Anne walked alongside Carmen down the sidewalk of a busy street downtown. When it came time for her to rest, Carmen sat down on a bench to read part of her textbook on alternative spirituality. She couldn’t see Anne reading over her shoulder, in fact she didn’t even know Anne was with her. The subject matter in Carmen’s book was of particular interest to Anne, given that she was a ghost. For a ghost, Anne didn’t know much about how ghostly powers worked. She suspected Carmen knew more than she did about it, being a religious studies student who was taking a course on alternative spirituality. Anne didn’t even know how long she had been dead for. She barely remembered anything about her life, besides her name. The fact that she was still earthbound told her that there was something she had not had time to finish while she was alive. She was drawn toward the university, like there was something there she needed. She was pretty sure she had been a student there and it was where her unfinished business was. She hoped that by possessing the body of a student, she could interact more closely with her surroundings, remember who she was, and do whatever she needed to do in order to move on to the next world. She didn’t know much about possessing bodies but what could possibly go wrong?
Actually, Anne could think of a few complications in her plan. The knowledge Carmen and her friends possessed about ghosts was definitely going to put an obstacle in Anne’s path, while they may not have fully believed in spirit possession their professor had ensured that their minds were open to the possibility. If Anne chose Carmen as her host, it would likely be difficult to avoid detection. Why she was considering Carmen of all people, she was unsure. There was just something about Carmen that she liked. Perhaps it was that they had similar enough personalities that Anne felt she could convincingly pretend to be her. Carmen had first caught Anne’s attention in her class on spiritualism, which of course Anne found herself floating into often, as though someone was summoning her, when she noticed that Carmen often spent her classes doodling instead of taking notes. Sometimes she doodled random shapes, sometimes played games with herself, sometimes drew pictures of whatever came into her mind. Upon following Carmen around in order to learn more about her, Anne realized that this was because Carmen had such good memory she rarely needed to take notes in class. Anne was unsure why this interested her, it just sort of stood out. It was something unique about Carmen that few other people did. Carmen was unique in other ways too. She could explain things that interested her, such as filmmaking and art, in great detail and remember what happened in her favourite TV shows right down to the episode yet panicked to the point of throwing things when she couldn’t find her keys. She sometimes had difficulty controlling her temper, yet she was very kind to everyone even those she disliked and feared.
Carmen got up from the bench and went inside a mall. She then approached a vending machine near the entrance. She cut in front of a man who was about to use the vending machine. The man yelled at her. Carmen was apologetic and genuinely didn’t seem to have known that she had cut in front of someone. She stepped aside, looking frustrated. Anne wondered how this had happened. Had Carmen not noticed him? Did she not realize he was about to use the vending machine? Was she just being selfish? Carmen was usually really nice. Anne wanted to know why it was Carmen thought so differently from other people. Some people seemed to think Carmen was a difficult person, but Anne was starting to figure that Carmen was simply misunderstood because her mind seemed to be on a different frequency than everyone else. This made her a perfect person to possess because people already thought she was strange and so they wouldn’t notice her being possessed, it would look like Carmen just being unusual as usual. Still Anne felt guilty for thinking that way; Carmen was a person, not a tool. Her fondness for Carmen made her feel a little guilty about trying to pick apart how Carmen’s mind worked. Than again she needed to try and understand Carmen in order to impersonate her, another thing she felt guilty about. She would have to be sure not to let it impact Carmen’s life too much.
After finally getting a drink from the vending machine, Carmen headed toward the hospital. At first Anne thought Carmen was going to see her therapist like she usually did at least once a week, that’s where she had told her grandparents she was going. So why was she instead going to the hospital? Anne was confused and alarmed. Was something wrong?