IF YOU MISSED CHAPTER ONE LAST WEEK PLEASE GO HERE BEFORE READING: CHAPTER ONE
I imagine some people would be creeped out by walking through a cemetery, but when you deal with ghosts daily I guess, it’s not really a concern. It’s quite peaceful. The spirits don’t linger there. They are more interested in tying up loose ends to cross over than they are about wandering around an old cemetery.
The oldest part is my favorite. The stones have so many details that modern markers don’t have. Sometimes I like to look up a name or two from them and just tot imagine what their life was like one hundred, maybe one hundred and fifty years ago. If only those were the spirits I talked to, then that would be interesting.
At the edge of the oldest part of the cemetery is an old Victorian groundskeeper’s house. I liked to imagine what the house looked like years ago when its paint was vibrant and not the chipping weathered blue and grays it is now. It must have been beautiful. It’s sad that no one lives there now, and the rumors were true that it’s haunted.
Every day, a woman beckoned to me from the top floor window. She stood there like she was waiting for me to pass. The white gown she wore made of lace crept up her neck, stopping under her chin and wrapped down her arms. Her pleasant grin was nothing more than inviting.
But I didn’t like her. She didn’t feel like previous spirits I’d met. Usually, they brought a chill that vibrated to my bones, but she had a pulse, a heavy pulse. I could feel it much deeper. Like she could reach through my core and into my soul if I got close enough.
I arrived at school and grabbed my history book from my locker and spritzed myself with my flowery perfume. Snaking through the people in the hall, I searched for Vanessa. A passerby bumped into Olivia Wagner, sending her books into a scatter on the floor. She sighed and pushed her red framed glasses up onto her nose before bending down to pick them up.
“People need to watch where they’re going,” I rolled my eyes in the direction the perpetrator went. I grabbed the papers that floated to the middle of the hallway, stacked them into a neat pile, and handed them back to her. “Here you go.”
I remember my first day at Hollis. The sun was shining bright, and the birds were chirping in the light fall breeze. It was like a sign that everything was going to be alright, even though my insides were a jittery mess. I had done everything to prepare for my new life. I dyed my hair a soft ombre blonde and Mom bought me new clothes and makeup. So, when I stepped through those doors of Hollis High School, I would be a new me. Emilia the weird girl who talks to dead people would be the past, and Emma Briggs would emerge from her ashes.
It didn’t take much for people to notice me, something I wasn’t quite used to. But I guess, everyone is always intrigued by the mystery of the new kid. People whispered about me when I walked by, and I began to feel apprehensive like it might all be the same as before. Until, I sat down in my first hour next to Vanessa Miller and people began to fight for seats around her. I knew she would be the ticket to my success here.
Vanessa leaned against the door of her blue locker. Her auburn hair delicately tracked just below her jawline, growing longer as it reached her chin. Pictures filled with smiling faces lined the inside- many with me. She smiled when she saw me coming. She was effortlessly pretty. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t jealous, “You’re on time today.”
“Mrs. McTally told me if I were late again, she would see me in detention,” I rolled my eyes.
“Maybe if you got a car, then you wouldn’t have to walk.”
“I’m working on it!” I knew that wasn’t going to be a possibility. My mother barely made it on her own. There was no chance I was getting a car until I got one myself, but I had to make Vanessa think that I was.
When the five-minute warning bell rang, the hallway broke into a scatter. Vanessa grabbed her Algebra book from the base of her locker and shut the door. “I’m having a party on Friday. You better be there.”
I smiled and nodded as she paced down the hallway in the opposite direction. “Oh, and by the way. Brad’s going to be there.” She winked one of her big brown eyes at me before spinning down the hall. She knew my dislike for parties, but she also knew throwing Brad into the mix would make it a little more bearable.
That night, I arrived home before Mom and began working on my homework. Our van sputtered into the driveway, and she pulled a square box out of the back of her car.
“Oh, hi honey. I thought you had volleyball practice,” she drifted down the hall and came back around the corner after disposing of the box.
“Nope. It’s Monday, Mom.”
“What was that?”
“Nothing. I had to help Angie clean out Aunt Fae’s house. She passed away last week. It was just some books and things Angie thought I might enjoy.”
I was at a loss for words. Mom didn’t seem too upset, but she didn’t talk much about those feelings, “Are you okay?”
“I’ll be okay,” she nodded, reassuring me.
I didn’t feel a particular way about the news of Aunt Fae’s death. She was my great aunt, and I didn’t know her very well. However, every time I met her, she seemed sweet and misunderstood. Mom’s family tended to call her Kooky Aunt Fae. I could never stand to call her that, I guess because I’m kooky in my own way.
Music pumped through the surround sound filling every room of Vanessa’s house. Sky and I wouldn’t have been caught dead at this party. We would have spent our Friday night walking around our small town searching for spirits to assist. Now, sitting in Vanessa’s extravagant living room, it’s strange to think about how different my life is. Our life was so simple then, but now everything screamed fancy from the towering windows to the sparkling chandelier that hung in the center of the room.
Some of the girls chatted around me and a group of boys hollered at the top of the balcony that overlooked the room. A six-foot blond had my attention. He leaned back with his hands against the railings in a way that showed off the toned muscles in his arms. I found a cork from a wine bottle sitting on the mahogany end table and rolled it between my fingers. I took aim at Brad’s back and tossed it hitting him in the shoulder. I would be lying if I said I didn’t want his attention. We had been flirting for a few weeks, but nothing official. I was kind of hoping tonight would change that.
He turned, looking over the edge of the balcony, and his grey-blue eyes narrowed on mine. He pointed a finger at me before he sprung down the stairs. I bit my lip, trying to hold back a smile.
“What do you think you’re doing?” he said, slamming his hands on the back of the couch.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about.” I gave him an innocent smile, and he flipped over the back of the sofa, plopping onto the cushion next to me.
Vanessa interrupted our playful conversation, “Okay, Emma. Truth or dare?” Her coffee-colored eyes focused on me. Now that I was curled up next to Brad, I was content with not playing. His arm wrapped around my waist and pulled me in just a little bit closer. Why would I want to leave this spot?
I never picked truth. I’m always afraid they will ask “What is your deepest, darkest secret?” I know I could lie, but I’m bad at it. I always pick dare, but I hated that too, because once I had to use a toothbrush that was dipped in the toilet. I almost threw up. But nevertheless, I picked dare.
“I dare you to stay the rest of the night in that creepy old house in the graveyard,” Vanessa knew how much I disliked that house. Well, as much as I could tell her.
“I’m not staying there you psycho.”
“Why? You scared?”
“Hobos live in there. I’m not staying there by myself.” It was a complete and utter lie, but I hoped it would deter her from pushing forward.
“Fine,” I sighed in relief. Vanessa looked around the room. Her eyes stopped on a boy from my history class. His shaggy brown hair poked out of the bottom of his black beanie. The only thing I knew about him was that he was always up for a good party. I saw it in her eyes before she even said it. “Nate can stay with you.”
Chapter Three will be released on Friday, June, 9th, 2017. Drop a comment below I would love to hear your comments on the story as we go. And don’t forget to follow my page, so you don’t miss out on any chapters!