The Ghost of You

Normal. What is the real definition of normal? And why does it define us? Normal life, normal people, normal, normal, normal. Nothing could be more normal than the small city of Beauford South Carolina. But what happened here was not. Faith doesn't feel safe walking the streets anymore. Someone's watching her. Just like they were watching her brother.

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3. Normal is overated

Faiths POV

       I wake up to the sound of my mom screaming my name. "Faith! Hurry up you're going to be late for school." She wails up to my room. I groan and roll over and sit up slowly. My first day back to school since the confirmation of my brother's murder. Everyone new by now, it was all over the internet and news, which I did my best to avoid. It was bad enough without him there, I didn't need anymore reminders of it from anyone else.

      Within twenty minutes I was dressed and out the door. I hopped on my bike and road it to school. Mom had offered to give me Jeremy's car, but I refused, to many memories existed in that car with my brother, things I didn't want to remember. Just another reminder that it should have been me.

       I walked into homeroom five minutes late, Mrs. C gave me a sympathetic look and said nothing about my tardiness. I took my usual seat in the back of the class next to my friend Danielle, I hadn't returned her calls or her messages. I think after awhile she just figured I wanted to be left alone. I wasn't the same person I used to be. Something catches my eye in the back of the classroom. It was Jeremy. I close my eyes and count to ten before reopening them, he was gone. I was no longer startled by the appearances of my dead brother, I now expected them. As nice as it was to see his face, I couldn't bear to see him and know I would never be able to be in his presence anymore. They were hallucinations I knew that. I did what I could to make them go away, but it was just getting worse. He was trying to say something to me but I wouldn't listen.

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       By fourth period my brother wouldn't go away. He stayed in the back of the classroom watching me, stalking me with his eyes, just as he did when we were kids when we were mad at each other. As hard as I tried to pay attention to the tedious powerpoint Mr. Hopkins was showing us, my eyes kept flickering back towards the corner of the room, where he stood. His appearance was faint and ghostly, showing the Red Sox banner Mr. Hopkins had hanging up behind him. I stare back at him, right into his ghostly blue eyes. Go away, just leave me alone. I think to myself shutting my eyes tight. The bell ringing for third lunch snaps me out of my thought, I jump out of my seat eager to get out of that room and nearly run outside to the back of the school. There I pull a blunt out from my bra and light it up with the lighter I hid under a rock nearby. I inhale and exhale slowly waiting for the high to take over, and slowly make the image of my brother disappear. I didn't use to smoke as much, but ever since his appearances have become more frequent I needed this to make him go away. I finish off my blunt and take out my eye drops to hide my now glazed and irritated eyes. "Sneaky, sneaky." A voice says behind me. I turn around to find a brow haired blue eyes beauty with a sideways smirk planted on his face. He was wearing a navy blue shirt and white undershirt with tan jeans that hung slight below his hips showing his black boxers. His orange snapback was placed lightly upon his head and his gold watch glittered in the sun showing his newly brought on wealth.

"Jake?!!" I say as a smile appears on my face. I run over thrusting my arms around his neck hugging him. "When did you get back!?" I say pulling away just enough to be able to look at him. "I got in this morning." He says with a smile pulling away and looking me up and down. "What happened to you? This isn't you." He says as his face falls a bit. I look down and shuffle my feet a bit trying to keep my balance. "Yea well a lot has happened..." I say softly. He takes my hand leading me away from the school. "I should get back." I say trying to avoid having to tell yet another person the tragic story of my brother. "Please" he says with his blue eyes pleading. "I haven't seen you in forever.." He says making me feel guilty.

      After his senior year last year, Jake left me to pursue his basketball scholarship down in Florida. He was my best friend, along with my brother, the three of us always hung out together which would make telling him about Jeremy that much harder. We did everything we could to keep in touch, calling whenever we could, skyping, texting. But lately with Jeremy's murder and funeral, I hadn't really had much time for anything else but crying and sleeping. When Jake left it was bittersweet, I missed him so much when he left, but felt relief that he was gone so he could focus on his basketball career, instead of our relationship. Jake and I have always liked each for as long as I can remember, but neither of us said anything afraid to ruin our friendship, typical right? Before he left he told me, he wanted me to come with him, but we both knew I couldn't.

 

        "Fine." I say giving in and following along side him not letting go of his hand.  The fact of him being there was probably the most comfort I've had in the last month. "I've missed you." He says stopping and turning to me looking at me sincerely. "I've missed you too." I say looking up at him. "Well it hasn't really seemed like it...you haven't been returning my calls, I've been worried. I flew all the way out here, I thought something was wrong." He says with sadness in his voice. "I know I'm sorry...a lot has happened since you left." I say averting my gaze from his eyes. "What happened Faith.... I leave for 5 months and come back to this...this isn't you. You hate black, and you swore that you would never do drugs....and this.." He says lifting up my wrist revealing the scars on my writs. I quickly pull my hand away and watch as a tear falls down his cheek. "I'm sorry." I say as my voice cracks as I hold back tears. He lifts my chin and wipes my tears. "What happened?" He whispers as he gently wipes away my tears. "Jeremys dead." I croak out looking up at him for a reaction. It looked like I just slapped him across the face. "Jake I'm so sorry I know I should have told you but...I-I just haven't even...been able to function lately, and as bad as it sounds telling you was the least of my worries.." I explain not being able to look in his eyes. "How did it happen?" He asks softly baking up a few steps, as all of his emotions flash over his face. I just shake my head as my throat tightens up and I try to keep myself from crying. "Its okay.." He says realzing I cant talk about Jeremy just yet. "Everything is just so different now..." I mumble. "I wish I knew earlier that way I could have been here for you." He replies. I shake my head, as bad as it sounded I didn't want Jake there, at least not in the beginning. With him here now it wasn't as bad. "I don't feel safe Jake...something's wrong. I'm afraid to come out of the house, and Im just not normal anymore." I explain to him not expecting him to understand any of it. "Its okay" He replies after a moments hesitation. "Normal is overrated."

 

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