After leaving the church, Andrew returned home, a bible
tucked under his arm. A gift from Sean.
“Read this, it’ll help you understand what’s going on,”
he said as he handed it to Andrew on his way out.
Andrew looked back down at the thick book in his hands.
It seemed strange that a book like this would help, but he felt that gaining
knowledge was the best way to completely figure out what was going on right
Ensconced once again in his room, Andrew turned on all
the lights and set the bible on his bed. The ice from the previous day had
disappeared, leaving behind no trace of its existence, nor were there any
scorch marks left on his wall from Shadoe’s flaming name.
Andrew heaved a sigh as he glanced again at the bible on
his bed. Doubts and walls created from years of denial and pushing against were
making this much harder than it should have been. Or so he thought.
He sat on his bed and held the bible again. “I have no
clue what I’m doing,” he said to himself as he stared at the black and gold
cover. He was about to open it and hope for some guidance when the door to his
room opened. Andrew jerked his head up, a thrill of terror dancing across his
“Did I scare you?” his mom asked as she pushed the door
all the way open.
“No,” he replied quickly. “What are you doing?”
“I heard you come home, and you came up here so quickly,
I figured I’d see what was going on,” she explained. “I was also making sure
that you didn’t run up here with any visitors.”
Andrew felt his cheeks heat up. “I’m alone, mom. Can you
She leveled a stare at him. “Where’s Selena?” she asked
in a no-nonsense tone.
“Mom, she’s seriously not here. She’s not feeling that
well, so she’s at home,” he lied quickly.
“Oh really?” she asked. “Because she seemed just fine
when I saw her walking around town today. She even told me how much fun you two
had out in the woods earlier.”
“We were hiking. And then we got into a fight,” he
stammered. “But I promise you, she’s not here.”
“Whatever,” she said as she rolled her eyes. “Do whatever
you want, but I’m not taking care of any ‘surprises’ that happen after you two
“Just because you and dad messed around and had me out of
wedlock doesn’t mean that that’s what Selena and I do. I know better than that,
and besides, she’s not that kind of girl,” he exclaimed, tired of his mom’s
accusations. “Just because dad couldn’t control himself doesn’t mean that I
can’t either. Unlike him, I actually have morals.”
“Don’t talk to me like that,” she hissed. “And don’t talk
about your father like that. He was a good man!”
“A good man?” Andrew asked. “He slept around and openly
proclaimed it, and you let him. He told you more times than I can count that
the only reason you two were together was because he felt guilty leaving you
alone with a child. Stop lying to yourself about what happened, he’s not coming
back,” he said. “He’s moved on.”
Tears of anger sprung to his mom’s eyes. “Your father
loved me, and he was happy while he was here. You have no idea what you’re
talking about, Andrew,” she finished as she slammed his door shut behind her.
Andrew heard her storm downstairs, followed the clinking
of glass bottles that signified his mom had gone to see her counselor. He tore
his eyes away from the door and looked up to the ceiling.
“So I’m not too sure how to do this,” he began, “because
I’ve never prayed before. But can You, like, protect my mom tonight? Let her
not do anything stupid again because she’s upset. It’d mean a lot if you could
do that for me.” He paused. “And thanks for the rock,” he added as he pulled
the geode out of his pocket.
He turned the rock over in his hands again, watching the
light play over the uneven surface, before setting it down on his bed next to
the bible. Another book appeared next to the bible. Shadoe Rose’s journal.
Andrew froze, not sure what to do for a moment, then curiosity won out. He
picked up the velvet-clad book. As he moved to lift the cover, his fingers
hesitated. Was he right in reading more of Shadoe’s journal?
“What’s the worst that can happen?” he asked himself as
he slowly opened it. He paused. No ice formed, nothing flew across the room,
and no flaming messages from ghosts appeared on the walls. Courage mounting,
Andrew flipped through until he found the page where he and Selena had left off
and began reading.