Chapter 9

It's the Friday before the wedding. All last month, I've noticed how Lacey seems lonely, so yesterday I told her about Mark inviting me to his cousin's wedding. And then I told her how I needed a dress, and how I'd be forever grateful to her if she helped me pick one out. Lacey looked excited, and I hope the outing today will cheer her up.

We go to various stores, until I finally find a cute blue dress. Lacey gives me loads of compliments, and I realise once again how utterly sweet she is. We chill out after, eating something in the food court, grabbing a couple of CD's, window shopping.

It's kind of nice, bonding with Lacey. For the most part, she seems like she's having fun, and I'm glad I was able to make her feel better.

I show Aunt Abigail the dress as soon as I come home. She tells me that she loves it. She seems a little jumpy though, so I say " You seem nervous. What's up?"

Abigail twirls a strand of her hair. "Well..."she fidgets, before finally saying, "I was hoping to spend this weekend with Dan."

She's been seeing him for a month, but this is the first I've heard of it. I raise my eyebrows at her, deliberately trying to freak her out.


Abigail looks like a teenager asking her parents permission to go on her first date. I stifle a grin, schooling my features into a blank mask.

"Dan's taken a weekend off, to go to California. Actually, it was me who suggested Cali, because I haven't been to visit your dad's grave in forever, and he wanted to go to the beach so..."

She hesitated for a moment, then continued, "I know you love Cali, but I figured that we'll visit again as soon as you turn 18, and then we can meet Darren, okay?"

I let the poker face go and smile. Then I wrap my arms around her. "I'm happy for you. I'm glad things are going so well with Dan." My voice comes out muffled, as I hug her hard.

All things said and done, I am happy for her. Abigail's been entrusted with this huge responsibility of taking care of a screwed up teenager who isn't even her kid. She's been taking care of everything, and it's high time someone took care of her.

Abigail gives me a relieved smile. "Thanks kiddo! I should have known you'd take it so well. You're the best niece ever."

"You know it." I give her a sneaky smile. "I wouldn't mind if you left some money, though. You know, for pizza?"

Abigail gives me a don't-you-dare-have-a-party look. I wonder how she perfected that look. She doesn't even have kids!

Eh, I'm not the kind to have a party anyway.


It's Saturday evening. Abigail already left with Dan in the morning, saying that she'd be back by 7 O'clock on Monday.

I'm lying in my bed, reading a book and feeling too comfortable to get out of bed and go downstairs to switch on all the lights. So it's kinda dark, when suddenly, the passage light switches on. Immediately, I sit up in bed like I've just gotten an electric shock. Shit! my mind screams in panic. What the hell was that?

For a moment, the thought occurs to me that maybe this house is haunted.

But I don't believe in ghosts.

I don't have to ponder this for long. The light in my room goes off, and a dark silhouette steps into my room. Shocked and scared out of my mind, I reflexively clamber back, and out of my bed till my feet hit the floor. Blindly, I cast my arms around for a weapon.

There is no sound. It's so quiet, I can hear my heart pounding, and if I concentrate, I can hear him breathe. As far as I can see, it's a man.

It all happens too fast. One minute I'm silently gliding backwards and the next minute, my back hits the wall. Then he is in front of me, his eyes looking right into mine.

Something heavy smashes into the side of my head, and I lose consciousness.

A/N: Please review! Reviews make my day.