When Corey's sister commits suicide, his family is distraught. Ten years on, and the hole she left still hasn't healed over. The unanswered question remains: why did she decide to die? Soon her secret is revealed to Corey, and he is left to fight for survival, his dead sister haunting his dreams. But she is only a memory. After all ghosts and daemons are just make-believe...... Right? WARNING: There are scenes of violence and strong language some readers may find offensive... Hence the yellow rating.


7. Chapter Six - An Old Friend

Chapter Six - An Old Friend

                "John? You here?" I called out, my voice echoing slightly and my movement stirring the dust in the air.

                "Well, why wouldn't I be here? It is my house after all, kid." A voice chuckled from behind me, causing me to jump in shock.

                I turned to see the grizzled, old man leaning heavily on his walking stick, laughing under his breath at what I assumed to be my reaction to his sudden appearance.

                "It may well be your house, but judging by the dust, you sure haven't been here for a long time." I teased.

                "You know I can't clean, boy." he replied, waving off my accusation, and began to limp off slowly towards the front room. When I made no effort to move, he looked back at me. "You coming?"

                "No, I thought I'd just stand here." I said sarcastically, as I started walking behind him. "Hey, didn't you hire a cleaner? What was her name again? Something starting with a G..."

                "Georgia." He grunted in response, settling himself down into his usual armchair, whilst I did the same on the sofa opposite.

                "Yeah, her. How come she's not keeping this place all clean."

                "She touched my stuff."

                "Well, yeah. That's what cleaners do." I replied in confusion.

                "Corey. She re-arranged my record collection and nearly broke that picture frame with the photo of me and you fishing down by the lake."

                "So what you mean to tell me is you fired her for accidently changing the order of your records, not knowing how you felt about them, and put the photo frame too close to the edge?"

                He just gave me a harsh look as I tried to hold my laughter.

                "Damn, John. That's, what? Eighteen? Nineteen, cleaners you've gone through now?"

                "Twenty-one," He mumbled, looking rather smug and ashamed at the same time. "But enough about me, kid. You haven't visited me in a long time."

                "I hate to break it to you, John, but I'm eighteen in a month or so. I'm not a kid anymore."

                "Don't try and change the subject, boy. What's new in your life?"

                "Ah, nothing much." I said, running a hand through my hair. "Basketball, music, school. You know the usual."

                "Don't pull that crap with me, Corey. You've got something bothering you. I've known you for how long now? Twelve years?"

                It wasn't a question but I answered anyway.

                "Twelve years, two months and twenty-four days."

                At my words John looked at me, the sadness that we both buried deep, shining clearly in his eyes.

                "You're still counting." He said, his sentence a statement, but that didn't stop me from responding.

                "Of course I am. Pretty morbid, but I can't stop counting John. I'm not going to be forgetting any time soon."

                "Corey... You can't keep dwelling on it."

                The man just sat there, staring at me. I could almost feel the pity and sympathy emanating off him. I cleared my throat, before attempting to dissipate the tense, serious atmosphere that had enveloped us both.

                "So you were saying?"

                "Right. Yeah, so, I've known you for that long. I can tell when there's something bothering you before I smack you round the head with my stick." he chuckled, brandishing the aforementioned item in the air.

                "Dad's got a job up in London. We're moving."

                "Oh. Well that's... good, I guess." he said, trying to remain upbeat.

                "Yeah? What's so good about it?" I asked, sarcasm dripping from my voice.

                "Look, kid. I know you don't want to go, hell, I don't want you to go. What am I going to without you to lecture me on firing people? But that's not the point. Going to London, being away from here, it will be good for you. It might help you move on, and you need that. I want that for you and I'm sure your parents do to. You need to be a normal teen for once Corey. Party, get drunk, have fun. Just don't get anyone pregnant, boy. But if you do, I sure better be godfather."

                I laughed at the last part, amused by what he said, but it came out dry and humourless. A sigh escaped from my lips and I buried my head in my hands.

                "They're selling the house. I don't have many memories of her, John, and most of the ones I do are in that house. All of them are in this town. What if moving makes them fade. What if... What if I forget her?" I mumbled, finally putting fears into words.

                "You really think you're going to forget her? You loved that girl to pieces, kid. You're never going to forget her. Sure, you may not think about her every day like you do know. That incident won't be constantly in the back of your mind, but that's a good thing. You'll actually be living. Do it for me. And if not me, do it for yourself. Hell, do it for Resa. She wouldn't want this for you."

                "You're pretty good at this pep talk thing, you know, John?"

                "I had better be. I've given you enough of 'em over the years." he chuckled. "Now, what the hell did you do to your hand?"

                "Huh?" I replied furrowing my brows in confusion, and the old man nodded in the direction of the hand I had injured earlier and forgotten about whilst talking. "Heh. Oh. That."

                "Yeah, that. Jesus, boy, it looks like you punched a wall or some other idiot move."

                "Well... You see, I - I was a tad angry." My voice was sheepish as John stood up, before smacking me around the head with his walking stick.

                "Ow!" I yelped, rubbing the sore spot on my skull, "What the hell was that for?"

                "That was for being a moron, and the next one will be because you're sitting there and not following me" He told me, beginning to walk out of the room. I stood up, and followed him, not wanting to be on the receiving end of his cane again.

                "Where are we going?"

                "We're going to fix up your hand, and then you're going to go home with your tail between your legs and apologise, you stupid son of a bitch."

                I gasped in mock outrage.

                "How dare you talk about you my mother like that?"

                "It's an expression, Corey" he replied monotonously.

                "Aww, come on, John. Can't I crash here tonight? I don't want to go home."

                "Which is exactly why you are. Think of it as punishment for pissing off your parents."

                "Thanks. Hey, John?"

                "Yes, kid?" he said, exasperation with me clear in his voice.

                "Do - Do you ever think about it?" I asked, knowing he would know exactly what I was talking about.

                He was silent for a couple of seconds, before speaking.

                "Every damn night."

                "I'm sorry. That you had to be there I mean. I don't know how I would've copped if I was in your shoes."

                "Don't apologise for things you have no control of. We all have burdens to bear, and yours are far worse than mine. Now get your ass into that bathroom so we can sort out your busted hand, you dumb shit."

* * *

                After twenty minutes, my hand was all bandaged up - fingers taped together because of breaks, and throbbing slightly more than earlier thanks to John's harsh first aid - and I was driving home, ready to face the storm that was inevitably waiting to blow up in my face when I got home.

                When I finally pulled up into the driveway, I saw the lights for the front room were on.

                Damn, I thought to myself. I had hoped they would've gone to bed by the time I got home.

                Sighing dejectedly, I climbed out of the car, locking the door behind me and walking up to the front door.

                The minute I stepped over the threshold, I heard the sound of footsteps rushing in my direction.

                "Oh, thank god!" my mother exclaimed as she barrelled into me. "Rob, he's here. He's fine."

                Mum kept hugging me as Dad walked in to the hallway, which was pretty crowded when it was just two of us, but with three it felt absolutely packed.

                "Where the hell have you been?" my father asked. "We've called everyone, and searched everywhere and there's been no sign of you. You've been gone for four hours. Your mother was worried sick."

                When he mentioned how long I'd been gone I was astounded. It hadn't felt that long, but through my shock, I noticed that he didn't include himself in the last statement.

                "I was at the cemetery.  Guess I just needed to talk to someone." I mumbled, not telling them I'd gone to see John - they didn't even know I'd kept in contact with the man who had seen my sisters suicide.

                At my words, my Mum's kind face paled, and my Dad looked angry.

                "Oh." she whispered, "We didn't think to look there."

                "Well why would we?" my dad said abruptly, "He usually goes out with his friends and gets drunk when he's mad."

                Instead of starting an argument with my ass of a dad, I turned to the woman who looked on the verge of crying.

                "I'll go. But I'm visiting Resa every weekend. And I'd really appreciate her things being put into storage and not thrown away. I'm not ready to let go yet." I told her gently, causing her to give me a tentative and watery smile.

                "Of course. But there's something else we didn't have the time to tell you earlier."

                "It's not going to make me angry again is it." I asked, not wanting to hear any more bad news that evening.

                "No, in fact, I think it'll help."

                "Go ahead then," I told her, but instead of her talking to me my Dad cleared his throat, diverting my attention to him.

                "The place we're moving to is an apartment that is courtesy of my company, and they'll be the ones paying the rent, electricity and so on, which is a great help to us. The problem is, there isn't much room in it and if you were to live with us we would all be very crowded. However, the school you will be studying at has on campus living."

                "I'd rather not do that." I said thinking about the limitations and rules I'd have to abide to if II lived in a dorm.

                "Me and your mother figured as much. Which is why we have rented a small apartment near the school. Since you'll be turning eighteen in a couple of weeks, we figured you'd be okay with the responsibility. "

                "Wait. I've got my own place?" I asked

                "Yes, Corey. But if you test your boundaries, you will be out and in a dorm, you hear me, young man? And we will have food delivered every week. If you want anything else, you have to get a job." my Dad replied sternly.

                "Sure... Wow. This isn't going to suck as bad as I thought."

                At the prospect of having my own place, the move didn't seem as bad. Sure, I'd still be away from Resa and all my friends and yeah, I'd probably end  up in a stuck up school, but being able to live by myself was something I'd wanted to do for a while.

                Getting away from my Dad was an added bonus.

                As I made to go upstairs, I suddenly realised something.

                "Hey, Mum?"

                "Yes?" She replied in a confused tone.

                "Who's going to wake me up when I oversleep?"



I finally updadte! *throws confetti* I don;t really like the end of this chapter, but I'm too tired and ill to care. When I don't feel like the undead, I'll go back and re-write, but for now this is what you're getting.

On the other hand, what did you think of John? Remeber him, he's going to be important later on :)

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