Haunted

People have called Imogen weird all of her life. They say that there's just something about that makes her like this- but what is it?
When Imogen has an encounter with a strange man on the train home, she's left confused and wanting answers. Who is this man and why does she feel a strange pull towards him?

A chilling story about ghosts, spirits and love following the teenage girl Imogen and her adventures into the unknown. Please read and give any feedback and like or fan if you enjoyed it!

P.S. This is not a vampire story by the way!

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2. Chapter 2.

 

~~2) Chapter 2


The next day, I expected to see the man again. I expected him to be on the train, waiting for me and then when he wasn’t there, I expected him to be waiting for me at the other side. However, there was no sign of him. I wondered if it was because had I caught an earlier train, or maybe there was just a normal reason for his behaviour- like he thought he knew me or something. But then again, if you thought you knew someone you wouldn’t try to scare the hell out of them. Maybe he came after me because I dropped something? Again, this didn’t explain the weird look he gave me or what he did. All in all, there was no way to explain it.


Even when I walked home from getting off the train stop I still expected him to be behind me. I kept thinking that I could feel his gaze on my back again but when I turned my head round, there was no sight of him. It was weird, last night I was terrified of him but now I just wasn’t sure of how to feel. Part of me was really angry- why did he look at me like that? Another part of him drew me in closer. I wanted to see him- I wanted to confront him and demand an explanation. There was just something about him that made me think that our paths were made to cross.


Not surprisingly, after yesterday my mum kept more checks up on me than normal by phoning me up at what seemed every hour. When I trundled in after college, she looked somewhat relieved but tried to hide it by looking down at the washing-up bowl. A pile of soapy dishes cluttered the draining board, threatening to slip at any second. She placed a ceramic bowl precariously next to them and turned round to welcome me. She wore her ‘round the house’ outfit which consisted of some grey joggers and a faded Pineapple dance tee; completely undermining the whole sporty nature of what the clothes should be used for. “How did your exams go, sweetie?”


“Fine, the question that I practised last night came up.” I dumped my bag by the stairs and went to root through the fridge. Even though my English literature exam was over, I still felt down and it was pretty obvious why.


“That’s brilliant! Only one more to go now and you’re a free woman!” She joked, seeming much happier than I felt. “There’s some cake at the back.” She pointed over to the fridge, her marigold-yellow rubber gloves still covered in foam.


“Thanks.” To my delight, it was a big Victoria sponge- my favourite. I felt bad on my mum that I had come home in such a horrid mood but I just couldn’t shake him off my mind. I could see that she sensed this mood (cue the cake) but I had agreed with myself as soon as I got off that train- no one was going to find out what happened.


A low gurgling sound came from the drain as my mum pulled out the plug; she unpeeled the gloves and sat down opposite me at the table. Meanwhile, I tucked into a slice of cake. It filled my mouth with a smooth butter-cream heaven; just what I needed after the week I’d had. There was an awkward silence as my mum watched me demolish the cake.


 “Cake?” I offered, mid-mouthful, trying my hardest to stop a wave of crumbs coming out of my mouth.


“No thanks.” She laughed and then let it fade away to a cheerful hum; her fingers tapped away at the oak table. Wait for it... “I was just wondering if there was anything you wanted to talk to me about, you don’t quite seem yourself.”Her dyed blonde hair was scraped back off her face, she meant business. I could tell that she’d been waiting to talk to me all day.


“Nope, I’m fine.”


“Are you sure? You seem a little...” she pursed her lips into a thin line whilst choosing her next words very carefully, “...distant.”


“Seriously, I’m fine. I’m just tired with all of these exams.” Damn, I was terrible at lying.


“After last night I just thought...”


“Yeah, well I’m fine.” I filled her in quickly, maybe a bit too quickly. She raised her hands and eyebrows in surrender.


“Okay, okay. Well I just wanted you to know that if you have any problems- boys or anything,” she winced, “then you can always talk to me.” She thought I had boy problems?! Well, if that was what she wanted to believe then I was happy to go along with it; it was a good diversion from what it actually was.


“Thanks mum.” This conversation was at risk from turning into a pallid American teenage rom-com.


On the kitchen table there was a school picture of me from when I was about seven- this had so been set up. In the picture, I was smiling a big goofy smile at the camera and had my hair in two tight plaits, either side of my head. My hair was bleach-blonde on it but with time, it had darkened to an ashen blonde. Behind me on the picture was a disgusting backdrop of messily smudged colours which suggested that it’d been used since the 1970s. Overall, it wasn’t the best photograph and I normally insisted that it was tucked away in a drawer.


“My little girl, nearly eighteen. It seems like just yesterday that that picture was taken.” My mum motioned to the picture when she noticed that it had caught my gaze, her hazel eyes glittered behind a sheet of tears. The fake bronze frame caught the mellow light from the afternoon sun as if it had just been polished. I wasn’t quite sure what she expected me to do so I just hummed understandably and undercut the cake with a butter knife.


“Your dad and I were discussing your birthday again, are you sure you don’t want a party?”
So this was what it was all about. During the last couple of weeks, she had subtly been hinting for me to ask for a wild party for my birthday but I had turned a blind eye to it. “I’m sure Mum, it’s not me.”


“It’ll be good for you- you only turn eighteen once.” I’d had that phrase said to me so many times that past year but I really didn’t want a party. Alcohol, dub-step and drunks being sick all over the place really weren’t my thing.


“I really don’t want one. I just want a small,” I emphasized the ‘small’, “night in with a couple of friends.”


“Right, I give up Imogen. If you want to be gloomy, so be it. I just hope you don’t regret it.” She pushed herself up from the table and put the cake back into the fridge, shaking her head in disapproval. Her clubbing days were over but she longed to live them through me; to her dismay, it wasn’t going to happen. Unfortunately for her she had given birth to the world’s most studious, introvert daughter who loathed loud music.


“I won’t, don’t worry.” I said stubbornly like the child I was- no way did I feel like I was going to turn eighteen in a couple of weeks. I tried to sound as bright as possible but it just came out even more sarcastic.


My mum went back to the sink, picking up a limited-edition Coronation street tea towel on her way and started drying the cups with too much haste. I saw the opportunity to slip away and be the hermit I was so I brushed the crumbs off my navy jumper, gathered my bag and headed up the stairs to study. I had just reached the third step when my mum called me down. I reversed with a silent groan.


“Imogen, I just want you to be happy, that’s all.” She sighed; her face was exhausted like mine and just wanted the peace to be returned.


“I know.” I said shortly back. I knew that she didn’t mean any harm, her idea of fun was very different to mine and I knew that she just wanted the best for me. Plus, after last night she was still acting very concerned and probably thought me weirder than ever. My poor mum, I hated leaving her in the dark.


I finally escaped upstairs with a whole load of things to mull over the weekend and a heavy load of revision to do for my last A-level exam on Monday- not the best way to end the week and what had seemed like an incredibly long exam season. Oh, and on top of that now I had to convince my mum that I was perfectly happy. As soon as I got in my bedroom, I collapsed on my bed face down and sank into the duvet; I just wanted to melt into it. Every time I closed my eyes, I just saw the man on the train’s face transfixed on mine. His strikingly pale look disturbed my thoughts and I could still feel his strong grip on my shoulder as if he’d dented my shoulder bone- I needed to take my mind off him and forgot this silly man.


I unpeeled my face off my pillow and scanned my box-like room. My room was small but to me, it felt personal and cosy. Drawings of mine hung up on the walls in a dreamlike fashion, making it look like a studio. Sketches from my many train journeys, charcoal portraits of friends, oil paintings of wild seas battling with ferocious storms all made the room look like the inside of my mind- a window into my imagination; they decorated the cream walls as if they were blank canvases. The rest of my room took a velvety red, grey and cream colour theme; an attempt at bringing a little bit of Paris to a grey Manchester suburb. A bookshelf looked over my room, draped in fairy lights that promised a surprise if you turned them on. The bookshelf was crammed with myriad books and the occasional CD without a case. It risked looking messy and cluttered to anyone who wasn’t me (i.e. my parents) but I didn’t care- after all, I was the one who spent most of my time in here.


I turned round on my bed to face the wall and scan the calendar that was pinned to it. The calendar was a free science one that I had picked up whilst visiting a science museum with my best friend, Poppy. It brought back painful memories of me faking interest in some physics equations whilst she was genuinely interested and enthusiastically took notes in her physic book for college as if they were the best things ever. Each month, the page turned over to show a different scene in space and said some ‘fun’ information about it; funny the things you learn when you’re bored in bed. This month, there was a picture of the sun labelled with all the different layers of it- I’d drawn a smiley face complete with sunglasses in an attempt to brighten it up (if you’ll pardon the irony). On the 31st of June, I had drawn a little balloon to symbolise my birthday; instead of looking fun and exciting, it just mocked the date. I counted the days with my finger until my birthday, with dread I realised that there were only 11 wake ups left until I officially became an adult and this scared me- I still felt like a child.


The words of my mum still rang in my ears from our conversation before- maybe there was something wrong with me, everyone else who was my age loved birthdays and had planned their eighteenth since they had turned into a teenager, but not me. I felt like a freak compared to everyone else and the more I experienced the world, the further away I felt from it. I groaned and closed my stinging eyes again in my teenage mood, the last thing I saw was the man from the train in the corner of my eye before falling into a deep sleep. 
 

****Nearly 500 readers- wow!:D I have deleted the next chapters as I am in the process of thoroughly editing them and taking a new approach. Please comment, like or fan me- it'd mean a lot to see what you all thought of it!:D Thanks again.

~Ella

 

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