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When Reggie met Jay
I sat in my bed, mindlessly scrolling through social media. After seeing the twentieth couple picture of the evening, I dropped my phone on my bed with a groan. I rubbed my eyes, static ruining my vision for a few seconds, before sitting up. I was sitting directly across from my closet, which had taken up most of my thoughts ever since that one night, about a week ago, I heard a muffled voice from my closet.
I rubbed my head with the now-damp towel, attempting to dry my incredibly thick hair before I put on a tv show and went to sleep. As I rubbed my head, I scrolled through my phone, looking through friend’s profiles, full of pictures of them spending their Friday nights with friends at concerts and parties. I had to admit, I was jealous. I never really had friends I would hang out with outside of school, so I never really went to a party. Well - once, but I left immediately after some kid puked on my favorite shirt with not an ounce of sympathy. So, I was kind of a loner.
After I was done with my towel, I tossed it onto the ground - which my father had repeatedly told me not to do - and grabbed my laptop off the bedside table. I began to hunt for a new show to watch, just having finished watching The Office for the second time. I heard a muffled sound come from my closet and looked up from my intense movie hunt. After a moment, I heard a quiet mumbling sound. The initial fear of a robber being cramped up in my closet escaped me when I realized it must be my brother, Eddie. We had been in an intense prank war going on for about a month now, and I realized he must have been trying to strike.
“Eddie,” I pulled myself from my bed and began to creep towards the closet, “You must have forgotten… I am the Prank Overlord. You cannot surpass me, little one!” I threw open the closet door to find no Eddie. I raised an eyebrow in confusion. “Eds?” I peeped inside the closet, looking around for my younger brother. “You in here?”
Searching through my closet showed no luck. I peeked under my bed in hopes of finding Eddie there. No luck, I thought pushing aside a pair of sneakers. I pulled back and sat on my knees. Now this was some horror movie crap, I thought. I looked back over at my closet, nothing in it but my shirts hanging up in color coordination. It must’ve been a mouse in the walls or a shirt falling, I tried to assure my increasing heart rate. I climbed onto my bed, my eyes never leaving my closet once, in fear a psycho murderer or demented spirit would surprise me at any moment. Maybe having a horror movie marathon with my dad yesterday night wasn’t a good idea.
I heard another sound come from the direction of my closet, but this one was more distinct - like a voice. I backed up to my back was pressed flush against my wooden bed frame, which was cold against my back, and never dared take my eyes off the closet. The sound came again, “Hey?” I let out a shaky breath, not responding to the voice. Maybe I was going crazy? I hope I’m going crazy. That would be the best scenario here honestly. “Hello?” came the voice again, sounding desperate for some kind of response.
“Um, hello?” I barely could get the words out of my mouth. My body was covered in goosebumps, every hair on my body sticking straight up.
“Yeah, h-hi. Sorry for th-the scare. I-It’s kinda t-t-tough trying to f-figure out what to say to someone wh-when you’re a, um,” the voice paused for a moment, “ g-ghost in their house.”
The ghost was pretty cool - after getting over the initial shock that I was actually speaking to a ghost; he asked me stuff about my life and stuff. Even though he knew pretty much everything about me, being the ghost living amongst my house, I humored him with a conversation. I even learned his name; Jason. I asked some questions about being a ghost and stuff, and even how he died, but he strayed away from that topic in favor of movies. His favorite was American Pie, which I called him uncultured for. Who’s favorite movie is American Pie?
But since that night, Jason hadn’t talked to me again. I was actually kind of disappointed. That was probably the most engaging conversation I have had with someone in the past year and he was a damn ghost. I find myself standing in front of my closet, gathering the courage to speak up. How was this so hard? I mean, I’m nervous to talk to a ghost? That’s sad - even for me.
I took a deep inhale and spoke into the wooden door, sure to be quiet so my family doesn’t think I’m going insane, “Hello? You there?” I waited for a moment and got no response. “So, you’re going to talk to me once and then not talk to me again? Are you really so insulted that I called American Pie ‘mediocre-at-best’ that you’re not going to talk to me again?” I crossed my arms across my chest. I thought for a moment about how insane this is; me talking into a closet, attempting to rouse a ghost who’s favorite movie is American Pie. And no, I will never be over the American Pie thing.
I heard an exasperated sigh come from the closet and felt pleased I had awoken this Casper the Ghost™ knockoff. “Good morning, bootiful.”
“I have h-half a mind to p-possess you with that h-horrible ghost pun,” Jason replied in an agitated voice, “And I’ve been b-busy.”
“Busy with what? Trying to haunt me? Sorry to say, but you suck at haunting if this has been you trying to haunt me.”
“O-oh I was just doing, uh, n-none of y-your business. Plus why are you s-still talking to me? I was s-sure that a normal kid w-would forget me by now. Or they would at least i-ignore me. Wh-who reaches out t-to a ghost?” I chuckled at his aggravation and moved back to sit on my bed, pulling my knees up to my chest.
“Alright, alright, my bad.” I turned and grabbed my laptop off my bedside table. “You want to watch some good ol’ American Pie? Maybe we can even watch the second one?” I offered, opening the browser. There were a few silent seconds of consideration come from Jason’s end.
“Is this a p-prank? Is there even a second one?” He asked in hesitation.
“There’s three, actually. Every one more mediocre than the one before,” I replied. He scoffed and mumbled a ‘whatever,’ before agreeing. He seemed happy I had asked. He was probably really lonely holed up in this house for god knows how long. “Alright, well, I don’t know how you wanna do this. I can, uh, sit in front of the closet? Or, like, I don’t know how you usually watch movies with me, so, your call?”
My closet door then began to open slowly, and much to my surprise, a teenage boy probably around my age or even younger stepped out. The boy was wearing a hoodie and some basketball shorts that hung to his knees, plus some battered-up converse. I couldn’t see his face since he was staring to the ground and all I could see was the floppy mess of dark brown hair atop his head. Was this… Jason? He slowly looked up at me, grey eyes meeting my own green ones.
“Th-this is m-me. I ch-changed my wardrobe though. My o-old cl-clothes were a little d-drab for this t-time period,” He bashfully said. I was still in shock, seeing for the first time what the ghost inhabiting my house looked like. I got to admit, I was not imagining this. I thought I was going to get some Casper the Ghost™ half-ghost half-boy deal. “Okay, s-so, y-you hate, hate me n-now, o-okay.” He mumbled quickly and he turned to the closet.
“W-wait, hey, I’m sorry! I’m just not… used to this? I’m just, I’m in shock of all this? I do, uh, like this? You look like a… an alive person?” I threw my hands up, trying desperately to find something correct to say. “Just… come on, let’s watch your crappy movie before I say anything else stupid, okay?” He looked back at me, a soft smile across his face and made his way over to the bed to sit down next to me. “So… why haven't you ever like, shown yourself to me like this?” I asked.
“O-obviously I was nervous. Y-you would b-be to,” he responded. I chuckled and pulled up the movie on the screen.
“I guess you’re right Danny Phantom.” I heard a judgemental scoff come from him, but he still sported a smile on his face. I sat the laptop on the bed in front of me. He looked back at me and I patted the spot next to me, signaling it was okay for him to join me. Cautiously, he scooted back to join me where I was on the bed. As we both sat there, I couldn’t help but feel we both needed this. We both needed a friend.