Diary of Secrets

Calum thought soccer was everything.....until he read Sam's diary.


30. Finding Each Other

There’s a thick white fog lingering around me. At first I think it’s from the fire so immediately I start coughing to get the smoke out of my lungs. But soon I realize that there’s no irritation in my lungs. What ever this stuff is, it isn’t smoke from the fire. I’m also standing and there’s no one around that I can see or hear.

It’s quiet here. It’s also really white. Not the blinding kind it’s softer than that, but it doesn’t help me figure out where I am. I’ve woken up in hospital rooms before and there’s always noise. So I can’t be in one. Am I? Slowly I walk forward. I look down at my legs and see that they’re fine. I bend my knees repeatedly and lift my legs up. No pain. Maybe I’ve been helped already. But then where is Sam?

“Sam!” I call out, looking around for her familiar face.

“Calum!” I hear in return. Now I’m running, searching for where her voice came from. I’m still calling out to her and I can’t see anything in this white fog surrounding me. My anxiety is flaring up because I don’t want to lose her again. Just when I think I know what direction she’s in, her voice gets more distant.

She’s still calling out for me and as I call for her I seem to be running in circles. Finally I come across a faded figure in the white thickness. Sam’s voice seems so far away but if I were to walk a couple feet forward, I could reach out and touch whoever’s in front of me. I stand frozen in place as I hear Sam calling for me. The figure in front of me doesn’t move and I wonder if they’re even safe to approach.

“Calum! Hurry!” Sam pleads. Hesitantly I walk forward and watch the figure in front of me move. They turn around and I’m surprised to see it’s another girl.

“Hello Calum. We‘ve been expecting you.” She says with a bright smile. She’s dressed in a white dress and her mousy brown hair hangs just above her shoulders.

“Who are you? How do you know my name?” I ask, perplexed.

“Where‘s Sam?” I ask, still hearing her call for me.

The girl simply smiles in response and rests her hand on my arm. Almost instantly my anxiety fades and the fears I had earlier are gone.

“She‘ll come if you call her. But you must be quick Calum. She only has little time left.” She warns before letting me go and walking away.

“Find me again when you two are together.” She says before I lose sight of her completely in the white fog.

I’m running again in fear I’ll lose her for good this time.

“Sam! Where are you?!” I scream frantically, still listening for the sound of her voice. After feeling like I’m running in circles once again, I see a practically invisible figure far off to my left side. As I run closer I find the figure is getting farther away as well. But I can see it and if I can push myself I know I can reach them.

As I run faster and faster I expect the fatigue to kick in or my perspiration to start. But neither one comes in and something tells me that they won’t. Not ever again. I reach my hand out in front of me and grab for the figure ahead of me.

“Sam!” I scream in desperation.

“Calum! PLEASE!” She screams and as I get closer the louder she becomes.

I can feel my heart beat faster and the adrenaline soar through me. I watch the figure darken in color as I approach it and quickly grab hold of them. Spinning them around to see me I smile at the sight of Sam’s face.

“Thank god!” I shout, holding her tight. She hugs me in a tight vice it makes it hard to breathe.

“I thought I lost you.” She says, squeezing me tighter.

Leaving small kisses along the side of her head to her forehead, I sigh in relief.

“I‘d never leave you Sam.” I answer with my lips still against her forehead.

“But where are we?” I ask, not quite as uncertain as earlier. Sam looks up at me and with watery eyes says,

“Come on Calum. I know you aren‘t that daft.” With a sigh I rest my chin on her head. She knows too.

“We died. Didn‘t we?” I ask, no longer feeling. She nods in response and her grip on me tightens as I hold her closer. I try to remember the last thing I saw or heard but parts of tonight are fading as I remember them.

“What‘s the last thing you remember?” I ask to myself more than anyone.

“You.” Sam says, distancing herself from me.

“I remember your chivalry at the restaurant, the kisses on the ride home, and your proposal just before-” Her voice cracks and I pull her in tighter. As I shush her I look around for the figure that I met with earlier. If we were supposed to meet up with her why can’t I see her? Do I have to physically find her again? This place is never ending.

“Come on Sam. Let‘s try to find a way out of here.” I say, hoping the walk will calm her. As we walk forward my arm stays around her waist to prevent losing her in the fog. Her hand grips onto my arm tightly the further we walk away.

“We‘ll be alright Sam. I haven‘t met anything evil yet in this fog.” I tease before spotting a dark shade in the fog ahead.

Sam spots it too and immediately freezes in her tracks.

“It‘s alright Sam. She won‘t hurt us.” I explain while continuing forward. As I reach out to grab her I hear Sam say

“That‘s not her.” My hand touches their shoulder.

“How do you know-” I start to ask before the figure turns to me and I drop my hand. Slowly I back away reaching behind me for Sam’s hand.

In front of me is a dark red figure that’s hunched in the back. It’s eye sockets are empty and it’s body is ridged in points along it’s back. What ever this is, it isn’t human and it’s focus is now planted firmly on us. As Sam grabs hold of my hand I can hear the screams surround us and wonder if Sam can hear them as well. When I turn to face her I realize she’s one of the screams I’m hearing.

“Sam! What‘s wrong?!” I shout, trying to shake her gaze away from the creature in front of us. Her eyes stay glued to the menacing figure and the scream she belts out becomes louder.

“SAM!” I scream her name once more before putting myself directly in between the two of them. Once her gaze is broken her screaming stops. But as I hold her to my chest I walk with her away from the thing behind us.

Up ahead I spot another figure and freeze in place.

“Calum? What happened?” Sam asks, as she blinks at her surroundings.

“We‘re alright.” I say still staring at the unknown figure in front of me. As I look around me I notice there are more darkened shapes. Are they just now appearing? Or have I just been blind to them this entire time?

I feel a hand rest on my shoulder and turn shielding Sam behind me.

“Calum. We have to go.” The girl from earlier says. As soon as I see her the fear fades and quickly I bring Sam in front of me. I get the feeling the looming figures won’t touch the girl in the white dress. With Sam sandwiched directly between us I know she’s safe from whatever lies in wait.

She guides us through the fog and as we continue forward it seems to grow thicker. The white clouds are now a dingy gray and I wonder if we’re heading in the right direction.Where are we going?

“Where are you taking us?” I ask the girl ahead. She continues forward without any sign of recognition that she heard me. Sam looks behind her at me and I shake my head just as confused.

We pass a figure who jumps out of the fog. It’s an elderly woman with rags for clothes. She looks as though she was from another time.

“Please. I beg you. Give me your mercy and kindness. Take me with you.” She pleads to the girl in front of us. The girl stops in her tracks and with her free hand, removes the old woman’s hand from her arm.

“I‘m in no mood for your games Damien.” She says through gritted teeth without looking her way.

I stare from the girl to the old woman and watch as the lady falls to her knees weeping.

“What is the matter with you?!” I scream at the girl in front of us.

“How can you leave her here?!” I ask, with anger rising in my voice. She stops and turns to look at me.

“Calum, I advise you to open your eyes. He is not a she. You‘ll be wise to heed the advice I give when I say, not everything is as it seems here.” She says turning to walk forward again. I look down at Sam who’s mirroring my confused expression. We stare at the old woman and see that her eyes are no longer there. The skin on her body falls to the floor like a suit and her organs fall onto the floor. The muscles that make up our body burns away, to show a bright red creature with hoofed feet.

He laughs demonically as Sam and I run in the direction we saw the girl walk in. Thankfully we find her walking toward a staircase I never noticed before. She turns to look at us as if to see we’re still following and walks up the stairs. Her steps make no sounds as she ascends them and I look to Sam to see if she’s ready.

“Together, okay?” I ask her, she nods in response and I take the first step toward them.

“Calum. Do you hear that?” Sam asks, stopping me from continuing. I listen but hear nothing as the time passes.

“No. Come on, we don‘t want to lose her.” I reply, stepping toward the stairs once more.

“Listen! It‘s getting louder.” She says, pulling on my hand. I huff in response and turn to look at her. Sam seems to be floating a few inches off the ground and some invisible force seems to be pulling her away from me.

The girl on the steps flies down them but doesn’t leave them.

“What‘re you two doing?! Get on these stairs, now!” She screams, staring from the stairs to us as if contemplating over something.

“Calum, just listen! They‘re voices. I think it‘s doctors. Oh Calum, we‘re going to be okay. We just have to follow them.” Sam says with a sigh. Is this another trick? I don’t hear anything.

“Calum! Get her back here! If you don‘t want to lose her you need to make her stay!” The girl from the stairs screams at me. I look at Sam and grab both her arms and force her to look at me. It takes a second for Sam to tear her eyes away from the far off distance, but when she does I begin talking to her in a low whisper.

“Sam. Are you listening? I want you to hear me.” I start, placing a stray hair behind her ear. Gripping her tightly on the other arm to fight against the pulling.

Sam nods in response and I smile as I say,

“Sam. You can‘t leave me. I need you here. Do you understand? You promised me you wouldn‘t leave. Don‘t break it. I love you.” My words get softer until the crack becomes evident. I swallow the lump in my throat and hold her to me, she hugs me tight and with her hand enclosed in mine we walk up the steps.

The girl breathes a sigh of relief once our feet are firmly planted on the stairs. As we ascend the fog becomes lighter until it disappears completely. They lead us to a large gate that doesn’t seem to end. It’s iron bars seem to glow in the brightened atmosphere. Sam squeezes my hand in response and I reciprocate the move.

The girl who lead us here is smiling widely as she walks us over to the gate. With a big sigh she stops just at the doors.

“I can‘t follow you in. It‘s also up to you to go inside. But really no one‘s ever said no.” She says still smiling.

“Where does it go?” I ask, uncertain and with anxiety building up inside.

“No one knows. Except those that pass it of course, but I never have. Sorry I‘m not much help. You two are going in right?” She asks, hopeful. Sam and I exchange a look and then stare at the gate again.

“Who are you?” I ask, realizing I never did. She smiles and shrugs in response.

“I‘m whoever you need me to be. A friend. Foe. Family member. Whatever you need.” She says after a while. Sam and I look to one another and as I return to the girl I begin to ask more questions.

“Where did we just come from? We’re dead right? Why couldn’t you help Sam earlier?” She sighs and rests her hand on my arm. My mouth closes and I’m relaxed again. She’s really gotta start warning me when she does this.

With a wide smile she says

“We‘ve just come from purgatory. Now that you‘ve ascended heaven‘s stairs, yes you‘re both dead. I‘m merely a guide. I had already ascended the stairs when she was being called back, once you‘re on them a force glues you to them. Couldn‘t you feel it?” She asks with a concerned face. I think back to the stairs and realize that after both feet were planted, a heaviness clung to them. Even if I had wanted to walk off them I couldn’t.

I think over her answers and ask,

“Called back? What do you mean? Was she really hearing doctors?” Sam’s hand squeezes mine. The girl simply nods in response and when Sam and I look to one another we share the same sullen face. When I turn to thank the girl for her help I see she’s disappeared. Sighing I turn my attention back toward Sam.

“I‘m sorry. You could‘ve gone back and I stopped you. Sam, you‘d be alive right now if I hadn‘t have kept you.” I say with a sigh. I grab the side of her face and run my thumb along her cheek. She shakes her head and a tear falls from her watery eyes.

“No. Don‘t be. Calum really think about it. If I had gone back, how long would I have stayed before I gave up? As soon as I would‘ve realized you weren‘t there I would‘ve been looking for any way out.” She says, choking back the sobs. I hold her to me and hear her sniffle before she continues.

“I‘m where I‘m supposed to be. If I had left and come back I‘d be stuck down there or finding a home in hell. You know I‘m right Calum.” She says with a squeak. I shush her and kiss the top of her head.

We stay like that for a moment before turning to stare at the gate again. Sam reaches for my hand and I gladly take it, holding tightly.

“Together, okay?” I ask. Sam stares at me and with one final exhale, we push the doors inward and walk through them together.

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