Moving was something I had a huge problem with. Not because of the fact I'd have to adjust to new people in a new setting, but because of all the clichés you hear about when a girl my age moves. A seventeen-year-old girl moves into town and finds a cute boy and they fall in love, go through a huge bump in their relationship, blah blah blah. That, mixed with the fact I had just finished watching American Horror Story Season One, I wasn't excited for this.
"You've done all the background checks?" I double checked with my parents before the move. "No one was ever murdered or found dead in that house?"
"Bridgette, we're positive the house isn't haunted." my dad sighed, setting his coffee cup down on the counter to hold his head in his hands.
"Now go finish packing." my mom said, pointing up the stairs.
So now I was wandering around my new house, scanning every room and checking in every door and down every staircase. Although, I was slightly terrified to go into the basement until my brother whacked me in the arm saying, "It's a finished basement, shit for brains!"
Did I actually think there would be an Infantata in my basement like in American Horror Story? Not really, no. But I did believe in ghosts, so there was a possibility there could be other people living in the house.
"This house will drive you insane because you think it will drive you insane." my dad told me.
Of course he had to find me digging around in a utility closet. This would only make my parents question my sanity even more than they were. I was just being precocious. I don't feel like getting chased out of my own house or dying or something.
"Maybe you should go get some air," my mom suggested with a painted on smile. "Explore the neighborhood, make some friends."
"So I can turn into a Hollywood cliché?" I questioned.
"What's wrong with meeting a cute boy?" she winked.
The fact she was actually trying to relate to me made me suppress a groan. "Mom, please stop. I'll leave if it makes you stop trying to act like a teenager."
With my parents now satisfied and acting slightly less embarrassing, I grabbed a light jacket and headed out the door to take a walk down the street. The air was warm, but a bit breezy. It was probably because the sun was beginning to go down.
About three houses down from mine was a small, yellow house with white trim and shutters. There was a giant tree in the front yard with a boy leaning against it with sunglasses on and tousled golden hair. I was disappointed because I found him attractive and I had already decided I was against becoming a typical love story. I just had to bow my head and keep walking.
"Hey!" a guy's voice called. I looked up, but saw it wasn't the boy against the tree. It was coming from a guy across the street. He had platinum blond hair and pale skin. His eyes were also covered by a pair of sunglasses. He waved me over, but I shook my head. I wasn't an idiot - my parents did teach me about stranger danger. He just continued to call from in his yard. "How come I haven't seen you around here?"
"I just moved in." I called back.
"You got a name?" he asked.
Why would I tell some guy my name? "Maybe."
He chuckled. "Maybe? Weird name, but whatever..."
I rolled my eyes. Did this guy think he was being cute or something? "Do you?"
"Michael," he smiled. "Michael Clifford."
I nodded, not really sure what else to say to this Michael kid. I didn't exactly want to go home, but I didn't actually want to keep a conversation with him either. He gave off this douche vibe that I wanted to stay five thousand feet away from.
"So, Maybe," he began, smiling to himself. "Are you the family that moved in across from the Hemmings House?"
Michael started to make his way across the street. "You don't know about the Hemmings House?"
"N-no..." I took a step back, but Michael stopped at the edge of the sidewalk. He kept one foot on the road, and took his glasses off. His eyes were a bright green that were very pretty.
"Well, the story is that the Hemmings family lived there," he began. "Mr. and Mrs.Hemmings, and their three kids: Jack, Ben, and Lucas. One day, Mrs.Hemmings came home and saw that Mrs.Hemmings was cheating on her with the neighbor. Mrs.Hemmings shot him point blank, as well as the neighbor. The oldest, Ben found out and threatened to tell, so she drugged him and he died. Jack thought the whole thing was insane and it was making him stress out. His anxiety levels got so bad he shot himself. Then it was just the youngest, Lucas, and his mom. Lucas was actually around our age when this happened. He knew about what his mom did, but he thought that she killed Jack too, which threw him over the edge. He knocked her out and dragged her body into the basement. He beat her skull in before hanging himself."
I has a hard time processing all this. This was the type of things I was talking about! And my parents thought I was insane.
“So do you?” Michael asked, “Like, did you move in across the street from there?”
“What was the address to that house” I asked.
“30 Westfield Drive.” He responded.
I actually snorted. Of course we’d move in across from the haunted house in town. What else was I supposed to expect? I was unfortunately becoming a cliché Hollywood story. Or maybe a new American Horror Story theme. Who knows?
“31 Westfield Drive,” I told him, backing up the way I came. “I should probably go do some research on that uh…. Hemmings House? Yeah.”
“Try not to die,” he nodded, sliding his sunglasses on and turning on his heels to walk back across the street. I went to turn around, but he called back to me. “Hey, Maybe!”
“What are you doing around… 7:30 tonight?”
I had just met Michael and he was already asking me to hang out? This was totally going to be some cliché, wasn’t it? But I did want to hear more about what he knew about the Hemmings house. But I also wasn’t totally sure about Michael. He seemed… strange. Not just because he was so cocky, but the way he talked about the house. It was like he was there or something. Like it was something he could never get out of his head because it was burned into his brain. But then he was suddenly fine right after talking about it. But I was curious. I wanted to know everything I could.
“Irwin!” Michael called, snapping me out of my internal thoughts. I followed Michael’s gaze behind me to look at the boy leaning against the tree. “What are you still standing there for? You’re probably freaking Maybe out.”
The boy – Irwin? – just shrugged, not saying anything. He didn’t even move from his spot. I had to admit, Michael was right with his assumption. This guy was actually really weird.
“That’s Ashton,” Michael told me, nodding towards him. “He doesn’t talk, Like ever.”
I looked back to Michael. “Why not?”
Michael just shrugged and made a weird noise meant to mean “I don’t know”. I turned and looked back at the boy, Ashton. I made a tiny wave and he nodded his head at me. At least he acknowledged me.
“So?” Michael pressed. I turned back to look at him again. “Are you free tonight?”
I sighed. “I guess so.”
Michael smiled at me. “Great. I’ll meet you outside your house then?”
“Yeah,” I confirmed, turning to walk away. “See you then.”
“See ya, Maybe”
I stopped and turned around again. “Bridgette. It’s Bridgette.”
“Then I’ll see you then, Cooper.”
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