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Ghost In The Bathroom

Author's note: I was inspired to write this piece because of a rumor I heard in third grade that a ghost...  Show full author's note »
Author's note:

I was inspired to write this piece because of a rumor I heard in third grade that a ghost haunted the elementary school bathroom. I've always loved ghost stories, so I decided to write one!

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Chapters:   « Previous 1 2 3 4 5 6 Next »

development

You visit her every day. More and more time is spent in the bathroom and not in class. Class is stupid. You just want Rissa, Rissa, Rissa. You don’t need to learn all these things you already know.

She first started calling you Tessie after the first week of your meetups. You almost cried. You’ve never had a nickname before. You were addicted to her like the men on the streets were addicted to cigarettes. You couldn’t ever get enough. You would run around screaming and playing and dancing and ending up in a heap on the floor and laughing like a mental patient. She would pet your hair and tell you she loved being with you and she’d smile and wrap her cold arms around you and waltz you around the room, and you loved being limp in her arms like a rag doll. You sometimes stayed overnight, your sister not minding because with you gone, she could do “stuff” with her boyfriend. You would lug your sleeping bag to school and the other kids would tease you and you wouldn’t care. You had a real friend. They didn’t matter.

Your school went from third through eighth grade and you somehow managed to pass the third grade with straight A’s and B’s. Fourth and fifth grade were not much harder. Your sister taught you all these things that she learned in class to make you seem smart to your parents. Her teachings were useless now, seeing your parents had died, except for the fact that it got you out of class.

One night on the last week of fifth grade, you curled up in your glittery teal sleeping bag and cried. You cried because you hated how you looked and you hated how the girls in your class all had little “boyfriends” and everyone still called you “Fleas” after the incident in third grade. You cried because, to be honest, you missed your parents and longed for a real life with picnics and sports and phones and beaches and BFFs.

Rissa lay on the floor next to you, pressing up against you, and she scoffed when you told her this. “You don’t need any of that! Besides, if you were like them, you wouldn’t have met me.” She said them like someone would say vomit or pimple or mold. Or fleas.

You nod silently and climb back into your sleeping bag. Rissa pushes her way in and rests a cold hand on your shoulder. She buries her face in the back of your neck and you squeak, because she is cold. Her fingers comb through your hair and brush your bare neck which feels oddly intimate and strange. You feel her lips graze your cheek and you nearly whimper because she’s so cold. Her hands trace across your forehead and over your half-lidded eyes, gentle and confusing and...you don’t know what that other feeling is. Comfort? Pity? Love?

No, it’s none of those. It’s satisfaction, the satisfaction that you, Tessa Lillian Bloom, have a best friend. One that will last forever.

You leave for the summer and forget her like you always do, spending time with cousins and grandparents and aunts and uncles, running through sprinklers and swimming and celebrating your eleventh birthday at your grandparents’ house back in Vermont. During the summer, you can be a child again. Except for the day where your older cousins and your sister introduced you to bikinis and boys and high-heeled shoes and makeup that irritates your eyes. They give you a makeover, and as you stare at your reflection, you realize that you have a chance. A chance to make new friends and have a chance at loving and living a real life. You don’t think about Rissa. Not once.

On the first day of school, you walk through the same building but into the older kids’ wing and someone compliments you on the neon green tank top you’re wearing and a few new kids introduce themselves to you and you realize that what you wanted was right in front of you.
You don’t go to the bathroom in your new wing. The bathroom in that wing is too nice for your liking. You go downstairs to the old bathroom during history class (where you sit at a table with Arianna and Thomas and Kyle, your new friends), and you skip in and bump into Rissa. She’s taller and older now, and her dress seems to fit better. “Hi Rissa!” you sing and frolic over to the sinks to wash your hands.

“Tessie, what are you wearing?” she asks, her voice icy. “You look like one of them.”

“My sister gave it to me,” you reply. “I like it.”

“You look like those girls who bully you. Why do you want to imitate them?” Rissa steps over to you, and holds your hand, sending a shiver through you.

“I made new friends,” you blurt out. “They’re really nice and they like the same stuff I do. Stop being rude or I’ll leave you.”

Her hands slip around your throat and give a slow squeeze. You choke for a split second then drop as she lets you go.

“What did you do that for?” Your voice is squeaky again as you clamber up from where you had fallen on the bathroom floor.

“Don’t leave me.” she says, and you swear you can see tears.

“How did you die?” you respond, wanting to change the topic and ask her the question you’ve pondered for years.

She looks you dead in the eye. “I was murdered,” she replies. “By bullies. They shoved me in a locker after school and sprayed hairspray in the locker with me. I was overcome by the fumes and I hit my head as I passed out and died.”

Your hands cover your mouth, which is shaped in a O. “Oh my god,” you whisper, and hug Rissa as tightly as you can.

“This is why I worry about you, Tessie. I don’t want you to end up the same way I did.” Rissa gently lets go of you.

“I’m not bullied anymore, Rissa. I’m in middle school and I’m not new anymore. Everyone kinda just ignores me.” you say sternly. “I don’t need you protecting me.”

“Fine,” she replies, turning around. “If you don’t want to be on my good side, then be on my bad side. But just saying, don’t say I didn’t warn you.”

“Rissa, no, that’s not what I meant! Wait!” She turns to look at you, her eyes reflecting her confusion and anger. You walk up to her and take her hand. “Rissa, I’m growing up.” Your voice is barely a whisper yet it seems so loud. It cuts through the tension in the air like a knife cuts through food or flesh or whatever it’s used for.

She walks over to you, and c***s her head. “You’re a strange one, Tessie.” she states. And she pulls you into her arms, pressing you uncomfortably against her. She plants a kiss on your head and you feel your whole body tremble with...you don’t even know what anymore. Rissa makes you feel so strange and you’re used to it. “Now off to class with you,” she says and disappears, leaving you with a dumb look on your face and you in a heap on the floor.

Chapters:   « Previous 1 2 3 4 5 6 Next »


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