The alarm clock broke what had been the most peaceful sleep I’d had since…forever. My eyes stung as I’d opened them, and I was completely disoriented; the vision of my clean and orderly bedroom took longer than usual to clear from its ambiguous condition. As soon as I had complete control over my sight, I peered through my bedroom window, examining the beads of rain water racing down the smooth glass. It was raining hard, and the skies were filled with so many dark nimbostratus clouds, it gave the illusion that it was still evening. The sound of rainfall was soothing; it rendered me paralyzed in my bed, pressing for more sleep. Despite my urge to retreat into blissful slumber, I threw myself out of the bed; Monday had arrived far too quickly. As I started getting ready for school, I obsessively laid out the clothes I planned to wear: school uniform, black hooded sweater, white sports bra, white tank top to wear underneath my school shirt, and black long-legged socks. I also remembered to lay the locket Mr. Goldstein had given me right at the collar of my white buttoned school shirt, and Scarlett at the waistline of my school skirt; I never left the house without them.
The hot shower woke me right up for the day. I’d realized that my hair had grown much longer than I was used to; it was already passing my shoulder blades. I decided to go with the long-haired look, accentuating the bright-red vibrancy by making it wavy and wild in thick, coiling tendrils. I had made sure to use this foreign shampoo which made my hair smell like strawberries; last night when I was at his house, I’d discovered that Devin actually found the scent rather pleasant.
“You smell like one of those scratch-and-sniff stickers,” He had said with a huge, pursed smile stretched across his face.
The memory of his raspy voice when he’d said that made me smile…until I’d remembered other conversations we had last night. It was apparent that Devin had feelings for me; he was just fighting with the fact that he had a job to do, and was afraid of becoming too involved. It upset me, not because I felt his noble need to put my life ahead of love wasn’t admirable, but because I felt that it contradicted his reason for protecting me. Wouldn’t love strengthen the need to protect? Would it not lessen the need to protect? Wouldn’t you thrust your neck out under the guillotine for the one you love? Perhaps I was more like the over hormonal adolescent girls at school after all; maybe I had fallen too fast, but I did not care. Devin was the first and only boy I had noticed, the first and only boy who had made my heart tremor as if he had grabbed and shook it. Everything about him, drew me closer to him, and I knew that he’d indisputably felt drawn to me as well.
As soon as I stepped off of the bus and onto school property, I had received a plethora of compliments on my chosen hairstyle to such great of a magnitude that I thought I had done something wrong to it, like put hair remover in it instead of shampoo. I immediately ran to the bathroom before heading to home room. I checked my hair; smelled a few locks…definitely strawberry…bounced my hair, and even tugged it. No hair had fallen out. I shook my head to toss my hair from side to side. Still nothing out of the ordinary. I sighed with the utmost relief, and then shoved the door open.
“Ouch!” I accidently slammed the door in Jayden’s face.
“Oh!” I screeched, “I’m so sorry Jayden!”
“It’s okay,” he ensured, “I think you made an improvement.”
I smiled and replied, “Well if Cas found out, she would probably disagree, and commence killing me.”
“What’s wrong?” I asked, giving him a frown of my own. His eyebrows tensed, wrinkling his forehead as if he was in pain.
“You know Cas pretty well, right?” he began in question.
“Are you kidding?” I laughed. “We’re practically sisters!” His lips pursed, and then he let out a muffled laugh through his nose.
“Did you guys get in a fight or something?” I demanded. “If you had hurt her, Jayden Howell, I swear I’ll tell my brother on you!”
“N—no no no nothing like that!” Jayden responded quickly and nervously. “It’s just—,”
He walked closer to me. At first I thought he was moving in to kiss me, and my heart nearly jumped out of my chest to dropkick him. If Jayden was going to say he liked me instead, I was prepared to punch him in the face. Instead, I took the most logical approach.
“Whoa there!” I leaned back defensively. “You’re like a second brother to me!”
Jayden snickered and then shook his head.
“It’s not like that either,” he reassured me.
I internally sighed, and my heart retracted back into the safe confines of my chest.
“Look, I like her,” he started, “a lot!”
“I can tell,” I smiled, much more calmly.
Jayden’s lips pursed once again before he spoke. “I’ve never—,” he paused, and then continued, “kissed…anyone…GIRL…before.”
“I’m definitely not the one to ask for kissing lessons,” I laughed, “I’ve never kissed a boy—not yet. I was close! But…well, this isn’t about me,” I shook my head.
Jayden just laughed. “So we’re on the same boat!”
“Apparently!” I agreed.
“Well,” he sighed, “it’s not that I want lessons on kissing; I’m just going to suck at it the first time anyway.”
“So why are you coming to me for?” I asked. I was confused as to why he bothered seeking my expertise…or lack thereof.
“I was wondering…,” He paused, “…If you knew how she felt about me?”
My jaw opened, and I scoffed. Has he not been in the same body when he and Cas would roll around in the grass during lunch? Was he not alive when he and Cas would flirt and say how cute the two of them would look if they would be dating each other? I wanted to slap him…Hard. “Kiss her, you idiot,” I demanded. “I mean, don’t try to suck her lips off…But kiss her; on the lips, not the cheek. And tell her you want to be her boyfriend…And then kiss her again, understand!?”I took the palm of my hand and bopped Jayden on the forehead. “You’re an idiot,” I laughed. “She likes you! You can’t be that oblivious to not notice that!” Jayden rubbed his forehead; I didn’t think I bopped him that hard. He then looked at me and laughed.
“Well believe it or not Ev, she’s the only girl I’ve felt an attraction for,” he admitted.
“Holy cow!” I shouted; some people stared.
“What?” he said alarmingly.
“Nothing,” I stuttered, “it’s just…I’m actually dealing with the same dilemma.”
“Wow,” he said. “Lucky us, huh?”
“Absolutely!” I sang sarcastically.
Jayden held his hand high up; I had to hold onto Scarlett as well as my “Giant Book Bag o’ Death from above” just to jump up and deliver a high five to his hand. It stung a bit, but it was actually pleasant to connect with Jayden for more than five seconds. He began to remind me more and more like the male version of myself.
“We should head over to home room before we both get in trouble,” Jayden warned me.
“Yeah,” I agreed, “and then we’ll spend after school hours in detention.”
“Awesome!” He chanted.
“Totally!” I added.
Jayden then suddenly ruffled my hair; something Barry would do relentlessly.
“Like the hair, by the way,” He complimented me. “The boy should notice if he knows what’s good for him.”
“Thanks!” I sang. It was good to know that Jayden also approved of my choice of hair style.
Jayden and I made it just before the bell had sounded off. I immediately took to my assigned seat, and an awaiting Casrial stared at me with a look that resembled a kid who was scolded for something she had not done. “Sorry for the—,” I began, but Jayden had made a bee line right for Cas’ seat.
She must have felt the urge to do so, but it was very convenient at that moment for Cas to stand up from her seat. Once Jayden reached her, he held Cas’s face, cupping each cheek in a palm of his hand. Without any words, except a soft gasp from Cas, Jayden pulled in, and his lips met hers as they pressed together passionately. He held that kiss for three-point-five seconds before pulling away, and the alluring suction of the kiss as it was broken was a sweet signal for the entire class room of students—including myself—to chant and cheer with whistles and wolf howling woops, coos and choruses of “awwww” from the hopeless romantics. The teacher was not interested at all, and instead remained nose-deep in the newspaper with his feet propped up on his own desk as he reclined in his chair.
“Casrial,” Jayden began. His voice sounded as though he was out of breath. “Listen, I like you…a lot…And I don’t want to put up a front like I’m just joking around. You’re the cutest girl I’ve ever seen, talked to, touched, and even kissed. That was the first time I’ve ever kissed a girl, by the way. But, what I’m trying to say is—,”
“YES!” Casrial interrupted—it was pretty easy to see she couldn’t hold back her feelings either.
“Tha—no, that’s not what I was trying to—,” Jayden said, oblivious as usual.
“I mean, yes I want to go out with you!” Casrial sang again.
Cas’ face showed it all; she was waiting for this moment. It was obvious to me at least, that they would wind up being together. Since the very moment Casrial saw Jayden, she saw, she felt, she knew that they had to be together. Each day they had grown closer to one another, and it showed through their actions, the non-extinguishing glow that emanated from both of them when they were together. And when Casrial finally pulled Jayden back in for their second kiss, the students in the room roared with applause, like the ending to a romantic film. It was at that point when I’d realized I needed to talk to Devin. Devin needed to know that this was more than just some selfish adolescent feeling I was experiencing; there was an uncontrollable force pulling me ever so closer to him, and I was not about to fight against its current. Devin Greigh; the boy who was born not knowing his parents, raised to protect me, and would gladly die if it meant knowing I was alive, but not knowing where our feelings would take us unless he’d surrendered to his own. It was that thought alone that made me realize that I felt exactly as Casrial; Devin Greigh belonged with me, and I with him. It was only a matter of time until that truth was realized, and then he would have nothing to fear; the union will bring us together, strengthen our will to survive and protect each other, and allow us to taste some form of normality in both of our lives. The only thing I had not known was when exactly it would all happen.
The rest of the day seemed to drag on up until my lunch period. “So,” Casrial started. Something in her tone sounded like she had urgent news, “you remember the game Saturday, right guys?” I nodded, along with Jayden, whose eyes were completely glued to Cas; it was obvious that he had fallen hard for her. “Something completely wrecked the hallways of the east wing of their school! No one knows what the cause of it was!” she announced. I knew the cause of the wreckage, however; the intense battle between Devin Greigh, and the gheist that wanted me dead, Setzer. The fight had left the hallway of the Wildcats High School in the condition a city would be in after being decimated by a small nuclear warhead. It was incredible no one really heard the destruction at its apex—perhaps they were too focused on halftime.
“You think maybe someone set a bomb off or something?” Jayden asked.
“Maybe,” I answered as convincingly as possible. “But that would mean our school would be blamed for it eventually.”
“It’s already happening,” Casrial sighed, pulling out part of a newspaper. She placed it flat on the bench we all sat on outside so we could read it. Casrial cleared her throat before dictating the words from the article.
“Fellow Wildcats were outraged about the unknown vandalism. Some have gone far to say, ‘it was a sick and sadistic prank by the Blue Devils football team and students; a prank that should not go unpunished.’
“The vandalized school’s principal stated that there was no evidence pointing to a member of Wildcats football team, school faculty or fans, or any noticeable motive for them to vandalize school property.”
“Well, we can expect occasional visits from Wildcats in the nearest future,” I said sarcastically.
“That’s ridiculous,” Jayden stated, “Why would anyone practically demolish the inside of another school building as a prank? Seriously, our school kicked their asses…badly! That’s insult enough.”
“There’s more,” Casrial quieted us. She shook the paper as if rain had dampened it, and continued.
“A few of the Wildcats’ school student body disagree, however. As they had taken camera photos of the wreckage, one of them stated they had seen a young female with dark hair before she had mysteriously disappeared.
“Witnesses had stated that the girl most likely could have been part of, if not the complete cause of the vandalism…blah blah blah,” Cas folded up the paper, crumpled it into a ball, and then blindly tossed it over her shoulder, right into a trash can that I had no idea existed. I froze in my seat. Those boys actually caught a glimpse of me after all—but how!? It was so dark in the hallway; I didn’t even think I’d gone in the right bathroom.
“It’s a good thing I actually took a wrong turn to go to the bathroom,” I lied, “I think I would have been in the middle of that!”
“Yeah,” Cas agreed, but stared at me suspiciously before repeating, “it’s a good thing.”
“Yeah, spent half time vomiting in the bathroom in the west wing,” I muttered; Cas continued to stare.
“Good times!” Jayden sang.
“Totally!” I added.
We high fived—something we had adopted as one of our signature responses according to our buddy protocol. I glanced at Casrial again, and her stern expression had finally faded; she was starting to freak me out with the serious look. “I can’t get over how adorable your hair looks!” Casrial crooned.
“Does it seriously look that good?” I asked. “Or is there something seriously wrong with my hair, and no one is telling me?”
“Okay, there is,” Jayden began.
“Shut up!” I shouted. “What did I do wrong!?”
“Your hair is looking a little dark…gone into any vandalized bathrooms lately?” Jayden started laughing.
I threw a French fry at him, and Casrial shoved him off of the bench. We both laughed as we high fived each other. I then had a feeling that I was being watched. It had hit me like a left hook to my gut. I looked over Casrial’s shoulder, and that is when I saw him. Devin was at the same spot he was when I’d seen him the first time during my lunch period; leaning against the old tree looming over a few of the lunch benches. I felt that he wanted me to follow him. Devin didn’t even have to motion for me to get the hint; just seeing him there was a good enough sign.
“I’ll be right back, big sis,” I told Cas quickly.
I left my lunch tray on the bench; I was finished with my lunch anyway, with the exception of the one lonely fry that served as the perfect weapon against Jayden’s forehead. I stumbled from where I’d sat on the bench, and headed for the old looming tree. When I was at a good enough distance to see Devin’s lips, he had removed his traditional hood. I was in love with the way his hair was chaotic and out of place. I couldn’t help but to smile when I witnessed Devin reveal himself to me.
“I wasn’t expecting any berating this early during the day,” I said sarcastically.
“I’m not here to berate you,” Devin ensured me, “and I don’t mean to berate you; it’s more of a defense mechanism.”
“Wait, what?” I blurted the question out.
I stared into Devin’s eyes, and I noticed that his eyes seemed lost in mine; whenever my eyes had moved or trembled with observation, his eyes surveyed and followed, never losing track of them. I felt like something was troubling Devin; usually he would play right into my sarcasm, and cut me down with the most blunt, obnoxious and condescending comment that was the first to escape his perfect lips.
“You okay there?” I asked. “Since when did you become the sincere type with me? Are you getting mushy on me?”
I figured if I would treat Devin like I treated Barry, I would snap him out of reality; after all, it had worked for Barry every time he seemed out of the loop with life, or if a girl had dumped him, or if he just wasn’t himself. Devin seemed to have that tough, rugged attitude like Barry, so I was certain he would snap out of whatever funk he was experiencing.
“So you would prefer me berating you the entire day?” he asked in a confused tone.
“Kind of, yeah,” I answered as I walked closer to him so I could lean against the tree.
“Why?” Devin asked.
“You feel different,” I answered. “I’m used to the berating. I like hearing the way your voice flows when you orchestrate your witty remarks.” I smiled briefly after saying that. I saw that Devin had the look of a child when waiting for what happens next midway through a bedtime story, so I continued, “But this…this is like you’re sulking. You seem like something is troubling you. Is it about what I said last night?”
“Let’s not get into that right now,” Devin muttered, his eyes still fixed tight on mine.
“Okay, fair enough,” I sighed.
I kicked a few tiny twigs stuck in the grass that surrounded the looming tree, and then I fiddled with the traveling case that Scarlett was kept snug inside.
“So did you read the newspaper?” I asked; my attempt at changing the subject.
“Wildcats school mysteriously vandalized,” Devin recited.
“Yeah,” I scoffed.
And then something had just dawned upon me; something about that boy Devin had fought a few days ago. “That gheist,” I started, “the one you fought at the school. How was he even human?” Devin remained quiet for a few seconds, tucked his free hand into the pocket of his hooded sweater, and then slowed down his shuffling stride to a near halt.
“When a human is possessed by a gheist, they are already considered dead; their soul is usually exiled or consumed from the body in order to make room for the gheist. Ergo, the human is no longer the same person; they become a product of the gheist that possessed them.”
I stopped suddenly. “That’s crazy!” I gasped.
Devin snickered. “Yeah, to say the least,” he agreed.
“So you’re telling me that gheists also have the power to possess people!?” I asked. Devin finally stopped and turned around so that his eyes met mine.
“Now don’t get your panties in a bunch,” he ensured, “It’s not common, and if it happens, it only happens to normal humans. Normal human spirits are weak, and therefore easy for a gheist to manipulate. Also, possession isn’t performed by your average gheist, so don’t worry about some random one jumping into bodies anytime soon.” I sighed heavily after Devin had ensured me that I did not have to worry about my body being possessed by one of those gheists.
We had stopped by a lonely bench, about two-hundred yards away from Casrial and Jayden. I sat down, testing its weight, and propped my elbow up on the table top of the bench. I rested the side of my face against the palm of my hand and looked up at Devin; his crystal, ocean-blue eyes were still fixed upon my own.
“Tell me what’s wrong,” I spoke softly.
“Nothing,” Devin answered. “Your hair…”
“What about it?” I asked, still self-conscious about it.
“It smells like a scratch-n-sniff sticker again,” he laughed slightly.
“I suppose so!” I laughed as well.
Devin sat down as I grabbed a few locks of my own hair, putting it to my nose to take in the fresh, ripe strawberry fragrance from the shampoo I’d used.
“Do you like my hair?” I asked.
“Well it depends on what you mean about me liking your hair,” Devin answered as I continued to smell my hair. “I like that you’re not bald,” he added.
“I like your hair too,” I said through a smile. “It’s all crazy and out of place.”
“Must be the shampoo I use,” Devin joked.
“And I like your eyes,” I mentioned, “because it’s so perfectly blue, like you hold the skies inside of them. I can barely see your pupils.”
I began staring into his eyes just the same as he was staring into mine. There was literally a force I’d felt that drew me closer to him. It was then that I felt it; the harmonic resonance chiming like grand church bells off in a distance. His aura was like a whisper of his voice; faint, but still recognizable. I felt the familiar cooling/warmth sensation without even touching him; it had rushed through my body like blood rushing through the brain before fainting. Then I heard what sounded like actual whispers from within Devin’s spirit. It was at that time that I had realized that those whispers were indeed Devin’s whispers; Devin’s spirit was thinking, and I was able to hear him. There were so many words and sentences flowing from Devin’s spirit, it was as if it was an orchestra of conversation in a small, crowded room. The feeling was so new, I was startled by it, and jumped suddenly; the connection that had drawn me in was immediately cut.
“What just happened?” I sounded out of breath.
Devin blinked rapidly for a few seconds.
“Astral Communication,” Devin answered. “If someone’s thinking, and you hear it, it means their spirit is communicating with yours. You can learn a lot from a person by Astral Communication.”
“But, how did it happen so suddenly!?” I asked, “I mean, one second I was staring into your eyes, and then the next second I was hearing a plethora of different thoughts.”
“Because you want to know if there’s anything I am keeping from you,” he murmured.
Before I can tell him that what he said did not register in my frame of understanding, Devin continued. “You must remember that you’re a medium; you’re going to be discovering more interesting…nuances of what you can do.”
“So,” I started, “If I wanted to see if you were hiding any feelings from me, all I would have to do is think about reading your mind?”
Devin sighed. “It’s one of those gifts that just happen when you think about it,” he muttered.
“So are you going to tell me what’s on your mind,” I asked, unable to help smirking recognizably in front of him, “or am I just going to have to discover it by reading your soul?”
“It doesn’t work that easily,” Devin smirked back. “You remember the plethora of thoughts you had run into? That was me scrambling the Astral Communication.”
I scoffed—“Are you serious? You can actually do that?
Devin laughed and replied, “Or you can just close the connection completely…It’s like talking on an instant messenger, except everyone’s signed on. Normal people have their connections open all the time, because they don’t know or understand what really goes on with the human spirit. Beings, like you and me for instance, have complete control over our connections; it can be a very powerful tool, when perfected.”
“Huh,” I thought out loud. It had hit me late that I’d acquired a new gift just by staring at Devin and trying to figure out what was on his mind; I was able to read thoughts through the spirits of another.
“You can also speak to your wraith buddies without people looking at you weird,” Devin spoke suddenly; he was apparently much quicker with the soul-reading than I was right now.
“How do you do that?” I’d asked anyway. “You read my thoughts so fast!”
“Practice,” Devin smirked.
A gentle wind blew past, and our hair both danced with the current to which the wind was blowing. We stared at one another again, and I had surrendered my thoughts to him once again. I knew that he did not want to talk about it, but I had a slight hunch that he was listening in on my spirit’s thoughts; I decided to unload all of my feelings for him, letting him know that there was nothing to be afraid of. I thought about how much I’d felt an uncontrollable force pulling me towards him, how I would vow to protect him, as he was protecting me.
After a moment, Devin shook his head as though he was trying to recover from a blow to the head, and then rose from the bench.
“You’re giving me way too much information,” he winced.
“I’m sorry,” I spoke softly. “I didn’t know pain was involved.”
“Well sometimes, the trafficking of sensitive information can be a bit stinging,” Devin admitted. “You could have just told me personally.”
“But you’re the one who said not to talk about it,” I argued.
“I didn’t say that,” Devin responded, “I merely suggested that we did not discuss it at that point in time.”
I scoffed—“Okay, so is now a good time?”
“No,” Devin snapped.
“Why not!?” I growled surprisingly.
“My head hurts,” Devin complained. “Too much information.”
“Why am I even bothering?” I said irritably, “Maybe you don’t like me like that; maybe I am an idiot like you say. Maybe I’m just, seriously….seriously wasting my time.”
I wanted to break something; a twig, a window, the bench I was sitting on. But the most peculiar thing about it was how I’d succumbed to these emotions. I had no idea why I was even upset that Devin was trying to avoid talking about…whatever it was that was unnerving him. I didn’t even know what it was that kept pulling me to him, making me aggressively chase after him the way I have been chasing without hesitation. All I knew was that it has happened to me the moment I had bumped into him, and it had only amplified with each encounter. I just wanted, for one moment, not to think about wraiths, waywards, gheists, and being the key to stopping some supernatural war; I wanted a moment of feeling normal, having a crush and going out on dates. Did Devin not want the same? I stared frantically into his eyes, relaying those exact thoughts straight to his spirit—I could tell it was working every time he had winced from some of the words I had spiritually shouted. “Are we seriously having an argument through Astral Communication?” Devin snickered.
I just stared at him for a moment, and then stuck my tongue out at him. “Yep, and that was my emoticon,” I teased.
Devin snickered as he shook his head and said, “That was actually clever, even for you.”
I gave him a bright smile after he had genuinely complimented me.
“This is my smiley!” I sang as I distorted my smile into that of a demented clown.
He finally cracked a smile and laughed. “You smile like Alexander,” he teased.
We both laughed, knowing how Mr. Goldstein’s smile resembled the Cheshire cat. We joked for a moment about the entire concept of Astral Communication. As Devin suggested, Astral Communication worked pretty much like an online instant messenger; I can link up with anyone’s soul, and receive information instantly. If I wanted to know how old Casrial was, all I would have to do is think it, and my spirit would attempt to connect to hers. It’s a very peculiar and advanced form of telepathy, only it’s not entirely telepathy; it’s more than just reading thoughts. Devin and I had the ability to actually control the connection; if I didn’t want someone to know a specific portion of information, I would just think to myself, do not let them know this information, and our spirits would prevent that information from being trafficked. Or, for a more theatrical approach—as Devin demonstrated on me earlier—I could just look at random things and observe, and think about what I just saw, and open up the communication. The result would scramble the communication, causing the connection to be cut abruptly. I’d learned that there’s plenty of ways to use Astral Communication to my advantage just by thinking up commands that my spirit would understand; it was almost like voice command—only much more steadfast.
Devin had easily succeeded in curbing my frustration; I still had not known why I exploded like that. We actually sat on the same bench together, and he had helped me utilize my new gift by practicing on a couple of passersby whenever they were within range; a spirit had to be within my range of sight in order to set up a connection. I actually managed to gather plenty of information from random people’s spirits; a lot of them were practical information such as relationship statuses and their current residences, while others were more unambiguous forms of information, like what they had eaten six weeks ago, or what dark secrets were they hiding. The dark secrets information gathering didn’t work too well; I had to be more specific.
“You have to ask things like, ‘have you cheated on anyone?’ You can’t just ask what secrets they are hiding,” Devin pointed out.
“Why can’t I?” I whined.
“Just think about it. People who have secrets have a lot more than just one or two. You were lucky you had asked someone who didn’t have any; you would have been bombarded by unwanted information.”
“Kind of like pop up adware,” I joked.
“Exactly,” Devin smiled.
We practiced a little more until I had remembered I’d left Casrial and Jayden.
“They’re probably wondering where I had disappeared,” I sighed.
“Yeah,” Devin agreed. “You should head back. You only have fifteen more minutes left anyway.”
“Crap,” I swore, “you’re right…ugh, let me get back then.”
Devin and I both rose from the bench. I had grown familiar with the sensation which rushed throughout my body whenever Devin and I were close enough to touch, and once we had awkwardly stepped away from each other, that sensation quickly flushed from every pore on my body.
“Listen,” Devin started. I turned around, my eyes meeting his. I noticed that he had always blinked whenever my eyes would find his.
“Yeah?” I asked softly.
“Are you doing anything after school Friday?” He asked surprisingly.
“Um—,” I stuttered, intrigued by what he would ask after I had answered him.
I tried to make a connection, but Devin shook it away; just as simple as a head shake, and the connection was denied.
“Don’t overexert yourself,” Devin said sternly.
“Okay, sorry,” I apologized. “Um, other than reading, possible homework, taking pictures and talking to waywards…nothing really…Why?”
“There’s a meeting at my house—you’ll get to meet the rest of the family.”
I gasped. There were more members of Devin’s family? What else had Mr. Goldstein kept from me?
“Yes, there’s more family members,” Devin answered suddenly—I must have thought to myself without knowing.
“What’s the occasion?” I asked.
“Your initiation,” Devin smirked.
My eyes crossed as I repeated, “My initiation?”
“That’s right,” Devin smiled—“Meet me out front by the main building after school Friday, okay?”
“Um, okay,” I said. “It’s a date!”
Devin smiled, and then turned to walk away. He didn’t object to my comment about it being a date, which confused me even more about his feelings towards me.
“By the way,” He stopped, “my dad’s going talk to your folks.”
“About what?” I asked.
“The initiation’s going to take time to endure—three nights to be exact. You’re going to go through a lot of pain during the second night, so you’re going to need the third night to recuperate. My dad’s going to ask your parents for their permission to stay at our house for the weekend.”
Things started to sound a lot more intriguing to me. The fact that I was to be initiated in front of Devin’s ‘family’ meant one thing; they had to be clairvoyant beings like him. And…whatever initiation I had to go through…was going to be painful; it could possibly leave me bed ridden for an entire day, and perhaps it could kill me. All I knew was I had to be prepared…For anything.
“So wait,” I said with an elongated and teasing tone, “I’ll be spending the weekend at your house?” I winked.
“Do not even think about—,” Devin started.
It was too late, however. The thoughts I started teasing him with—sharing the weekend locked up in the same room with Devin—was already delivered to his spirit as soon as I had made the connection. A twisted and sadistic grin stretched across my face as I bit the tip of my index fingernail. Of course, I was only teasing him; it was payback for him not talking to me about his feelings for me, and making me so upset and irate at him. I giggled as he gave me a look of defeat.
“You’re sleeping on the couch this weekend,” Devin snapped.
I simply giggled, satisfied with my victory, and then skipped back towards the lunch site where I had left Casrial and Jayden.