The first ghost I ever saw was the day after I had been resuscitated when I drowned, I didn't realize what I had seen at first. Living in the wooded part of Oregon, California you tended to see things out in the dense fog. But the shape was moving, skipping through the trees. I had to dodge and weave around the tall redwoods, to keep up with it. My seven year old body stumbling over rocks and soft dirt but the presence seemed to glide past it all. It led me to a cliff face. I could hear the ocean below splashing up onto the rock, trying to break the earth down with its treacherous waves. I hesitated to look over. It had only been a day since I had drowned in this same ocean.
"Can you help me" I hear a little girl, around my age, whisper from behind me. Shocked, I quickly turned around.
The girl was very pretty, wearing a white and pink dress with her haired pulled back with a pink ribbon.
"My kite" She pointed over towards the cliffs edge.
Getting on my hands and knees I crawled over to the edge and looked down. I was about to accuse the girl of lying since there wasn't a kite but on second glace I saw a pristine light blue kite. It was trapped on a tree root that was jutting out, I reached for it but it was out of arms reach. Or at least, as far as I was willing to reach for it.
"I can't get it" I exasperated to her but she wasn't behind me anymore. I felt a fingers lightly touch my shoulder.
Light swirled around me and I was sent back in time. I was still at the cliff's edge. The girl was there but she wasn't washed out like before, and when I tried to call out to her she didn't hear me. Then I realized what this was, I was seeing how this girl died. The girl was cautiously reaching her foot over the edge, to place her foot on the root. I tried to call out louder, warning her. She was too small, her foot couldn't reach. I knew that she had lost her balance as soon as I saw the scared look in her eyes. In a blink she was gone.
I sat there on the ground, trying to catch my breath from the ordeal. She died trying to get her kite; I wanted to get it back to her. In a fit of courage, I reached my legs over the side as I made contact with the root. My legs were much longer than hers. Making sure to keep a grip on the ground, I reached down and tore the kite from its imprisonment. Back on safe ground again, I saw her smile for the first time.
"Set it free" She looks toward the ocean. I threw it as hard as I could. The wind from the cliff side sent it higher into the sky and it steadily glided out over the ocean.
"What's your name?" The faint girl asked stepping closer to me.
"Amber…Amber Spearit" I didn't know what was going to happen next.
"Thank you Amber" She smiled slightly. The girl was starting to fade away more, "I really like your hair" I unconsciously pulled at the ginger locks. "Bye" She gave me a small wave that was barely noticeable now.
I quickly raised my hand to wave back but she was gone. I didn't feel her presence at all anymore.
That was about twelve years ago. I've had many encounters with ghosts since then and they are usually at the most dire of times. Sometimes during class and sometimes during lunch, one terrible moment while using the girl's bathroom, but most of the times are while I'm sleeping. .
I've learn to accept them, and I help every single one of them. I have one strict rule though; a ghost must never touch me. I figure, I don't need to see how they died to help them. I never want to see the face they make when they realize they're going to die. Ever again.
As the years went on, I had gotten better at my abilities, the ghosts now seemed very much alive. Sometimes it's hard to distinct who is and who's not flourishing.
Helping people move on makes me happy but it's a drag now and then. Much like playing a sport, there are days that you can't wait to get out there but there are also days that you would rather curl up in bed and sleep a whole Saturday like a regular teenager. Oregon ghost's flocked to me so much that I would reckon that they had a chat-line set up. When I helped one, two more came to me.
I couldn't wait to get to college in Pennsylvania, across the country. It was a chance to start over, somewhere knew. Where people didn't know I had abilities, students from my high school who always casted me aside as a freak.
All that's going to change…
"Alright kiddo, were here!" My dad's overly excited voice piercing my eardrums waking me up. He started going on about how fun college will be for me and what to expect but I've heard this speech before. Tuning him out, I focused on the beautiful green landscape and large brick buildings.
There were a lot of students with their parents, hauling large boxes and pulling suit cases.
"Well… this is your building." My dad parked in front of what looked like the oldest building of them all. The once red brick was now more of a brown and vines were creeping up the sides. I cringed at the thought of there being ghosts in there.
I wanted a break from it, and my worst nightmare was staring me in the face.
How is it that I manage to get the only oldest building here!?
"Hi and welcome to PSU!" An extremely cheery voice beside me interrupted my train of thought. The girl was wearing a 'welcome back' T-shirt . "I'm here to show you your room. Follow me."
This chick was way too excited
I quickly picked up a box, but as I leaned down I noticed something on the bench that caught my eye. When I turned to look at it, it was gone.
"Here up Amber!" My dad's voice far away now.
I hurried to catch up with the girl and my dad. Quickly, I look back at the bench before I walked into my building.
The inside was much renovated, with table and lounge chairs in the lobby.
"There is a library above us…" she pointed to the stairs to our left. " And on the right is a breakfast bar. That's where you can get coffee. The laundry room is down this hall. And your room is on the second floor." The girl was talking so fast I could barely keep up.
"There are communal bathrooms on each side of the floor. Your room is right here!" She unlocked room 214. "My best friend had this dorm as a freshman." I ignored her random fact, and lugged my box into the room.
My dad continued to ask questions about the campus to the girl but I scanned my new room for the year. There were two beds separated on sides of the room. My roommate and I had separate dressers and desks too. One of the sides of the room was already made.
I guess my roommate is already here.
I picked up the box, moving it to the other side of the room. I went to place it on my bed, but I dropped my box in shocked.
It hit the side of my bed, slipping open my clothes on the ground.
"Are you alright kiddo?" My dad said walking into the room, "Wow, it's more spacious then I had in college." My dad didn't say anything about the guy on my bed, indicating he wasn't real or I should say alive.
"Um… Dad can you go get the rest of the boxes please."
"Sure Honey!" He placed his hand on my shoulder. "I'll give you some alone time with the room." He said teasingly.
I listened to his quieting footsteps, still staring at my bed.
"Get the fuck off my bed" I said in a calm, strict voice.
The lounging figure sat up suddenly, "You can see me?"
"I'm not in the mood for this conversation…" I grumbled to myself mostly, "Just get off the bed."
"What if don't want to?" He said coyly, relaxing further into the bare mattress. I went to go pull him off myself but I remembered what I would see if I did, I hesitated and just opted for a malicious glare.
"Okay, I'll move…" he got up and leaned against my dresser. "Didn't mean to harass you like that"
I ignored his apology.
Now that he was off my bed, I finally noticed what he was wearing. He had open a navy blue coat with gold trim on the edges, under was a plain white shirt meeting pants that were tucked into tall black boots.
"What in the hell are you wearing?" I raised my eyebrows at him.
"Haven't you seen a solider before?" He said pulling on his coat.
"A solider, yes…but you? From when?" He looked quite ridiculous and I've never seen a solider like that before.
"I'm a Union solider. Have you not been taught about this in school yet?" He looked appalled that I didn't know who he was.
"Buddy, you'd be surprised if I even showed up to one history class."
I heard footsteps outside my door.
"Um... who are you talking to?" A girl's voice questioned from behind. She was holding a large box and glancing around the room and then she gave me a very weird look, dropping her box on the other bed.
I looked back at the dresser, but the 'solider' wasn't there.
"Well hi… I'm Bethany."
"Amber" I gave my roommate the best smile I could muster up, but all I could think about was him and how I needed to get rid of him quickly.