The Five Lives of Callie Lief

By Meghan D.

Chapter One: Questions and Life Two

The breeze blew through the windows of the small room. The room was never my favorite, and it never would be. It was the room of many memories. It was my first room in my first life that ended in a horrible way. Whenever I came in here, I cringed with the memories that haunted me, the screaming, the pain, and the murder. I never wanted this. I was a normal seventeen year old. I kept to myself and never was cruel to anybody. Ever. But, I was still punished, and I don't understand why.

The first thing you should know about me was my name is Callie Leif. Now, it's Callie. I am a ghost of people's past, a faint memory in their subconscious. I was murdered in this room I stand in now, by a man I do not know. He told me before his final slice of the knife down my neck that I would relive this moment forever. Then, I died... but not for the last time.

I found myself lying on a gurney, my head throbbing and hair matted with salt water and the smell of the ocean. There was a woman with her hands on my chest; trying to revive the lifeless body I was two seconds ago. When she saw I was back, she sighed and put a cool cloth on my forehead. The pain soon traveled from my head to my ribs and I tried to scream in pain, but sharp pains in my lower chest thwarted it. I tried to ask what happened, I had thought I had died in my bedroom so long ago, but the pains continued. The woman saw this and gave a reassuring smile. The last thing I saw was the woman slide a needle in my skin, and I fell asleep.

I woke in a hospital bed to another woman holding my hand, eagerly watching my face. I didn't know who she was as she said, "Casey? Come on honey, stay with me now. Please." Casey? Who was Casey? Was it... me? I sat up groggily; the pains in my ribs were now not as sharp. The woman smiled "Oh, Baby! David! Cameron! Come here! She's up!" Soon, two people walked into the room. There was a man about forty years old, and a teenager about seventeen. The man had a smile on his face, and the boy had a strange look, a way no one had ever looked at me before. He looked like he adored me, he was a blind man you finally was able to see a delicate rose. He looked complete. He sat down on the bed next to me, and pressed a cool set of lips to my forehead. It felt nice, natural really, but wrong in so many ways. I jumped back and the throbs of my headache came back.

His face was confused. But he knew something I didn't and he accepted it.

I immediately got angry, "Can someone PLEASE tell me what's going on?"

They all looked shocked, and after a minute of silence, the teenager spoke, stroking my hair. "Casey, we were swimming at the beach and you were pulled under by the rip tides. By the time we found you, you were not breathing," he closed his eyes for a moment, looking as though he was in pain, "I thought I lost you."

I am not Casey! I wanted to yell at them. I wanted to pull the IV out of my hand and run forever. I wanted to find the man who killed me and demand answers. I am Callie, not Casey!

I finally built up enough courage to ask two questions:

"Who are you, and where am I?"

The people in the room looked extremely concerned the moment I said that. The woman began to cry, and the man began to try to comfort her and walked her out the door. The teenager's eyes flashed with confusion and he replied "Y-you don't know who we are?"

I shook my head. He sighed and began to talk. "My name is Cameron. We've been together for three years. You're Casey Eldrich, and your parents are David and Melissa Eldrich. They were the ones that just left the room. We live in Sandbridge, Virginia, and I'm your next door neighbor." He watched my face carefully for any recognition in what he had just said, but I slowly shook my head. Before I died, I had lived in Chester, New Hampshire. How could I have died and waken up over seven hundred miles away from home?

He nodded and took my right hand in his. He placed a small silver ring on my ring finger. When I looked at it more closely, I saw it read "Cam and Casey, Forever Together". I looked at his hand to see a matching ring on his right ring finger. He held my hand and lifted it to his lips, where he kissed the ring. He stood from the bed, and said, "You'll come back to us soon, Case. I just know it," and he left the room.

I never did come back to them, but I pretended I did. I slowly acted as though I was regaining memories by the photo albums, music, and any other things that David, Melissa, and Cameron showed to me. I pretended to be Casey Eldrich, and I pretended to be Cameron's girlfriend, Casey. But I actually fell in love with him myself. He would never know this, but I thought of us as "Cam and Callie", not "Cam and Casey". I fell for the simple things, the way his brown hair blew in the wind, the addictive smile he wore every time he saw me, the way he kissed my forehead instead of my lips every time we said goodbye. I loved him, and even though he noticed changes in Casey's personality, he still loved her, or me.

But there was a murderous look in his eye the night he killed me, and all I know is that it definitely was not my Cameron.