When it came time to buy a new bed, I knew exactly what I wanted: The Casper Mattress. As the manager of Rihanna’s SnapChat, I stay on trend, and the Casper Mattress is cool as hell. It’s a true bedding industry disrupter. Order online and wait until your mattress arrives in a cool cardboard box with wheels. Simple. Or so I thought.
Imagine my surprise when I opened my door to find an unfurled twin mattress on my sidewalk. No cool wheel box or wrapping of any kind. Oh, and did I mention it’s haunted by the ghost of a friendly child? That’s right. My Casper Bed is a normal mattress with a child ghost inside. How could this happen, you ask, given Casper’s legendary customer service? Continue on, dear reader.
Though I hadn’t ordered a twin size at all, I dragged the mattress into my apartment and set it up. As I turned out the light to go to sleep, an apparition appeared. It was the ghost of little Billy Wagner, the 8-year-old hit and run victim who died on my block five years ago.
That’s when I realized my mistake. This wasn’t my new Casper bed at all. It was the childhood bed Billy’s parents had finally gathered the strength to let go.
At first, I was afraid, but Billy told me his favorite knock knock joke to make me feel at ease. “Knock knock.” “Who’s there?” “Canoe.” “Canoe who?” “Canoe tell my parents to not be mad at the driver who killed me?”
I’ve met many ghosts, but Billy is different. He is a happy little ghost with no unfinished business. Billy told me that he’d like to continue to living in the mattress if I’d have him. I quickly agreed. I’m mostly lonely, and my only friend is a Rihanna fan who I’m starting to think is just using me to get info.
My actual Casper mattress arrived only one day later, but I had to return it. I simply don’t have room for two mattresses. I don’t feel comfortable sleeping on my ghost mattress, either. Out of respect for little Billy, I sleep on the floor beside him, as Billy regales me with stories of the other side. Did you know that there’s no Heaven or Hell, but there is a ‘90s-style Showbiz Pizza where all the dead kids play?
It really makes you think.
Kristen Bartlett is a writer and actor whose credits include UCB, MTV, Hulu’s Difficult People, and A Prairie Home Companion. Follow her @KristenCheeks.