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EC-AM=Heartbreak Chapter 27
I woke up in the middle of the night, jolting upright in my bed. A cold film of sweat made my body feel damp and sticky. I took deep breaths, in through the nose, out through the mouth. And I continued breathing like this until my body stopped trembling.
But even though the trembling wore off, that creepy feeling that had woken me up was still there. It felt like someone was watching me. I glanced around my room, half-expecting to see a dark figure standing at the foot of my bed. But there was no dark figure. Just me.
But then, my gaze landed on my window and I realized what had caused this feeling. There was someone standing at Will’s bedroom window…staring right at me. The person’s eyes bore into mine, until I quickly looked away. I took deep, shaky breaths. Then looked back out the window.
The person was gone.
I couldn’t believe it. Why the hell was Will watching me out his window at two-forty-freakin’-five in the morning? Could he be any more of a creeper?
“That wasn’t Will,” The second I heard these words, I knew I was hallucinating. Not because of what was said, but because of the voice that had said it. Ash.
Sure enough, I saw it again. His ghost. There one second, then gone in a flash. Glowing lucidly, eerily.
I squeezed my eyes shut, willing myself to stop having these stupid delusions. “This isn’t real. It’s just a figment of my imagination. Ash is dead. He’s gone.” I this to myself over and over again, and I was pretty convinced too. Until a gust of wind ran through my room. But my window was closed.
My eyes opened and Ash was there. He was right next to me. I could see him, feel him there with me. “That wasn’t Will.” he repeated. “It was Michael.”
“But—but—you’re not real. I’m just imagining this.” I said more to myself than to him. He couldn’t be real. I was just hallucinating.
“Evalynne, you aren’t imagining anything. This is real. I’m real. And I’m here to tell you that you need to stay away from Michael. He’s not a good person, Evalynne. He’s dangerous.” Ash told me.
“But if you’re real, then how come you disappeared for such a long time?” I queried, ignoring what he’d said about Michael.
“Because I knew you didn’t want me around. I saw you and Kristy talking at Sadie’s. I saw that you’d convinced yourself that it was just your imagination, so I let you go on thinking that. I knew it was best for you. But now, I need to protect you.”
“But what about the letter? When I tried to show it to Kristy, it wasn’t there!” I cried.
“I took it out on the car ride to Sadie’s. Evalynne, you can’t let anyone else know about me. Once you tell people, they’ll think you’re crazy. Just like how Kristy did.” he informed me.
“Well maybe if I had that letter for proof, she’d have believed me.” I shot back. “You’re the one who made me look crazy!”
“No, she wouldn’t have. She’d have thought you wrote it yourself. Then she would’ve really thought you were going crazy. But that’s not important right now. I came here to warn you about that guy, Michael. You need to stay away from him!”
“So have you been here the whole time then? Were you watching me this whole time?” I wondered aloud, still paying no attention to what he was saying about Michael. I had too many questions about him.
“Evalynne, listen to me!” he exploded, his tone urgent. I was about to scold him for being so loud, tell him that he would wake up Mom. But then I remembered that only I could here him. His voice was in my head, like I was listening to my iPod. Except, instead of The White Tie Affair blaring through the ear buds, it was Ash’s voice. “I need you to promise me that you’ll stay away from Michael.”
The way he said this scared me. He sounded like he was serious. And I was pretty sure he was. “Why?”
“Because he’s dangerous.”
“How is he dangerous?” I inquired, still confused.
“His girlfriend—the Will told you about that his parents love so much—she died four days ago. She fell down the stairs and broke her spine.” he told me. “At least that’s what everyone thinks. That’s what her college’s school newspaper had published. But that’s not the truth. The truth is that Michael pushed her down those stairs.”
“What?” I demanded. “How can you possibly know that? Do you follow him around too or something?”
“No, but when Will mentioned him when you two first met, I knew that I should probably check him out, to make sure he wouldn’t be any harm to you if he ever came to visit. And it’s a good thing I did too, because if I didn’t, you’d be totally oblivious to how psychotic this guy is.”
“But I don’t understand. Why would he push his girlfriend down the stairs?” I asked him.
“Because when his girlfriend met Will, she thought he was funny. She didn’t hate him like Michael does. She thought he was nice. She became friends with him.” Ash informed me. “And this made Michael mad. One day, she asked how Will was doing. She asked if she’d ever get to meet him again. And that’s when Michael snapped. He pushed her down the stairs without even thinking twice. Then he called the cops and told them she fell. He’s a pretty good actor too. They believed every word he said.”
“So, he doesn’t like it when girls are friends with Will?” I queried, still sort of confused.
“Exactly,” he replied.
“But why?” I cried. “Will’s his brother!”
“I know, I’m confused too. I’m guessing that they just had a sibling rivalry thing growing up, and now it’s gone to Michael’s head. This guy’s out of his mind though. I’m telling you, watch out for him.”
“Well what about Valerie and Lacey? They dated Will.” I pointed out. “In fact, Lacey is Will’s current girlfriend right now.”
“Yep, and Valerie is Michael’s current girlfriend.” Ash remarked matter-of-factly.
“What?” I exclaimed, my eyes going wide with shock. I couldn’t believe this. So not only was Michael a whack-job, but he was also a girlfriend-stealer. Wow, this guy had some serious issues. Talk about crazy. What a basket-case.
“Yeah, Michael had been planning this out for a while now. Finally, he’s decided to put his plan into action. He’s completed step one by luring her in to him. Step two is to charm her until she’s completely head-over-heels for him. Step three is to kill her.” His voice was grave when it came to step three.
“What about Lacey?” I asked. “Does he have a plan for her too?”
“Yep, it’s the same plan as the one he made for Valerie,”
I swallowed hard, unsure if I was ready to ask this question. Unsure if I was ready to hear the answer to it. “Does he have a plan for me yet?” I asked. “After all, I am Will’s friend. He knows I’m Will’s friend too. Oh my gosh, that’s why he acted so weird when he found out that Will and I were friends!”
“Don’t worry, he doesn’t have a plan for you yet. At least, not one that I know of. But don’t worry. I won’t let him hurt you.” he assured me, his tone sincere.
“Ash, you’re a ghost. How can you protect me when you’re dead?” I cried.
He sighed, looking crestfallen. I knew that he wanted to be my knight in shining armor, to keep me safe no matter what. But he couldn’t exactly do that if he wasn’t alive.
“Just stay away from him, ok?” he demanded.
“Ash, he’s staying right next door to me. He knows where I live. He was just staring into my room. Oh my gosh, Ash, he’s going to kill me for sure!” I was freaking out now. So much fear was coursing through my body, that I felt sick.
“Evalynne, who the hell are you screaming at?” Mom demanded, storming into my bedroom. I’d completely forgotten that she was still asleep.
“Oh, I was just uh…” I trailed off, unable to think of a good explanation. “I just had a nightmare.” I lied hastily. “I think I was screaming in my sleep, and then you walked in and I woke up.”
“Well just go back to sleep,” she commanded, her voice thick with drowsiness.
And the moment she was gone, I whispered, “Ash? Are you still there?”
“Just promise me,” he said. I couldn’t see him anymore, but I could here his voice inside my head.
“I promise,” I told him sincerely. Then I felt his presence disappear, and I knew he was gone.