Allie Monroe sat in her desk like usual, but this time she was out of uniform. What Allie wore was something you would casually wear –if you’re out at a party- but there’s not much she can do about it. No one seemed to notice or care about it. That was everyone except for one person, Toby Jones. The only thing running through Toby’s mind was, ‘why is she not in uniform and how is she getting away with it?’
The brunette sat there, staring at the board and staring at the date. “It’s been ten days already? Wow, almost my birthday. Too bad I can’t celebrate it,” Allie said to herself. Toby looked at the white board, looking at the date. March 4, 2012.
Toby’s attention turned back to Allie again. Allie didn’t seem to actually notice that Toby was staring at her. For the past nearly four years of high school, Allie hasn’t been popular, but she wasn’t invisible either. People knew about her, but never spoke about her.
That would all change in the next minute. The P.A system turned on in every classroom and in the hallways. “Students of St. Jerome’s Secondary, I regret to inform you that on February 23, one of your fellow classmates was tragically killed,” Margaret the chaplain’s voice seemed to echo, and everyone stopped talking. Toby’s eyes widened. “Allie Monroe was killed during the Mardi Gras celebration in New Orleans while on vacation with her family. Please, keep Allie and her family in your prayers.” The P.A system cut off.
Allie sat there silently for a moment, watching her best friend Caitlin starting to cry. The seventeen year-old was never good with tears. So in response to the crying Allie stood up on her chair, grinning. “That’s right ladies and gentlemen! I, Allie Monroe, was apparently killed, which I was not!” Allie exclaimed as she danced on her chair.
“She’s not dead!” Toby shouted as he jolted up from his seat. Allie stopped her dancing, looking at Toby in confusion. “Can’t you see her, on her chair?”
Mr. Smith looked at Toby, just as confused as Allie, Caitlin and all the other classmates. “Mr. Jones, Allie’s death is no joking matter,” Mr. Smith said, sounding sad. Maybe he was sad because his best student was gone. Allie stepped off the chair and walked towards Toby.
Toby looked to Allie, gulping. “Mr. Smith, she’s right beside me. I’m not crazy I swear!” Toby said trying to make it seem like he wasn’t crazy. But apparently Toby can see the dead.
“Tobias! This is no joking matter!”
“She’s right here!”
“Why? I can see her right beside me!”
Allie seemed to be getting a kick out of the battle between the student and teacher.
“Toby go to the office right now!” Mr. Smith finally exploded. There was no use in arguing anymore. Toby grabbed his red and grey letter letterman jacket along with his gray JanSport school bag.
Seeing the principal wasn’t too bad most of the time, but sometimes she’s terrifying. Toby left the classroom with Allie following close behind. She had to know why Toby was the only one who could actually see her. The entire way there, Toby said nothing to Allie, in case he really was going insane.
The main office wasn’t too far from the classroom and one wall was all glass, so there’s no running away. Especially when your principal is standing in the doorway of her office, arms folded across her chest, black and gray hair that you’re worried will start standing right up like the bride of Frankenstein.
Toby pushed open the door and didn’t have time to say anything before the principal hollered, “Jones, get into my office now!” Despite how hard Toby tried to keep a tough guy act, being the schools quarterback and getting into a local University, Toby was now shaking with fear.
Both Allie and Toby walked into the office, sitting in the two chairs across Mrs. Harlem’s desk. Mrs. Harlem didn’t even sit down. Her face was reddening with rage. “Here at St. Jerome’s, we take the death of a fellow classmate seriously. What makes you think you have the right to joke around about such a thing?” Mrs. Harlem began, expecting an answer right away.
“I don’t though. I take seeing the dead seriously!” Toby fired back and Allie got comfortable in her seat, waiting for the battle.
Mrs. Harlem scowled and slammed her hands down on her desk. “Tobias Jones, you are not crazy. You are a perfectly normal student, why kind of stunt are you trying to pull?” Mrs. Harlem asked causing Toby to sink back into his seat.
No matter how hard Toby tries, no one’s going to believe him. “I’m not kidding though. I realize that death is serious, but why can I see her? I must be crazy or something!” Toby said in defense, shrugging his shoulders.
“I’ll be back in half an hour, I have a meeting and I have to call your parents. Stay here and don’t move!” Mrs. Harlem said, hurrying out of the room, leaving the two teenagers alone.
Allie was just staring out the window the entire time and Toby turned his attention over to Allie with a frightened expression. Allie sighed and ran her hands back through her hair. “You aren’t crazy… I’m not dead either,” Allie said looking towards the black haired male that sat next to her.
Toby looked at Allie like she was now the crazy one. “Well, I will be in a year. Would you like me to explain?”
“Yes, please! Everyone thinks I’m a total nutcase now,” Toby said shaking his head in disapproval. There goes Toby’s reputation just like that.
Allie laughed to herself, sinking down in her seat a little bit further. “February 23, I was in New Orleans at that point, right? So I wasn’t sober, it was Mardi gras. There’s one thing I’ve never believed in and that’s voodoo. Well, there was this man at the celebration and he seemed so cool. Walking around in skin tight jeans, a ripped up white wife beater a purple pinstripe tail coat. This guy even walked with a crystal cane and a top hat. Now because I was so intrigued by this man, I decided to follow him…” Allie partially explained, laughing at her own stupidity.
“Bad idea, very bad because I was so unaware of my surroundings, that when I got ahold of myself for a couple of minutes, I realized I followed him out to a graveyard,” With what Allie had just explained, Toby’s face had dropped.
Toby never believed in voodoo either, but now he was slowly beginning to believe this. “Here’s a word of advice for you, never mess with a crazy voodoo witch doctor dude. They’re scary and do some weird things, like this. I couldn’t hear what he was saying so the next thing I saw was this purple smoke which I began suffocating on. I’m scared of the dead; I’m just putting this out there now. I was going to run, until there were skeleton hands on my ankles. I was hoping that, when I passed out, I’d wake up and it’d have been a dream… But I woke up back here in town, while my body is still in New Orleans buried in a grave yard,” Allie finished explaining.
The look that Toby had was a mixture between confusion and fear. “How do you get back into your body or whatever?” Toby asked fiddling with his thumbs.
Allie’s face flushed and she looked at her lap. “It’s stupid really,” Allie said shaking her head. Toby just rolled his eyes expecting the answer anyways. “In a year, during Mardi Gras, only true loves kiss can get me back into my body, apparently. That’s what I heard before I technically died,” Allie said shrugging her shoulders.
Toby looked at Allie, raising an eyebrow. “I’ve got to make you love me or find someone else that can see me…” Allie added, giving Toby no chance to reply.
“What if I don’t fall in love with you? Or can’t get to New Orleans? What happens to you?” Toby asked all three things quickly.
Allie didn’t want to think about it. “I’ll die,” Allie said with a hint of sadness in her voice. Toby would feel the same way, having to die at such a young age. Toby opened his mouth to say something, but nothing came out. He hadn’t thought about what he would even say.
“I’ll figure it out,” Toby said in a low voice, looking down at the gray carpet in the office. There was probably no getting rid of Allie now, but he can’t just leave her alone, not while she’s in such a state. “For the next year, you’re my responsibility. You’ll live with me and go everywhere with me,” Toby said giving Allie no choice. There’s not much the dead can do.
Even though Allie’s technically dead, she let out a shaky breath and was on the verge of tears. “Thank you, Toby,” Allie said gratefully. Maybe she could get Toby to fall in love with her and get him to New Orleans on time.
Not long after, Mrs. Harlem along with Toby’s parents came charging in. “Look, before you give me hell, I just want you to know I only said the things I did because I seriously liked Allie. I guess I didn’t want to admit she’s gone,” Toby lied with a sad smile. Mr. & Mrs. Jones sighed looking at their son.
They bought it and Mrs. Harlem gave Toby permission to go home for the rest of the day. Allie hesitantly went with him but she still didn’t have a choice. It was going to be an excessively long year, but it would give Toby time to save up for New Orleans to save Allie.