Dalia has to admit to her boyfriend she's a medium and from there her world comes crashing down.
It’s a Tuesday evening in my new apartment. I flip through the channels. I just want something in the background as I get ready. I start squinting to read that horribly tiny writing.
The screen goes black. A faint outline is appears. A figure begins to slowly materialize on the blank screen. It’s a girl, about sixteen with long brown hair in a white dress. She is simply swaying back and forth on the television screen. Her eyes are peering at me. Her head cocks, inquisitively. The screen returns to a Swiffer wet jet commercial.
This isn’t a strange occurrence. She is my roommate. I call her Sarah. We cohabitate and once in a while she frightens me.
As I get ready my phone rings right on time, 5:30 PM, it is Shawn, my boyfriend. He has come to take me to his sister’s house. It’s one step closer from being in a relationship to a serious relationship.
“Hey, baby!” I answer.
“I’m outside your apartment. Are you ready?”
“I’ll be out in a moment!” I grab my purse. Sarah turns off the lights for me but I leave the television on to keep her company.
We arrive at a small adobe house. When the door opens the smell of rotisserie chicken resonates through the air. His sister and her daughter race to the door.
“Hi!” she says giving me a large hug, “I’m Lainey, it’s so nice to finally meet you. This is River.” She points to her adorable daughter in a fluffy red dress with long curly brown hair.
“It’s great to meet you I’m Dalia. I brought a pie.”
“That’s so nice of you!” Lainey ushers us into the house.
We sit down for dinner. It’s very civil with me coyly describing my major, plans for the future, how Shawn and I met. River interjects with adorable phrases that only an 8-year-old would think of.
However out of the corner of my eye I can see a tall man standing in the doorway of the kitchen. He’s ghost and he’s just staring at us. He notices that I’m glancing at him. I try to continue eating my green beans. Then suddenly all of the pictures in the room tilt just a little off center.
“That’s strange,” Shawn says. I look to the man and he looks at me in a fashion that declares he wants me to communicate something.
“Weird things have been happening,” Lainey says.
“Like what?” I try to sound curious.
“The oven door swinging open, the microwave goes off and like the sounds footsteps.”
“It scares me. I can hear him knocking on my door at night,” River says.
“It’s probably just an old house. You should have someone take a look at all of the wiring,” Shawn says as if that explains everything.
“I don’t know it seems pretty intense for just wiring,” Lainey says.
“You have a ghost.” I interject.
“That’s ridiculous!” Shawn says giving me a weird look.
“How do you know?” Lainey asks, stunned.
“I can like…. See things. He’s in the room.” The ghost continues to pace. Everyone is looking at me like I’m crazy. He mouths the word Michael.
“Michael, don’t leave me looking crazy. What do you want?” He motions for me to follow him. I follow to the kitchen. He knocks his foot lightly against a panel under the bottom cupboard.
“Open it?” I ask him. He nods and mouths the word, ‘proof.’ “I need something to pry this open.”
“Dalia, this is insane,” Shawn is rolling his eyes.
“If we do this will he stop?” Lainey asks, I look to Michael he shrugs.
“I don’t know, Lainey but it it’s supposed to be proof I’m not schizo.”
“Okay,” she goes in a drawer and pulls out a hammer. Shawn shrugs and pries open the panel. I get on my stomach and feel around and pull out a large wooden box. I hand it to Lainey. When she opens it she starts to cry then sets it on the kitchen table. I peer in and it’s stacks of $100 dollar bills, from a glance about four thousand dollars. I move the money aside and find the bottom of the box littered with expensive jewelry. I look up at Michael and he’s gone.
“This is great,” Lainey says smiling with teary eyes, “This is really going to help. It’s about what I have left to pay on my car.”
Lainey is nice enough to give me the jewelry. We finish dinner and Shawn and I get in his car. On the drive home I try to explain and he eventually comes around. He doesn’t have much of a choice but to believe. Things can’t be normal between us again. What is a medium to do?
Shawn and I don’t return to the subject of ghosts for two months until one day he tells me his friend needs my help. As he uttered the words, I knew it was the kiss of death to the normalcy I’d maintained in my life for so long. I try explaining to him I’m not a medium. I just see ghosts, it’s that oddly simple. He convinces me to at least see the house.
We pull up to a house in the university ghetto. All the house in this area are from the 1940’s, rich with history and a plethora of ghost stories. Supposedly the ghost in this house is attached to Shawn’s friend Jacob’s daughter Alicia. He’s been targeting her and she can’t sleep.
I nervous and fidgeting when we enter. Jacob and his girlfriend Jamie kindly introduce themselves and allow me to meet Alicia. I got to her room with her. We ask to be alone.
“Do you know what it looks like?” I ask her this and she quietly opens the drawer on her bedroom dresser and pulls out a picture. It’s a black figure with empty eyes she sketched in Crayola colored pencils. “Does it try to hurt you?” She nods. “How?”
“He presses on my chest and shakes my bed.”
“What do you do?”
“I pray to Jesus.”
“That’s good. Where does it live?” She points to the closet. They always live in the closet. It’s a clique yet so true.
“Before I look in there I need you to go downstairs with your parents and send Shawn up her.” She nods and jumps to go downstairs. She wants to be very, very far away.
Shawn meets me up stairs holding a bible as if a bible will help. I don’t know how I can help. Shawn stands at the doorway. I slowly approach the door, my heart is beating a mile a minute. I fling the door open. There’s nothing. I let out a deep sigh and move the clothes to the side and place my hand on the back of the closet.
The closet door shuts. I’m trapped inside. Shawn starts screaming and trying to pry it open. It’s so dark I can’t see anything but I feel a heaviness on my chest crushing it. I can’t breathe and I’m trying to scream but just gasp.
“Be gone. You don’t control me.” I repeat over and over again attempting to regain power. I try not to freak out or hyperventilate. I can hear Shawn and Jacob banging on the door. Then I hear a voice whisper in my ear, “You’ll do.” And then everything went black.
Two weeks later I wake up with a priest and circle of family member around me. They had to do an exorcism. Shawn and I broke up. He could never forgive himself. They won’t tell what I did but I know it wasn’t good. Just because you can do one thing doesn’t mean you can take on the devil.