I have no idea how old I was when I saw my first ghost. Three or four, since I can barely remember it. It was the ghost of a little girl. She was my first playmate. I thought everyone else could see her. My parents pretended to, since I was so young and they wanted to humor me by pretending my "imaginary friend" was real.
As I grew older, the ghost started to age with me. She told me her name was Marion Weller. I told her that's my last name, she said she knew. She let me know she was my older sister. I was about seven at the time, and I was confused because she was the same age as me. She said that she pretended to be seven but she died when she was twelve.
I asked how she could be talking to me if she was dead. Marion said that just because someone dies doesn't mean they go away.
I was nine when the voices started.
It started with the voice of a man. Please. the voice pleaded. Please can you hear me please help me please please please. It felt like he was in my head but he wasn't, I knew that, he was outside my head.
"How can I help you?" I asked. After playing with Marion for so long, nothing could faze me, much less some silly voice.
Make it stop make the pain stop please help me please please please.
I was starting to get scared. I asked Marion what it was about and she said that they were people from where she was, they were trying to take me away from her. I didn't want to be taken away from Marion, so I tried to ignore the voices.
I pulled away from my family so I could be with Marion, my special friend. I stayed in my room with her. She taught me things, naughty things that I knew were wrong, but I didn't know how to say no to my special friend.
My parents were getting worried, especially when I brought up the voices. They told me to stop that, that it wasn't good to keep talking to people that weren't there. I got angry. They were there, I knew they were.
"Ebony, I want you to do something for me." Marion told me when I was eleven. I asked what she wanted to do and she said that there was a clock in the kitchen that she wanted me to break.
That clock was special to my mother. She never said why it was special but she loved that clock. It was her favorite thing in the whole house. I was angry at my mother but I didn't want to make her sad.
"No." I replied stubbornly.
Marion was stunned for a moment. "What did you say?"
"I said no. That's Mom's special clock." I glared at the ghostly apparition. She glared back.
Suddenly, she became very scary. Her eyes turned red and the rest of her turned black except for her white fangs. "Then you'll join me and we can be together forever."
I didn't want to die so I went into the kitchen.
I reached up on the chair and grabbed the clock on the wall, gripping it tight in my hands. I felt a cold sweat on my face as I held it over the floor.
"Do it, Ebony."
Shaking, I dropped the clock. I heard it shatter on the ground and I began to cry as Mom ran in, worried.
"What . . . did . . . you . . . do?" she asked, looking close to tears. "Why did you break my clock?!"
"Marion told me to." I replied quietly.
"How do you know about Marion?"
"She visits me every day. She's my special friend." I was shaking so hard, but Mom looked livid.
"You're lying, Ebony Mary Weller. Nobody told you to."
"Marion and the voices, Mom! Marion and the voices!"
It took her days to figure out that I wasn't lying.
She called a special doctor and I was put away in a special room for special people. I get to come out into the special garden sometimes.
One morning they told me I had a visitor.
"Are you Ebony Weller?"