"Listen," Addison said, running a brush through her hair. "If you're really that worried about not having enough time to study, then don't come tonight." She grabbed an elastic hair tie from her drawer and pulled her dark brown hair into a sloppy ponytail. She eyed her roommate's reflection in the mirror quickly before turning to her. "I'm serious Moira, its not really going to be that fun. And besides, there's always next weekend."
Moira sighed as she sat crosslegged on her bed. "Well," she started, turning the page of her Psych book. "I've been doing pretty well up til now. I think I can go on one tour."
"Atta girl!" Addison exclaimed, throwing on an old highschool sweatshirt. "Seriously, what did you do your freshman year? Sit around and study all night?" Addison was a known paranormal addict, and a past alcoholic. She'd given up drinking after her boyfriend of four years was killed by a drunk driver. Ever since then, she's replaced her alcohol with soda and her dead boyfriend with a pact swearing to never actually love again. Moira wouldn't call her a disaster waiting to happen, and never did, but more of a soul in need with deep emotional pain. Even though Addison was a freshman this year, she had already shown Moira what she had been missing out on as far as actual college life. "I mean, we are going to college in one of the most haunted places in the United States! What's the point of being here, if you don't go on creepy ghost tours in the middle of the night?" She said, pointing at the "Ghosts of Gettysburg" tour poster hanging on the wall as a reminder of tonight's tour. Good thing about going to college here, according to Addison, was free tours for the students. Moira, however didn't necessarily agree. She'd never really been into the paranormal, but attended Gettysburg because it wouldn't be such a big change from home.
Moira had grown up in rural Pennsylvania, the eldest of three children. She'd never really had a boyfriend, just really close guy friends who, after highschool, had fallen out of touch. Sure, she'd Facebook them every now and then, but after two years apart, they really had little in common anymore. One, she saw, was even engaged to his long-time girlfriend. When had that happened? She felt so out of the loop with all of her friends going to big city colleges. But, she decided, it didn't matter. She'd moved on, past childish memories and friendship pacts and onto college and and studying. "And..." Addison said, picking up Moira's book and slamming it closed. "I heard that Logan's going tonight." Moira rolled her eyes and snatched her book out of Addison's hands. "I know you like him, Moira! You're way easier to read than this thing." She threw her finger out at the book, now resting safely on Moira's lap.
"What have I told you?" Moira asked, slightly annoyed. "I have no chance with him. And having a boyfriend would just distract me from my studies."
Addison grabbed Moira's shoulders and shook her roughly. "Moi! You need distraction! You're turning into a college zombie! Pretty soon, you'll be craving brains and lose all feeling in your left leg, leaving it to drag behind you as you limp through campus!"
"College zombie?" Moira laughed, smacking Addison's hands away from her shoulders. "Really? That's the best you can do?"
"Hello? Paranormal freak here! Come on, chikkie, get you knee socks on and lets go. The sun's setting." Glancing out the window, Moira sighed. She sat her book on her pillow and pulled on a green hoodie and a pair bright knee socks . She let her honey brown hair fall in loose ringlets around her face, thinking 'Eh, its good enough'. "Come on! Come on! Come on!" Addison chanted; her mind had a habit of retrogressing when she was excited, Moira had noticed, often resulting in repetition of short, childish sentences.
The two joined up with another group of students outside of their dorm building. The cool spring wind slapped against Moira's face as she looked around the campus. Behind her was Steven Hall, famous of course, for the Blue Boy ghost seen outside of one of the dorm windows. Virtually everywhere she looked was a spot famous for some sort of ghostly sighting. And that, Moira supposed, was what got her into situations like these in the first place. She looked cautiously around the small crowd of college kids, all clad in ancient hooded sweatshirts, ratty old jeans and cheap tennis shoes and stifled a laugh. We're all so typical! She thought. That guy, likes that girl, but she's totally eying the basketball player over there. But, he has a girlfriend, unless he puts his arm around random women. A whole scenario played out before her; the first guy trying to kiss the first girl, but the first girl pulls away and runs to the basketball player, but he was busy smooching his girlfriend. The girlfriend got jealous, so she started attacking the other girl, which caused the first guy to confront the basketball player about his girlfriend's totally out of line behavior, which resulted in the whole group fighting and the police being called and...
Moira snapped out of her daydream to someone saying her name. She looked up to see Addison nodding toward a tall, blonde student who had just joined the group. Suddenly, she felt a hand on her arm, tossing her toward him. To her horror, her nose crashed into his shoulder and she felt two hands on her arms. "Are you okay?" He asked. Moira looked up at him, her green eyes wide.
"Uhm, yeah, I'm fine. Just tripped over my own feet," she explained, throwing an evil glare in Addison's direction. "Thanks. Uh, Logan, right?"
Logan chuckled quietly. "Yeah."
"Moira." She said, brushing his hands from her arms.
"No, no," Moira laughed, crossing her arms across her chest. "That's my name. I'm Moira Brown."
"Moira...Moira... that name sounds familiar..." Logan rubbed his chin theatrically.
She let him think for a few moments, and looked around her again. The sun had dipped low in the sky, and the moon was becoming more visible in the fading light. "Peter Pan." She said, earning a confused look from Logan. "I was named after Wendy. You know, Wendy Moira Angela Darling? The 'rents coulda gone with Angela. But no. They opted for the weirder name of the three. So yay, lucky me. Oh, god, I'm rambling. You know what, just tell me to shut up next time, okay?" Way to go, Moi! Make an ass out of yourself in front of him! Way to go! You ASS! Through her embarrassment, she smiled.
"So," Logan started. "Whose your friend?"
Moira was shocked. Well, disappointed really; though not in the boy, but more so in herself. Why had she even expected to fall into his arms and have him fall madly in love- no, that just didn't happen. She wasn't a child anymore, and refused think like one. "You mean Addison?" She watched as Logan strutted over to Addison, making conversation coolly with her. "Well," she said to herself. "This sucks."
Just then, the tour guide, dressed in period clothing and carrying a lantern came up to them. "Ah," the tour guide said, eying the group of people. "I would like to introduce you to my...intern, if you will. His name is Bryce." A young man came beside her, also dressed in period clothing, though not that of a soldier like Moira had seen in other tours. The young man-Bryce-had bright red hair and big dark brown eyes, a friendly smile and pale skin. He introduced himself with a shy wave of the hand and a quiet smile. The tour guide led the group around the streets of Gettysburg, fearlessly crossing roads with her lantern extended out in front of her. Moira stayed away from Addison and Logan at the back of the group and clustered toward the tour guide and Bryce, asking them questions (you know the usual "What was that name again?" "Did that really happen?" "How old again?" and was always answered kindly. Though, she suspected that both of the guides wanted to slap her by the end of the tour.) and keeping herself busy.
"You go to school here?" Bryce asked her once. She nodded, then cast her eyes on the supposedly haunted orphanage, once ruled by the evil Rosa Carmichael. "Hm."
The rest of the tour went by quickly, as Moira daydreamed through it. She was consumed by thoughts of her up coming finals and the panic that she wouldn't be able to pass them. "Well," the woman said, sitting down her lantern, as if to mean a formal goodbye. "I hope to see you all again. And don't forget, ghosts are everywhere." A small applause sounded from the group as the woman reminded them that she would take tips and donations. Moira pulled out her cell phone to check the time. 10:05. Wow, she thought. I really wasted three hours of my life being dragged around this city with a group of sophomoric twenty-somethings? Silently, she began searching through the little crowd for Addison.
Suddenly, Moira felt a tap on her shoulder and screamed. There are ghosts everywhere. "Yo!" A voice said, startled. Moira pushed a button on her phone and held it up to the voice's face, only to reveal brown eyes and a fiery head of hair.
"Jesus, Bryan!" Moira whispered harshly.
"Whatever! Why the hell were you sneaking up on me?" She put her phone back in her pocket, and fixed an angry expression on her face. The young man if front of her sighed loudly.
"Listen, I saw that we lost your friends a few minutes back. They slipped into an alley. I'm not gonna ask and I don't wanna know. But I didn't want you to go looking for them," Bryce explained calmly. He tugged nervously at the wrists of his costume, wishing silently that he didn't look so stupid.
"Oh. Well... thanks..." Moira choked out. In the back of her mind she was cursing Addison. How could she break her pact and 'slip into an alley' with a boy she just met? Not cool. At all. "I-I'm Moira." Well, she thought, tonight's certainly full of introductions.
"Moira? By any chance named after Peter Pan?" Moira could feel her face light up. No one had ever made that connection before. Then, something hit her; a dreadful reminder of home and her parents and their insane love of literature.
"Lit major?" She asked, most definitely not enthused.
"Actually," Bryce said, shrugging. "History major. I've just always liked JM."
"Yeah. This rather shitty job is kind of like an internship," Bryce explained. Honestly, he knew that she didn't care, but gave himself ten points for making conversation.
"Mhm," Moira mused. "Well, I have to get back to my dorm before I get kidnapped by some loon pretending to be a civil war soldier." She heard Bryce laugh again. Her eyes were slowly recovering from a slight case of retinal burn, but she was still able to see the red of his hair and the white of his teeth, which looked positively eerie considering she'd just survived a three hour ghost tour.
"If I see your friends, I'll tell them you went home," Bryce added just as she was about to leave.
"Thanks!" Moira called back.
Moira stripped off her jeans in the dark silence of her dorm room. Sliding into some old sweatpants, she thought about Addison. She shouldn't let her guard down like that. Even though she had promised herself that she would never get in deep with a guy again, Addison had a way of bending her own rules-resulting in several one night stands. It wasn't fair to the poor girl. That was one of the many reasons why Moira decided not to get involved. Not to mention the heartbreak, the expectations, the ooey gooey moments under the setting sun. All of that was simply sickening to her.
As she settled into bed, she felt her Psych book hit the side of her face instead of her pillow, an ugly reminder of all her wasted time. "Errr!" She yelled into her pillow as she slid the book onto the floor. That night she drifted to sleep with the thought of Piaget and Freud and and a man with bright red hair.