Voices: The Unusual Case of Eliza James–Part VII
Author’s note: If you’ve not read Eliza’s whole story, scroll back to the first entry. Thanks for reading.
There was something in his eyes that always scared Eliza. Even when Jeremiah Goddard smiled it never showed in his eyes. And with those thin lips and hollow cheeks, he looked more like a possum bearing its teeth than someone who was happy. So she avoided him at almost all costs, retreating to the relative safety of her small room whenever he was around.
When she heard the door slam that evening, Eliza decided it was now or never. Her mother had been in a particularly ebullient mood that day and with her step-father gone, she would approach her mother one final time. She padded down the steps toward and toward the kitchen.
“Momma, can I talk to you about something?” she asked hesitantly.
“What is it, Eliza?”
That was encouraging. So many times before her mother had simply shooed her away, telling Eliza to finish her homework. Or to go and read her Bible lesson. Or to get ready for bed. Girls her age, she was almost eleven, were old enough to take life seriously and not to be foolish, her mother often told her.
“It’s still happening,” Eliza said, her eyes downcast.
“What is, honey?”
“You know. The voices. I still hear them.”
Eliza braced herself. Her mother had warned her that such nonsense would not be tolerated.
Waiting for the onslaught of her mother’s rebuke, Eliza took an imperceptible step back. But there were no furious admonitions. No threats of punishment for telling tales. Instead, Angela Goddard invited her daughter to come into the den and and to sit down beside her on the couch.
Overcoming her dismay, Eliza did exactly that. She told her mother how and when she had first heard the voices. And how they had never really stopped. Eliza had just relented to her mother’s demands not to speak of such things any more. She told her mother that there were times when she thought the voices were angry. “Not at me,” she said. “Just angry.” Other times they seemed like they were maybe in pain. Eliza said she had pleaded with them to stop, to leave her alone. But nothing had worked.
Angela Goddard listened patiently and nodded that she understood. She placed her hand on Eliza’s shoulder and told her that everything would be alright. Eliza took a deep breath and realized her heart was no longer pounding. Tears of relief filled her eyes. It was more than Eliza could have ever hoped for.
Her mother told her that there were things in this world that we don’t always understand. She said sometimes our minds play tricks on us—especially when we are young. She gave her daughter a warm warm embrace. She told Eliza not to worry. She said she would tell Jeremiah and that he would know what to do.
Somehow, Liza had managed to keep it together after she and Jason finished talking to Pax. But from the moment she heard the strange man tell her about what had happened at her father’s funeral, her thoughts had become a cocktail of memories and fear. Jason had asked Liza what she thought of Pax, but she told him she didn’t really know. Sure. It was weird. Learning all that about her father. And Pax’s confession was even more bizarre. But she was just too tired to discuss it very much. She had begged off with, “Can we just talk about this tomorrow? It’s been a long day.”
She slammed the door to her apartment behind her, forgetting to lock the door. She had to find that book. There had been something in it. Something about—what was it? Bardos? Yeah. That was it. Bardos. The space between life and death and life. The place Vedic religions believed the soul went between times of reincarnation.