Sebastian The Traveler

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Chapter 7 - Sebastian

I chuckled as I watched the fat man try to get to his feet.

I kept looking between him and Avery.

She was giggling, trying to hide her amusement by covering her mouth with her hand. Her tears were gone and she looked happy now. I smiled. I always wanted her to be happy--It had become my number one goal and I always achieved my goals.

Fat man was an asshole. You dont treat people like that, it doesnt matter how miserable your existence is. Everyone has feelings and its inconsiderate, selfish pricks like that guy that cause people to doubt themselves, resulting in self hate. I had seen it many times in my travels but I had never intervened, until now.

I slid that chair into Fat Guy.

No one should get away with treating anyone like that, better yet my Avery. Yeah... I said it.

My Avery.

The rest of her day went smoothly and she seemed happy--different than the first time I saw her. And on the subway ride home, she actually had a conversation with the old lady holding her purse.

"Hi! I'm Avery," she smiled.

The lady smiled back, kindly acknowledging the attempt for a friendly conversation, "Veda," she said, "and who's the handsome guy beside you?"

My mouth dropped.

Oh, no... no, no, no...

She could see me? How could she see me? Panic set in very quickly as I wasnt prepared for this.

"I'm sorry?" Avery asked, obviously confused. She looked around her but only her and Veda were currently riding the subway. Well... and me, but she didnt know that.

"The young man right there!" Veda exclaimed, looking directly at me. I shook my head, bringing my finger to my mouth, hoping she would understand that Avery wasnt aware of my prescence. Veda's eyes narrowed at me and she frowned disapprovingly.

Avery's eyes were wide now, her mouth slightly open. She clenched her jaws and swallowed. Hard. She understood that her life as of late was a bit strange but she couldnt pin point the problem. The drawers. The cat. The chair. The dream...

Veda waved her hand in dismissal, "My mistake, dear. My old brain plays tricks on me sometimes." I mouthed thank you. She smirked, still irritated at the situation but gave me a small nod. Avery chuckled nervously, but breathed a sigh of relief while placing a hand on her chest, "You had me thinking I had some sort of imaginary stalker!"

"I apologize. But even if there was, would it really be so bad?" Veda pressed. I frowned. I did not like where this conversation was headed, it needed to end quickly...

"Someone following me around that I didnt see? Yeah, that would be creepy," Avery smiled.

"Its all in how you look at it. Is the glass half empty or half full? Think of it more as a guardian angel and less as an obsessive ghost." She eyed me, trying to hint at the certainty of the situation she knew Avery was unaware of.

And Avery? Well... she was quiet the rest of the way home.

***

She ate dinner in front of the tv, watching reruns of Friends. She giggled here and there and I couldnt help but smile. Was there anything about this woman that wasnt beautiful?

Milo still had not warmed up to my presence. He would stare at me and meow, or growl--sometimes hiss. She would raise her eyebrows in surprise and follow his gaze to me. She would stare for a few seconds, confused and then return to her show, as her eyes saw nothing. But the doubt had been placed in her mind thanks to Veda. Veda and a couple of random incidents.

At 1:30am she had still not crawled into bed yet and I was getting impatient. It was possible she didnt have to work the next day and that was great for her but it also meant I had to wait longer to talk to her again and that just wouldnt do. So I did what any sane ghost would do...

...I turned the clock radio on beside her bed.

I know, I know, Bad Sebastian!

The clock background light switched on and music filled the air, "I've been thinking about you, wondering whose stuck in your head at night, wonder if I ever cross your mind, keeping you up in your bed at night." Avery's head snapped to the might stand, her eyebrows furrowed in confusion, so I switched to another song, "Tell me your sweet, sweet little lies, all about the dark places you hide, tell me all your problems make them mine, tell me all your sweet, sweet little lies." She jumped up from her spot on the couch and scrambled to the clock, picking it up and staring at in what could be describe as a combination of awe and fear.

Now, dont get me wrong, I could continue this little game--switching from song to song, as I know its expected of something like me to do so. She would get annoyed and rip the cord from the wall thinking there was something wrong with the damn thing, then realize that killing the power did absolutely nothing to stop the music. She would get scared, she would cry, she would hide under her covers, blah, blah, blah--hell, she might even move, I dont know--insert me shrugging here, if you so please. But I promised to protect Avery, not terrify her. I need to pay attention to boundries...

So after I killed the music, she just stood there, staring at the clock, in the purest form of bewilderment I have ever seen, until it finally happened... she yawned.

That's right--showtime!

Milo must have become accustomed to her routine, as he climbed into bed and went straight for the second pillow while she was in the bathroom brushing her teeth. Tonight though, he ignored me. We are apparently at the "indifference" stage, he and I.

Now here is where I will allow you to judge me as I'm a fairly young dude and I appreciate the form of a hot chick like any regular man my age would. So yes, I stared at her with probably the perv-iest expression on my face one could ever imagine as she crawled across her bed in only a white tank top and black, lacey boy shorts--whats the fun in always being a perfect gentleman? Avery wasn't below drool worthy in anyway, shape, or form.

I would totally smack that ass, no shame...

***

The sky.

The rolling hills.

The tree, with the pink flowers...

Was I in her painting?!

She looked at the sky, tilting her head curiously. I had noticed immediately the color wasn't as dark as she had originally painted it. Obviously, this thought was just now occurring to her. She crushed one of the pink flowers between her fingers, then released it into the wind.

I slowly stepped out from behind the tree, "Avery?" My heart pounded, would she remember me?

She turned to look at me, startled and wide eyed. "Sebastian," she whispered. Her eyes took me in curiously.

I suppose since I interrupted her dream I should probably talk first... seemed like the logical thing to do. I scrambled for something--anything--to say, only to realize my mind was completely and utterly blank under her gaze.

"Are you stalking me, now?" She asked, quite amused with herself.

Uh... what do I say to that? If she wanted to get technical then, yes... yes, I was.

Go ahead, insert my nervous chuckle here.

"You know, appearing once in my dream is pure luck, but twice..." she teased, shaking her hand back and forth in an attitude that only resembled a flat "eh."

Play it cool, 'Bastian, play it cool...

I casually looked around at our surroundings and shrugged, "Cant say I've ever been in a painting before, thought I might check it off my bucket list."

She nodded silently, as she too gazed outwards towards the landscape. She chuckled, bitterly, "If I knew this were to happen, I would have painted a sunny beach scene."

"Good, I expect to meet you there tomorrow night then," I grinned at her sarcasm.

She came closer, searching into my eyes. "Who are you?"

"A friend."

"I probably need one of those..."

"Then you're in luck."

"I want to stay here, forever... with you," she whispered softly. Her emotion filled, blue eyes pierced my soul, shattering my heart. I wanted that too but it couldn't happen.

"I wish that too, but it's not possible, Avery."

"Why?"

"Well you chose this," I motioned outwardly around us, "not a sunny beach."

The tension in her body released and she laughed. It was the most beautiful sound in the world and the fact that I had caused it brought about a warmth inside my chest and an instantaneous laugh as well.

But as our happy mood died down, I had to finally be honest, no matter how much it pained my poor little heart, "You dont belong in this world, Avery. You can visit, but you cant stay. I cant stay." She seemed confused so I explained, the best I could without actually telling her I was a ghost she inadvertently brought home, "Think of this as The Middle. You come half way. I come half way. We meet here."

"Always?" She askes.

I smiled and nodded, "Always."

I didnt have anywhere else to ever be now but beside her.

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