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‘This is a big change,’ James absorbs in a screw life kind of way as he walks down the tiny hall of his new high school. ‘I wish Kenny hadn’t passed away. I was banking on having my best friend to talk to once I had moved,’ James thinks and then sighs.
He turns into his class and sits on the outside row to the right, in front of a red headed girl with glowing, greenish-hazel eyes.
‘I feel lifeless here,’ he thinks, ‘two and a half hours south of my life.’
“Hey, new guy,” Jackie, the red head, speaks to him in a low, interesting voice from the desk behind him.
“Hey, what’s your name?” was James’s response as the new, hazel eyes began to brighten his mood.
“My name is Jackie, you can trust me. I am probably one of the only people you can trust here…,” Jackie says and then her attention wanders.
“What do you mean? What do I need to trust you for?” James asks, uneasily and confused.
“You will find out soon,” Jackie murmurs and then raises her hand and gets permission to leave the room; leaving the blonde, brown eyed, new guy to ponder alone.
As minutes pass, James’s mind wanders with frantic anticipation. ‘What all does she know?’ he asks himself. After pondering for a few minutes, he lifts his hand and gets permission to leave the room too.
Outside, in the hall, Jackie is standing at the far end. She winks at him and then swiftly rounds the corner. As he follows her around the corner, she abruptly stops and turns to face him. A saddened grin is fully displayed across her wild eyed, face.
“I’ve heard about you,” she says.
As he stares back at her in wonder, she slowly makes her way to the trophy box and points at a faded photo of a young cheerleader.
“It just happened so fast,” she sadly mumbles to herself out loud.
Then Jackie lifts her shirt and reveals a deep, painfully ugly, scar that runs from her ribcage to her hip bone on the left side of her body.
“I know how you feel,” she says,” this is why you can a should trust me.”
At this moment, James turns his attention back to the faded cheerleader and reads the small print below.
“Ann Johnson, 1991-2007”
James then turns around and finds tears escaping deep, hazel eyes.
“I still see and hear her,” Jackie says in a low, shaky voice,”I can still hear her screaming.”
“You what?” James asks. ”I doubt that,” he tells her.
As if she doesn’t hear James, Jackie goes on to tell her story.
“She was my only true friend. We were on our way home from bowling and had a head on collision,” Jackie informs him. “I was the driver.” she adds with a grim face.
“It’s definitely not your fault, dear,” James comforts her, ”but.. Are you sure you really see and hear her?” he asks anxiously.
“She speaks to me all the time,” Jackie says and smiles a sad smile, ”but sometimes I even hear her screaming.. I can hear other spirits too,” she adds, ”but not as often.”
“Oh.. okay, but what does this have to do with me?” James asks.
“Your friend Kenny wants to see you,” she says, “He misses you.”
“How can I see him?” James asks, not believing it is possible.
“All you have to do is give him permission to show his ghost form and he will appear,” Jackie assures him with big, excited eyes.
“Okay, Kenny you have permission to show yourself to me anytime.” James says in a slight, sarcastic tone.
At that moment Kenny appears with furry all over his face.
“Why didn’t you save me?” he asks James, “Why did you let me drive that night?”
James stares in horror, awe, and confusion.
“What are you talking about, Kenny?” James asks firmly.
“You knew I couldn’t drive that night!” Kenny yells and then lashes out at James, flying right through him. “You let me kill Ann! You made me a monster!”
And in that moment, Jackie runs at James with a freshly, sharpened pencil and stabs him in his heart.
“A friend for a friend,” says Jackie with a wide, glistening smile.