I can't feel. Not my fingers, not my toes. It's too cold. I spend several days huddled in the extra blankets in the closet. Nobody else needs them because it is warm outside. I shiver when I see my blue fingers. It's because my body holds no warmth in the ground.
"Don't worry. It'll pass." I repeat what the poor old lady at the funeral home had told me. I hope it does. Death is a strange thing. I didn't expect to awaken next to my own mangled body. I still felt the pain and the chill starting deep within my bones. The pain faded away but the cold only got worse. Surprisingly, I found that I can feel the blankets wrapped around me. I can only touch things if no living person could see. I could feel the concrete under my feet as I ran, trying to find someone to help me, even though deep inside I knew I was dead. No turning back. Now I hear my family bustling about. I used to wish that they could see me and sometimes, I think they can feel my presence. Now all I wish is for them to get over me. To get over my death and live their own lives. God knows mine was short. I don't even know if God exists anymore. Shouldn't I be somewhere else? Maybe I'm in purgatory, trying to fix my wrongs but the most serious thing I've done was maybe cheat on a spelling test in fourth grade. Only because I was desperate. I wait in that closet for more hours than I'd like to count. Finally, the cold lessens. I stand up and leave the closet, noticing no living soul is home. It's a small house, with only two floors. I will never go to one of them, the basement, again. Now that I know what is actually down there. Or who to be exact. I used to think this house was haunted when I was younger. Instead of the demons my childhood used to believe, I now know that it is a boy, who was maybe my age when he died. He just sits down there in a corner. He has sunken cheeks and scraggly hair hanging loosely in his blank staring eyes. At first I thought he was a dead body but when I first saw him and recognized that he was there, he flinched with surprise. No movement since. Nobody else seems to notices him so I guess he is a lost soul, like me. Like the funeral home lady. I stroll across the floor, trying not to make a sound. It's not like anyone would hear me anyway. I can talk but no one would hear me. Only the dead do. Out the window, I can see the blinding sun making the pool in our backyard glisten, so much different from when I was alive last week. As I died, I remember the red liquid oozing through the water. My own blood. I remember a boy watching nearby as I died. Now that I think about it, I don't think he was alive. I was asking him to save me, pleading but he only answered with a sad shake of his head. Maybe he was the angel I was looking for, the test I was waiting to pass for Heaven. I must have failed. I turn away from the beautiful, yet tragic scene. It is too much. This whole house holds too many painful memories, too much to process. Too much never to fully use again because I am dead. I run out of the house screaming. This is the first time I've been outside since the funeral. I run down the streets. No kids play in their yards. That must be because school is still in session. Only three-no, two weeks till my graduation. I start walking to the school, which is only half a mile away. When I arrive, I see posters still plastered all over the walls. A seminar about getting over death. I roll my eyes. Nobody gets over death. Not ever. Not even the dead get over it. For awhile at least. I should know. I walk through the doors to see the empty hallways. Students are still in their classes. One lone girl with her head down walks through, probably ditching. I start to walk past her when her dark eyes lift and stare straight into mine. We both gasp and jump away. She saw me! Someone noticed me. I look from the locker bank I dove into.
"Hello?" My voice seems broken as it echoes through the hall, only to be heard by me.
"Who is it?" And the dead. Her head pops out from another locker bank, her glossy strawberry blonde hair flying out in a frantic halo around her head.
"Are you. . . dead, too?" Her eyes widen in surprise.
"Yes." She whispers, her breaths coming short. I stand up and walk over to her. I hold out my hand. She takes it and allows me to help her up.
"What's your name?" I ask as she starts to walk down the hall.
"My name has been forgotten over time by many so I call myself Echo."
"That's a pretty name." I state. She blushes.
"What about your name? Remember, death is a fresh start. You can call yourself whatever you wish." Echo smiles warmly.
"What do you think of Blue? Because I've felt blue lately." I hold up my hands, which are still tinged blue, and pout, earning a laugh from Echo.
"It's perfect. No need for old names full of pain and sorrow anyway. You can just throw that life behind you." She swipes her hand as if she were throwing something away.
"Is that why you stay at school? To get away from your old life?"
"Yep." She pops her 'p'.
"You know what? That's better than staying home alone with a creepy ghost boy in the basement." We laugh.
"You seriously have another ghost living in your house?" Echo giggles and I nod. "We should go say hello."
"Why not?" And for the first time since I died, I feel no worry. Not about my family, my friends, or my old life. I should start anew.