Your mother was a very stubborn woman. She detested the belief of the supernatural. From an early age she told you that all things supernatural were lies.
In kindergarten, as children often do, your classmates spoke of fairies. You told them they weren't real. Your teacher scolded you. As you got older, the topics of interest matured slowly. Soon people spoke of ghosts and spirits. Your friend in the 5th grade, also a girl (and your first crush), was quite different than you. She believed very strongly in the realm of ghosts and spirits. She told stories of humans falling in love with ghosts having children who could interact with ghosts too. One day she asked you if you believed in ghosts. "No," you answered instantly. Ghosts aren’t real; you’ve never thought otherwise
In the 6th grade, you walked into your mother's bedroom late at night. You don't remember why. You only remember watching her. She spoke to the air in front of her. She spoke frantically in a trembling voice, and she cried. She asked the air many questions. "Why? Why did you leave me with a child all alone? How is it even possible!? It's been 12 years and 10 months, give me answers!" Then your mother, teary eyed, tilted her head as if a pair of gentle hands coddled it. The only thing you remember thinking is whether or not you believe in ghosts.
At breakfast the next morning, you asked your mom "Why don't I have a dad?"
She replied, "Do not believe in the supernatural, honey."
You did not understand. You did not push further.
When you came out to your mother at the age of 17, she simply told you that that was natural. She realized that you were now open to your sexuality, and this would mean that the retched years of dating were upon you. "Watch out for people out there okay? Make sure that person's a good, trustworthy person before you pursue them any further. If there's anything odd about them, know you can trust a good gut feeling..." With the sudden shift in the weight on your shoulders, you forget to take in whatever remark your mother made directly after the word “feeling”. You catch a bit of a news story on the T.V. You didn’t pay attention to what your mom was saying. It talked about a teenage girl who’d gone missing. They thought she might’ve owned a place that wasn’t under her name. No parents or relatives could be contacted. A girl who knew her reported her missing. The only way they confirmed she was missing was due to her missing a week or so of school. They thought she might have been the victim of a serial killer who had been raping their victims from the next city over. This news of the serial killer was the first time you had heard about it. You heard the bus outside. You walked away, and you went out the door to school.
Your friends that day decided to celebrate your coming out of the closet. You called your mom after school ended, and you told her you would be home late that night. She OKs it, seeing as the next day was Saturday. She told you to remember what she told you this morning. You told her "of course," but you did not have the faintest of clues as to what she said that morning. You told her you loved her, and you hung up the phone. You went to your friend's pickup. Your 4 friends laugh and jostle you. You 5 went to a small dive bar, seeing as this particular bar did not I.D its patrons.
You got there, and you all walked in. The friend who drove ordered 4 whiskeys, and they sat down at the booth with the tray of drinks. The rest of you grab a drink and clamor with celebration. It still was not yet night. You did not care.
Time flew by quickly. At 5 PM, a beautiful woman came into the bar. She sat down at the counter near you, and she looked awfully out of place in the dive bar. She ordered the same thing you were drinking, a bottle of beer. Your friends noticed you eyeing her. They pushed you to talk to her. You did so.
You began the conversation by asking her what a beautiful woman like her was doing there. She seemed charmed by you. She replied with, "I’m Charlotte. My girlfriend just broke up with me... Don't tell anyone..." She looked for the bartender to see if they were near. "I'm only 17, and this is the only bar I know that doesn't card people.” She covered her mouth playfully, and she batted her eyelashes.
“It seems we have something in common.” You shifted your weight onto the bar.
“Which part? The just got dumped part or the 17,” for this part she leans in, whispering so only you hear it “really shouldn’t be here part?” You both chuckled as she pulled away.
“I’m afraid it’s the latter part of that statement.”
“Well I also guess we have two things in common, seeing as we are both delinquents.” You both laughed again.
“You’re really cool.” She blushed, turning away momentarily. “If you’re not too drunk, I’d like to take you on a walk. I know an awfully beautiful secret spot by the shore. It overlooks the ocean just beautifully. The stars are a perfect mess of glass shards and pearls, twinkling ever so fragilely like the small shines in your eye, blurring your pupil in a sea of perfect crystal blue.” You pushed a strand of hair behind her ear, smiling with a small turn in your head’s angle.
“Take me there.” She smiled, and you both began to walk out of the bar hand-in-hand. You grinned at your friends, who all looked at you with amazement.
Your walk was quiet. She looked around the street as if she had never been there before. Sometimes you lost sight of her, but it turned out she was still next to you the entire time. She seemed to fade in and out of opaque and translucent, but you shook your head. It must have been the fog. There was definitely fog. In the last stretch of the walk you grabbed hold of her hand, gripping it tightly. It was like she was a balloon, ready to escape your hold at any second. She smiled, and you played it off with a bashful turn of your head, shifting your gaze to a street lamp above.
When you both got to the cliffs before the beach, you pulled her towards a small clump of trees before the sand dunes sprouted up. Rustling and your footsteps were the only sounds you could hear. The absence of another set of footsteps made you look back multiple times, but the girl gave you a reassuring confused look. You thought yourself foolish, and you continued up the cliff without thinking about it anymore.
“Here we are,” you said, hands on hips. You turned to look at her. She stood with amazement, and she looked at up at the stars. They were as perfect as you had described. She began to lie down instantly. With a small shock, you lied down next to her.
You spent an hour counting the stars together. After more than 1,000, she rolled onto her stomach with a laugh. “This might seem sudden,” she said “but do you want to come to my place. My parents rent it out for me, so I live alone.” She looked at you, and she had a faint smile creeping up on her lips. You pushed yourself up on your elbows to see her more clearly. You thought about the fact that you’d only had one girlfriend before, but you thought that you were comfortable enough with this girl.
With a smile you said, “I’d love to.”
You walked back to the street, and she took your hand as you did to her, and she guided you on a 45 minute walk to her apartment. The walk to the cliff had only been 10minutes, and you thought it was amazing that she walked more than 30 minutes alone to get to the bar.
You arrived at the back gate to a small yard. You could see plants growing up at the top of the fence. “Oh shoot…” Charlotte said. “I seem to have dropped my keys somewhere.”
“We can go back and look if you want. I don’t mind. It’s probably—”
“It’s fine!” She pushed a strand of hair out of her eyes. “Just wait here. I’ll go pick the lock.” She took a bobby pin out of her hair. She hopped the small backyard gate, only locked to keep animals from leaving, and you waited for her to come back. The night air was silent.
After a couple of minutes, she popped back up behind the gate. “Come and hop this. I got the back entrance unlocked.” You did as she said, and you entered the small apartment. Her parents must be rich, you thought, seeing how nice the apartment was. It had a lush backyard as well. After a moment of observing the living room, she kissed you gently. She brought your hand to her waist. You let yourself feel the skin of her waist under her shirt. Her skin lacked heat. You accounted it to the fact that foggy nights always bring cold in your city. It was definitely foggy. She continued to kiss you. Gracing your thumb along her hip bones, you felt something. It was wet. It was rough. You brought your hand to your face, and you pulled away, closer to the door behind you. Your bloody hand sparkled with light from the front window.
“Are…” you looked at her distant eyes. Their previous blue had run cold. Veins in the whites of her eyes were now clearly visible. “Are you okay?” Her green shirt was stained with blood at the waist. You could see blood dripping down her white nylons from under her skirt, now ripped and stained with dirt. You pushed yourself against the door behind you. She stepped closer to you, and she held your jaw with her hands gently. She wasn't warm, but she wasn't cold. Her body was devoid of heat. She still held your jaw gently.
“Do you believe in ghosts?” She asked you this softly. You almost couldn’t hear it over the rush of cars and the blare of sirens from outside. Your bloody hand sparkled with red and blue light from the front window.
“Yes,” you answered instantly. “Yeah.” Her body went limp. She loosened her grip on you. She fell to your feet with no sound. Your gaze fluttered to a shape on the ground in the kitchen less than eight feet from you. Without Charlotte blocking your view, you could see it now. It was a bloody mess, lying still on the cold tile. It had the same faded brown hair as the girl who was at your feet. A girl was at your feet less than two seconds ago. You knew it. It was foggy. It was foggy. Ghosts are real; you’ve never thought otherwise. You looked down, but the only thing you saw was your hand. It was still bloody, and it still glimmered with red light then blue then red again. The sirens from outside grew deafening, and they blocked out the yelling from the people in the front yard. The front door opened up with a kick and a crash.