“Which room is yours?” Dodd asked as he helped Shelly climb the stairs to her room on the third floor of the dorm.
“Oh, him you let into your dorm room,” Allen rumbled, following along. “I don’t trust
“Shhh,” Shelly hissed, now aware that Allen had really appeared again, but this time not in the park, but here, on campus, in her dorm. This is bad, she thought. “I told you you’re not supposed to be here.”
Dodd was confused. “I thought you wanted my help? Are you okay? Are you in shock?” She was having trouble getting up the stairs. She was leaning on him, depending on him. It was a long fall. If someone tripped on these stairs, they’d most likely break their neck. But maybe not? He held her tighter, helping her move up one step at a time. “Do you feel dizzy,” he asked.
“No. I just have a headache,” Shelly said, realizing she had to be more careful when she spoke to the ghost with others around. “I have a really big headache!” She wondered if the ghost understood she meant him. She decided to focus on Dodd. He was holding her, helping her.
Dodd is stronger than he looks, she suddenly mused, feeling his arms around her back. Good thing. Her legs still felt shaky and her head was swimming.
“Don’t worry. I’ll leave as soon as I get you to your room,” Dodd said, realizing they were almost at the third floor. She would be safe in a few short steps.
“A likely story,” Allen hissed. “He’s not going to leave. He’s got the hots for you.” “Not everyone is like you,” Shelly replied.
“Thank you…I think,” Dodd said. “You sure you don’t want me to call an ambulance? You’re acting a bit strange?” Even for an Ecto, he thought, aware that in two steps he’d be on the third floor. He suddenly wondered just how powerful her sensitivity was. Is she more powerful than me? One shove down the stairs and he wouldn’t need to know.
“No ambulance,” Shelly said. “I’m fine. Just a bit tired and a HUGE headache!” Why doesn’t he leave me alone, she thought, wishing Allen would leave.
“So which room is yours?” Dodd was still holding Shelly up as she limped down the corridor. “Wait a minute. I bet I can guess.”
“How can you guess?” He was teasing her. He had not shown any sense of humor up to now, but had appeared dark and kind of mysterious. A sense of humor would be a nice touch, she thought.
Dodd smiled. “Don’t you remember? We were talking about parapsychology before that idiot bus driver almost ran you down?” He had decided to try and learn the truth before he did anything else. He had been so certain she was the right one, but something had stopped him. He couldn’t help feeling she was nice…not at all what he thought she would be like. He almost wished she had been the self-serving, arrogant, greedy witch he had expected. How could he hurt
someone like her…someone who was making him care about her. I’m confused, he thought, voices arguing inside him. I’ve got to be sure.
Shelly vaguely remembered something about wanting to go visit the psychology building that morning… “Dr. Lasker,” she suddenly exclaimed, happy she remembered his name. “That’s who I was supposed to see.” She eyed him curiously. “You said he’s your boss? I remember.” His eyes are so blue, she thought as he gazed down at her.
Dodd nodded. “He’s chairman of the department.”
“Isn’t that weird,” Shelly said. “You work for the guy I was going to see.” “That’s very weird,” Allen echoed. “I told you I don’t trust him.”
They were almost at her door. “What’s he like?” Shelly asked, fishing for her keys in her fanny pack.
“Lasker’s a unique character.” Dodd hesitated before he continued, “He specializes in unexplained phenomena like ESP, mental telepathy and of course ghosts.” He suddenly looked hard at Shelly. “Is that really the kind of person you want to see?” He hoped she would change her mind…it was her only chance.
Shelly wondered just how much she should tell him. “I’m considering taking a course with him. Ghosts have always fascinated me. You know all the movies and all.” Why was she lying to him? Had she come to the point where she didn’t trust anyone, even someone as cute as this tall stranger who somehow rescued her from the bus and was now helping her through the hall? Were other girls looking him over? There was nobody around…all in classes, Shelly
thought, embarrassed that she had hoped at least some would see her handsome escort. Not like me at all, Shelly scolded, must be shock.
Dodd didn’t reply. He was studying the doorways along the hall. There were at least a dozen doors that could pop open at any time, far too many. “That’s your room,” he pointed to room 306. “Am I right?”
Shelly turned toward him, a look of amused surprise on her face. “How did you do that? Do you have ESP?” He looked perfectly normal, nothing out of the ordinary, except for his blue eyes which seemed too blue for his face framed by all that wild brown hair that hung almost to his shoulders. She had always been a sucker for blue eyes and dark hair. What the hell am I thinking, she scolded herself for not staying on track. Must be the accident…but he is cute in a mysterious way. She thought of Jeff’s face, so square, framed by boy-next-door blond hair…no real depth…definitely, not mysterious…a one-dimensional jock whose tanned skin was so different than this boy’s pale flesh…she saw Jeff naked in her bed, but wondered what Dodd would be like…Jeff was rough and tumble…Dodd looked like he would be gentle…What the hell am I thinking about, Shelly scolded again.
Dodd laughed, but he found nothing funny in this quest to find out just how much she knew. “ ESP? No, I’m just as normal as you.”
Shelly was beginning to wonder how normal she was, seeing a ghost and all. “So how did you pick out my room?”
Dodd pointed to the notepad on her door.
Shelly looked at the scrawled note, a shiver running through her body.
SHELLY, I WARNED YOU
She grabbed the note and crushed it in her fist. “We always get some joker writing on this thing. I should get rid of it.”
Dodd noticed the note was written in red ink…red as blood. I wonder who wrote that one? Could it have been Chan? Does he finally believe me, he thought, as he crushed the other note in his pocket.