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The large rain drops drenched my little Honda as I drove down the highway.
“Curse this rain,” I mumbled to myself. Suddenly a high pitched version of “My Favorite Things” came from my purse, making me jump. I reached into my purse, grabbed my phone and flipped it open.
“Hey, sweetie.” My husband, Jonny’s voice came from the other end of the line, “You on your way home?”
“Yeah,” I said, “Just heavy rain. It’s probably going to take me a while to get there.”
“Ok, just be careful, Jess.”
“Love you too.” I hung up and put my phone on the dash board.
The roads were empty and slippery. I had to be extra careful tonight. I turned on the radio to break the silence, playing with the dial until I found a station I liked. A feeling of uneasiness came over me as I approached a red traffic light. A single car drove past the intersection. The light turned green and I pressed on the gas pedal. I passed the only working neon sign for the McDonalds as I spotted a figure walking down the sidewalk.
“What on earth are they doing out in this rain?” I thought.
I pulled over to the side of the road and the figure slowed down. I rolled down my window. “Hey,” I called, “what are you doing out in this rain?”
The figure gave no answer but stuck their head in the window. I couldn’t see who it was so I turned on the light. It was a teenage girl, black hair stuck to her face, pale skin, nose running. She was wearing a plaid jacket that was a shade darker than it should have been because of the rain.
“Do you want a ride anywhere?” I asked.
She nodded and attempted to open the door. I unlocked it and she stepped in. I could see her completely now. Along with the grey, plaid jacket, she also had denim short shorts and black Converse on. She sat down and said something that I couldn’t make out.
“I said thank you,” she said in a rather harsh voice.
“The nearest bus stop.”
I pulled back onto the road and headed to where she specified.
“What’s your name?”
“So where are you headed, Megan?” I asked, trying to make conversation.
“I don’t know,” she answered, “anywhere really.”
I was a little taken back by her response. My mind raced with questions. Who is she? What is she up to? Why was she out this late at night? Where is she really going? I almost missed the bus stop as I snapped back to reality.
“Ok, here we…” I stopped short as I looked at the seat next to me. She was gone! “Where did…” Again I didn’t finish my sentence. Now I was really creeped out. For a moment I couldn’t move or do anything. I just sat there, staring at the passenger seat.
The next morning I decided to do some research on Historic Maple Street, which was where I was driving last night. I pulled out my laptop and got to work. I found a website that was all about deaths along that street.
“Apparently there’s been quite a lot,” I mumbled to myself. I scrolled down the page until I found a story about a 17 year old girl who had had a rough life. She was abused by her parents and was bullied at school. One day a practical joke went horribly wrong. The bullies cornered her at school and apparently tried to hang her. They claimed they just wanted to scare her, but when a teacher came by they ran off and left her there. The teacher didn’t see her because she was concealed by the shadows. She was found the next day, dead.
Goosebumps ran up and down my arms as I read the description of how she was found. Black hair, grey, plaid jacket, denim short shorts, black Converse. I set the computer down on my chair and I began to pace.
“It couldn’t be… Could it? No… There’s no such things as ghosts, right?” I paused, expecting an answer. But then I remembered no one was home except me. I sighed and sat down on the couch. “Ok Jessica, chill. Everything is going to be fine. I’m just overreacting.” I decided to go for a drive to clear my head. I began to drive down Historic Maple Street to help me calm down. “See,” I said, talking to myself again, “there is nothing there.”
I started to drive over the bridge when I saw something that was all too familiar: a slender figure, black hair, grey, plaid jacket, denim short shorts, and black Converse. I seized up and continued to drive. But as quickly as I spotted her, she disappeared. I relaxed a little. Suddenly she appeared directly in front of my car. I screamed and swerved to the right, forgetting I was on a bridge, and crashed through the guard rails. I continued to scream as I fell to the road below.
I heard beeping sounds and voices. I opened my eyes to bright, white lights. I turned my head to the left and saw Jonny sitting next to me.
“You’re awake.” he said, with relief in his voice.
“What happened?” I asked my head spinning.
“You were in a car crash,” he explained.
“Really? I don’t remember.”
“You suffered a concussion. The doctor said you might also have some amnesia too.”
“Well, he’s right because I don’t remember anything about a car crash.”
“I’m just glad that’s all you don’t remember.” He smiled and held my hand.
I looked straight up at the ceiling and tried as hard as I could to remember. I was driving down Historic Maple Street to help me calm down, but from what? I remember seeing something, a dog? No, it was a person. The more I remembered, the more I felt uneasy. Something wasn’t right about this person, a girl. Yes, a teenage girl, but what was wrong with her, and did she make me get in the wreck? I couldn’t remember…
Tears began to swell in my eyes. Jonny looked at me with concern.
“What’s wrong?” he asked.
“I can’t remember!” I cried, “I can’t remember what happened!”
“Hey, it’s ok.” He squeezed my hand and ran his fingers through my tangled hair.
I took some deep breaths in an effort to calm down. I stared into Jonny’s eyes. He cared so much for me. I suddenly saw something flash in the corner of my eye. I looked at the corner of the room but there was nothing there. Jonny turned around but then looked back at me as if to say, what are you looking at? To be totally honest, I didn’t really know. Again I looked at the ceiling. A pale face was staring back at me. I screamed and sat straight up, making my head spin.
“What is it?” asked Jonny.
I couldn’t say anything. He noticed that my gaze was transfixed at the corner of the room. A teenage girl was standing, almost floating there, with black hair, a grey, plaid jacket, denim short shorts, and black Converse.
“Leave me alone!” I shouted. “Go away!”
“There’s nothing there, Jessica. What are you shouting at?” asked Jonny.
“Go away!” I began to cry as I continued to scream at the figure.
Jonny paged the nurse and attempted to hold me. I shook him off every time still shouting at the corner. The nurse came running in and stuck a needle in my arm. More nurses came into the room and tried to hold me down. My whole body was shaking. I had never felt such terror before. I heard Jonny talking to the doctor.
“What’s wrong with her?” he asked, fear in his voice.
“I’ve seen this before,” explained the doctor. “There is something wrong with her brain that causes her to hallucinate.”
Hearing that, I nearly stood up but the nurses held me down. “NO! NO, NO! It’s her!” I pointed to the corner of the room. “Get her away from me!”
“We will do all we can to help her,” said the doctor. He came over to me and stuck another needle in my arm. I began to calm down and felt sleepy.
“Is she going to be ok?” Jonny asked.
The doctor paused and looked at me. “Well, I don’t know for sure. In other cases the patients have been brought to the brink of madness.”
“So you can help her right?”
“We will do all we possibly can.”
A nurse led Jonny out as he looked at me. Tears blurred my vision as I watched him go. All of the nurses and the doctor stood over me as my eyes completely closed, enveloping me in a mad darkness.