Chapter2

"You must've found something to do yesterday. I was wondering when you'd get home." Mom said, frying eggs at the stove.

I sat down at the table. "That 'something' found me actually."

"What would that something be?" Mom asked, looking at me over her shoulder. I knew what she was thinking. She was hoping, or fretting, that I'd find a guy and leave her. Or something along those lines.

"A friend." I said, avoiding her eyes.

"Should I be concerned?" Worry lines formed in her forehead.

I shook my head. "No. She's just a friend."

"Will I ever get to meet her?"

She couldn't. Nick was a ghost. That really wasn't possible. "If meeting her makes you move us again, no. I'd rather not go through that pain again."

She sighed and turned back to the stove. "We're not moving again for a long time, okay, Jesse? We're staying here."

"Well I don't want my new friend to think I'm a freak. So I'll go to her house and stuff." I took a drink of some orange juice, straight from the carton, while mom's back was turned to me.

"Jesse-"

"Sorry, mom. I have to run. Be back later, promise." I said, heading to the door quickly.

"I'm glad you've made a friend. I know how hard this move was on you." She said, watching me.

I opened the door and gave her a smile. "Let's just hope I can make more friends."

Nick was sitting in the same place today, his arms resting on his knees. He didn't look up as I walked into view and earshot.

I sat down beside him, feeling goosebumps on my arms. I hadn't noticed it was cold or I would've put a coat on instead of my light jacket. "What are you doing out here?"

"The water's calming."

I shivered again and pulled my arms tightly around my middle.

"Are you cold?" He asked, looking over at me.

I nodded.

He slipped off his coat and helped me slide my arms in. I wouldn't have thought the coat would be... visible to me. Like after he took it off. But it was real, like something I was wearing.

Funny how different Nick really was.

"Better?"

I nodded. "I didn't think it'd be this cold."

"It gets worse."

I sighed. "That doesn't surprise me."

Nick didn't say much for a while. He didn't seem like the type to talk a whole lot.

I lay back against the ground and stared up at the clouds rolling by. It was peaceful, relaxing. I could lay here and fall asleep. Though the cold would soon become a problem.

"Can I ask you something?" He asked, looking down at me.

I nodded.

"Why did you move here?"

I sat up and brushed my hair back from my face. "I don't know. My mom still hasn't told me."

"You're not... running away from something, are you?"

I laughed. "Are you afraid that person would go after you then?"

"It's not me I'm worried about." He said, looking at me.

I looked away, feeling my cheeks brighten. "It wasn't because of that. At least, I hope not."

He was still looking over at me.

"What?" I asked, feeling my heart start racing faster and faster.

He smiled just a little then and reached over to take my hand, which was shaking. "Has anyone ever told you how beautiful you are?"

I attempted a smile but my face felt frozen. Why was it that I couldn't concentrate with him? That my brain turned to mush when he said anything at all?

"Jesse?"

I hadn't realized how long I'd been staring. It wasn't intentional but it happened. "Hm?"

He chuckled. "You seem distracted. Is something on your mind?"

There was something on my mind. It was him. Obviously. Somehow, he'd been everything I thought about in the past 24 hours since I'd met him. I didn't know why but I wouldn't argue with it.

"Yeah. But-it's nothing."

"You sure?"

I nodded, giving him a semi-reassuring smile. "Yeah. No big deal."

He kept watching me which only made me more nervous. His thumb started stroking the back of my hand.

I pulled my hand back out of habit. "Don't-why are you looking at me like that?"

He leaned in and kissed me. A small spark, an electric shock, went through me, making me jump back. My hand flew up to my lips, feeling the ghost of a light tingling.

"Did you feel that?" I asked, my voice in a whisper.

He smiled, nodding in the process.

I leaned in and kissed him. The spark wasn't as strong but I could tell it was still there. It only made me want to kiss him more.

Was he doing that on purpose? To draw me in?

His hand ran from my cheek, into my hair, pulling my face upward a little.

I pulled away, gasping for air. "How are we... how can we do that if..."

He shrugged. "You're the only person who can see me. I don't know how all this works though."

I just watched him through my thick eyelashes, feeling like there was something I was dying to ask him. But I couldn't think of what it was. Not at all.

He stroked my cheek for a second before his hand fell from my face. I grabbed it before it could fall back to his side and slid my fingers through the spaces in his hand.

"What happened to me being a creep?" He asked, grinning.

I pushed him away and got to my feet, still shivering a little. "I changed my mind on that before but now... I don't know. Should I feel differently?"

"Jesse-"

I looked back at him over my shoulder. "You know, when a guy likes a girl, he tries to be nice to her and say the right things. You must not care at all, do you?"

"Of course I care." He said, getting to his feet and jogging to catch up with me. "Otherwise, I wouldn't be making a fool out of myself like I am."

"This isn't a daily thing for you?" I asked, trying not to smile at how mean I was.

"I'm starting to think it is. At least since we met."

I started walking back towards my house then, stuffing my hands into the pockets of Nick's jacket. The insides were warm and soft.

"Wait-where are you going?" He asked, following me.

I laughed quietly before answering him. "Home."

"Why?"

"I got here yesterday and I haven't been home much at all." I said, looking over at him.

"Oh." He sounded and looked disappointed.

I reached out and touched his arm softly. "It's not like I'll be gone forever. And you've probably got lots of stuff to do."

"Like haunting some people?"

I smiled though I knew he was feeling sorry for himself of something. "If it makes you feel better, I'm sorry."

"Don't be. The living need you around as much as the dead."

"Nick-"

"Jesse, don't worry about it. It's fine." He was walking back before I could argue.

I sighed then realized I was still in his coat. I didn't want to say anything, not when he was feeling so bad. I didn't want to possibly make it worse.

I headed back home, kicking up leaves as I did so. I'd been here two days and I'd already made a dead person hate me. What were the odds in that?


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