See Through

Olivia Adams isn't alive, but she isn't dead either. Somewhere between heaven and hell lies perpetual purgatory, and she's inevitably stuck in it. There's unfinished business to be tended to, but the question of what it is remains unanswered. She walks the streets of New York City with tears in her eyes, but nobody notices the girl that barely exists. Until a beautiful day. Niall Horan has found her, and he sees and feels and hears her. She's falling in love with him, even though she's frightened since her last lover took her very own life. Through Niall, Olivia is able to reconnect with her sister, Jessi, and exist as if she never left. But, what happens when a dark mass tries to ruin any chance Olivia has of living again? Will the mass get to her, allowing her spirit to move on? Will she be able to fight it off long enough to become human again? Or, will she forever remain see through?

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20. Living Proof

Olivia

My presence is indeed everlasting. It's been months, the mass is gone. Hey! I'm human, and the only thing I have to show for it is some new clothes and a trip to the spa. The only good thing about this whole situation is that Jessi's apartment is spotless(I've always been kind of a neat freak).

On a different note, nothing compares to the look on Andrea's face as she unlocks the door and catches me lounging on the couch watching TV. I stare at her with a smirk on my face. I can only imagine what must be storming through her head right now. After trying to convince Jessi I'm “evil,” and turning against me when I thought she was my friend...I'm surprised she has the guts to speak.

“Am I dreaming...” she whispers, closing her eyes. “Wake up, Andrea. Wake up!”

Her eyes fly open again and it takes everything inside me not to laugh at her. For God's sake, she tried to convince everyone I was some horrible demon ghost or something! “Don't be so surprised,” I say to her. “You knew all along.”

She glares at me. “Knew what?”

“That I was perfectly normal. Well, besides being a ghost. I was never bad.”

“I know that.”

I stand to my feet. “Then why did you ruin your friendship with Jessi, and your relationship with Harry just to undermine me? What was so important to you that you just HAD to try to jeopardize any chance of reconnection with Jessi I had?!” There's tears in her eyes as she sits down on the couch and allows me to yell at her. “Well?”

“Jealousy,” she whispers. “Did that answer your question?”

I take a seat a seat beside her. “What do you mean? Jealous of what?”

“After you died, Jessi was all I had. Unlike the two of you, I had no family. I had no parents or anything. You guys were my family. She was the only person that gave a shit about me, and then when you came back into the picture that all changed. Jessi didn't have time to even look at me. I thought that if she thought you were bad, she would stop being around you. Just like with Niall...I knew you liked him, so I convinced her to go after him to make you mad. I thought it would make you go away. I felt like you were back in the spotlight and I was on the side.”

I can't believe what I'm hearing right now. I guess I really never thought of it that way, given the circumstances. Andrea isn't good at showing sentimental emotions, so this is a big step for her. Although I'm trying not to be too lenient, I try to sympathize. “I'm so sorry you felt that way,” I mumble, putting a comforting hand on her back.

“No, I'm sorry...” she says, turning to look at me. “For everything. I messed up. Jessi will probably never talk to me again. Harry definitely won't. Where is Jessi anyway?”

“I have no idea. I left them.”

“What? Why?”

“Because I love Niall...”

“That makes sense,” she says sarcastically. “Care to elaborate?”

“Well, Niall has never told me he loves me. Ever. I mean, I'm pretty sure he does but when I got to thinking about it, I don't want him to. What happens if by chance I don't get to stay here? What happens if the mass gets to me or if I have to...I don't know...move on? Where will that leave him?”

“You don't want to hurt him more than you have to.”

“Right.”

“So, not to be rude but you're probably hurting him now more than you could then. If you don't get to stay here, you have no control over that. He would be upset but he would understand. But you left by choice. That hurts more than anything. You of all people should know that.”

“Because of my mom? Yeah, she left by choice but that doesn't mean she didn't love us.”

“Really, Olivia? Really?”

“Okay, okay, you're right. I shouldn't have left the way I did. But, they think I'm gone forever. When Jessi did her showcase, I went backstage to talk to her and I overheard them talking about me. They think I let the mass get me.”

She stays silent for a minute before pulling out her phone. “One Direction is going to London in a couple of days.”

“Your point?”

“What do you say we meet them there?”

“I like the way you think. But first, I have to go see my dad and brother. Will you come with me?”

 

 

 

 

Jessi

“Come on Jess, we're going to miss our flight!” Louis yells through the hotel.

“I'm coming, I'm coming!” I yell back, grabbing my last suitcase. I'm exciting about going to London. I've never been out of the states, and I can't wait to breathe in British air. However, if we can't make it to the airport in less than twenty minutes, none of us will get to.

Finally I get down the stairs and pile into the over-crowded limo with Louis. I thought since Perri wasn't coming with us we'd have extra space...but then Niall decided to bring along his new – ahem – friend.

I look to Zoey as I sit down beside Louis and wonder what he sees in her. She seems like a nice enough girl, but she's not Olivia and that's who he belongs with. Her hair is thick and blonde like Andrea's but short and not as styled, with a fox-like face and tired eyes.

Looks like she's had a hard life. I know all about that, so I could probably relate.

But I don't dare. I haven't said the first word to her, and I don't plan to because – in my eyes – she's the enemy fraternizing with the man my sister loves. That is reason enough to hate her, right? Or am I just being rude? Either way, I'm not giving her any attention...not that she's begging for it.

When Niall introduced her to us, I thought about kicking him right between the legs or cussing him out...something to express my anger. Then I realized there was no use. Olivia's gone and he's attempting to move on with his life. I can accept it, but that doesn't mean I have to like her.

“So Zoey,” Louis says. My grip on his hand tightens and he nudges me as if to tell me to be quiet. “Are you looking forward to the U.K.?”

“Definitely,” she says with a perky smile. “I can't believe Niall asked me to come.”

“I thought you'd like it,” Niall adds, looking borderline happy.

My gut churns as I realize that he could possibly fall for this girl and completely forget about Olivia. She'd be just a distant memory. A blink of the past that he somehow let slip away. Just an old girlfriend that lingers somewhere in the back of his mind. Another reminder that, no matter how much we pray and wish and hope, she's not returning this time.

 

 

 

Niall

Right now, I know what's going through Jessi's mind, and I can see it written through the freckles on her cheeks right to the hint of disapproval in her eyes. She's right, however. This girl is no Olivia, but she's sweet and pretty, and maybe someday I can care for her like I did for Olivia. Like I still do.

It's been a week since our date, and since that date we've grown to know one another a little bit. She's told me countless things about herself but I keep my life on the down low. International boyband star that fell in love with a ghost? That would scare her away. That would scare anyone away.

Then again, she's pretty understanding, but I can't just casually tell her what I've been through.

We get to the airport within the nick of time and barely catch our flight, but luckily when we get on the plane, Zoey and I sit far away from everyone else so there's some privacy for us to talk. “I've been wanting to tell you,” I begin, “that I really like you.”

“I like you too,” she says with a smile. “Even though you kind of seem...hurt.”

My eyes shift to the floor. “What do you mean?”

“Niall, I can tell you look at me and see someone else. You've been heartbroken and I can see it. I'm not blind.”

“That's not...okay, you're right.” She recognizes the guilt in my voice.

“It's okay, Niall,” she laughs, “I don't care if you're still in love with your ex girlfriend. We're just friends for now, right? I'm not like that. You can't help the way you feel. Besides, we still barely know each other.”

I'm lucky that Zoey is so understanding, and that she thinks of us as friends. That's reassuring, and takes the pressure off a bit. “Thanks,” I say. “I hope you don't mind being just friends for a while. At least until I can tie some ends together.”

“Take all the time you need,” she replies. “I'm in no hurry.”

Finding a girl like this is hard, so momentarily I think I might have hit the jackpot. Then, I remember Olivia and how she didn't push me to go out with her. If I remember correctly, she pushed me to go for Jessi, but I chose her instead. That was my jackpot. Her.

“So can I know about this girl?” she asks.

I take a deep breath and begin to speak. The words come out of my mouth but I don't hear them because I'm flying down a highway of the past, longing for the girl who took my heart and never really gave it back. “It was Jessi's sister, Olivia. She was beautiful, smart, funny...but we just couldn't be together. We never really broke up...we just...I don't know...drifted apart. She was special to me.”

I'm trying to choose my words carefully, but Zoey's catching on. “Was? Is she gone or something?”

“You wouldn't believe me if I told you. She just had to leave. I don't know why she did it, but I don't think she's coming back.”

“That's rough.”

“Tell me about it. I'm just trying to get over it, you know?”

 

 

 

Olivia

Andrea pushes the doorbell as we stand in front of my dad's house, praying that he's not too freaked out by my impossible presence. Dad used to be such a family man. He, Jessi, Jimmy, and I stuck together throughout everything.

When my mom left us, Dad had to be both the mother and the father, and that was hard on him despite being such a domestic person. But naturally, things got tough, money got short, and we began to struggle.

Then I died...and I would sit on this very same doorstep and watch as my family moved on without me. Jessi moved out on her own, Jimmy grew up, and dad became bitter. Angry. Mad at nothing and everything at the same time like a war in his own mind.

I watched it all and they didn't even see me.

The door opens and I brace myself. Jimmy stands there holding a bowl of ice cream in his boxers, embarrassed that Andrea is seeing him half naked. “Hey,” he says, but then his attention is turned to me. His eyes fixate on mine, his mouth gaped open so wide I could drive a truck through it.

Jimmy was the baby of the family. Lucky for him, Jessi was able to keep me from killing him all those times we'd fuss and argue. Funny how the moment that privilege is stripped from you, you actually start to miss fighting with your siblings.

I don't know how long we've been standing here looking at each other, but we're interrupted by a man in his late forties, pulling the door open further. “Who is it, son? What the –”

He sees me.

They both do.

They hear me.

I'm alive.

I'm breathing.

I'm human.

Well, I think...

“Mr. Adams,” says Andrea, “I don't think there's an easy way to say this.” Neither of them speak, not that I had expected a big welcome home party full of hugs and smiles and tears. But, I was at least expecting a reaction. “Can we come in?”

Dad pulls Jimmy away from the door to let us through. I follow Andrea into the familiar living room and take a seat beside her on the couch I grew up jumping on. We sit there for a least three minutes with dad and Jimmy just staring at me like I'm some unbelievable piece of artwork

Finally, dad says something. “I don't understand. What is going on?”

“It was you on the phone,” Jimmy whispers. “But how – did you fake your own death?”

I shake my head. “The death was very real. Andrea...tell them.”

She wants me to tell them, but I can't. I don't want to scare them, or make any more worry for anyone else. I just want them to know I'm here, and I'm not going anywhere...I hope. “About five or six months ago, Jessi got this message on facebook from this guy saying he needed to talk to her. I went with her to meet him, and he said he had met Jessi.”

Dad's hand is over his mouth as she continues, “Naturally, we were both freaked out. He could see her, hear her, feel her...but neither of us could, at first. Then after a while, she started becoming more visible and audible. And now...she's here. She's been here the entire time.”

“It's...” dad starts to say something, and I know the word “impossible” is about to come, but I'm wrong. “...a miracle.”

Miracles happen every once in a while, and I'm living proof of that.

Living proof.

 

 

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