Shock? No, that wasn’t a big enough adjective to describe how I was feeling the few seconds he had uttered those words: “revive Alisandra back from the dead”.
Wonder? No. Surprise? No? Astonishment? Maybe. Bewildered? Most definitely.
I was just so confused by what he said; I just naturally assumed that he was on ghost crack, or something. It just wasn’t a logical thing to say. There was no way in hell – or, in this case, heaven – that such a thing could physically occur.
It really made me question Ezra’s sanity.
Or, for his sake, “ghost sanity”.
That’s why my response to his stupid statement made me reply in an equally stupid way. I mean, my mind just wasn’t in the right place, I guess.
“The fuck are you talking about?” I said, not one of my most articulate responses.
He raised his eyebrow, supposedly surprised at my sudden use of the f-bomb. “Emerson, I know we were born in different countries, but dear girl, I know that we speak the same language, at least,” He said, sending me a look like I was the crazy one. “You must have understood my English. My accent isn’t that strong.”
“Yeah, but…” I trailed off, trying to wrap my head around what he was saying to me. “Who told you this?” I questioned.
“Is that it; someone told you? You heard a little rumor from the ghost realm,” I said, pointing up to the ceiling above my head, “And now you want to revive Alisandra back to life so you can be together?” I cried.
“The “ghost realm” as you call it, isn’t a bar for heaven’s sake, we don’t sit around on our arses and gossip all day” He said, snubbing me in the process, knowing that I used to be a bartender, which he highly disapproved of.
Even though considering the fact that in the time period he was born in, women weren’t even allowed to have jobs, let alone act like people, like men did and were privileged to.
“And it’s not a rumor,” He continued on softly, tearing his eyes away from me once again and looking back at the snow globe between his fingertips. “I’ve known about it for quite a while. I’m only now proposing it because of this war going on up there.”
It came out of nowhere, and it completely shocked me, but what he said sent a pang of jealousy through my heart. Since the 1800s, he’d been obsessed with Alisandra, for 5 and a half years, he’d become an alcoholic because of her untimely death, for 118 years, he resided in his watery grave in Southern California, after being shipped out by his father for putting shame upon the family name.
And now, here we were now, 2 years later after those, what, 125 ½ years, now 2013, and he still hadn’t gotten over her.
Sheesh, love really does last forever.
It’s just that, well, a long time ago, something had…happened between me and Ezra. Nothing big, nothing special, just a little…thing. A little fling-thing, that’s what it was. And that’s what made me feel the slightest bit jealous whenever he talked about Alisandra— which was most of the time.
I mean, here I am, 13 years old, being trailed by a hot frickin’ ghost, one that I can’t even hear! I’ve been seeing spirits for as long as I can remember, but until the accident, only then could I really hear them, and communicate with them.
This excluded Ezra, who had probably been around after my birth, and he must have found himself stuck in an invisible boundary; anchored to a newborn baby.
Not only that, but he was there the day I almost killed myself. My father was being completely unbearable that day, and threatened to literally light me on fire with a lighter stick. And mom just sat there in the corner of the living room in fetal position, shaking back and forth and pleading for us to stop, like she always did.
Ezra happened to show up while I was trying to fend myself, backing up against the wall as my dad went on another of his drunken rages. At the same moment, Ezra floated through the same wall I was leaning all my weight against, which made us make physical contact.
We touched, and he became solid like he always did. He fought my dad, which would have seemed like an easy battle for Ezra to win since he’s stuck in a 25 year old body, but even though my dad was a chronic drunk, he used to be a pretty good professional kick-boxer, and he had Ezra to the ground, and he was just kicking him so hard in the side…
Ezra was dead, he was a ghost after all, but apparently, he was still able to bleed as I watched a trickle of vibrant blood running out the side of his mouth, the look of terror in his eyes, but not because he was dying twice. Merely for the fact that he couldn’t even save me.
Me, Emerson Davis, who wasn’t worthy of anyone’s attention. And here Ezra was, laying down his “second life” for me. I didn’t deserve it. I didn’t deserve anything. That’s why I had thrown a lamp from the end table next to our old, ugly floral-patterned couchat my father and ran out the front door down the street, trying to run away from my shitty life…
“Emerson?” Ezra’s voice brought me out from the past, and I was able to focus.
I shook my head, sending my auburn-somewhat-weed-whacker hair slapping me in the face. “I…Alisandra,” I stuttered. “No, I can’t. That’s not possible.”
Immediately, I saw him flush with fury. Literally. His usually translucent figure flamed a faint red, excluding his eyes, which instead of flushing his irises red, turned his entire eyeball as his gigantic pupil expanded crazily, making it look as if he was possessed.
“What you do you mean you can’t?” He shouted loudly at me, furious. He stood up from the couch, sending the snow globe tumbling through where his stomach should be if he were actually solid.
“You’re not even going to try?” He yelled, sending a translucent neck vein tense on him ridiculously.
“Ezra, please,” I started to shake back and forth uncontrollably in the chair I was sitting. Suddenly, I felt unbelievably cold, I couldn’t even focus right. I pulled up my knees to my chin, not even caring that I was squishing my boobs in the process, and closed my eyes to shut out the nauseous feeling taking hold of me, gripping me tightly.
“Don’t, don’t, don’t,” I repeated over and over again, feeling tears swell into my eyes. I knew what was happening. I couldn’t stop it. I knew that if I opened my eyes, I would lose my stomach.
But a part of me wished to be wrong, and urged me to quickly pry open my eyes and take a fast glance around.
Unfortunately, (and like always), I was wrong in second-guessing myself.
The room was spinning around wildly, and I knew it wasn’t just my own delusional mind creating images to disturb me. The light green and pastel walls from my loft started to peel and wither away unnaturally quickly, stripping away everything. The strong wind began to whip around the furniture, until the room was bare and white.
Why, why is this happening again? I whispered fearfully in my mind, and I resisted the urge to contain in my whimpering sobs.
I knew what was happening. I knew what exactly was happening.
After this “gift” had been placed on me, not only was I able to spirits/ghosts/wraiths/poltergeists— whatever the fuck you want to call them, I also started reliving extremely emotional memories from my past.
Whether they were good or bad, it depended on the memory and how deeply rooted it was in my mentality to come back again. It was either tragic times like when my father decided to drink another bottle of vodka that night, or it was happy nostalgia times; simple things like watching the Rugrats or Dexter’s Laboratory when I was a little kid.
But the memory that reoccurred the most with me was reliving the day I cut, the day I almost bled to death, lying there on the cold linoleum floor in the bathroom, and if it weren’t for Ezra, I would have been dead. Just how ironic was that— being saved from someone stuck in the realm of the dead.
I cradled my knees, trying to keep myself rocking back and forth, as if it were a way for me to keep myself from physically falling apart. I couldn’t look at that memory over and over again; I couldn’t watch as tears dripped down my face, slower than the steady flow of blood as I cut into a spouting artery.
Emerson. Emerson. I seemed to hear soft voices whispering around me, begging for me to open my eyes. I knew that they were spirits— dead, evil spirits (maybe even demons) wanting to make my life a living hell for not helping them into the afterlife.
But how could I have helped them? How could I have known to do when I didn’t even understand what was happening to me in the first place? Even before I had ‘half-died’, I always felt like I had a sort of sixth sense.
Mysterious wind blowing, or the slightest voice of someone caressing softly against my ear…I always knew something was there, even if I couldn’t see the spirits, as opposed to the familiar, friendly ones I saw on a daily basis.
Open your eyes, Emerson. Open them. Join us. They hissed at me, their voices slowly turning from encouraging to demonic. They demanded and forced me to open my eyes. I could feel my mental resolve inside of me tugging against my will, begging for everything around me to finally stop.
Hopelessly, I felt my eyes slowly peeling open, because I knew that once I opened them, everything could – and would – be over soon enough. If only I could open, if I only I could face my fears…
All too soon, my eyes opened, and so I was revealed to myself, a mere four years ago, when I was 18 years old, going through my whole Goth phase.
Eyes rimmed red, and smudged with dark kohl, my hair completely jet black with a single streak of sapphire blue underneath, my mouth lopsidedly turned into a grimace, and my eyes, so,so,…dead and vacant. Dull. Empty.
And then, slowly, almost to a point where I thought I was paralyzed or either time had frozen, I looked down, to see the knife cutting and slicing through my wrists repeatedly.
Die, die, die. I repeated again, my eyes widening with an emotion that I couldn’t read, After all— it didn’t reach my eyes, my lifeless eyes.
And just as always, in every time I re-experienced the memory, my mouth opened wide out of nowhere, my face finally expressing pain, a deep, agonizing pain as I screamed at the top of my lungs, suddenly afraid of who I had become.
I felt myself in the present let out a piercing scream, making my ears ring as soon as the sound left my mouth. I screamed loud and long, ignoring all of the urges inside of me shouting at me to shut the hell up, to just close my eyes and let it fade away.
My screams were muffled and turned into loud whimpers as I saw my eyes roll to the back of my head and the knife clatter to the floor, slicing open my finger in the process, and leaving a deep gash that I still have to this day, which is just a dull scab now.
My eyes closed on their own, as if they had their own mind.
And I fell back into the dark pit of darkness; what I called the present.
“No! NO!” I heard myself screaming at the top of my lungs, my back writing against the floor as I tried to contain the seizure like grip clutching my entire body.
“Emerson!” I could hear Ezra’s voice cutting in. “Emerson, please!” He said, louder this time, trying to awake me from my blinded, scary trance.
It took me only a few seconds to realize what state I was in. My back was rubbing against something scratchy, creating a great deal of friction. I realized that I was on the floor on my carpet, having a freak out like I always did after watching my memory of me cutting over and over again.
“Don’t, don’t,” I gasped, clutching at skin touching my own, feeling Ezra’s permanently cold skin against my feverish skin. I felt like I was blind, and I realized my eyes were screwed shut, trying to shut out the real world.
I opened them, and there was Ezra, dark brown hair falling into his hazel-colored eyes, which were set into a worried state as he watched me. He wasn’t translucent now; just a somewhat tan colored skin— I had touched him long enough to make him turn solid and human while I was witnessing the memory once again.
My face was wet; I had been crying, I realized.
“Are you alright?” Ezra asked softly, supporting my back with one hand as he helped me up from the floor.
Once I was on my feet, I almost tumbled over again, I was so dizzy. I could barely focus, but when my eyes settled on his, I felt myself start to blush madly. I tore my hands away from him and covered my mouth, afraid that I was going to throw up or something, a common side effect from witnessing the memory.
He sent me another worried look, but I ignored it. I swallowed the bile that had rose in my throat and then sprinted into the kitchen, going straight to the cabinets next to the refrigerator. I yanked out the pill bottle, front and center from the shelf, and popped three straight into my mouth— knowing that I was supposed to only take one, with caution.
“What do you think you’re doing?” Ezra cried, running in after me and slapping the pill container out of my hand. Knowing me as long as he had, I knew that from the vacant face I was making, he knew that I was contemplating whether or not to take another one.
“Emerson, this is morphine,” He enunciated, pointing a finger accusingly at my chest. “This isn’t just some pill you can pop without consequences. This is powerful, Em. You can’t keep doing this.
“I know it’s hard, but Jesus Christ, if you would at least talk to me, I could—,” Ezra didn’t get to finish his sentence because I immediately interrupted him.
“No!” I shouted, cutting him off so loudly that even if he had continuing talking, I couldn’t even hear what he said. I couldn’t tell him why I relived the memories. I couldn’t tell him that he was a part of the problem.
And even though he was, I couldn’t live without Ezra, no matter how cocky or flamboyant he was. I had grown used to him. He was my best ghost friend. Actually, hell, my best friend in general.
Ezra took in a deep breath and flared his nostrils at me angrily, just a few movements away from baring his teeth at me like he was an animal ready to attack. “You can’t keep ignoring the problem.”
“I know that,” I said, like it was no big deal, but I knew that it was. I knew that over the past year, I had been developing a problem with prescription morphine.
So much for ‘growing up’ in the past in four years.
“But your insistent nagging isn’t going to help.” I whispered, tapping him in the cheek with my index finger; a code that we had come up with a few years ago to reassure each other of our stable sanity.
I walked out the kitchen to the coat rack a few feet away from my door, shrugging on my light, navy blue jacket.
“And just where in the hell do you think you’re going?” Ezra said sternly, popping out of the kitchen and narrowing his eyes at me.
I flipped the little bit of hair stuck in the collar of my jacket before answering matter-of-factly, “To the bar. I need a drink.”
Word Count: 2,765