Tags: #romance, #thriller, #suspense, #history, #paranormal, #young adult, #teen, #ghost, #series, #modern
ey, look at that. You
alive. Would it hurt you to answer a call or a
text once in a while?” Camille said as she strolled by me into the
house and plopped down on the sofa.
I felt my pockets and realized I
hadn’t grabbed my cell phone off my dresser when I’d gotten dressed
that morning. I’d been so preoccupied with Sophia all day that I
hadn’t even noticed it was missing.
Sorry. I left my cell
upstairs, I guess. I’ve been hanging out down here all morning. How
was the dance last night?” I knew that if I redirected the
conversation towards Camille, she would do most of the talking and
forget that she was supposed to be mad.
The dance was
Tell me about
Well, first let me say that
I looked stunning in the red dress you helped me pick out. You were
right about the color. It definitely made me stand out in the
crowd. And, I’m not going to lie—Travis looked pretty darn good in
Camille handed me her phone
so that I could see a picture of the smiling couple standing on her
parent’s front porch. The pair wore matching white roses pinned to
their chests. She
look amazing and I was happy for her. Maybe someday I would go
to a dance . . .
Trav picked me up at six
and took me to dinner before the dance. We went to a place that had
candles on every table and those fancy cloth napkins. I felt so
mature.” Camille giggled.
Anyway, we got to the dance
around 8:30. Trav’s a pretty good dancer—for a football player. I
could totally tell that some of the other girls were jealous
because they kept watching us
night. I think their own dates were starting to
If I know you, Cam, you
loved that part of it.”
Of course. That goes
without saying. The best part of the night, though, was when he
took me home.” Camille blushed.
Let me guess, he kissed
I rolled my eyes and
I think we’re going to be
seeing a lot more of each . . .” Camille’s words trailed off as she
stared past me toward the kitchen with an odd
I turned to see Sophia standing in the
Oh. Umm . . . Camille, this
is my . . . uh . . . my . . . umm . . .” I didn’t know what to call
Hi. I’m Sophia. I’m Jamie’s
friend.” Sophia walked into the room and stuck her hand out to
Uh, nice to meet you,”
Camille said slowly as she shot me a quizzical look.
I didn’t know what to say. I couldn’t
exactly give up Sophia’s secret to Camille on their first
Sophia saved me again. “I’m new in
town and I met Jamie at the library yesterday. We started talking
and I invited myself over today.”
This appeased Camille who I think
chose to just ignore Sophia for the time being. She turned back to
me. “If you would have been answering your texts, you’d know that I
was trying to invite you to go to a late lunch this
You know that normally I
would, but I kind of already made plans with Sophia. I’m sorry.
Maybe we can go for ice cream after school tomorrow?”
Sure. Whatever. I guess I
better be getting back home. You guys have fun.” Camille began
walking to the door. I could tell her feelings were
I felt bad, but I didn’t think she
would enjoy an afternoon spent at the library researching one
random subject. If I told her of Sophia’s true identity, she would
probably freak out and stop talking to me anyway.
Goodbye. I’m glad you had
fun last night,” I yelled after her. She didn’t respond as she
quietly shut the door behind herself.
Have you always let her run
your life?” Sophia asked.
Camille. She always decides
what the two of you will be doing. In all the weeks I was watching
you, I don’t think I ever saw the two of you do something
It gave me the creeps to
think of Sophia watching me for weeks, but I was even more stunned
that she’d picked up on the inner workings of our relationship so
quickly. Truthfully, Camille
usually make all the major choices in our
friendship, but it was also true that I didn’t really care. When
something really mattered to me, I stepped in and said something.
Camille was good enough to let me get my way on those rare
occasions, but I didn’t know how to explain all of this to Sophia
who hadn’t been with us since the first grade. I probably should
have defended Camille, but I didn’t.
Let’s get going if we’re
going to get any work done today. The library opens late and closes
early on Sundays. I’m going to have to ride my bike since not all
of us can fly.” I paused. “
Sophia didn’t say anything, but rose
up and slowly floated across the room. I rolled my eyes. “Show
Just as I expected, the
library was a treasure trove of information about the
, the Briggs
family, and their tragic ending. After spending a couple of hours
searching through material, we checked out a bag full of books at
the circulation desk and headed back to my house. I opened the
garage door and saw that my dad’s car was back in its place. Great.
What would I tell
Dad,” I called as we
entered through the kitchen.
We found him in the living room
watching a Sunday afternoon political news program. He actually had
his tie loosened.
Dad stood and reached his hand out to
Sophia immediately. “Hello. I’m Jamie’s father. And you are . .
Sophia responded just as easily as she
had with Camille earlier in the day. I guess situations like those
make decades of practicing to be ‘normal’ come in handy. I felt
like everyone was looking at Sophia and I wherever we went,
wondering what was wrong with her, but in reality she was as
‘normal’ as any other teenage girl in town.
My name is Sophia. I’m
visiting Marion with my parents for the summer. They’re thinking of
buying a second home here. Jamie and I met at the library yesterday
and she graciously offered to introduce me to the town.” Sophia
Did she? Well, my daughter
has lived here her entire life and I don’t think you could find a
better tour guide.”
I’m sure we’ll have fun
together, Mr. Peters.”
Dad turned to me. “Are you still
interested in going to dinner tonight? I made sure I left the
office early enough to go for Chinese if you wanted.”
Mmm. That sounds perfect.
Sophia needs to be getting back home anyway. Right, Sophia?” I
Sophia nodded and headed for the door.
“I’ll call you tomorrow after you get out of school,
Sounds great. Have a good
It dawned on me that I didn’t know
where Sophia went at night. Did she have an actual home? I had a
feeling that she was probably still lurking somewhere in the
shadows and I hoped she wouldn’t follow my dad and me wherever we
went that night. The thought gave me the heebie jeebies and I
shivered as cold tendrils crawled up my spine.
There was a quaint little Chinese
restaurant called Dragon Star near the waterfront that Dad and I
frequented. The food was authentic because the owners were actually
from China. Sometimes we had a hard time understanding them when
they spoke to us since English wasn’t their first language. I
ordered my favorite sesame chicken with sides of steamed rice and
an egg roll, and Dad opted for a couple of the spicier options on
the menu. We lingered over our dinner that night and Dad made a
sincere effort to talk to me. He’d probably clued-in to the mood
I’d been stuck in, but I didn’t want him to worry about me. Things
were definitely changing in my life and the summer was starting to
look up. My mind continuously wandered during our meal and I think
that made Dad worry more. I wondered how open he was to the idea of
spirits floating around our town.
Dad,” I finally asked. “Do
you believe in ghosts?”
It’s hard to surprise my calm and
proper father, but I could tell he was taken aback by my comment.
He set his chopsticks down and cleared his throat. He stretched out
his hands and looked at them before refolding them in his lap and
answering my question.
Well, I don’t know that I
believe in ghosts of the sort you see in movies and such, but I
think there’s a good chance that a type of spirit can linger when
people pass on. I don’t think the spirits can actually do anything
that would affect the living, but I believe they are sometimes
there.” He creased his brow and looked at me. “Why the sudden
interest in the occult?”
No special reason. I just
read a book about ghosts recently and it made me wonder what I
We sat in an uncomfortable silence for
a few moments before I cleared my throat and changed the subject.
“It sure is gorgeous weather today. I think I’m finally ready to
put my winter clothes in storage for a few months.”
The forecast says it will
be sunny all week. I think we’re done with the cold weather for the
season.” Dad played along. “Sophia seemed nice. Do you have any
plans of getting together with her again?”
I think so. We did hit it
off. Her parents plan on staying here for the entire summer before
they decide to buy or not.”
Maybe we can invite her
family over for a summer barbecue sometime to welcome them to town.
Does she have any siblings?”
I was starting to get nervous with the
subject and before I could think I blurted out, “She had an older
brother, but he’s dead now.”
Oh. That’s really
unfortunate. Was it recent?”
No. I think it was a long
time ago. She doesn’t really remember him much. I don’t know if her
parents would want to come over, though. She says they’re pretty
private people.” The lies continued to march out of my
Huh . . . well, we’ll have
to see as the summer progresses.”
Dad knew I was hiding something, but
he let the subject drop. He left a tip on the table and we went for
a walk near the water, looking out at Buzzards Bay, before
returning to our car. It was nice to spend time with Dad. The older
I got, the fewer opportunities I had to do it.
By the time we got home the
sun had set and I was safely able to excuse myself to my room
without causing any suspicion. I
wanted to get started on my
research. As I reached the top of the stairs, I could see a faint
glow coming from under my door. I didn’t remember leaving my lights
on. I slowly opened the door and peered inside.
Hey. You’re back,” Sophia
I jumped. For the umpteenth time in
the last two days it felt like my heart would stop.
I thought you said you’d
knock the next time you came over,” I whispered while looking
behind me down the hallway. The last thing I needed was for Dad to
find out that Sophia was in my room.
I told you I’d knock the
next time I came over, but technically I never left.”
I saw you go out the
Noooo. You saw me
at the door.
I’ve been up here sorting through all this stuff we got at the
I shrugged my shoulders and entered
the room, shutting and locking the door behind me.
Where do you want to
start?” Sophia asked. “I’ve been marking pages that I thought were
Let’s start with those
pages then, I guess.” I sat down next to her on my bed and we began
to quietly read. Sometimes we would comment on something or jot
down a note. Other times we would burst out laughing when we came
across particularly funny explanations for the disappearance of
crew. We read until my neck was so stiff and my shoulders so
hunched that I could barely move. I looked at the clock and was
shocked to see that it was almost 1:00 a.m. I’d been so engrossed
in my reading that I hadn’t even heard Dad come up for bed. If I
knew my dad, he’d walked up the stairs promptly at 10:00
I sighed and tossed the book in my
hand to the foot of my bed. “I think I’m going to call it quits for
tonight. I can barely see straight anymore and it might not mean
much to you, but I’ve still got another week of school left. I
don’t want to be a zombie all day tomorrow.”
I really do appreciate your
help,” Sophia said. “I’ll leave. And I promise I won’t sneak in
while you’re sleeping.”