All Nonfiction Bullying Books Academic Author Interviews Celebrity interviews College Articles College Essays Educator of the Year Heroes Interviews Memoir Personal Experience Sports Travel & CultureAll Opinions Bullying Current Events / Politics Discrimination Drugs / Alcohol / Smoking Entertainment / Celebrities Environment Love / Relationships Movies / Music / TV Pop Culture / Trends School / College Social Issues / Civics Spirituality / Religion Sports / Hobbies
- Summer Guide
- College Guide
- Author Interviews
- Celebrity interviews
- College Articles
- College Essays
- Educator of the Year
- Personal Experience
- Travel & Culture
- Current Events / Politics
- Drugs / Alcohol / Smoking
- Entertainment / Celebrities
- Love / Relationships
- Movies / Music / TV
- Pop Culture / Trends
- School / College
- Social Issues / Civics
- Spirituality / Religion
- Sports / Hobbies
- Community Service
- Letters to the Editor
- Pride & Prejudice
- What Matters
April Ghoul's Day
Kelsey could barely see over the thick boxes she held in her hands. The dusty steps creaked under her creeping feet. She was slowly moving up the dim stairwell until she and her heavy luggage collapsed to the floor as if someone had tripped her. Sighing, still tired from the road trip, she examined her now skinned knee. A faint chuckle echoed through the spacious hallway as she was gripping the railing to stand back up.
“Timmy! Go to your room, upstairs is all mine! You better-” her yelling was suddenly cut off by a sudden slam of her door upstairs. “Timmy! Get out of there. It is mine.”
“I know, Mom already gave me the whole spiel in the car.” The pitchy voice of her brother came from the opposite direction of the slam. Kelsey twirled her whole body around, her dyed-blonde hair shooting out around her. Her eyes widened at the sight of her little brother, his hand deep in a bag of chips.
Crunch. Crunch. Crunch. His teeth chomped down on the cheese-flavored snack in a constant rhythm; yet still only a tenth of the speed Kelsey’s heart was going. When the confusion cleared in her mind, she dropped her box by the first step and raced up to her new room.
As she gripped and turned the frigid cold doorknob, the door swung open to surprise Kelsey with a rush of fresh air. Curtains flapped in the breeze coming through the open window. She shuffled over to close the window, but it wouldn’t budge. She pushed to the point of sweating until suddenly it gave. She turned around to face her room.
Even though it was empty of any furniture, the beauty of the room was obvious. With towering ceilings and intricate molding, the room was a dream. Kelsey could imagine how cute the whole room would be with a splash of her personality. She had been daydreaming about her room for literally ten whole minutes when she remembered why she was here.
Kelsey could find no reason why the door would have slammed. No one was in the room to close it, of course. She guessed the door could have slammed on its own, the house is unbelievably old. The thoughts didn’t linger in her mind for long. She had plans for today. She slid back over to the door, her boot unknowingly erasing the ‘WELCOME’ etched in the floor’s dust.
Racing out the front door past her mom, she yelled to her about going to the mall. She spent all last night looking at online maps so she could go shopping the first day here. Down the street, past the beach, two quick lefts and there was the mall, barely ten minutes from her house. The spotless glass doors smoothly parted when she approached them, a refreshing mix of perfumes engulfing Kelsey’s nostrils.
He woke up shivering, the cold hard floor having been his bed for the night. His brain throbbed as he pushed himself up, making it hard to remember what last happened. He held his head in his hands as he thought it over until an eerie sob bounced off the walls. Alex ignored his headache to go down the stairs from his lone room. Across the hall from the stairs was a little boy with wet eyes and messy hair.
“Henry? Why are you crying?” Alex knelt down, but Henry wouldn’t look at him. “Come on, you thin hen.” He spoke to him, trying to get a smile by using his nickname, yet none appeared. He tried again. “Henry, you are a Taylor boy, so you better act like a Taylor boy. Wipe those eyes and get back to bed.” Again, no reaction at all. Henry just stood there whimpering. Alex couldn’t resist those big blue eyes.
He leaned in for a hug, but Henry must have backed away for Alex just ended up tripping onto the floor. He rolled to his side and looked up at the unmoved Henry. What? He slowly reached his hand out to his brother’s but they never made contact. Alex’s hand just passed right through like he was…like he was a ghost!
Alex scrambled up on his feet and raced to the nearest mirror. He hoped with every bit of his body to see his reflection staring back at him but all that the mirror showed was the room behind him. He felt all the blood flush out of his body and became numb.
He snapped his head over towards the door when he saw a flash of movement. His mother stood there, looking very fragile. She picked Henry up and settled him into the crook of her arm. A soft lullaby flowed from her lips like sweet honey. As Henry was relaxing into a sleep she whispered to him, "It is always tough to lose someone, especially someone so nice, smart, and young. He was going to be quite a man someday, I’m sure of it." Henry was already asleep, but she continued. "Getting through this will be incredibly hard. Alex never deserved to die." She kept talking, but Alex couldn't hear anymore. I'm a, he stuttered in his mind, ghost?
“Those pants look amazing on you!” A girl complimented Kelsey at the three-way mirror. Kelsey mumbled a thank you and turned to the girl. She wore the exact same pants Kelsey was trying on with a smirk plastered on her face. Both girls immediately started laughing.
“Kelsey.” She told her when they had calmed down.
They both returned to their separate dressing rooms and changed back into their clothes. They left the store, neither girl buying the pants, and headed towards the candy store.
“So, I haven’t seen you before, Kelsey. You new to Leucadia?” She continued without waiting for an answer. “What about schools? Are you going to San Dieguito Academy? ‘Cause that’s where I go to school. Go Mustangs!” Kelsey had to literally put her hand over Sarah’s mouth to shut her up.
“Let’s see if I can answer those questions before you ask new ones. One, yes I’m new. I just moved here from Illinois. Trust me, this is much better. And yeah, I’m also going to S.D.A., are you in ninth grade too?” Sarah responded with a nod, her mouth still closed by Kelsey’s hand. “Awesome! You’ll have to help me with getting around the school. Phew! I was scared about being a loner the first day.” Kelsey wasn’t just saying that either. She started school in three days, and she had been scared to the point of biting her nails.
Kelsey felt something wet on her palm. She pulled her licked hand away from Sarah’s mouth with horror. Eww. There was no apology on Sarah’s face; actually she was smiling as big as she could. Even though Kelsey always thought the whole thing was gross and immature, she couldn’t help but laugh.
“Now that I can talk…I have a brilliant idea! The night before school I am sleeping over at your house to teach you everything about our school. Everything from which bathrooms not to use to which teachers love kiss-ups.” She was actually bouncing up and down from excitement for the night.
Kelsey was also close to bouncing up and down. She loved the idea and couldn’t wait. She was still thinking about the sleepover as she said goodbye to Sarah, walked home, and headed to her room.
Her mom had stacked all of the boxes labeled Kelsey in her room. Her bed and other furniture were also set up randomly in the room. Kelsey had a suitcase for the next few days so she wouldn’t have to dig through cardboard boxes to get a top or a pair of socks.
The house seemed much colder than outside. She unzipped her suitcase and pulled out a thin long-sleeved shirt and set it on her bed. She walked into her bathroom to get a quick glance at her frizzy hair, and then came back out. Her hand reached out to her bed but only got a handful of sheets. She looked down to see the shirt was no longer on the bed. She realized it had not fallen on the floor either. She gave a quick glance around and then reached into her suitcase to get another shirt. Flipping the suitcase open, she saw the shirt neatly folded on top.
She grabbed and held it until the second she put it on. Even though the two instances had nothing to do with each other, her disappearing shirt made her remember the slamming door. Yet again she blew the whole thing off and went down to dinner.
Only one day had passed, but at least five creepy things had happened in Kelsey’s room. Her reading lamp would flicker on and off. Her alarm clock rang at random times. Things would always disappear. And the creepiest of all, she’d find little messages or words written in things. The steam on the mirror after her shower, the dust on the windowsill, even spelled out in mints.
Kelsey being freaked out was an understatement. She was downright terrified. Sleeping on the floor of the dining room seemed more tempting than her room. Scary movies made her blame ghosts at first, but Kelsey was a hundred percent sure there was no such thing.
“The boys are at the beach, so it’s just going to be a girls’ night, alright?” Her mom set a steaming roast down on the kitchen table. A little too jittery to eat she started talking with her mom about the one thing that she couldn’t get off her mind.
“Do you believe in ghosts?” She had been asked this multiple times and had always answered an immediate ‘no’. She was shocked to even hear herself asking her even more realist mother.
Her mom chewed carefully and stabbed her fork into another bite. Getting impatient, Kelsey called her Rebecca knowing her mother hated it when she used her first name.
Kelsey waited for her mom to elaborate, but a further explanation didn’t seem to be coming. She had to pry it out of her. “And…?”
“I don’t know why you have a sudden interest in ghosts, but no, I do not believe in them. Eat your food.”
“But why were you so hesitant to answer?” Kelsey questioned.
“Actually, I’m full.” Her mom pushed her chair back from the table and got up. As she walked by, Kelsey noticed the dark bags under her mother’s eyes and her greasy hair. Normally she’d have blamed the unpacking, but what if her mom is getting “haunted” too?
She abandoned her dinner plate and started towards her room. Whatever was going on in this house, Kelsey was determined to face it. She felt stupid, but once she reached her room she yelled out to see if anyone was there. Of course there was no answer, so she thought of setting a trap.
She pulled out the bobby pin from the side of her hair and set it on her nightstand. “I hope this is still here when I get back because I need it. I’m going to go to the bathroom now.” Okay so it sounded stupid, but she felt stupid. There are no such things as- wait, where is her bobby pin?
She hadn’t even turned around and it had already disappeared. She grabbed another pin clipped to the side of her pants and set it in the same spot. Her eyes were dry from constant staring at it. So it wasn’t vanishing on its own. She blocked her eyes with her hand and counted down. 3...2...1! Her hand went down and her mouth dropped open. The bobby pin was not on the table, but it definitely wasn’t gone. It was floating at eye level mere inches in front of Kelsey. All of a sudden it fell and landed on the floor with a clank. Unbelievable.
Kelsey finished picking up her messy room. Taking a step back and examining her now clean room, her excitement grew even more for this night. Ding dong! She raced down the stairs yelling to her brother, “Don’t get it, it’s for me!” Her hand finally reached the glass door knob and Kelsey pulled it open with all of her might. The girls reached out and grasped each other into a big bear hug. They giggled and separated. Sarah and Kelsey raced up the stairs and reached Kelsey’s enormous bedroom.
“Wow Kelsey, this is amazing. I love it!”
Throwing her stuff down, Sarah began her promised information about the town and school. “Kelsey this is a small town and things spread very quickly, so be careful. Now let’s move to the most important topic of all; boys! Let me get my yearbook so I can tell you which ones to stay away from and which ones you can go after.”
Sarah hopped up and reached in to her fully stuffed bag and brought out her yearbook from last year. Kelsey knew at that moment she would have all of the information she would need to conquer this school year. Skimming over every boy, Sarah explained a little bit about each boy.
Alex was not really listening until he heard a name that caught his attention. “Alex Taylor.” He swiftly moved closer to the girls and was fully listening to everything Sarah said about him.
“Well, he was a very nice guy; in fact I think you would have really enjoyed meeting him. He made classes tons of fun because he’d always play pranks on people. But sadly he died about two months ago, and actually now that I think about it, he lived in this very house.”
“Really? What happened to him? And why did his family move?”
“Well he was riding with an older friend to baseball practice and their car got hit badly. The friend that was driving is severely injured and I’m pretty sure he is still in the hospital but Alex died on impact. It was a tragic event for the whole town. And his family had to move because they could not stand to see all of the people and town that Alex had loved so much.”
“That’s horrible,” said Kelsey.
Alex was shocked to hear what had happened to him, he never knew for sure until now. Before, he could have guessed from listening to his family talk when they were still here but they never said exactly what happened. He could no longer stand to listen to this anymore so he headed into the bathroom.
The girls jumped suddenly when Kelsey’s bathroom door slammed shut, as if someone shut it with anger.
In the quietest whisper Sarah said, “The rumor around town is that his ghost still lives here. I didn’t believe it until one second ago.”
The girls gathered their stuff and headed down to the living room, which is where they decided to sleep for the night. As Kelsey’s eyes were shutting for the night, she thought it might be Alex’s ghost that is playing all of these jokes on her, but then again ghosts do not exist. But this was only thought that kept her from freaking out.
School was as good as school could be. Sarah introduced her to many of her friends and Kelsey even made some of her own. High school is tough normally, the thought of going to high school where she knew no one “scared her silly” like Sarah would say. She was incredibly gracious of all the help Sarah was giving her. She was turning out to be an amazing friend. But there was one special friend in particular that Kelsey always looked forward to seeing each day. He had some of the same classes as her. She was just hoping their friendship would grow into something more.
She was still thinking about Gavin as she was walking down to the track for cross country to start. She had been walking against the crowd until one of the girls stopped her. “Practice is canceled today. Something about a storm.”
She was disappointed, but soon realized this gave her time work on her big C.A. essay. The sooner she got that out of the way the sooner she can go right back to dreaming about Gavin. She admits it; she’s boy crazy.
She lightly jogged to the bus, making sure it hadn’t left yet. She boarded the last second before the doors shut. This was her first day to be going home right after school. Finally she can have the house to herself for an hour. The bus finally came to a stop across the street from her new home. She bounced off the steps and wondered what to eat once she got inside.
But before she could even think about eating she had to bring her backpack to her room. Her mom made it mandatory, determined to keep the house clean. She was humming a soft tune as she opened her door. As her backpack went down her eyes went up. A frosty figure stood before her. Instinctively she began screaming at the unknown stranger in her house.
He reached out to calm her, but it only sent her in a fit of more frantic screams. Yet through her screaming his face started to look familiar. Is that…Alex Taylor? That kid Sarah showed me in the yearbook? The rumor of his ghost must be true then! Even though she had never actually met him before, he seemed like a long lost friend.
After several still seconds the crystal clear silence was broken by Alex’s response. “Yes.”
I’m friends with a ghost. It sounded like some cheesy scary movie title. The difference is that this is reality. There won’t be any stupid moments like closing the medicine cabinet and seeing someone there - though Alex did try to do that once – this was just like a normal friendship except one of the friends is dead.
Oh gosh, Kelsey sounded insane. If she was told she’d be friends with a ghost a month ago she would have laughed at who ever told her and assumed they were insane. But here she is, having true feelings for a ghost.
Sarah was right. Alex is the type of guy Kelsey likes, as friends though. At first it was just surreal and awkward. When she first met him, once she got over the actual creepiness of it, they went through the uncomfortable introduction phase. But once he got her laughing they were bonded. Now they spend every second she’s home together. He was probably the best new friend she’s made in Leucadia.
They even talked about the personal stuff. She told him about Gavin. All about how they were getting closer and his good looks. He seemed uncomfortable during it, but that was probably just because he was a guy. She just hoped Alex was going to like Gavin okay and not play any pranks on him when he comes over later that day.
Of course Kelsey had thought over how she was going to get Alex to meet Gavin. She did not want to say something like “This is my ghost friend, Alex.” She knew that Gavin would think she was insane. Kelsey had thought this plan over and over in her head. She finally decided on a good plan.
The doorbell rang, signaling the beginning of Kelsey’s mission.
“Hey Gavin. Come on in.”
“Thanks for having me over.”
“Of course anytime. Should we get started on our homework?”
“That sounds good to me.”
“I have to grab my books from upstairs, would you like to come with me? I am not sure if I can carry it all.”
Hook, line, and sink, the plan was now in full swing. Kelsey was grinning ear to ear to herself. This is just what she wanted to happen.
They headed up the long and narrow staircase and into Kelsey’s spacious and elegant bedroom. She rushed over to her desk and began gathering all her neatly scattered books. Gavin stood next to her, looking all around at her room. Meanwhile Alex had walked up and he was then standing next to Gavin. She knew nothing about ghosts, except for the obviously fake things that happen in movies, but Alex taught her everything he had learned. Apparently no one can see him unless he uses some power that’s hard to muster to let certain people see him. So right now she saw Alex and Gavin staring at each other, but all Gavin saw was the dresser behind Alex.
Alex and Gavin had been friends in middle school so they knew each other. This was the main reason she wanted Alex to see him again. I would be dying to see my friends if I hadn’t in months. She also brought him over so her best friend could see her possible soon-to-be boyfriend, fingers crossed.
Gavin, like a gentleman, helped Kelsey with her books and they headed back downstairs to where they were going to work.
After an hour of studying, Gavin had to leave for baseball practice. Once the door shut and Kelsey was by herself, she scampered up the stairs to talk to Alex about Gavin. She opened the door in a hurry and called out to Alex. Alex then slowly glided over near Kelsey.
“What do you think of him, Alex?”
“Well, I think you should ask him.”
“What? I asked you what you thought of Gavin.”
Sighing, Alex looked very uneasy as the words slipped out of his mouth. “Are you falling for him?”
This question was really hard for her to answer. She knew that she had feelings for Gavin, but in her heart she could tell that they were not very strong. “I think so.”
With that answer Alex floated across the room and went into the closet, slamming the door behind him. Kelsey did not understand what was going on. What is he doing? Why is he hiding? Kelsey crouched by the door and began her begging for him to unlock the door and come out.
“Alex, please answer me. Why are you acting like this?”
After several minutes of silence Alex spoke, “Kelsey I cannot face you and tell you my secret.”
“Okay, I am listening.” She told him, settling into a comfortable position against the door.
The hesitance was apparent before he started with probably all the courage he had. “Kelsey, after getting to know you, I waited every day for you to come home so we could hang out. But after awhile I realized why I wanted so badly for you to come home.” He paused to breathe and gather more courage. “And that is because I am falling for you.”
Kelsey was in shock from this information. “Wow, Alex I don’t know what to say. We are friends and always will be. But I am not sure what to do at this moment. Will you please come out so that we can talk?”
Once Alex came out of the closet something was different in the air between them. Kelsey’s mom then yelled out to her. “Kelsey, dinner time!” Kelsey then looked back and Alex was not there anymore. She knew he was upset. He just spilled his guts on his feelings for her that weren’t mutual. She really truly cared for him as a friend, but a boyfriend? Dating a ghost was just a little too creepy for her to handle. Kelsey knew that Alex would run and hide from anything that rejected or did not meet his standards. She would be back later to discuss this with him, but for now she headed down the stairs for dinner. She turned around for one last look for Alex, but she just missed the faint figure’s depressed face.
Dinner went quickly. Mom said nothing. Dad read the paper. Timmy went on and on about how he was so popular at school. And Kelsey? She just watched the whole thing. Alex kept coming to her mind but she always swatted the thoughts away like flies. They were best friends so of course she wanted to clear everything up, but the topic was just so awkward. Since he lived with them, or she guessed stayed since Alex wasn’t doing any living, he was more of a brother to her. To find out her “brother” now likes her? Too bizarre to imagine. That was why she’d been ignoring the whole thing until she has to go up after dinner, which looks like now since her family was now cleaning their plates.
After she contributed her help in cleaning up she got ready to face Alex. Each step she took felt like lifting a twenty pound weight. She always dreaded talking things out with friends. It just wasn’t one of her fortes. She either got shy and said nothing or her anger would overflow and she’d go spurting like a volcano, neither way getting her and her friend any closer. But Alex was truly one of her best friends so she knew what she had to do.
“Alex?” She looked for him when she cracked the door open. “We need to talk.” As her door creaked open another inch she saw Alex huddled in the corner. Tears were silently streaming down his pale face as he stared straight ahead at the wall. “Alex, it’s okay. I’m sorry I don’t feel the same way. You’ve just become such a great friend and I want to keep you as a friend. I love you, just as a friend though. Alex. Say something.”
He gradually swiveled his head to face her. “This isn’t about that. My grandma just came here.” His face was void of emotion.
“Old age. Just passed in her sleep so I guess it’s okay. But now she wants me to join her.” He looked Kelsey straight in the eye. “Forever.”
“I’m sorry about your grandma. But now you’re going to be with a family member; that’s great! And visit often and- What?!” She asked once she saw his frustrated face.
“You don’t get it!” His fists clenched up. “She wants me to stay with her forever. She wants me to go into the “light” or whatever with her. That means I could never come back. That means I will never come back.”
The comprehension was clear on her face. “So you’ve already decided then? You’re going?!”
“Well, like you said, it is my grandmother. I can’t just let her stay alone. I need to go. I’m sorry.”
By now both of their faces were drenched with tears. Gasps of breath were the only sounds for a while. As if their minds were one, they both came toward each other and embraced. Alex must have been using all the power in him to make contact with her which brought more tears to her eyes. Kelsey didn’t care about how red her eyes were or if snot was dripping out her nose, she just couldn’t hold in her feelings at that moment.
When best friends move it’s horrible. Kelsey would know, she just had to leave all her friends not too long ago. At least she could always call those friends up or write them a letter. Once Alex is gone she’s never going to see him again. Well, not until she dies and she really did not want to think about when that was going to be.
She looked at Alex and remembered his earlier confession. He liked her. How awful it must have been seeing her invite Gavin over. Guilt drowned her. She had a crush on Gavin and she couldn’t help that. But would she ever feel this depressed if he had to leave? There was no hesitation in the no that rang in her mind.
She pulled back from their hugging and looked at his deep eyes. “Alex, I love you.” The words came out before she thought about it, but as she did think it over she realized the words were true. And she liked the sound of them. “I love you, I love you, I love you so much.”
“As a friend?”
“No, I love you.”
Many would say she hasn’t known him long enough to be in love, or that she doesn’t even know what true love feels like. She would ignore those people though because she knew her feelings and those feelings were one hundred percent true. The first time she’d ever have such strong feelings for a guy and he has to go. Her fingers gripped onto him, never wanting to let go.
Soft bells rang in the distance. “I have to go now.” He simply stated, his eyes averted. In mere seconds Alex went from looking like a regular teenager to a faint figure in the wind. Kelsey only stood staring with awe.
“Bye.” She whimpered.
The “I love you too” he spoke as he disappeared brought another round of tears to Kelsey. She crouched down and let the tears fall, creating a puddle on the wood floor. She was staring at the puddle as a folded up paper fluttered down, landing in the tears.
She picked it up and shook the liquid off hoping it didn’t smudge anything on it. Careful not to tear it she unfolded the paper. In the center there was an intricately written letter:
Trust me, I will never forget you. You will always be in my heart and on my mind. I won’t physically be there with you but you know my presence will always will be there for you. I hope you always remember me but I won’t be back so don’t let me keep you from living. I know Gavin, he’s a great guy, and I can tell he likes you. Not as good looking as me of course- hey, are you smiling now? I hope so, I really hated seeing you cry. This had been the hardest choice of my life but my family’s important to me. Granny says hi by the way. I’ll be watching over you and whenever you’re feeling down look up at me. I’ll send you some sign that everything’s going to be okay. I love you. Bye.
Your only ghost friend…Alex Taylor