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Beyond the Grave
"Do you believe in ghosts?” Really. The first thing this kid was ever going to say to me would be ‘Do you believe in ghosts?!’ It was second hour science class and we had just got new seats. Mine was next to Olivander Ivings; he was a cute boy but I really didn’t know him all that well. So the first thing he would ever say to me was seriously going to be ‘Do you believe in ghosts.’
I rolled with it, “Depends. Are we talking-“I lifted my hands up in a claw like motion and bared my teeth, “Scary killer ghosts?”
He laughed, something smooth, loud, and happy. I melted a little. “Naw, more like spirits who still have business on Earth.”
“Then kinda.” I paused and looked into his big brown eyes and his messy dark hair. “Why?”
“I’m just interested in that kinda stuff.”
“Oh.” And it ended just like that, at least the first conversation anyway. For the rest of the year we would just talk like we knew each other, as though we were best friends, but sometimes; sometimes I liked to pretend we were more. Every time he said Katherine it sent shivers down my spine. But I knew he didn’t like me. He never could, I was just that girl in science class. That girl who gave him pencils and let him borrow my homework.
So when he kissed me I didn’t know what to do. Just listen to him jab on about how he so didn’t think this through and how he would just leave and how he’d never mention it again. But I wanted him to. So I kissed him in that rush of words and from then on I knew that life was going to be different because someone cared about me.
“Katherine! Please. Just let me talk.” Olivander’s laugh echoed through the phone.
“Olivander, you have the floor.” I listened to him talk about his weekend; he and some friends had taken a trip to the old Betford house to look for ghosts. Apparently some guy named Joshua murdered a few people and committed suicide there. We had been together for six months now. I had never felt this way about a guy and I wanted to love him for the rest of my life.
“Shoot- Kat, I gotta go.”
“Oh. You’re still coming over, right?”
“Of course, are you crazy? I have to tell you something; don’t let me forget, ok?”
“Ok.” And with that the phone clicked off.
I sat on my bed and looked at my ceiling. The white paint was chipping in the left corner. My eyes roved to the desk and the clock upon it; it was nine ‘o’clock on the dot (I would never forget that.) I stood up and plucked a strand of photos lying there. It was the one me and Olivander had taken at the carnival. The first one was of me kissing his cheek, the second of the two of us kissing, the third we had done that lame heart thing with our hands and the fourth I was just gazing into his face and he into mine. His hair was a little shorter then what it is now but still had the same striking dark brown hue and disheveled quality. His eyes were chestnut colored, so big I constantly found myself getting lost in their depths. His skin was like porcelain it was so white. His lips thin but most definitely kiss-able; teeth so bright I could only compare them to the sun.
Unwilling, my eyes flicked to my own face. My hair was thick and black and curled around my red-tinged face; so burnt from that trip (Yet he remained, constantly, gorgeously, alabaster white.) My eyes were pleasantly gray. I had lips that seemed like string but were curled into the unimaginable happiness that only came to me when I was with Olivander.
“Hey.” Olivander’s voice penetrated my thoughts and I screamed when I heard him. He laughed.
“Oh my god! Olivander!” I shrieked then stood waiting for him. When he did reach me I was filled with unbelievable bliss at being in his arms again and feeling his lips pressed against mine. “You’re early. It’s 9:23.”
“I’ll leave if you want.”
“No! I didn’t mean it like that.” He laughed at my quick frantic comment and kissed me again. I took some time to step back and look at him. It was his eyes that caught me- they were filled with some unidentified sadness. “Olivander?” I let my fingers graze his cheeks. “Are you ok?”
“Yea, of course, I’m with you.” His smile seemed forced.
“So sweet I wanna puke.” I looked at him concerned when I remembered something “Wasn’t there something you wanted to tell me?”
“No.” His answer was quick and biting, it stung a little. “Not now.” He looked down and there was such a genuine sadness I could feel it ramming into my heart.
I grabbed his face, gently, carefully, and guided him to my lips. I caressed his cheeks and tried to comfort him through the only solace I could offer.
He pulled away and stared into my eyes. “You are so beautiful Kat. And don’t you dare forget it.” All I could do was look at him, slightly miffed. I mean, I loved him (I honestly did), but he never said anything like that.
He laughed, kinda sad like. But his eyes seemed happy again and his smile was glowing, “No matter what happens; you’ve made my life better. Every minute I spend with you makes me a better man.”
“Olivander, you’re talking nonsense! Like… Like you’re gonna die. Come here. Seriously, come here and tell me what’s wrong. Come on.” I sat on the bed and opened my arms to him.
“Is it just me or is it hot?” He began to take off his shirt.
“Don’t try to play any moves on me, Olivander. You know where I stand.” But then I grabbed his hand and I did feel heat, as though he was on fire. “Oh god. Olivander, you’re burning up!”
“Hmm.” He acted like it didn’t bother him but I knew he felt it.
“What’s wrong?” I ignored his little show of bravado.
“Nothing I can tell you right now. But I promise you’ll understand by tomorrow.”
I sighed. Nothing I said could change his mind. “Olivander, if you don’t tell me you can’t be so sad.”
I sighed again. “Fine.” We sat in silence for a moment and then I realized in horror, “You’re bleeding.”
“Hmm?” the skin on his hands had insanely ripped apart and started to leak crimson. He almost completely sidestepped my comment. Olivander laid his head against my bed sheets. Willingly, I rest my head beside his. He draped his arms across my chest and related his stories with such vigor and passion I truly believed I had been there with him.
“I had been in charge of the historical stuff and I met the most amazing old woman. She had been alive and living with the Betford’s when Joshua…” I won’t lie, I zoned out a couple times.
Sadly I had even fallen asleep once or twice. I woke up once to complete silence facing his chest, nestled in his arms.
“So you’re up.” I nodded and went to look into his eyes, immediately he looked upward, blocking his face from my view. I must have still been in sleep-mode because I could have sworn that his face was, well, charred.
I sighed and turned around and met the satisfaction of feeling his fingers run through my hair. “I had to tell you something, remember?”
“Of course, what’s up?”
“I love you.”
“You have absolutely no idea how long I’ve wanted to hear you say that.” His laughter lingered in my ears.
“Go back to sleep.”
“I love you, Olivander.”
“I love you, Katherine.”
His arms were still around me when I woke up the next morning. I was scared, he wasn’t even supposed to be in my room let alone sleep with me. There was no noise. I sat upright in bed and glanced wildly around. Olivander wasn’t in my room. But I could still hear his distinguished laugh.
“Oh!” I cried out when the phone rang. “Hello?”
“Is this Katherine Sebola?”
“Yea, can I ask who’s calling?”
“Officer Ryan Grady. Miss, we need you down here.”
“Of course, but what happened?”
“I, uh, I can’t disclose on the phone.”
“Oh, ok…” I got the coordinates and dressed myself, putting on Olivander’s favorite button-up shirt (The one he had left last night.)
When I arrived on scene to a burnt down building I was immediately worried. I hadn’t run into my mom on the way out and who knows who else could have been hurt? Officer Grady met me and sat down to talk.
“Hi.” I said slowly. He offered his hand to me and I shook it tentatively. “I don’t wanna be rude, but can we cut right to the chase?”
“Of course. At nine’ o ’clock exactly an unidentified man ran into this building last night. He saved two young girls but, unfortunately, he did not make it. Estimated death time, 9:20.”
“What does this have to do with me, no offense.”
“Olivander Iving’s van was found a little down the street and he’s been unaccounted for.” I grabbed the shirt and bundled it in my fists. “This was the only thing we found on our man.” He held up a little charm that I knew for certain was Olivander’s. I gasped.
“I am so sorry-“He started.
“Nine’ o ‘clock. On the dot.” I interjected.
“I’m sorry, what?”
“He was with me…” Then I remembered the first conversation I ever had with Olivander Ivings.
‘Do you believe in ghosts?’