Two Ghosts

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3

Knocking. Really loud knocking on my apartment door echos through the room waking me up from my sleeping state.

"ugh"

no matter how much I dislike sleep I am not a morning person. kind of controversial.

I sit myself up from the floor I passed out on last night. Dry tears left crusted on my face and my throat feels scratchy from crying.

"Violet wake up!" the voice booms and continues to knock on my door.

"I'm coming give me a second," I mumble annoyed from the floor.

Putting my hands in front of me to balance myself, I stand up from. Slowly, once my two feet are on the ground, the room spins and my head throbs. Placing both hands on my head to ground myself, I tumble towards the front door.

Gripping the knob the door creaks open, and a very much awake Abby stands in front of me.

"Took you long enough." stating with a roll of her eyes she invites herself in.

Last year I moved into a cheap apartment, luckily just a ten minute bus ride from my high school.

When I finally decided to leave my parents home I saw a flyer on a crosswalk post for cheap rental apartments. I thought it was too good to be true and It clearly was.

Logging the address in on google maps, I immediately grew anxious. It was located just a little downtown. Murders, strip clubs, drugs and kidnappings were most popular on this side of Florida.

Just my luck right.

But it did not bother me how it should. in a heartbeat I would put up with all the variables in order to escape the house I was living in.

When I went to meet with the landlord to show me around he greeted me with a first bumb. He was so welcoming and the gesture took some of my nerves away.

He was around twenty eight, eyes bloodshot and reeked of weed.

There was clear water and wall damage. Mice were running around like it was their home. I quickly stood back in case I had to run off.

Taking more of a look at the house I questioned if there was running water. Jimmy, my landlord avoided the question and continued giving me the world tour.

Later on I realized there was not. The water came out brown... yeah.

The apartment was small, rundown and at first I was convinced it was haunted. The floorboards creaked and whisper noises filled my senses during the most quiet times.

Haunted.

It took awhile for me to have enough money to spend on furniture but when I finally did have enough I splurged. I wanted to make my new home feel as much like a home as it could. Not just a temporary escape or a bad decision.

For the first couple months my belongings included a pillow, toothbrush, blanket, teddy bear and enough clothes my suitcase could carry.

Once I picked up more shifts at the club I work at, I saved enough for a single bed. I tracked down the perfect one, on sale.

Things were starting to work themselves out.

Lots of sleepless nights spent working so I would not have to worry about eating or paying rent but I am happy how far I have come.

I have heard the journey is the most important part and I still beg that it is true.

I was nervous about signing the contract and Jimmy could tell. It was not about the apartment but the event where I would have to to get here.

Staring into thin air I heard Jimmy cough in order to get my attention.

"I'll tell you what sweetheart I'll knock the price down one hundred dollars a month for rent." Jimmy was probably in more need for a customer than I was for a home.

When Jimmy offered to help, my eyes widened at the request. No one could ever imagine how much I needed this apartment and the thought of someone trying to help almost sparked tears.

I immediately jumped into Jimmy's arms and celebrated with thank yous in his ear.

The act of hugging an older stranger was a little inappropriate but he was so high Jimmy did not care or push me away.

After making the alterations with the contract on the spot, he placed the new stack of documents in front of me.

As I searched in my purse for a pen, my adrenaline grew wary. My hands started to shake in my purse. I closed my eyes taking a breath. I hate being weak.

Jimmy reached into his pocket and handed me a pen offering with a gentle smile.

"Thanks Jimmy." I returned weakly

Jimmy stands in front of me while I read over the contract once more.

"Okay I think I'm ready." The statement was more to reassure myself.

I finally press the tip of the pen to the paper but no movement from my hands go to follow through the action. God.

After a moment I look up at Jimmy who's studying me. Wondering about my restraint. Before I open my mouth to tell him it's just nerves he speaks up.

"Violet I don't need to know your story to know that you're struggling a lot right now. But we all must experience our bad days to make room for the good to come. And I think this apartment will be your good"

I'm sure this was the drugs talking but I needed to hear that.

Without letting a tear fall I straighten my body and take a breath signing my signature at the bottom. I tried not to let a grin escape my lips as I did so.

"And sign once more right here and then we're done here."

I signed on the last X and looked up to Jimmy with a huge smile.

"Congratulations miss," Jimmy looks down at the paper, "Chattin."

That name itself makes me shiver. I never want to be referred to that again but for now it will have to do.

"Welcome to your new home. Electricity will turn on later today." Without a chance to shake his hand, Jimmy collects all the papers, leaving me a single key before walking out.

"Oh and violet. Be safe okay." With a look of sympathy he turns around and leaves.

I think Jimmy used the word safe with an arrange of meaning. He knew an eighteen year old girl does not just buy her own home with such anxiety unless she's running away from something.

Before closing the door all the way I see a girl my age coming out of an apartment.

"Oh hey are you the new neighbour?" She smiles and walks towards me.

"Yeah I just bought it a couple minutes ago, actually."

"Well I'm Abby." The girl holds out her hand and I reach out to shake it. Today definitely wins of the most smiles I've received and it feels weird.

"Im Violet." I decide to give her a smile. It feels so unknown but this was my fresh start to be wherever I wanted.

"I live here with my family. Are you accompanied with someone or" I cut her off before she feels uncomfortable to assume anything,

"I live alone yeah."

"Well if you ever need anything just knock on our door okay." I let out a thankful breath. Knowing someone around here would be nice.

"I'll definitely take you up on that. I don't really know anyone."

"Well then Violet it is official, you're my new best friend! whenever you're settled come over for dinner." I studied her statement for any inch of sarcasm but it was all genuine.

"Well are you sure I don't want to be a bother." I ask just in case but she interrupts and looks me dead in the eyes

"Violet you are not a bother. You're all alone in that apartment of yours and i'm in need of a friend as well."

I laugh.

I knew from that moment Abby and I were complete opposites. I have and will always be nervous around people and automatically believe I'm a bother where Abbys is energetic, happy and a direct person.

I knew I was going to like her a lot.

As Abby turns around a thought remains stationed in my head from my talk with Jimmy, "Oh, Abby?"

"Yes bestie?" A laugh rips through my body. That feeling alone is unknown and weird. This apartment is going to come with a lot of firsts and I think I'm finally ready for that.

"Is the water here clean? Jimmy refused to answer my question about it."

Abby's eyes grew in realization and immediately responded with a warning tone, "Oh no don't drink the water!"

"You'll need someone to fix the pipes. It comes out brown."

Cringing at her analysis I began to overthink. Plumbers cost money. Money that I do not have.

"Hey Violet, don't stress about it, my dads a plumber. When you're all settled he'll be more than happy to come over. We'll hang out that day."

I give her my thank yous one last time before saying goodbye and closing the door.

Locking it, I turn around to take everything in. The smell of cigarettes and molding wood inhales through my senses. I walk to the middle of the very small room and lie down on the cold dirty, wooden floor.

A pack of cigarettes remain perched in my bag but I don't bother, I won't be needing them anymore.

looking up at the ceiling I let out a breath I did not know I was capable of holding. Today is the start of my new life.

"It's time to leave Violet. It's finally time to pack up."

Now here we are, one year later. Abby and her family are the closest people I have in my life. A week later I was settled in and her parents invited me over for dinner. The warm gestures made that night was nothing I had ever felt before.

I'm not sure if they know of it but I consider them my family.

During that night, Abby's father Tim would not take no for an answer in fixing my pipes. When he walked into my empty apartment I was so afraid of judgement but never once in his eyes did I see it.

I should be proud of the home I have saved my life for but it is such an insecurity. Other than Abby and her parents I would never let anyone come in or see the outside. I wish I could be proud of myself but that feeling is long from ever being present.

One night while I was walking home with Abby from school, we noticed a couch on someone's lawn with a sign, "please take this. No charge."

Abby was a little nervous because no one threw out a perfect well conditioned couch, but I shook my head and forced her to take an end. It was another missing piece to my puzzle.

That day was the day I knew she would be my closest friend, not just a neighbour. We carried that couch four blocks and took more breaks than the time it took to get home. The looks we got from strangers and drivers in oncoming traffic was enough to make me lose my breath in enjoyment.

The feeling of happiness I felt in that moment terrified me once again. I was so afraid to let it in. No matter how much I try to forget my past, it's always there at the end of the day reminding me of my pain.

But that's the thing about pain isn't it? it refuses to be let go and forces you to feel it. Pain can never be forgotten, it's a part of who you are.

After a couple months into are friendship Abby witnessed one of my panic attacks when we were out. I tried to hide that side of myself from her but I could not control that part of me when the spark ignites.

I told her to leave me alone but she refused to leave my side. I was so ashamed of myself at that moment but Abby kept reassuring me that nothing would change within our relationship. She would still see me for who I am.

When we returned to my apartment I opened up why I was living alone. My life was not full of sunshine and she recognized that. I have trusted Abby with a lot about my past and I know she would never tell a soul.

She knows about my parents and the reason for my move as well my nightmares. I have left tremendous details out and she understands why. Abby was just happy that I trusted her and was relieved to know the bigger picture to support me when I needed it.

When I was little I just wanted someone to be there for me and that's what Abbys been doing I guess. All I wanted was as a friend.

"You look awful. did you have another dream?" Abbys hates to bring it up but the worry in her tone makes me so upset she has to feel this way.

"Nope, no dream. Just a late night at work." I hate lying but Abby worries too much.

Cleary sensing the lie, she walks over to my couch and falls down pulling my purple blanket on top of her. "You have 20 minutes before the bus takes off, hurry up."

"You're very bossy you know."

After a quick shower too fresh up, I throw on a pair of leggings and a baggy sweater.

So no one questions my appearance at school. I blend concealer under my eyes to hide the dark circles, as well as a coat of mascara to hide my droopy, sad eyes.

With one last look in the mirror I try to put on a brave smile but it comes out a frown. Running my hands through my hair I take a deep breath and exhale slowly.

I wish the girl in the mirror could talk back to me and tell me everything will be alright.

Out of curiosity I place my hand on my heart and wait to feel the steadiness of my heartbeat.

bmb bmb bmb bmb

The slight feeling of existence calms me and I start to see clearly. The action reminds me I'm human and have not disappeared just yet.

Grabbing my backpack on top of my bed I exit the bedroom.

"Took you long enough Vi we're gonna be late." Grabbing my hand tightly I immediately jerk it back.

"Ouch." I rub my hands over one another and choke back a couple fucks.

Abby stares at the deep cuts on my knuckles and purple bruisings, "Do I want to know what happened?"

I drop my head to look at the ground, "No I would rather not."

"You would tell me whenever you feel like how you felt that night right? You promised you would come to me?"

"I promise it has nothing to do with that." I semi tell the truth.

Abby always worries about me since she found me that night. I have felt awful ever since then. No one should ever have to find a person like that. It haunts me every single day that she found me.

No one was ever supposed to see.

Without prying any more information she grabs onto my arm and yanks me out of the house. we run to the bus stop, just making it on time for the school's warning bell.

I still go to the same school from when I was living with my parents. The day I left, I was afraid they were going to come back and get me but never once did they show up here.

I should have felt happy but I only felt worse.

Arriving at school, I like to keep to myself and only talk when I'm talked to. My parents always told me no one would ever care about my opinion.

I wish I did not believe it.

Walking down the halls with Abby I can feel people's cold stares following me.

I keep to myself while i'm here so I can not give anyone a reason to spread more rumours.

I wish I could be able to freely talk but it is a way I have coped. The more I keep things hidden the more hopeful I am of its disappearance.

Lots of people have their assumptions of me here. When word got around that I had moved out of my house, gossip spread like wildfire. I have heard my share of stories.

It seems everyone has their own version of who I am.

But what I hate the most is that people choose to believe the rumors. That's one of the main reasons I have never bothered to stand up for myself. No one deserves the truth.

Saying goodbye to Abby I step foot into my math class I look up to my teacher standing in front of the class. Everyone turns their heads in my direction and I throw my hands in my pockets, forgetting how bruised they were.

"It's nice to have you join us Violet. Did we interrupt your schedule?"

If only he knew. "No sir, my bus ran behind."

Standing at the front of the class makes my knees buckle a little but not enough for people to feed on my weakness. I honestly do not care what people think of me here, but I really hate being the centre of attention.

"That always seems to be the excuse. Take a seat."

I knod and head for the back of the class. When I look up to sit down I notice a boy at my table. I think he was new because I had never seen him around before.

I could not get a clear look at him because of the hood covering most of his face.

As I finally take my seat I look around at the whole class, whose eyes are all on me. I roll my eyes. If I could I would curse out this whole school.

Seriously. Can nobody mind their business.

"Alright well let's get back to work class." An annoyed Mr. Johnson speaks.

Taking out my books, placing them on the table I start to pay attention to every word Mr. Johnson is teaching.

"Now class, does anyone have any questions for chapter 2?" The teacher asks.

The girl in front of me I believe named Sydney asks a question, "Um sir how did you get number three on the board, do you mind explaining it once more?"

Mr. Johnson huffs and nods his head, re explaining yet another question.

With no questions needing clarification myself, I tune out the class discussion and start to work on today's homework.

I have to work right after school so there will be no time when I get home.

After an hour I look back up at the time and start to stress about my time management. there's not enough time in the day.

I lay my head on my hands and after a couple minutes of recollecting myself, I pull my hair back into a ponytail.

Reading through my papers I notice a nose sniff next to me. The noice caught me off guard and I jump a little.

Forgetting there was someone next to me, when I look to the side I notice his stare directly on my hands.

Shit. I really need to cover the purple bruises with concealer tomorrow.

I quickly bring my hands onto my lap and turn my head slowly to meet a pair of green eyes locked on mine.

He kept staring, not once looking away. I want to look away but his eyes pull me in a trance.

Why have I felt these eyes before?

His eyes are studying me but I'm also studying him. There's something in his eyes that I have seen before.

His appearance is hiding something. I can feel the pain radiating off of him but those eyes...

I look away and back once again. His eyes drop momentarily back on my hands and worry paints his face for a millisecond but returns hard.

Looking away from the brunette boy, I could still feel his eyes locked in my side for the rest of the class.

The bell rings and I place everything in my bag, keeping my back to the strange boy.

No matter how tempted I am to look back I throw my bag over my shoulder and leave.




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