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Ghosts of the Past

Seeing my roommate for the first time gave me painful flashbacks of my past. Flashbacks to the day I lost everything. My mental walls were threatening to break down, enough so that I ran to my room for a few minutes to calm down even though I'd gotten dressed in the bathroom. I knew how this worked, I had to let the memory run its course or it'd just get worse and worse with each passing minute. I wasn't expecting to be reminded of that day again, but now it seemed I'd be reminded of it constantly.

His face, it looked so much like hers. They even went by the same damn name, Sam. It wouldn't surprise me if it caused me to have another complete breakdown sometime this year. The accident had been two years ago, but the tragedy was still fresh in my mind.

It was that damned portal that started this, that damned portal that killed her. The explosion hadn't left any scraps of her body to recover, she was just gone. My best friend, the girl I loved, but was too scared to tell. I lost her that day. I lost Samantha Manson.

The three of us had gone down to the basement just out of curiosity, my parents weren't aware of where we were. Even then, I should have known there was a damned good reason they were constantly telling us to stay the hell out of there. We were joking about going through the portal my parents had made, but hadn't gotten to work. Then, she seriously thought I should do it. I was a clueless, lovesick, kid and let her talk me into it.

If I had just said no, or even just stopped to think before going in, I'd still have her and my family. I'd still have my life.

I walked in wearing one of my parents' jumpsuits, and tripped over a loose wire. The machinery started to whine, I saw Tucker making a run for it before the doors even started to close. I was trapped and felt the spectral energy start to course through my veins. The words pain and agony don't even begin to cover it. Tucker later told me the blood-curdling scream that came from inside was enough to shatter the windows.

The pain stopped, and I thought perhaps things would be alright, that they couldn't get any worse. Then the overload warning started to blare, the portal was going to explode. Only seconds later it did, and my whole life ripped apart at the seams. The force of the explosion tore the house apart and sent pieces all over the area. My whole family died that day, pieces of their bodies were found alongside bits of the house. Sam was gone too, but her body was simply gone, not even one hair or drop of blood was left to be found. It was later theorized that being so close to the energy let out by the initial explosion completely disintegrated her body. When Tucker started running, he managed get just far enough away to survive the blast, but not without the loss of his left leg. It was replaced with a mechanical one, and Tucker got a kick out of being that much closer to his beloved technology. No one knew why I survived, but I did. I had received ghost powers in the initial shock of energy. They didn't keep me from suffering severe burns, but they made me survive. Those powers are what stuck me in this empty, living hell.

I shuddered as the memory passed. The end result had landed both me and Tucker here under scholarships, hoping a new environment would help us leave the past behind and keep us both mentally stable. It wasn't staying at this school that kept me from going insane; it was the daily chance to take out my aggression on some of the ghosts that were dumb enough to show their sorry asses around here. In my mind, it was their fault my family was dead. Their fault I had lost Sam. It was their fault that stupid portal had ever existed.

It was because of that damned portal I was stuck in a living hell.

The image finally left my mind. I braced myself to go meet the roommate that had caused that flashback to begin with, the guy that was going to be a constant living reminder of the accident. I stepped foot outside my room, and put on my best 'friendly' face even though the sight of him was already making my mind go numb. This kid was the splitting image of Sam, the only difference being the gender and shorter hair. Honestly, if I didn't know he had to be a boy just to enroll here, the short hair wouldn't have stopped me from believing.

I snapped myself out of my daze, briefly noting that he was staring at me before I extended a friendly hand and smile in his direction. "Hi, you must be my roommate. I'm Danny." He looked a little like I was telling him something he already knew, but the look on his face quickly turned to curiosity for a second before introducing a smile of its own as he reached to shake my hand.

"I'm Samuel, but I swear I'll have you on the ground begging for mercy if you call me anything other than Sam." I couldn't quite tell whether he was bluffing or serious. The tone of voice told me he could do it (or at least he thought he could) but his body structure said otherwise. He was a little wiry, but with the right technique maybe, just maybe, he could pull it off. Either way, I couldn't help remarking to myself that I'd already been thrown on the ground once today.

I couldn't tell if he heard it, and honestly didn't care. It's not like he'd be able to make any connection anyway. No one else ever had.

I sat on the couch next to him and we engaged in idle 'get to know who the hell I'm living with' conversation. As time wore on, I noticed something off about him. I couldn't quite put my finger on it, but he was hiding something. Maybe it was in the way he had all the answers come off the top of his head, or maybe it was in that he didn't seem too sure of what had happened in the early years of his life. Then again, it wasn't like I had any room to talk about secrets- I was hiding a huge one that only Tucker, one trusted teacher, and my dad's cheese head of a college buddy knew.

There's really no secret that can top mine. I doubted anyone could come close to topping the fact the Fenton and Phantom where one and the same.

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