A Sign of Love
Lydia Deetz made a small change the other day. She took off her wedding ring one night and attached it to a small chain around her neck. It wasn’t something too big of a deal but she certainly didn’t want it to go unnoticed. She’d make sure her black hair was brushed back so that the chain was visible to anyone who saw. Not that they’d care, of course.
The goth girl sat her desk and stared at the mirror in front of her. She was applying her usual eye shadow and mascara as she did every morning. She was starting to run low on her purple cosmetics so she’d have to make a stop by the store sometime that day. Maybe after work or during her lunch break. Life was so dreadfully dull for her, sometimes.
She stood from the chair and gazed into the mirror thoughtfully. What was the best way for her to escape this reality she called life? The best entryway to the world where the dead still roamed the lands? A deathly spice to life that would give Lydia a reason to live?
The answer was all too obvious. She closed the drapes into her room and loomed over the lamp placed on the table. Closing her eyes, Lydia started to chant the words she knew all too well:
"Though I know I should be wary,
Still I venture someplace scary;
Ghostly haunting I turn loose ...
Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice!"
The crack of thunder boomed into the room and roughly opened her window. The pictures that once hanged on the wall were thrown harshly to the ground. The paper was ripped from the walls themselves and her bed immediately vanished within sight. Slowly, the room started to transform into a dungeon-type chamber with a line of stairs attached to the wall. Her outfit changed with a spark of red magic and was replaced with a red, spiderweb-like dress.
Lydia watched the whole scene around her with usual bewilderment. Despite seeing it hundreds of times, it never ceased to amaze her. The whole Neitherworld was her living fantasy. The dark elements, the scary creatures, the dead atmosphere of the world....it was almost as if she were in a spooky version of Heaven.
The now 20 year old girl made her way up the stairs swiftly. She opened the brown door on top and was revealed to the wonder that was the Neitherworld. She made no haste to close it behind her and start running to BJ’s Roadhouse. It was a large house that homed many neighbors who Lydia considered as her friends. The place would best be described as an abstract mess, really.
She opened the front door and found Beetlejuice himself sitting on the couch. He was a messy corpse with bright blonde hair and green teeth. He wore his usual pinstriped suit and black boots. Right now his eyes were locked on the TV screen in front of him until he heard the door shut. He glanced over at Lydia and waved at her.
Lydia walked over to the side of the couch and looked at what he was watching. On the screen played a few infomercials, which probably meant he was bored. And, for some reason, she decided to ask.
“Hey, Beej. What are you doing?”
“What’s it look like I’m doin’?” He asked sarcastically. “Watching the TV.”
She rolled her eyes. “I know that. What else I know is that you only watch them when there’s nothing to do. Do you not have anything planned for today?”
“It’s not like I have a fuckin’ date. And I didn’t hear you come in, just to let ya’ know.”
He laid back and threw his arms in the air dramatically. A bag of potato chips appeared out of nowhere and he immediately went to digging through them. Lydia watched the sight with disgust. He was impossible, sometimes. She hoped today would be different.
“Say...BJ?” She poked at his forehead. “Is there any place in the Neitherworld that sells makeup? I’m low on some.”
Beetlejuice stuck his tongue out in disgust. Apparently the image of pampering didn’t appeal to him whatsoever. He let out insufferable noises and received a harsh nudge from Lydia. She ended up hitting him a bit too hard and he fell off of the couch rather harshly. Lydia peeked over the sofa and looked down at him with a hand over her mouth in surprise.
“-What the hell, Lyds!?” He brushed his suit off. “What’s your problem? Is it that time of the month again?”
Her first instinct was to apologize, but that comment threw her off entirely. She exclaimed, “At least be a little more helpful!”
The ghoul got up and rubbed his head in pain. Lydia felt awful but she stood her stance firmly. He had been such a pain to her lately. All he ever did was smoke, eat bugs, and lounge around on the couch all day eating junk food. He did it a lot ever since they became friends but now it just bugged her. She wasn’t quite sure why.
“The store you’re lookin’ for is Ugly Witches.” Beetlejuice turned back to the screen. “It’s in town. You can’t miss it.”
Lydia went quiet. Softly, she asked, “...Do you wanna come with me?”
“-And get hit again? No way!”
“It was an accident!”
“Then say yer sorry, babes.”
“No! You deserved it!”
“Then I ain’t goin’.”
Lydia sighed and rubbed her temples in annoyance. Why was he so impossible? When she was just a kid he constantly told her that he’d do anything for her. Did his attitude just take a downfall during these years? It hurt her to think so and Lydia actually had herself to blame. She was the one who hadn’t summoned him for three years when she went to college.
“I”m sorry, Beetlejuice.” She bowed her head. “Can we go now?”
He was clearly smug about her apology. He snapped his fingers and said, “Now, that’s more like it! Come on, babe. I’ll get ya’ there in no time.”
Beetlejuice opened the door to haul Doomie. It was their yellow car they made several years ago to travel through the Neitherworld easier. It was one of their few closest moments and Lydia still loved that thing to death. However, when she placed a hand on his arm to stop him, Beetlejuice gave her a confused look. She gently motioned his arm down and thought of what to say. A smile came onto her lips when an idea struck in her head.
“Actually, I wanted to walk.”
“Walk?” He repeated. “That sounds a lil’ boring, Lyds-”
“Just walk with me.”
She was already out the door and making her way into the city without him. Beetlejuice caught onto this and made no haste to fly off from the ground and follow her. Despite their quarrels and arguments throughout the years....he didn’t want to lose her. Even if that meant her going into town without his company.
On their way, Beetlejuice couldn’t help but notice something shining from her neck. He hovered a bit in front of her and peered down to see it better. Lydia quickly brushed him and continued walking without a word. This only confused the ghoul and aggravated him as well. He landed on the ground and shoved his hands in his pockets thoughtfully.
“What’s that thing around yer neck, babes?”
“Just something a friend gave me.” She lied.
She felt Beetlejuice’s stare on her back. Lydia glanced behind her and saw him look away quickly. She smirked a moment after and turned back to continue her way on the sidewalks. She felt a little proud that he noticed but another part of her felt horrible for lying to him. But, hey. She deserved a little jealousy and attention from him, right? He’s the one whose been neglecting her lately.
Without permission, Beetlejuice suddenly flew in front of her and tried to get a hold of the chain. She swatted his hands away and covered her neck protectively. The ghoul backed off and she swore he looked a bit hurt. He narrowed his eyes a moment after and took a step towards her threateningly. Lydia took one back and felt fear swell in her heart for a split moment.
“What are you hiding?” He asked.
“Nothing!” She defended. “Can we please-”
“I know it’s something!” He reached for it again. “You used to be so sweet, Lyds-”
Again, she hit his hand. He actually backed off this time and rubbed it. She knew it didn’t hurt him. He was just trying to play the pity card. Yes, that’s it. She could have damn well smacked him a lot harder if she wanted to. Why did he suddenly care, anyway? He didn’t even notice it back in the Roadhouse.
Briefly, he blew on his hand and shoved it back in his pocket. He leaned down in front of her and observed her from head to toe. A blush came onto her pale skin and she took a step back from him again. The ghoul smiled at this and took one in front of her. She took one back and he took another one in front. She ended this charade and tightened her fists angrily.
“What are you doing, Beej? I don’t like it.” She furrowed her brow.
Leaning forward, he sang. ”You’re not wearing your ring~"
A gasp escaped her throat. She stared down at her hand and noticed that it had left an imprint on her skin. She rested her hand back on her side but still kept the other one on top of her necklace. He never said anything about it when she wore it! He sure had some nerve to only bring it up when it was gone. She shouldn’t have expected anything better of him, anyway.
“Why?” He suddenly asked. Lydia blinked.
“I know you fuckin’ heard me.” His tone was low. “Why aren’t you wearing it?”
Lydia gulped. Why was he acting so...scary? He hadn’t been this way for years. He was usually nice and caring to her. It probably only proved how much he had changed for the worse now.
She puffed her chest out boldly. “I can ask you the same thing!”
Another smug smile. Beetlejuice extended his left arm. Lydia’s eyes traveled down it until she realized a ring was placed on his finger. And not just any, but theirs. She recognized the sight of the red ruby in the middle. If she had asked that question a year ago to him, he probably wouldn’t have had it on him. She still felt the anger fuming inside her so she just let out a very upset hmph!
He laughed. “You really thought I wasn’t wearing it? Puh-lease. Babe, with a girl like you gone for so long, it would’ve been wrong of me not to wear it.”
“I don’t get it.” She crossed her arms. “You never wore it before. What’s the deal?”
Unknowingly, she left herself open. Beetlejuice took this chance to reach forward and grab the necklace before she could protest. He found the sight of the golden ring come into view and he completely froze in his tracks. Lydia’s eyes widened and she quickly pulled it away from his grasp. This time, he didn’t stop her. It just slipped right out from his hand.
Lydia quietly tucked the necklace back under her shirt and turned back to him. Guilt was starting to churn her stomach for whatever reason. He was still in the same position, except this time his eyes were locked with hers. His posture tensed and his mouth hung open in disbelief.
After a minute or two, he said. “I don’t know how to feel about this..”
Lydia bit her lip. “Feel about...what...?”
“Why aren’t you wearing it on your finger like you’re supposed to!?”
She crossed her arms again. “For starters, you never wear yours! This is the only time I’ve seen you with yours on except the day we met. You don’t even act like you like me, you know!”
His eyes went half lidded in disbelief. He asked, “How so?”
“You’re constantly gawking at other women! You visited strip clubs a lot when we first got married and you went out on dates. You only married me so you could try and get out of your curse! Now you expect me to wear mine just because we’re married?”
Beetlejuice held up his hands in defense. He said, “Okay, first- the strip club and flirting was ’cause you were a kid. I couldn’t get anything from you because that’d be illegal. Secondly, the whole thing didn’t work out so you can’t say I only married you for THAT.”
Lydia threw her hands up in the air in aggravation. Beetlejuice sighed. This was the exact reason he didn’t want to get too involved with women. They were such drama queens when it came to things like this. The small, sensible part of him was telling him that he was the fault of all of this. He was one who got too attached to her in the first place...
“You’re such a hypocrite!” She finally yelled. “You got jealous when Prince Vince tried to date me-”
“We’re married! Why the hell WOULDN’T I be jealous!?”
“-And THEN you started to ignore me when I left for college! I was busy, Beetlejuice. I called you as soon as I could but you refused to leave my mirror. You made me feel so alone that I started to doubt we were still together!”
"I GOT LONELY, OKAY!?"
Lydia paused in the midst of their argument and looked at him. She finally realized he had tears piling up in his eyes. He had a look of despair on his face and she noticed that he had been inching closer to her. He suddenly turned away from her and took a sharp inhale. His voice sounded sad and extremely abnormal to his usual cheery nature.
“What was I supposed to do?” He muttered. “Just continue on with my life when you suddenly left? I want you to know that I started wearing the ring after that. I’ve kept it on for years now and you just haven’t noticed.”
The scum of the Earth. That was how she suddenly felt. Everything in her body went cold and she immediately regretted ever removing that ring. Had Beetlejuice really worn it for all that time? Admittedly, she didn’t look at his hands too often. He was probably right about this. And if he was it only proved that Lydia was the one who had been in the wrong all this time.
The goth girl sighed. She let her anger take over her senses. Despite it all, he really had changed. She can’t remember a time recently where he went to a strip club or cheated on her. In fact, she was starting to realize he resembled nothing of his old self. She must have taken his company for granted again.
Slowly, she walked over to him and tapped his shoulder. Beetlejuice turned around and had his arms crossed. He couldn’t have been upset. He was probably just impatient for whatever reason it was. He tended to be selfish and childish, sometimes.
“You know, Beej...” Lydia smiled. “There are other ways to tell me that you love me.”
A scoff. “You really think that’s what I meant, babes?”
“Why else would you have kept the ring on all those years?”
“Come on. Just say it.”
“Easy on the B word, babe. That ain’t gonna’ make it go any faster.”
Lydia took another bold move. She ignored his overwhelming stench for only a mere moment when she wrapped her arms around his suit. She gave him a squeeze before suddenly stepping back and winking at him. His flustered look was all too adorable and she knew then that she had Beetlejuice by the tie. Now it was time to milk it.
“You love me. Admit it, Beetlejuice.”
“What did I just say-”
Another bold move for Lydia Deetz. She stepped forward and laid a quick kiss on his lips. She pulled back again and wiped the bug remnants off from her mouth. It nearly made her gag but she decided to keep her posture in front of him. Throwing up probably would have been a turn off.
Beetlejuice’s jaw hung open in disbelief. She had him now. With a weary smile, she laid a kiss on his suit. She said, “I love you. If I can confess it to you, you can confess it to me. Now, come on before I say your name again!”
“You sure you feel that way about me and not that Jack Skellington guy?” Beetlejuice raised a brow. “You’re always wearin’ him more than you’re talkin’ to me, you know.”
“Alright, alright.” He rolled his eyes. “I love you and all that jazz. Yadda’ yadda’.”
He took a step forward and removed the chain around Lydia’ neck. He slipped the ring off of it with ease and threw the rest of the necklace on the ground. She opened her mouth to protest until Beetlejuice suddenly grabbed her left hand and slipped the ring on her third finger. He didn’t let go of her hand while he closed his eyes in thought.
“Please...” He started. “Don’t take this thing off again, okay? You’re mine and I want everyone else to know that.”
She smiled, coyly taking her hand from his and winking again. “Only if you do the same, Beej.”
He laughed. “Like I said, babes, why would I?”
The goth smiled and squeezed his hands. Beetlejuice decided to humor her and squeezed it back briefly before he let go. He started picking at the bugs in his teeth and looked around like he was suddenly bored. Lydia crossed her arms and watched him with interest.
“Now that we got all that cheesy shit oughtta’ the way, can we go now? I got a great prank to play on the Mayor again.”
Lydia shook her head and continued walking in the direction of the town. He followed closely behind her and quietly nudged her hand into his. She looked at him and found that Beetlejuice was looking away and avoiding her gaze with a whistle. She giggled and entwined their fingers together.
She asked, “You never change, do you?”
“Only for you, babes.”
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