“Dude. No it’s not.”
“Yeah it is. Your house is haunted. I’m pretty convinced of it,” Preston exclaimed the next morning.
“Give it a rest already! You’ve been talking about this since last night,” I said with a frustrated sigh as I finished brushing my teeth, rinsing off my toothbrush in the bathroom sink.
“I’ve got it,” Preston snapped his fingers.
“Got what?” I asked, eyebrow raised, my back to him as I went to the dresser and grabbed new clothes to change into.
“A way to prove to you that your place has a ghost. We’ll do an EVP session.”
“No way, dude,” I protested, growing more annoyed with each passing second.
“Oh come on bro! Why are you being so lame? Back home you would have jumped at the chance to bust some ghosts,” Preston questioned.
I had been trying to convince him all the previous evening and most of the next morning that we shouldn’t do this, but he wasn’t having any of it. I was mainly worried about what Jude would say or do.
“Yeah. What’s stopping you?” Jude said, smirking from the corner of my bedroom at me in amusement with his arms crossed.
I glared at him and turned to Preston, relenting, “Sure, fine. Let’s do it.”
“Oh yeah! This is going to be a blast. Tonight?” Preston clapped his hands together excitement.
“Okay. Yeah, sure,” I forced a smile, shooting a quick glance at Jude.
“This should be fun,” Jude said with a laugh, looking lighter in color as he floated around the room, his blue eyes sparkling more than they had in weeks.
“Sweet,” Preston said chuckling, “I only wish I had better equipment, but hopefully my cell phone will do.”
“We will see,” I said, eyeing Jude carefully, stealthily.
“I can’t wait,” Jude said, pushing a pencil off his desk with a mischievous twinkle in his eyes and a sly smirk on his face.
“Dude! Oh my god!” Preston exclaimed, which sent Jude into a giggle fit, rolling around on the ceiling, “This is going to be so rad.”
I rolled my eyes, but I couldn’t help but giggle myself for being in this ridiculous situation. Jude was being immature, but I didn’t blame him one bit. In fact, if I were a ghost, I’d play tricks on people all the time. What else do you have to do?
Jude winked and flashed a goofy grin my way, charming me with his boyish enthusiasm, drawing me back in. I wished he wasn’t so moody lately, but maybe that would pass soon. It must be frustrating for him, having no one to talk to besides me. Being invisible to mankind must be terribly devastating to someone like him. He seemed so social, for the most part. When he wasn’t being moody, that is.
“I’ll be back tonight,” Jude whispered in my ear even though it was completely unnecessary since Preston couldn’t hear us. It made the little hairs in my ear tickle and caused me to shiver, “Don’t worry. It will be fun for everyone. I swear.”
His whispered promise made me smile and for some reason blush inexplicably, as I nodded my response. Not wanting to draw any attention to us, but also knowing that Preston was still fascinated with that pencil enough, that he wouldn’t see me nod whatsoever.
Jude winked and waved at me calling back as he floated out my door, “See you soon, Kai.”
This was dumb. I couldn’t have a crush on a ghost. It would never work. We could never be together, but there it was regardless. Great! My first crush just so happened to be on a dead person. I shook my head, needing to get outside of my thoughts for a little bit.
“All right. What game were you wanting to play?” I said flipping through my stack on PlayStation 4 games, looking for prospects.
“Sorry dude, I kind of don’t want to right now,” Preston grimaced, “I hope you’re not mad.”
“What happened to kicking my butt?”
He shrugged, “I am just super amped about the ghost. I don’t think I could concentrate on whooping you right now.”
“Uh, okay. We’ll find something else to do then,” I said with a slight frown as I surveyed my room, wracking my brain for an idea of something fun to do.
“Cool cool,” Preston nodded, looking lost in thought himself as he rolled the pencil around in his hands, like he was waiting for it to do something amazing.
“Hey, did you bring your skateboard?” I asked Preston.
“I did actually. Your mom made me put it in your garage, why? Do you have a skate park nearby?” Preston asked, blatant interest flashing in his eyes.
“Awesome. Yeah, grab your board dude. You can go skate for a couple of hours until nightfall. Then we can come back and do the ghost hunting thing if you still want to,” I offered with a shrug, heading out the door.
“Cool! Sounds like a great plan. Hunting ghosts is supposed to be better done at night time anyways. I’m game,” Preston said, following me out of the door and down the stairs to grab his gear.
He buckled his helmet, putting on his knee pads and elbow pads for safety purposes, of course.
“Sucks you can’t board with me,” he said, pointing to my cast and frowning.
“Yeah, but I get it off tomorrow and we can board together then. I don’t mind watching sometimes. It’s cool and gives me ideas for tricks to learn and stuff.” I shrugged, trying to hide my disappointment as my phone dinged.
“Hey what’s up?”
“Not much, you? Hanging out with my friend Preston from Chicago.”
“Who’s that? Your girlfriend or something?” Preston asked as he leaned forward to read over my shoulder.
“No, she isn’t my girlfriend,” I sighed, not ready to tell him my secret just yet. He was my best friend and he might react badly.
“Oh right, I forgot. I was gonna to see if you wanted to hang out, but it sounds like you’re busy.”
“Hey Preston, do you care of she comes to the skate park with us? She’s pretty cool.”
Preston shrugged and smiled, “Sure. As long as she brings a friend for me.”
I rolled my eyes, “We’re just friends. So it’s not like that. I’ll tell her to meet us there.”
“Whatever dude. You’re in some serious denial.”
“We’re going to the skate park. Meet us there?”
“Sure! Sounds like a plan.”
“All right, she’ll meet us there.”
“Cool cool, let’s go,” Preston said.
It sucked that I couldn’t skate today, but I wanted to show Preston a good time and I wanted him to meet Kayla. The skate park was the only place in town where I felt free. I had discovered it right before the accident, when we had first moved, but hadn’t been back since.
“Wow, this place isn’t as lame looking as i thought it would be,” Preston said looking mildly impressed.
“Yeah, I like it well enough,” I muttered with a smile as I parked my butt on a bench to scope out Preston’s competition.
“Hey, is your girlfriend here yet?” Preston teased.
I snorted at him and began to look around, “Dude. I told you she’s not my girlfriend! We’re friends, but yeah, she’s here.”
He laughed and slapped my shoulder, “Yeah okay dude, whatever. So, where is this chick?”
“Kayla is coming our way and waving, hard to miss,” I said, waving back at Kayla who was smiling so big that I thought her face might crack.
“Whoa. She’s kinda hot. Why didn’t you warn me?” Preston shook my shoulder, his mouth gaping open.
I raised my eyebrows and took a good look at her, shrugging, “I guess. She’s not really my type. She’s great though. You’ll love her.”
“Man, how could she not be your type? I love her a little already,” he said chuckling and waggling his eyebrows at me.
“Dude. You’re so desperate, I swear,” I laughed and shook my head as Kayla reached us, looking up at her from my bench.
“Hey guys. What’s so funny?” She grinned, body checking Preston before glancing over at me.
“Oh nothing,” Preston said with a smirk, his big ego already starting to inflate.
“Preston thinks you’re hot,” I said, making him turn red.
“Dude, what gives?” he whispered in embarrassment, narrowing his eyes at me.
“Oh.” Kayla blushed and grinned as she looked down, hands in the back pockets of her black ripped jeans. “And that’s funny?”
“Not really. I just wanted to give him some payback for razzing on me since he got here.” I smiled. “Kayla this is Preston, Preston this is Kayla.”
“Hey,” they both said, eyeing one another warily.
“Do you skate?” Preston asked Kayla nervously, tugging on his hoodie strings.
“Uh, no I don’t,” Kayla answered with a shaky smile as she peeked up at him through her black swoop bangs. “I can’t even walk without falling most days. Putting me on a board would be disastrous.”
“Well, I’ll teach you sometime while I’m here then.”
“Sounds good,” Kayla said, sitting beside me, “So do you know any tricks?”
“Yeah I know a few. Watch this. It’s going to blow your mind,” he said, bouncing back fast from his embarrassment as he boarded off.
“Wow. What was that?” Kayla turned to me and giggled into her red shirt sleeve, which was covered in skulls.
“You just got Prestoned,” I chuckled.
Kayla laughed and closed her eyes, shaking her head, “That was so dumb.”
“Yeah, I know it’s terrible. My bad,” I said, chortling at my lameness.
“Is he always like that, then?” Kayla nodded her head over towards Preston as he flipped his board in the air like a pro.
“Pretty much. He thinks he’s a ladies man, but he’s not. He’s cool though,” I smiled as I watched him grind a rail with ease.
“Uh huh. So do you…” Kayla started, gesturing with her hand at Preston, “You know.”
“Do I what?” I narrowed my gaze at her and furrowed my brows, trying to follow what she was saying.
“Like him as more than a friend?” She finished, looking uncomfortable at prying.
“Oh, no,” I said immediately bursting out laughing, “Never in a million years.”
“Oh ? Why? What’s wrong with him?” She asked, turning her attention back to Preston as he waved over at us.
I tilted my head up at him in a brief nod as Kayla waved back, “I don’t know. I’m not into him. I’ve never even thought of him that way.”
“Oh okay. So, does he know about your, um, gayness?” She raised her eyebrows.
“My gayness? What the heck?” I shook my head with an amused smile on my lips, “No, he doesn’t. I didn’t come to terms with it myself until just recently and I don’t know how he’ll react.”
“I’m sure it will be fine. He’s your friend no matter what.” Kayla shrugged with one shoulder, leaning back and looking back over at Preston.
“Yeah maybe. I don’t know. He always made fun of gay people. I don’t know if I’m ready to potentially lose my best friend.”
“If that happened, it would be stupid of him.”
“Agreed, but I’ve heard of it happening to other people before,” I said in more of a hushed whisper as Preston came towards us with a big grin on his face.
“Well, those people are idiots then.” She whispered back quickly.
“Did you see my moves?” He asked us, but directed his attention to Kayla, trying to impress her, I guess.
“Yeah. You’re pretty good, skater boy,” Kayla said with admiration in her voice.
Preston chuckled and I rolled my eyes. At least they didn’t hate each other, I suppose. That could have always been a possibility. Thunder rumbled in the far off distance as a storm rolled in.
“We should probably go. Are you able to come back to Kai’s house for a little bit?”
“Yeah, my dad doesn’t really care what I do during the break as long as I keep the house clean. He’s working tonight anyways,” Kayla answered with a shrug.
“Cool. So’s my mom.”
“This will be awesome,” Preston said with a laugh.
“Why? What’s the plan?”
“Dude. She’s not going to want to do that,” I said with a groan.
“You never know.”
“Do what?” Kayla said as we all left the skate park side by side.
“Preston had this idea that we should…” I pointed to him to let him finish since he was bouncing up and down in excitement.
“Do an EVP session!”
“Whoa what? That actually sounds pretty interesting. I’m on the fence about ghosts,” Kayla said, nodding and smiling, her eyes lighting up with excitement. “So what type of activity have you had?”
“Well there was this thing with a pencil and some random gust of wind inside the house while I’ve been there,” Preston began.
“Cool what else happened?” Kayla asked.
As Preston relayed what went down, I groaned and tuned him out. I wasn’t sure what Jude was going to do or what he was capable of, but I sure wasn’t looking forward to it.
It was going to be a disaster, with a capital D.