Something about the Motel unsettled Molly. She could not put her finger on it. The staff were friendly and helpful, the rooms were very comfortable, and yet her sleep was plagued with vivid dreams of times past. She and Will decided to do a little detective work, to see what maybe causing these dreams. The owner of the motel was new to the area and did not know anything about the land it was built on. He suggested for them to visit the small museum in town. Although there was not any specific information on display, the person in attendance that day was most helpful. Beryl was in her 80’s and remembered as a child that there was once a boarding house on the land now occupied by the motel. The original timber building had been destroyed by fire in 1950 and due to legalities concerning the last will and testament, the land had been left vacant until 2001, when it was purchased with intention of building the current motel. Whilst having a coffee in town, Molly noticed the lights flickering in the cafe, getting her attention, a reminder from The Attic that there was a story to be heard.
Will had organised for them to stay on another night before heading north through National Park on the western side of Mt Ruapehu. He wanted to visit Horopito Motors and Molly wanted to see Chateau Tongariro, at the base of Mt Tongariro, only a little further up the road.
That night Will took care of dinner, leaving Molly to do what was required in The Attic. Molly settled into the armchair which looked out the glass doors at the tree-lined stream. Closing her eyes she relaxed into meditation easily, enjoying that floating feeling as she drifted between the physical and non physical worlds, and of how her body tingled then became weightless. Imagining herself standing at the bottom of the stairs, she felt a little nervous. Walking slowly up the stairs, Molly noticed that the door was ajar. Stepping into the room, she saw the fire was burning and the room was warm and cozy, the light was soft and welcoming. Looking around the room, Grace was nowhere to be seen. Molly knew that she would be here somewhere. Sitting in one of the armchairs by the fireplace, she closed her eyes and listened, knowing that someone had been wanting her attention. At first she heard a hissing sound, then it became heavy breathing and then a muffled, breathy, almost strangled voice whispered, “Help me, I can’t breathe…”
Startled, Molly opened her eyes to find herself sitting in a bedroom in a building that was unfamiliar to her. She felt an overwhelming sadness, tears welled up in her eyes and she could feel her throat tightening. There was a heaviness in her chest and it was difficult for her to breathe. “Grace? Grace!” She called out, but her voice sounded feeble. The vision faded and she heard a familiar voice, “The saddest ones are always hard. I have your hand. Let’s invite them in shall we?” Molly heard footsteps as Grace got up from the arm chair next to her, walked across the room and opened the door. In front of her was a middle aged man, small in build, waiting at the top of the stairs, twisting his hat nervously in his hands. Grace held out her hand and led him into the room over to the other chair by the fire, and poured him a cup of tea. He sat down in the chair and nodded his head thankfully towards Grace, he acknowledged her in a polite but shy way. When he has finished drinking his tea, he looked at Molly and began to tell them his story.
“For many years, I have walked the rooms of this boarding house, trying to get the attention of those living here. I did not wish to scare them, just wanted their help. I know now that the way I had behaved did not appear very nice for them, not that it did them any harm – well, not intentionally, just scared them a little. I was terrified, I couldn’t breathe and the pain in my chest was unbearable, but no one was there to help me. I called out, but the breathlessness took the volume from my voice. I was alone, helpless and frightened. Everyone who came to stay in that room would be spooked. I tried to reach out to them, I was desperate for someone to help me. I would tug at them, pull at them, move things on the table, flicker the lights, trying to get their attention, not understanding why they could not see or hear me. I felt stuck and invisible. I just wanted someone to listen, to hear me and to help me. I didn’t want to stay there, I was just unable to find a way out. I would walk through one door and it would loop back into the same room. I was unable to leave. My heart ached with deep sadness and regret.” He paused for a moment and sighed deeply before continuing.
“I had never spoken my truth about the woman who ran the boarding house. I had kept my love for her to myself. She was such a strong woman, proud and beautiful. I doubted that she would ever have considered me as a beau. After all, I was in my late 40’s and had been single all of my life, but so had she! Oh, but I just knew that she would never ever see me being more than a boarder. I felt out of her league. She was so admirable! The way she ran that boarding house and boy could she cook! I am sorry she had to deal with me in the end in the way that she did, but even that was with strength, in a matter-of-fact way but with the utmost respect and compassion. I just wanted to let her know that I was sorry for departing that way. My heart ached for her and still does. How can I put this to rest?” he asked.
“By facing up to her!” Grace said.
“But how can I do that now, because in case you have not noticed, I am dead!” He exclaimed, somewhat puzzled.
“You are far from dead sir. As you have discovered already, life does go on. Your soul lives on, and so does hers. Are you ready to meet with her, to tell her how you feel and to put this all to rest?” Grace asked.
“Oh dear….oh dear me, I don’t know….” his voice trails off timidly.
“Stop this right now!” Grace snaps. Molly was taken by surprise at
Grace’s response to him. Molly had never seen her being so forthright with Spirit People, she is usually so gentle and kind.
Grace continued, “You have a choice here, to continue walking this loop, of being stuck in that house, or facing your true feelings towards this lady and being free regardless of what her response to you may be.”
The door creaked open and the three of them look up to see a well-dressed woman wearing a hat peeping in from behind the partially open door. “May I come in?” She asked quietly.
“But of course, please do!” Welcomed Grace, walking over to take the woman’s gloved hand. The man looks on in amazement, his mouth dropped open in stunned surprise. His eyes sparkled and glisten with tears, unable to speak. But the woman spoke first, turning to face him, “I do apologise, I allowed myself to be too busy to take any notice of you. You were right, I did just see you as another boarder. It was a busy house, and I ran a tight ship! I had to, for there was so much to do on my own. But you poor soul, I had no idea….” She looked down at the floor, uncomfortable with her outwardly expressed emotion. With renewed strength, the man spoke up, taking a deep breath, he stood up straight, tall and with a new sense of confidence, asks her, “Madam, would you allow me to escort you to dinner?” He looked at her with a pride not seen before, to which she replied, “Why kind sir, I would be honoured.” Taking his offered arm, they walk together towards the door, where they both turned and nodded their thanks to Molly and Grace. A brilliant flash of light filled the room, and as it faded, the couple were gone.
“How do you feel Molly?” Grace asked, checking in.
“Hmm…” Molly paused. “Satisfied, relieved, grateful, honoured, privileged, and in need of a fresh pot of tea!” Molly laughed and flopped into the armchair by the fire, her legs swung rhythmically over the arm lazily, as she dreamily gazed into the fire. The vision of The Attic dissolved and Molly found herself sitting in the armchair in the motel room in Oakune. Will was asleep on top of the bed, with a book on his chest, having already eaten dinner. Molly sat still and looked around the room, taking in what she had just witnessed and adjusting to where she now was. Satisfied, she sighed deeply, contented, and got up to put the kettle on and found her dinner on a plate in the fridge. It was just after 11pm.