Death couldn't have come at a more inconvenient time.
Well, inconvenient time wouldn't be the exact phrase I'd use. When is death ever convenient? But just when things were starting to look up for me, I had to go and get shot. My mother and I had finally started getting our relationship back on track. I wasn't exactly what you'd call easy to handle, and we'd always had our problems, but only just now had we started to fix them. Rob Hurston, the guy I had had a crush on since I was a baby (well, maybe not quite that far back) had finally taken a second look at me and decided I was worthy of him. I know how that sounds, but Rob is the All-American guy, complete with bright blue eyes and tousled blonde hair and the super popularity and incredible confidence. I had actually been on my way home to get ready for the date that night, and then I had to go and get killed...
It was weird dying. It wasn't anything like I had imagined it would be. There was no 'life flashing before my eyes' or ultimate revelation. It was just scary and cold. And surreal. I wasn't overly sure what was happening to me at first. I remember hearing the sound of the gunshot before I felt it. It was deafening and scared the shit out of me. I remember fire exploding in my chest, but I didn't connect the two straight away. I looked down, confused at the bright red liquid pooling on my shirt. And then it went dark. I guessed that was the point that I died.
But I don't like to talk about it much, for obvious reasons. Please don't expect me to recap it again. It's just too awful to think about.
There was a slight perk to being stuck on the Earth. It soon lost it's novelty, but I was enthralled when I first discovered it.
Depressed from watching my loved ones mourn for me, I decided to head further afield. I was going to haunt someone.
* * * *
His name was Tyler Fairhurst and he was a jerk.
He lived in the town over from mine, in a large house with both parents and an older brother living in the little extension bit which was like a separate flat attached to the main building. He reminded me of all those films that I had seen where the "jocks" pick on the weedier, chess-club type guys. At first, I couldn't believe that such a well known cliche actually existed, but I soon witnessed it first hand.
Tyler was you'd call the leader of his "gang". They ruled the school because they were on the football team and they got all the pretty girls. Cliche, right? I could see why people might look up to or fear him. He was handsome, with striking features. Brown eyes, tanned skin and dark hair, complete with chiseled jawline and muscular body equals a very egotistical guy, aka, Tyler.
I was used to being ignored by now. I was used to being looked straight through and walked right past, so it was nothing new when Tyler and his buddies did the same.
'Hey Tyler,' a girl I'd learned to be called Melanie practically threw herself at Tyler.
'Hey babe,' his eyes lingered over her short skirt and low cut top hungrily.
A few of his mates whistled.
'We're still going to the movies tonight?' she tilted her head slightly, fluttering eyelashes. She looked pretty pathetic to me, but what would I know? I'm dead.
'Yeah, I wouldn't miss it for the world.' He bent down to kiss her and watched as she bounded away happily.
'"Wouldn't miss it for the world",' one of his mates imitated.
'Shut up man,' Tyler laughed. 'Heard she was easy.'
I watched as they all laughed boisterously at that.
'Uh,' I grunted in disgust.
'Hey look,' the same friend nodded. 'It's Marty.'
I followed their gaze to see their victim. Marty was the nerdiest kid I knew, but there was something incredible sweet about him. His hair was always perfectly slicked with maybe a little too much gel, parted down the middle. His face was covered by thick rimmed glasses, and he was always seen carrying an armful of books. He was your typical dweeb.
I trailed after them, knowing what I was going to see.
'Hey Marty,' Tyler called. I watched Marty flinch in fear, nearly dropping his books.
'Uh, hey guys,' Marty stammered slightly.
'So you're in my European History class aren't you?'
'Y-yes, I am.'
'And our essay's due in tomorrow?'
Marty nodded vigorously.
'So yeah, seeing as I have a life and all and you don't, you could do mine for me right?'
Marty's eyes widened. 'But it's my baby sister's birthday tonight. We're all going out for a meal.'
Tyler lunged forward, grabbing Marty by the collar and shoving him against the wall. I cringed when Marty screamed, causing all Tyler's friends to laugh.
'You're gonna do it. I don't give a fuck what you've got on. Got it?'
Marty nodded, pure fear showing in his eyes.
'You're a pig,' I told Tyler. Naturally, he couldn't hear me.
'Good. Glad we came to an understanding,' Tyler smiled, patting him on the back. I watched them all head off, leaving Marty a nervous, stammering wreck. He collapsed to his knees to pick up his scattered books, and I debated whether or not to help him, despite being a ghost and all, but then that would ruin everything.
Tyler always had football practice at 4 o clock. Today was no exception.
When all of his friends had headed off to the showers after practice, I made my move.
Tyler was alone in the locker room. I started off with minor things. A few of the locker doors were left open, and so I began slamming them shut. Pretty basic stuff, but it earned a decently scared "Hello?" from Tyler. I waited at least two full seconds before I slammed the next locker, to create an eerie rhythm.
Ignoring him, I proceeded onto the locker next to his. He was stood peering round the corner with his back facing me.
I slammed the door shut, watching him whirl in fear.
His eyes were wide and he was breathing heavily. It was pretty amusing to watch.
'Get a grip Tyler,' he muttered to himself. I drifted to hover behind him.
He started to get dressed and I touched my ice cold fingers to his skin, concentrating really hard to make them solid.
Watching him nearly jumping out of his skin has gotta be the highlight of being dead.
I went over to the steam covered windows.
Concentrating once more, putting all of my focus into my actions, I began to write.
Tyler was still freaking out about the ghostly touch he had just received and had started to get dressed a lot quicker. He was just about done and ready to go when his eyes flickered up briefly.
All of the colour drained from his face, his eyes were bulging in fear and he was shaking his head back and forth, mouthing the word No.
I watched him run half naked out of the changing rooms and giggled, turning to survey my handiwork.
Marty isn't the victim. You are.