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I groaned in frustration as I tried to do my trig homework. I glared at the page and finally shut the book. “A little frustrated there, aren’t we?” said a male voice from behind me. I whirled my swivel chair around to face a boy, about nineteen years old, with wavy golden hair, leaning against the wall with his arms crossed staring at me with a cocky grin.
I rolled my eyes at him and faced her desk again. “It’s trig; it’s annoying. I give up!” He was suddenly behind me.
“Let me see.” I rolled my eyes again, but opened the book obediently. I turned to the page right away because my piece of paper was stuck in there. It had my name and date on it, but nothing else. The rest of the page was blank. He waved his hand over it once, and suddenly, the page was filled!
“Woah! How’d you do that?!!” I picked up the page and inspected it. They all looked like the right answers! I put the paper back down and slouched in my chair. I turned my head and was nose to nose with Obie. His sweet breath blew in my face. It made a mist settle over my mind and caused me to feel dizzy. I breathed in the scent of him. His icy silver-blue eyes held mine for a second; then he stepped back and leaned against the wall again.
I blinked a few times and turned back around. When I glanced over my shoulder at him, he seemed a little smug. He caught my gaze and held it. I couldn’t look away, but after a few moments, I started fidgeting. He chuckled softly and released me from his icy stare.
“Sometimes, you’re so not fair,” I said, not looking at him.
“Oh, really? And how’s that?” I could hear a smile in his voice. I spared another glance at him and found a smug grin on his face.
I whirled to face him squarely, opening my mouth to reply when “You’ve Got a Way” by Shania Twain sounded from the computer. I turned back to the computer on my desk and stared at it. I risked a look in Obie’s direction to discover his cheeks were puffed out to keep himself from laughing, but his eyes were laughing for him. I narrowed my eyes at him.
We sat, staring at each other, until the song came to an end. “Apparently, you already knew the answer to that,” I replied emotionlessly after a moment of silence. “That would usually impress me, but it didn’t get to me this time.” Another song came on then. “That Don’t Impress Me Much” by Shania Twain bursted from the speakers. I turned the volume down. “What’s up with the Shania Twain thing!?”
“What? It’s the only darn artist you have on that thing!” he shouted. A string of laughter followed after the words came out of his mouth. I watched him wordlessly. When he finally stopped acting like he’d lost his mind, — not that he’d had one anyway — he strode over to me and put a cold arm around my shoulders. “Oh, come on. That was funny!” I continued to glare at him, silently fuming because he’d laughed at me.
He sobered instantly, all laughter fading from his eyes. The song stopped and was replaced by Keith Urban’s “Stupid Boy.” I relaxed the slightest bit. “I’m sorry, Kelly. I shouldn’t have laughed at you.” He bowed his head and took his arm from around me, taking a step away. I didn’t say anything, and an uncomfortable silence settled between us after the song ended.
I let out the breath I’d been holding and replied, “I’m sorry, too. That reaction was unnecessary.” I sighed again and continued, “Play another song.” He looked at me and smiled gently. He flicked his wrist at the computer and “Change” by Taylor Swift came on. I giggled. “Did you mean for that one?”
He chuckled. “Actually, no. I picked a random one.” He laughed, but this time I joined in. He wasn’t laughing at me but with me after all. For a few seconds, I forgot he was a spirit, forgot nothing could ever happen between them. For a second, I felt that one little thing stir inside my heart that I had buried so deep. It just seemed like a boy and a girl laughing together and having a good time. Only, it wasn’t that. It was a teenage girl with her childhood ghost.
I knew nothing could happen because I had asked him once. He had answered honestly and left for a few days. He had never told me what he had been doing. But when I did ask him if anything could happen and admitted that I really liked — maybe loved — him, he had said it was impossible, but I could see the longing in his eyes. I remembered that day like it was
yesterday . . .
“I want to talk to you,” I told Obie quietly. He raised his eyebrows and waited for me to continue. I didn’t say anything for a minute. “Um, listen to everything before you judge me or disagree or say anything, okay?” I asked sheepishly. He nodded solemnly. I took a deep breath. “Well, I really like you . . .”
“I like you, too, Kelly; you know that.”
“You interrupted. And I do know that, but it’s not that kind of like. It’s more . . .” I glanced at him.
He had been watching me intensely, but he just murmured, “Oh . . .” and cast his eyes down.
I looked at how perfect and beautiful he was and was hit by a wave of desire. I pushed it back and continued in a small voice, “You’re a . . . a . . . a ghost; I mean, is . . . like . . . possible for anything to . . .” I struggled to put her thoughts into words. He opened his mouth to say something, but I hurried on, “Please, don’t judge me.”
His mouth stayed open for a moment while he stared at me in disbelief. He closed his mouth and came up to me in a few long strides and grabbed my face. His lips were an inch from mine, and his breath was so sweet as it settled over my face as he whispered intensely, “I would never judge you; you should know me better than that! And it’s not . . .” He stopped, and said in a voice almost too quiet for me to hear, “I want you, too.” At least that’s what I thought he said. I couldn’t be sure.
He was so close. Untouchable, but close enough to hold. Unfeeling, but I could see the longing in his eyes. Longing for me. Wrong, but feeling so right. All I had to do was lean forward, and maybe, just maybe, he’d be solid like he’d done so many times before. I knew it was wrong, but closing my eyes, I leaned forward, not knowing how fast he was. How he could disappear so suddenly.
I was met by cold air, and I opened my eyes. He was gone. Disappeared. I looked around, but didn’t see him anywhere. Panic started to set in. Then I saw a movement coming up from the shadows above my dresser. I saw a flash of blue, and he was there, crouching in the space between the top of her dresser and the ceiling.
He glared at me. “Why?” he asked her hopelessly. His voice, his tone, his expression melted me. “Why would you . . . ? How could you . . . ? Why?” he repeated. I realized I was crying. Warm revealing tears were running down my cheek and dripping off my chin. I hung my head.
“I’m sorry,” I whispered truthfully. “I just . . . thought . . .”
He laughed humorlessly. “Impossible.” That one word made me crumple, landing on my knees on the floor. He was there in an instant, whispering comforting words in my ear. Patting my shoulder with a hand so solid that if I hadn’t known it would hurt me, I would have believed it wasn’t impossible, that everything could work out. It couldn’t; I knew.
When I calmed down, he cleared his throat, straightened out of his kneeling position beside me, and ran his hand through his messy hair. “I need to leave,” he told her without actually looking at her. Then he turned and disappeared before I could argue. I didn’t know if he would come back or not. I figured it was the second, but no way was I going to think negative. I hoped he would come back. For right now, that’s all I could do: hope . . .
We stopped laughing. I knew he was remembering, too. “It’s still impossible.” I didn’t expect him to say anything or be any closer so I looked up. Then I got lost in his icy silver blue eyes. Like that one time, there was longing. And passion. He wanted her as much as I wanted him. He moved his hand like he would touch me but let it drop back at his side.
I made the move for him, putting my warm hand against his cold cheek. He relaxed the slightest bit, and I thought I saw a hint of smile curve up one side of his lips. I smiled gently, and said, “Where did you go when you left?”
He smiled at me knowingly and tilted his head into my hand. He turned his head, closed his eyes, and kissed the palm of my hand, murmuring, “Nowhere.” I frowned and dropped my hand from his face. He opened his eyes to look at me pleadingly. I knew he didn’t want to talk about it, but I was going to be a mule.
He reached for my hand, but his slipped right through it. He tried again but didn’t succeed. He sighed heavily and looked at me with screaming icy blue eyes. It was hard to resist him, but after being with him all my life, it had gotten kinda easy. Especially after I got control of my desire when the hormones kicked in.
“You are unwilling to touch me; therefore, I cannot touch you.” He looked at me with an ancient sadness in his eyes. It must have been hard for him to be rejected by someone to whom he came to protect and support.
I smiled playfully. “Wow, you sound so old. For someone who still has hormones, who would guess you’d sound so ancient!” I placed my hand in his. His smile beamed like a spotlight, only for me.
“Okay,” he finally said in a playfully defeated tone. “I went to see if it was possible for me to be with you. You know what He said? He said ‘Wait and see. No need to be impatient.’ I had to ask! There. Now you know.” This was how it used to be with Obie before hormones! I just wished we could be like this all the time. I looked down, and he hugged me hard. “I wish this was possible,” he whispered in my ear hopelessly. His cold breath tickled my ear.
I shivered slightly. He chuckled in my ear. I smiled but slid out of his cold embrace. God had said no. “Wait, did He say ‘Find out later’ or a firm ‘No.’?” He had looked hurt by my pulling away but now he was deep in thought.
“He said I’ll have to wait and see. So no, He didn’t say no.” He grinned his boyish grin at me, pulling her close again.
“Hey, how can you become so solid?” I asked curiously.
He ignored my question. “I don’t know how to do this.”
“This?” I raised her eyebrows at him.
He looked at me with old, sad eyes. “This. Us. I’ve never been in this situation before, not even in life. I don’t know how to be close to you. I can’t.”
He turned away from me. I wrapped my arm around him to touch his cheek and turn him around to face me. “Yes, you can. Don’t turn away from the truth.” He took a deep breath and turned back to face me. I looked at him tenderly. “This is a first for me too. Don’t forget about that.” I smiled, and he grinned back at me.
He stepped out of my embrace and turned to the bed, showing off by jumping into the air and — because he’s a ghost — floated down, landing laid out with his arms behind his head. “Well, you look comfortable.”
“You know, it’s getting pretty late, and tomorrow is Monday. I’d suggest you go to sleep.” I nodded.
I turned off the light and climbed into the bed beside him. He wrapped his arm around me and held me. I fell asleep in Obie, my childhood ghost’s, arms.