Melissa’s grandmother and grandfather tried to get her to go on vacations, but she said, “We can’t leave Mother.” Melissa’s grandparents thought she might be crazy. Melissa knew her mother was dead, but she talked about her like she was there.
The Yankees had killed Melissa’s mother there in the garden. When Melissa’s grandfather found her, he insisted they bury her in the garden, so they started digging a hole. It was a sad time for the family and friends.
Melissa’s father, a young man with a warm and comforting voice, had died in the war when Melissa was just 4 years old. Melissa still thought of both of her parents as being alive, even though she was only 4 when she last saw her father.
One day in the garden, Melissa was watering her Venus flytrap, and she started wondering why she was spending all of her life in the garden. She was 15 years old, and she needed to get out and have fun and see the world, but something inside her said “no.” Something outside said “no,” too. Melissa felt her parents were saying “no,” so she couldn’t leave.
Melissa did not care who said “no,” so she walked into town to see what was going on. She had only been to town when her grandparents were sick and she had to go get the doctor.
Melissa saw some boys throwing rocks at the schoolhouse and a little girl playing hopscotch. She also saw some teenage girls talking. Melissa went over to join them, and all she heard them say was, “Look who came out; Miss Missing.”
Melissa went home crying. Maybe she wasn’t ready for the world.
When Melissa got home, she went into the garden and there she saw her mother and father. She ran to give them a hug, but her arms just went through them, because they were ghosts. They said, “You did the right thing. We are proud of you.” Then they vanished back into their graves.
Later, Melissa made lots of friends, and she went to school. She took her friends to her house and showed them the garden and the graves. All of Melissa’s friends were astonished at the beautiful flowers and all the plants. Not one of the plants had ever died. Melissa’s friends came a lot to help with the garden, weeding and watering.
Years went by, and Melissa built a little shop in the garden and sold all the beans, fruit and everything else that she grew. The shop was called the Ghost Garden. It was the best shop in town.