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Chapter 1 - March 17th 2011
It had been a long time since I’d heard the voice. I hadn’t missed her at
least not much. It had been so easy to slip back into normalcy I had moved on,
made a living friend. No one remembered when I used to talk about her, my
father would occasionally bring her up. My little imaginary friend, wasn’t I cute.
For a long time I tried to pretend that that was all she was, but I couldn’t lie to
myself like that. Imaginary friends don’t tell you what’s going to happen before
it does, they don’t tell you to run away from home, and they definitely don’t
resurface years after you’ve told them to leave you alone to deliver cryptic
messages in the middle of the mall.
“Sam, you okay.” Leah said looking at me like we were 10 years old again and I
had just told her about my mom, all shock and horror.
“I’m fine.” I said standing up as if nothing had happened. I picked up all of my
shopping bags, strewn across the floor and began to walk away as if I hadn’t just
fallen to my knees and screamed in the middle of a crowded mall.
“Sam.” Leah hadn’t moved.
“Are you coming?” I said I kept walking and reluctantly she followed.
“Is she back?” Leah whispered as soon as she caught up to me.
“Who?” I silently dared her to say the name.
Little jokes from my father were understandable, he had never known much
about the voice, about Emily, but Leah was different. She knew what had
happened and she should have known better than to bring it up, regardless of
“You know who I mean.” I relaxed a little. If she didn’t have the guts to say
Emily’s name out loud then I didn’t have to either.
“No.” I had just lied to Leah. I never lied to her she was the one person in the
world I trusted implicitly. How could I admit to her what I would barely admit
to myself? “Don’t be so dramatic Sammy,” the familiar voice rang through my
head. I gritted my teeth and kept walking. If she was really back then I was
going to have to learn how to cope. I would not go back to the way it was.
I had a relatively normal childhood, my mother, my father, a yellow
lab named Trouble, and me in a two bedroom house in rural little Poplar
Bluff, Missouri. We generally different talk about “Samantha’s little friend,” at
first my mom humored me, tried to make it into some kind of game, “Sam,
where’s Emily at, should we set a place for Emily.” I of course tried to explain
to them Emily wasn’t anywhere she lived in my head, and why would you set a
plate out for someone who can’t eat it. “Dead people don’t eat mommy.” It
wasn’t until I started 3rd grade that my parents started to honestly worry.
“Samantha refuses to interact with the other children.” Mrs. Zyrek, scrawled
across the comments section of the first class newsletter of the year, and that
was only the first week. Every friday I would come home with more notes about
my latest escapades, “Today during playtime Samantha sat in the corner and
talked to herself.” “If any of the other children come near Samantha she yells
until they go away.” So, at 9 years old the visits with Dr. Nichols began.
Chapter 3 - 2000
“Samantha sweetie you need to get up.” My mothers voice entered into my
“I have to go Emily my mommy wants me.” I told the 23 year old brunette who
sat on the swing next to mine.
“You still have a few minutes Sammy, besides it’s Saturday you should be
“You know I have to go to the doctors today.” I told her sulkily.
“I know, Sammy be careful about what you say to him.” She said.
“Why?” A terrible thought struck me.
“You don’t think he’s going to give me a shot do you?” I asked my eyes already
welling with tears.
“It’s not that kind of doctor doll.” She said soothingly.
“What kind of doctor is it?” I asked calming down.
“This is a talking doctor they’re going to ask you questions about me.” She said.
“Why do I have to see a talking doctor?” I asked.
“Samantha sweetheart you have to get up.” My mother’s voice invaded again.
“No time now Sammy. I can explain tonight, see you at bedtime.”
I woke up to my mother standing over me.
“Rise and shine Sam.” she said.
“We need to hurry up and get you ready for the doctor’s.”
She dressed me up in my least favorite outfit, brown dress with a white turtle
neck that made me feel like I was choking underneath, then she brushed my
hair until all of the snarls were gone. I had tears in my eyes by the time she
was done, I hated brushing my hair.
“Mommy why do I have to see a talking doctor?” I asked as she poured me a
bowl of lucky charms.
“Who told you Dr. Nichols was a talking doctor?” My mother said turning
“Emily told me when I was sleeping.” I told her, still waiting for my answer.
“Emily isn’t real,” she said. “Now who told you that, was it daddy?”
“No mommy,” I started to say, but then Emily’s voice swept through my brain.
“Lie.” She said. So I told my mommy what Emily told me to.
“Mrs. Zyrek told me.” My mom looked mad but she smiled when she looked
at me again.
“She shouldn’t have told you that honey. They aren’t called talking doctors it’s
called a psychiatrist, he’s just going to ask you some questions and you need to
tell him the truth. He’s going to try and help you.”
“Why do I need help mommy?” I asked. “Did I do something bad?”
“No baby, Dr. Nichols is just going to try and help you make some real
friends.” I started picking the marshmallows out of my cereal.
“I’m friends with Emily mommy.”Chapter 4
We spent forever in the waiting room. My mommy read a magazine
while I colored the pictures in a Highlights magazine, they didn’t have any good
coloring books. “Samantha Brookes,” the old lady at the desk called out when a
little boy who wouldn’t stop jumping up and down and yelling walked out with
his mother. We walked towards the room behind the desk. “Mrs. Brookes,” the
lady turned to my mother, “the doctor generally prefers to speak to the patient
alone on the first visit.”
“Oh, okay.” My mother looked at me doubtfully. “Be good,” she hugged me
before going back to sit on the plastic waiting room chair. I turned and walked
alone into the room. The first thing I saw was the cage, and for a minute I
forgot how nervous I was and went over to get a closer look. In the cleared out
fish aquarium two white mice were nestled together in the corner, then I saw
the snake. “Hello Samantha I see you’ve met Roger.” A voice behind me said.
The boa constrictor flicked his tongue at me and I gulped.
“Why are those mice in there with him?” I asked.
“Those are Roger’s breakfast.” He said. I looked at the little mice and almost
started crying, but my mommy told me to be good.
“Why don’t you sit down Samantha?” Dr. Nichols pointed to the lumpy couch
across from him. I crossed the room and sat down scooting myself as far away
from him as I could.
“Alright Samantha how are you today.”
“Good.” I said looking down at my feet.
“So why don’t you tell me about Emily.” He said.
“What do you want to know?” I asked.
“Well, how long have you been talking to Emily?”
“Always.” I told him.
“Are you sure, always is a long time.” He said making notes.
“I’m sure. When I couldn’t talk she sang me songs in my head.”
“Why does Emily only talk to you?” He asked looking up at me.
“She has to guide me.” I told him as if it were obvious.
“Guide you where?”
“Not to a place silly.” I told him. “She has to make sure it doesn’t happen
“Make sure what doesn’t happen again?” He made more notes on the page.
“She doesn’t want us to die this time.” I explained. Dr. Nichols put down his
“Who’s us?” He asked me.
“Me and Emily.”
“I was told Emily was already dead.” He said.
“She is, her guide didn’t work. That’s why we aren’t Emily anymore, now we’re
Samantha.” I said.
“We?” He asked.
?“All of the old me’s.” I explained. “When I was a grown-up.”
“Samantha that’s all the time we have for today. Could you please send your
mother in?” I nodded standing up. My mom went in as soon as I told her he
would like to see her I started to follow but was shooed away by the mean desk
“I’ll be out in a minute hon.” My mother said shutting the office door. I went to
wait in the uncomfortable chairs. My mother didn’t come out in a minute, and
when she finally did she was crying.
“What’s wrong mommy?” I had never seen my mother cry.
“We’ll talk in the car baby.” She said grabbing my hand.
“I don’t want to go to a hospital mommy.” I was crying while my mother packed
“It’s only going to be for a week Samantha. Dr. Nichols needs to run some
“Stop crying Sammy.” Emily’s voice filled my head. “You aren’t going to a
That night I crept downstairs with my suitcase.
“Where am I going.” I asked Emily.
“There are others like us.” She said. “I knew eventually we would have to find
them, but I didn’t expect it to be so soon. For tonight you’re going to call an
old friend of mine.”
It was past midnight when the decrepit woman finally arrived in front of my
“Hurry before it happens.” Emily said.
“Before what happens?” I asked.
“No time now, let’s go.” She replied.
I walked to the ancient woman’s car ignoring the no rides with strangers rule
my mother had been so persistent about.
“Emily.” The old woman said in shock when I got into the car.
“Hello Rose I’ve missed you, but you need to call me Samantha now.” Emily
spoke through me just as she had on the phone. I settled into the car for the
ride back to Rose’s house. “
We always have a best friend you’ll meet her soon enough.” Emily whispered in
“Why did you want me to leave so quickly.” I asked Emily.
“A bad thing is going to happen.” She said after a pause.
“How do you know.” I asked.
“It’s a September 20th of our 9th year. Every lifetime the same bad thing
happens on that day and we can’t do anything to change it.”
“What’s going to happen?” I didn’t really want to know the answer.
“Your mother is going to die today.”
“Rose take me home.” I demanded.
“What? We just left your house you called me to come get you.” She looked at
“I’m sorry but I need to go home.”
By the time we reached my house the police cars were already there. My
mother had woken up to see I wasn’t there and had gone to look for me, there
had been an accident. My father was sobbing on the porch steps I ran over to
him and he threw his arms around me.
“You’re alive.” Was all he said. I was too numb to move. That was when I told
Emily to leave. I didn’t need a guide, if I hadn’t listened to her I would still
have a mom. March 17th of your 17th year was all she said, and then my brain
was quiet.Chapter 6 - 2011
Leah and I walked out of the mall in silence and over to Leah’s car. Mine was
on the other side of the lot but I needed to tell her something.
“Leah,” I started when we got to her car “if anything happens to me. . . my next
life might need your help.”
“What’s wrong.” She said immediately. “Why are you being weird?” I didn’t
answer her question.
“The password is blue.” I said
“If future me contacts you. The password is blue that’s how you’ll know it’s
really me. My eyes never change color they’ve been blue in every life.”
“Sam you’re scaring me.” She said.
“I’m sorry.” I told her and turned to walk to my car.
“The end.” That’s what Emily had said no explanation, just two terrifying words.
“Sam!” Leah screamed.
Emily’s words were the last thing I heard as the car plowed into me. “
I’m sorry Sammy. Better luck next time.”