second period. I even told him he had better go to class." Then my aunt realized what bothered her about John's appearance. For one thing she had not heard him say a word to her, but just stood there staring. Besides not hearing him enter or leave, she recalled what he was wearing. Instead of the usual jeans and a T-shirt most boys wore, he was wearing a really nice jacket and a shirt. She thought how strange it was for a 9 year old to wear that to school.

She didn't go to the funeral, but she was told by some of the teachers that did attend that John was buried in a jacket and shirt.

(*names changed)

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