Chapter 5 - Hailey
"I feel sorry for that kid…” Monika, my mom said. “He’s still so young and yet he’s already experienced something like that” she continued but I wasn’t responding at all. I was too busy enjoying my froot loops and thinking about a few things like what my classmates would say about their vacation. It is after all the first day of class for the new semester and I just have to show off better than them. Sure, it'll be lies again, but they’re what are keeping me to where I am now.
“Are you listening?” she asked me and I just gave her a give-me-a-break-look.
“He was in the same hospital as your father wasn’t he?” Then I remembered… That thing... that black shadow like creature strangling Tyler. The monster who vanished because of my touch. The fact that nobody else saw it but me and those words… “Whatever you did definitely helped him for now.” I still can’t believe it. If all of those were real, I can’t believe I helped a jerk like him. Once again, I was lost in my own thoughts. I then noticed my mom was looking directly at me with a worried look on her face.
“You haven’t been cheerful since that day your father was sent to the hospital” she said but I still gave no answer.
“Are you worried about your father? He’ll be alright yo-“
“Why would I be worried about him?” I snapped. I didn’t want to sound so mean so early in the morning but I just don’t like talking about my father. I hated him ever since because he never had time for me. It was always work, work, work. I even sometimes believe that the only reason he is nice to me now is because he figured out that he was sick. My mom never held a grudge against him though. She would always defend him as if he'd done nothing wrong, as if leaving us behind a few years ago was something that never happened to her. She leaned in closer and touched my cheek.
“Honey, what’s wrong?” she asked me gently.
"Nothing. I’m off to school now.” I said and hurried outside.
“Honey, I bought you a car. I'm sorry if it’s an old model, I just really don’t have money right now and your father can’t drive in his condition. You can drive yourself to school right? It's better than taking the bus.” she called out. For some time now, my father had been teaching me how to drive so it was okay. He started doing stuff like that for me when he found out he had a cardio vascular disease. He's been bed ridden for a while now too so I guess I'm on my own again. Still, the fact that mom bought me a car was something to really be excited about. I ran to the garage and rapidly opened the garage door, failing to hide the excitement I felt.
Little did I know that the rush of excitement would turn into sheer disappointment. It was a purple Mustang Coupe, a 1970 model which actually looks like it came out of the movie 'Grease'. It was embarrassing enough to not own a personal car before, but nothing is more embarrassing than owning a junk. I walked away from the garage and back to the front porch.
“Where’s dad’s car?” I snapped.
“I sold it to pay his hospital bills. From the money that was left… the mustang was all I could buy” she said sluggishly.
“I don’t like that crappy car! Forget it, I’m walking” I said. I knew mom was having a hard time. She didn’t know where she would get the money to provide our family everything we need. Wasn’t it just humiliating? She couldn’t even support a small family of three. She should've just saved the money she used to buy that piece of tin can so she could buy something grand in the future than try to impress me with it. I was totally ticked off until I saw the school bus pass by me.
Oh crap, it’s THAT late?! The school bus is always late so by the looks of it, if I walk now, I’d be in detention for 2 hours.
Fuck everything I thought and ran inside the house.
“Give me the stupid keys, I’m late” I told my mom. She looked upset because of my words but at the same time relieved because I would use her “present” to me.
After she handed me down the keys, I hurried to the car and started the ignition as fast as I could. After one, two… no, five times of trying to start this stupid car, it was finally able to take me places.
Maybe the music will help cheer me up, I thought. It would also be the only thing to keep me from dying in boredom inside this thing. Unfortunately since it’s an old model there is no cd player, only a crappy stereo. Better than nothing I thought and turned the stereo on.
“As of Today, Superstar Tyler Lovell is still missing and his current condition is still unknown. Family members of Mr. Lovell are also missing. Even his fiancé Shania Willow has no idea about the whereabouts of the entire Lovell Family. Fans are-“
“Up to this moment everything is still about that lousy jerk?” I said aloud as I switch to a different radio station.
“Why can’t fans just move on or something, it’s not like he did anything for them”. I kept on mumbling to myself until I finally found a station that’s playing a pretty cool song called Love Life by He is we. “That idiot is probably already dead…” I said.
“La-la-la-la-la-la-la-la Love life…”
“What’s that?” The radio suddenly stopped and I slowed down a bit. That voice… was so familiar. Someone else was singing. It was a guy’s voice. It sounded like a sarcastic tone. It sounded deep, dark and bitter. It sounded like… Tyler. I’m going crazy I thought. I parked the car a block away from the school to hide myself from shame and darted to the entrance. I was late but that wasn’t the only reason why I was moving so fast. As crazy as it seems, I felt like someone else was in the car with me.
“Hailey! You made it, you’re pretty lucky too, our professor is absent today, she called in sick” said Aubrey.
“Ohh” I said and rushed to my seat.
“Ohh? That’s all you have to say?” Aubrey asked. “Don’t tell me you wanted to have classes” she joked.
“Are you alright?” Caitlyn asked.
“I’m fine” I said. For a moment there was silence between the three of us. Brian just had to ruin that calm moment.
“Caitlyn, how are you holding up? I’ve heard Tyler is still missing, he might be dead too” said Brian mockingly. Caitlyn looked down in disappointment. I too though, was just having quite enough of this.
“What about Tyler? Everywhere I go its Tyler, Tyler, Tyler. Tyler doesn’t care! He doesn’t care about his fans, he doesn’t care about anything! I saw him in the hospital the night of the accident 'cause I was visiting my dad and guess what? He was dying that night. He’s probably dead now, he got what he deserved.” Maybe it was all because of this morning’s tension that I said something… unpleasant. Everyone else was stunned and some even got infuriated.
“Who are you to judge him?” said one of my classmates.
“Just because he’s more popular than you, doesn’t mean you have to make up stories” said another
“Death is never a joke” said a third classmate. Everyone was against me. I looked at Caitlyn who looked like she wanted to cry. I’ve hurt her. I couldn’t take it, I had to run away. Jade, where are you? I thought. He would’ve said something in my defense, why the hell is he not here today?
Without anyone on my side, I had to run someplace private and dark… and unfortunately stinky: the old girl’s bathroom on the third floor. Nobody ever goes there because everyone thinks it’s haunted. Fear can’t hold me back now, I was furious, embarrassed, ashamed. Nothing can be worst that what I am feeling right now.
As I entered the abandoned lavatory, I noticed why girls didn’t want to come here. It’s not the fear that held them back but the disgusting features of this entire room. The floor had molds, the sink was stuck fast, the mirrors were foggy and something unknown is floating on the overflowing toilets. I just had to puke. I took a sheet of my wet wipes and wiped my face clean. I wiped the mirror with another sheet only to find out that there was another person in the mirror behind me.
“Hello Skye” he said. I screamed. The lights turned off and the doors were shut which made me scream even more.
“Calm down, calm down” He said while bursting into laughter.
“Tyler! you’re alive? I mean, wait, no you’re dead?! you're a fucking ghost!” I said to him still panicked.
“I’m not sure, I saw my body was doing fine about a week ago, but now I just can’t find it. I’m stuck.”
“As unfortunate as it seems… only YOU can help me”
“I’m stuck to you smartass, you saved me in the hospital some time ago, which made you my… what did they call it… oh yeah, guardian.”
“What?!” I said with complete disgust.
“I know! Pretty revolting huh?” he said.
“Hailey!” The door was busted open and Jade was there, he looked tired, scared and sweating hard. He ran to me and shook my shoulders. “Are you okay? I heard your scream”.
“I’m alright, it’s nothing.” I said.
“Were you talking to someone? Is he here? Did he hurt you?”
“No, I was talking –“ I looked around, Tyler wasn’t there anymore. “Talking… on the phone” I continued.
“Ohh, so you’re good? Unharmed?”
“Yes, absolutely, I was just a bit upset. Why the hell were you late anyway?”
“Slept late last night sorry… don’t worry I found out what happened in the classroom and told them I’d get you back. We’ll fix this” he said with a comforting smile.
“Thanks Jade.” I said and left the lavatory with him. I took one last look inside, making sure Tyler wasn’t there anymore. It made me feel like I really am going crazy. I hope things would get better.