The following morning I found myself on the couch. My eyes, tired, my brain, drained out. “Jen, are you okay ?”, said a shrill voice. I slowly opened my eyes, and I was surrounded by my mom,my dad and my sister. It was half past two. And the sun was fuming.
In a bold voice, “Did you drink last night ?”,asked my dad. “No”, I said, putting my chin down. His brows furrowed. I was dripping with perspiration. “We gotta take her to a doc”, said my sister, adding fuel to the fire. “No, just leave me alone for a while”, I cried. I had temperamental issues, and they didn’t want me to yell at them.
I took bath, wore my favorite purple cape, no, it was his favorite, and left home without having my food.
I took a cab to The Starbucks in Sacramento, California. It usually takes about thirty five-odd minutes to get there from my place. I was nervous on one hand, but excited on the other, because I had last met him two months ago.
It was the perfect place for a tete-a-tete. The interior was well-made, with bright, elliptical chandeliers hanging from the ceiling, orange chairs laid out here and there, wooden flooring, absolutely clean glass windows for a better view of the city, chocolate brown benches outside amidst the greenery.
I waited outside, hoping to meet him again. It was six minutes to four.
I was seated, with my elbows firmly placed on my thighs, my chin facing the ground, my fingers trembling.
I heard the footsteps. Without raising my chin, I looked at the dial of my Swiss watch. It was four.Then I slowly looked up, and saw him come towards me.
He was in his grey Lacoste T-Shirt and Diesel Jeans. He looked better than ever, with his Michael Kors watch and Vans shoes. He stood before me, and gave a tight hug. I had first met him in Texas, when I was doing my undergraduation in medicine, six months older to me, and since then, he has been my only friend.
“Hey , long time no see, Jen. Looking pretty. Sup ?”, he asked, with a wide grin. He had a beautiful jawline, bright blue eyes, and a sharp nose. Standing six-three, he looked into my eyes and kept smiling.
“Yes, I’m good. Hope you’re good too.”
“Yup, I am. What made you call me at 1:20 am ? I was worried”, with that he held my hand and took me inside. I ordered a Caramel Macchiato, and he ordered a Caffe Americano and waited.
I had to start the conversation because it was getting awkward.
“Yes ?”, he asked, still looking into my eyes.
“Do you believe in ghosts ?”
I had met him after two months, and I was such an asshole to begin with this, but I just couldn’t help it.
I knew he was utterly disappointed, and didn’t like the way things started with.
He shrugged his broad shoulders and said, “I don’t know. Why ?”, becoming more curious.
“Last night was terrible, I-“, deep within, I was hesitant to let it out, but I trusted him, so I went on, “I-I- saw a ghost”, I finished.
His expressions changed. He didn’t expect this. He guessed I was drunk last night, and crazy imaginations are just a normal thing for me. Still, he replied in the most mature way, “Oh. What happened then?”
“It wrote a girl’s name on the mirror with blood. It said ‘Lilly Redbook.’ And I have no clue of what it is.” The waiter looked at us with a queer smile, while placing the glasses on the table, and I didn’t like it.
“What do you mean by ‘okay’ dude ?”
“Nothing. Anything else ?”
“No. Do you know about the Peters’ family ?”, I asked, still hesitant to change the topic.
“Yes, I’ve heard stuff.”
“Eric, I’m scared. I feel that thing would happen to me. I don’t like those”, I said, my voice trembling, my eyes filled with tears. I didn’t wanna cry in front of him, I had to control.
“Chill. Don’t hallucinate things, Jen. It’s all about your own mindset and conscience. Nothing bad will happen. Did you tell this at home ?”
“No”, I said, putting my neck down.
“Eric, if ghosts at all do exist, why do they haunt people ?”, I asked, just like a five year old kid asking its dad.
“Well, Jen, my grandfather says it is mostly to avenge or take revenge for something you did in the past.”
‘Revenge’- that word kept running in my head.
We then spoke about each other’s families and graduation life, went for a drive in his car, watched a movie together, had dinner, and he dropped me back home followed by another tight hug. When I entered, I looked at my watch. It showed a quarter past ten. Everyone had fallen asleep by then.
I was exhausted, and laid down on the couch in the living room, thinking what would happen that night.
(To be continued…)