Chapter One: Imaginary Friend
Beth glared at the downpour.
“Well that's just fricken great!” she yelled to the empty space around her. She was stuck in the middle of nowhere, had maybe five or six pounds left in her pocket. And now she was drenched and shivering. Why did she do this? She had been on her way to a interview, a very important one since she needed a job and it was one she had a shot at. All it required was being an office lackey. But its not like she was going to complain with the state of the world. But when she was driving along in her two tank of gas away from death bug, she'd seen one. She'd seen them all her life, and she'd told herself to ignore them. Because saying “I can see dead souls and weird floating men dressed in black” would've landed her in front of another psychologist. Growing up she'd had three. The first said she had an over active imagination. The second made her be admitted into a hospital for observation. She ran away and hated hospitals since. The third? Well he was the only one she went to see herself when she was a teenager. He'd prescribed her with every antidepressant, anti-anxiety and anti-psychotic in the world - none of them made a difference. All they did was give her stomach cramps, headaches and play with her emotions like a game of childish tag.
She had no clue where the urge came from, she'd never tried chasing the black covered things before. She'd once spoken to a ghost when she was a kid. Her imaginary friend growing up was a wild-haired emo boy who'd committed suicide when he was seventeen.
“Speak of the devil” she murmured as she felt the familiar shiver pass through her freezing skin. The shiver of a ghost floating through your body.
“You know I hate it when you do that” She said, turning her glare onto him. He was floating a few feet above the ground, sitting cross-legged. Ethan looked like he always looked. Ripped black jeans, some goth band branded t-shirt and a hoodie that at this point in time was tied round his waist. She guessed translucent skin doesn't really feel cold rain.
“Nah, your just angry cause you tried to follow one of those black cloaked dudes and got yourself lost” He replied, the usual lazy grin spreading across his face before he lent his head back, looking up at the falling raindrops.
“You must be cold” He stated, causing Beth's glare to grow in intensity. Ethan laughed and stood up still floating a few feet up and started walking closer to Beth, moving closer to the ground with each step until when he was close enough to ruffle her hair, you could believe he didn't float at all. He also couldn't really ruffle her hair, but he tried regardless. And even though all Beth felt was a small feather of cold brush her scalp, she still pretended it was real and tried to shove his arm away. Not that she could effect him in any kind of way. Like all the classic ghost stories, they could never feel each others touch. Just a sort of tingling.
“Come on, I managed to scoot ahead and find a gas station” Ethan said.
“Except I have no money to pay them” Beth hadn't left the house thinking she needed a lot of money except for a half-hearted lunch perhaps.
“Well, use your girly wiles on them, their sure to fall for you and do anything you wish” Ethan said in a mock seductive voice before laughing alongside Beth. Beth was the furtherest thing from “girly”. She'd spent her childhood running through fields and climbing every tree. Her jeans were never clean and she was never the least bit tempted to try on her mums dresses or play with her make-up. And now at twenty not much had changed. She only wore make-up for Christmas and funeral and weddings. Though she avoided the middle one. And even then, the make-up was minimal. Beth didn't do fancy things with her hair or read beauty tips in silly magazines. She just didn't see the point of painting yourself to look different. If she did -heaven forbid – meet a guy who was interested in her. She wanted him to know what she looked like from the start. And at this moment in time her mud brown hair that had been pulled into a rushed ponytail, was plastered to her face. The rain seemed to be letting up a little as they walked though and she could see far enough in front to make out the small station.
“Seriously, I have no money” she muttered to Ethan, being careful not to make her lips move to much. She'd gotten enough stares from people growing up to know that talking to herself was not a good thing. Except she wasn't. By this point in time it was pretty obvious this was real. I mean what six year old dreams up running into a boy yelling curse words she'd never heard before in her life into the wind. Weird to think that if Ethan hadn't died a few hours before they met, he'd be thirty-one years old and they'd properly never have met. But he had died and they did meet. And despite the fact that he could be annoying at times, he'd always been there for her. Even as she had told him very clearly to get out as she discovered boobs for the first time at fifteen. He did leave eventually, she just had to threaten not to talk to him ever again. Even ghosts had drives it seemed. Though she wouldn't know. She wasn't going to ask Ethan if he could have undead sex with other ghosts. She didn't want to imagine it to be honest.
“Seriously, it's a guy in there. No guy can resist being a hero and helping a poor, lost, shivering and most importantly, hot girl like you” Ethan said, Beth simply rolled her eyes at the last comment.
“Yeah, and if he happens to get a number in there, then great. Guys are so predictable” She muttered.
“So what if he gets a number? How long has it been since you had a boyfriend, or a date for that matter?” Ethan asked, Beth mumbled a “Don't know” while knowing exactly how long. Too long. Three years, it wasn't her fault that guy had made it impossible for her to really trust anyone new. Save Ethan, she would always trust him.