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No Ordinary Imagination

When I was a little girl, I was often alone. I was an only child with a wildly active imagination and no one to share it with, until Camille moved next door. She was an only child too and we became sisters. Every day, after school, Camille would come ring on my door bell.

She would ask in her sweetest and most polite voice, "Hello Mrs. Anders, can Lucy come outside and play with me?"

I would run to the door with a huge smile on my face and together we would run into the cul de sac, letting out imaginations take us away.

But as the years grew on, Camille and I grew apart. We didn't have the time to play outside like we used to. If we saw each other it was to borrow milk or sometimes glue sticks for school projects.

Four years past and we only saw each other on those rare occasions. I missed all the fun times Camille and I shared. Every time I thought of her, I felt old. I felt like my life was moving too quick and I was watching my childhood pass me by. It was like I was driving away from Disneyland, watching all the fun and excitement shrink in the background. We attended different high schools and one day after I got home from school, my door bell rang.

I opened the door and Camille stood in front of me. However, it wasn't the same girl I remembered. Her curly blond hair that was once in pigtails and secured in big pink bows was now straight, shiny, black, and layered to her shoulders. Some blue stained sections of her hair. Her adorable sundress covered in flowers was replaced with tight bright blue jeans and a ripped up black t-shirt that hugged her stomach a little too tightly. Her purple butterfly sandals that I was constantly jealous of were currently chunky black leather boots. Camille's skinny little girl figure was now 6 feet and full, extremely full. There were several piercings on her face, one on her eyebrow, lip, nose, and several decorated her ear. But her natural ocean blue eyes that used to light up every time she saw me run out the door with her were still there, except they didn't illuminate, they were buried in a thick black eyeliner. If I had an opposite, it would be her.

"Hey." I stuttered after staring for a second too long.

"Hey. Do you wanna come over and hang out?" Camille sort of sounded dead. She wasn't full of the same enthusiasm that she used to have when she asked me to hang out with her.

Two voices spoke in my head. One told me that she was scary, different from the girls I hung out with during school, and she would never be the same Camille again. But the other voice told me that the same Camille was there and I would just have to talk to her and find out how her life has been. But then I did something that I am ashamed of, and always will be, for the rest of my life. I lied.

"Oh. I'm sorry, I have to finish my homework and start working on my history report." When I saw the words leave my mouth, I was disgusted. I could have easily grabbed the words and shoved them back into my mouth claiming that I would just skip my homework, but I didn't. Little did I know that that was the last time Camille would ever ring on my door bell and that my lie would haunt me in ways I never thought possible.

Camille killed herself two days later. She was suffering from depression. But I felt like it was my fault, like I could have helped her. I could have spent an hour or two with her and just talked to her. I could have cared about my childhood sister, but I abandoned her, like a piece of stale gum.

The night I found out she died my head was swirling and I felt like I was going to be sick. My eyes were red and puffy. I laid silent and still in my bed. I floated in and out of my dreams. It was 2:07 in the morning and I was sure I was asleep. Then the door bell rang. The voice of a little girl, Camille, pleaded through the door, "Lucy, come and play with me!" I refused.

My dream upset me. I felt lousy when I woke up. It was pretty much a simple version of what happened the last time I saw Camille. But these dreams progressed into nightmares and they felt more real every night.

The next night, I heard Camille's little girl voice once again, but it was deeper, and it sounded like the voice was coming from downstairs. "Lucy, come and play with me!" I refused.

The night after that, I slept until 4 A.M. without any interruptions or fear, until my closed curtains outlined a little girl with curly hair and pigtails secured bows. Her voice was deep when she insisted, "Lucy, come and play with me!" I refused. Her shadow shifted and swayed in the wind like it was a ghost. But it couldn't have been real, I was dreaming. Right?

My days were filled with terror. I took every step with caution and I thought everything through before I said it. I had no idea what to do with myself. I craved sleep constantly and all I did was sit on the couch and think. At least I was safe inside my thoughts, until I drifted into my nightmares at night.

It was Tuesday night and Camille visited me once again. She was standing by my bed. But she looked like the Camille I saw the very last time I saw her. She stood tall over my bed. Her crystal blue eyes stared down at me. She ordered in a deep and scratchy voice, "Lucy, come and play with me!" I tried to scream but no sound was coming out of my mouth, the true sign of a nightmare.

On Wednesday night, I tried to avoid sleeping all together and it worked. There were no visits from Camille. I just stared blankly at the television until the sun came up. However, my mom wasn't pleased. I told her I was just having some problems with nightmares.

Thursday night. I had gone almost 36 hours without sleep. I tried to stay awake to watch television, but somewhere between the commercial for dish soap and a late night talk show, I dozed off. Suddenly, I was in my bed. My mom must have carried me up the stairs. I rolled over and piercing blue eyes stabbed my darn brown eyes like daggers. Camille's full grown body laid beside me and her voice screeched like nails on a chalk board," Lucy, come and play with me!" I couldn't refuse.

"What do you want to play, Camille?" My voice was barely over a whisper.

" Oh, I don't know. Maybe a game you know how to play really well. It's called stabbing your best friend's heart. Of course, you stabbed mine figuratively, but I can stab yours literally," she hissed in her high squeaky voice as she pulled out a blade from her pocket that shimmered in the dark. I watched it sparkle as it headed full speed towards my chest. Then everything went black.

I woke up. My body thrust forward as I tried to gasp for air. I threw my head into my hands and wept.

My mind can be a very powerful place and my imagination is overactive.





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