On an average Tuesday night, my homework was off to the side waiting for me to finish. I blasted my headphones in a feeble attempt to keep my mind away from my failed relationship. Though it
lingered in my head, I tried to limit the stinging pain of betrayal. As my play list ends, I heard clanking on my bay window. I rolled my eyes and went back to the status updates scrolling across
my laptop. The noise became more direct, louder and more intense. I started to scramble off my bed, hoping with every fiber of my being that it wasn’t my ex-boyfriend halfheartedly apologizing in
his possibly drunken state. I opened one side of the window, and looked down to the sprawling lawn of green just before the sparse oak trees that failed to hide the moonlit lake. The window’s
sensor set off the security flood lights, startling me. Even with the help from the spotlight I see nothing. I backed away from the window and decided to keep it open; I enjoyed a light winter
breeze flowing through the room.
I hopped back on my bed and, before I can reach for my laptop, something suddenly flew in through my open window. I turned to look when I heard the thud of the mysterious object landing on my rug. I stared at the odd little thing and observed that it was a rock-like object containing thick, black smoke with red accents. It swiftly vanished into a dark, smoky mist. Though I only saw it for a split-second, it remained seared into memory. The reports from those paranormal websites dominated my thoughts. Each and every supposed witness provided the same explanation, a notice of imminent death.
My stomach dropped and my heart froze; how did it find me? I blinked back tears of frustration and anxiety. I never imagined this would actually come back to haunt me. I had nothing to do with my dad’s paranormal research. I denied believing I shared the same fate.
I silently cursed my dead father. I refused to deal with his mistakes. What good could a father be when he dies, and leaves his only daughter with the aftermath of his mistakes. Don’t get me wrong, I love my father, but it was incredibly challenging to love a man who insisted on opening the door of the paranormal with intent of conquering all evil spirits. But it had only caused more suffering for everyone around him. The risk of evil running amuck in our home was more than enough for my mother to take me and run.
When my mom took me and moved to a remote house by West Grand Lake in Maine, my dad took a turn for the worst. He immersed himself in the paranormal world. Before he died, he tried to update me of his ‘progresses’. I would always look through the mail for his letters and read as much as possible before my mom would take away the letter, saying, “You don’t need to know what he’s doing, you’re father needs help. And he won’t contact with either of us until he realizes it.” I threw a tantrum every time she ripped the only connection I had with my dad out of my reach. But even in my adolescence, I knew she read the letter too. I hoped maybe one day he would give up and welcome us home. Thinking back to the hopes of reuniting with Dad struck a chord and another tear ran down my cheek.
My body shook and weakened under my sorrow, and I fell back carelessly onto the bed. I went back to the unmistaken question why a supernatural death threat just flew through my window. It made no immediate sense to me why I would be a person of interest to them.
“Kellan, have you finished your homework yet?” Mom yelled up the stairwell.
“Yeah,” I pause, “why?” puzzled she asked, she never asks.
“I was wondering if you wanted to go out to eat tonight, we can go to your favorite restaurant,” I heard her footsteps climb the stairs.
“I don't know, er, I’m not all that hungry,” She opened the door to my room and smiled warmly. My mom’s green eyes sparkled while her curly, dark brown hair bounced lightly as she strode toward my bed in her expensive work suit. I often received remarks of how we look so much alike, though I have always thought I looked more like my dad but I never tried to correct them. “Hey Kelly, you okay? You’ve been upstairs all night. . .” She trailed off.
I nodded quickly; I didn’t want to vent just yet, not until I understood the whole situation. My friend circle was full of betrayals and gossip lately and I wasn’t quite sure who to believe yet. I had decided early on that I would wait it out and not get involved. That was the case until a particular tale surfaced depicting Tristan kissing an unrecognized girl behind the gym last week. That rumor drove me right in the depths of gossip of Grandville High.
She patted my thigh and brought me back to the present. Not wanting her to worry, I masked my true emotions with a fake grin. She returned it with a gracious smile that warmed my heart from the frigid chill the horrid rumors had left on it. Soon she wandered to the doorway, and turned briefly to say, “Dinner will be waiting on the table soon,”
I nodded again, with what felt like a forced smile. I tend to lose my appetite when I’m upset and boy was I upset. I plugged myself back into my laptop with high hopes that it will finally let me relax. The sound of the door shutting behind my workaholic mother echoed throughout the large room.
I sighed deeply and abruptly lost the façade I put on for her. I wondered why I couldn't bring myself to tell her the crazy rumors that were going around or even about how much I missed Dad. I never mentioned him around her anymore. She hated when I would bring up the subject so I chose to leave it alone. I hoped one day we can talk about him without painful memories dominating the matter.
I swiftly closed my laptop before I picked up a remote on my bedside table. I pressed a button on it and it dimmed the lights. I plugged my headphones into my music player. My eyes drifted shut and the thoughts of the supernatural forcibly made it to the forefront of my brain. The warnings my dad gave in his final days haunted me once again. His cries and pleas for my future safety, awakened deep in my buried memories. I hoped the worst was over, but soon I would know, it was only the beginning.
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