The Countdown

Time is slowly tickling out, and Roberta 'Bobbie' Rowe, who at first didn't believe in ghosts, is slowly starting to realize the impact of the small pieces of paper in her bathroom counting down the days. ♦ For the 'Do You Dare Say Her Name?' competition ♦

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1. Day 1

”Naya?” I call as I take in the neatly scribbled handwriting on the paper in my hand. It’s a daring, dark, red color alike the one of blood, and if I hadn’t known better, maybe that would have been my guess. I can hear Nayas tripping steps getting nearer. She stops up by the doorframe, bright, fresh smile on her lips, and untidy blonde locks framing her face.

“What?” she asks questioningly. She sighs, “Is it the toilet again? I swear I’m going to kill that man who pretended to fix it.”

“No, seriously Nay, it’s not funny. I didn’t get scared but nice try,” I say, as I hand her the paper with a chuckle. Naya furrows her eyebrows, confused, and eyes the paper with curiosity, then she laughs.

“Is this some sort of joke, Bobbie. You know I could never write like that” she says, handing the paper back. My expression turns stern, “really Nay?”

“You’ve seen me write at school before. Wouldn’t you know?” she smiles, face amused. I lick my lips, a habit of mine, as I try to search her eyes for any form for joke. Nayas eyes turn confused, and her smile falters a little in nervousness.

“But I didn’t write this either,” I say. Of course I knew how Naya wrote, but this kind of joke would just be so like her, and perhaps something in me still believes it might be her doing, even if her eyes are telling me otherwise.  I scratch my neck and read the neat handwriting over again. 5 days. I contemplate about what that might mean. What is happening in 5 days? I wonder, and Naya places her hand on my arm, asking my thought out loud; “what is happening in 5 days?” The way she asks it sounds curios, with a slight undertone of something else; I can’t really put my words on it.

“Maybe its Grace,” Naya suddenly roars, eyes turning small. I chew on the thought for a minute. Well, how would I know? I end up concluding. Maybe it is her. It could be. She never seemed too keen on the idea of calling Bloody Mary yesterday night. Maybe this is just her getting back on us. However the idea somehow also seems a little ridiculous, I realize. How would she even get in here in my bathroom anyway? I ruffle my hair, frustrated, and Naya seems to take this as a sign to take a step back.

“It can’t be her,” I say, voice clearly irritated. Naya massage her forehead in deep thought, and I can literally feel the frown digging into my own forehead as she does so.

“Well, we’ll have to wait till tomorrow to find out either way,” she mumbles, blowing a strand of hair out of her sight. True, I sigh. We aren’t seeing the others before tomorrow, when school starts up again, and I don’t really know how to feel about that right now, perhaps partly because I felt a little crept out already. Who in their right mind would break into someone’s bathroom just to play a trick on them? I almost wanted to rip my hair out. It’s frustrating.  Naya don’t look like she knows what to think either. This is not even funny. It is just.. - at a lack of better vocabulary – sick, I think, cringing, as my eyes once again land on the little piece of paper. My hand unconsciously crushes it a little.

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