When Kay went down to make herself some tea and toast, Edith was still haunting the kitchen, drifting between the sink and the worktop. Kay manoeuvred herself around her until she realised it didn’t make any difference, and Edith passed through her anyway, which was a strange but not unpleasant feeling, like a surge of energy. She had never experienced that with Maurice or Spotty the rabbit, and Robert and the old lady stayed in their respective places, not once getting in her way.
After the initial resentment Kay felt at the invasion by next door’s ghosts, she found herself looking for their friendly faces at the window when she arrived home from work. They were company during the long winter nights, and the ghost cat and rabbit provided entertainment when the power failed. The only thing that was missing was someone to talk to since, apart from the cat, the ghosts remained silent and never tried to communicate other than with an occasional smile.
And then Kay met Ian. He worked in the same office building and parked in the space next to hers. One cold, dark evening she tried to start her car and found that the battery was flat. She must have forgotten to switch the lights off that morning. She phoned for roadside assistance and was informed that the waiting time was anything up to four hours. It was freezing cold, there was ice on the windscreen, and her fingers ached inside her woollen gloves. As she adjusted her scarf to trap some of the heat escaping from her collar, she noticed a tall, dark, quite attractive man heading across the car park towards her car. He stopped and smiled through her window. She wound it down a couple of inches.
“Is everything all right?” he asked. “I’m Ian. I work on the ground floor and noticed you’ve been sitting in your car for at least half an hour. Is there anything I can help you with?”