lex cautiously walked toward Kaylee. She stood by the open window along the left side of the house. With her arms crossed, she glared at Alex as he approached her.
“Alex? What are you doing?” Daisy continued to glance back toward the forest. Her eyes darted about in all directions.
“Just give me a second; I need to talk to her.”
“But, Alex, you can’t talk to her, not now. The ghost is out there, what if it comes back?”
Alex stopped and turned back. “If it returns, talk to it. Wait there. Wait for it to come back. It’s not going to do anything. Isn’t this why we’re here anyway? Talk to it, find out what it wants.”
Daisy nodded, picking up a stick from the ground. “Okay, you’re right. I can do this.” The simple reason the two were there was not to find out if Maddy Featherton was telling the truth about the ghost on Screaming Ridge Road. The reason they were there was to find out why the ghost was screaming. Somehow, they believed Maddy all along, and at the same time, they both felt the need to help, somehow.
“Just give me a minute, okay?” asked Alex, hoping to reassure Daisy. He turned back to Kaylee, who continued to stare at him with arms folded. The skin of her brow crinkled as her tiny nostrils flared. Like so many other encounters with her, Alex realized Kaylee was once again emotional about something.
“What are you doing here?” she asked.
“What are you talking about? What are you doing here? Did you follow us?”
Kaylee puffed out her chest, closed her eyes and held her breath.
“Kaylee, come on, seriously. This is not right; you shouldn’t be here.” Alex heard the words come out of his mouth, just as he realized something. Kaylee had already spoken to him, already told him not to come.
Kaylee did not want Alex to be there.
“Why don’t you want me here?” Alex continued. “Why shouldn’t I be here?”
Kaylee exhaled and opened her eyes. “You shouldn’t be here because Amber told me it’s dangerous. She said that her parents are crazy.”
“Her parents?” Alex rubbed his forehead. “Her parents live here? Is this Amber’s house?”
“You mean your imaginary friend lives here?” Alex caught himself, but it was too late. He knew he didn’t mean it to come out that way.
“She’s not imaginary! She’s my friend! She’s my best friend!”
A faint tingle slithered through Alex’s body. He paused for a second, looking into Kaylee’s eyes. “Okay, okay, I’m sorry.” He glanced back at Daisy to see if she was still waiting in the yard. A light fog crept in around him. Alex’s mind filled with scrambled thoughts. He wanted to put the pieces together.
“So, let me get this straight… Amber lives here?”
“And Amber says that her parents are dangerous?”
“Because they’re crazy!” shouted Kaylee.
Alex shook his head and took a big breath. He had to remind himself again that he was talking to a six-year-old.
“Can you see Amber now?” asked Alex. “Is she with you?”
“No, she’s inside. She wants me to go inside.”
“Don’t you think it’s odd that no one else can see her?”
“No.” Kaylee’s big eyes looked up at Alex. She puffed out her chest again, only this time she didn’t close her eyes, instead she exhaled as her shoulders slumped forward.
Alex knew she was a very confused little girl, a very lost little girl.
“Listen, I want to show you something,” began Alex, pulling out his phone. “I’ve been noticing some interesting things about you and I think it might have something to do with your connection to Amber.”
“My what?” asked Kaylee, eyeing Alex’s phone.
“Your connection, your friendship with Amber, I think I know how to help you.”
“Help me? I don’t need any help. It’s you who needs help. You’re the one who’s in danger,” replied Kaylee, sternly.
“Listen, I think your friend Amber is a ghost.” Alex knew those words might pull some strong emotions from her, but he was certain it was the truth.
“Ah ha! See? I knew you’d start believing in ghosts!” Her toothless smile radiated as she bounced up and down.
“So, she is a ghost, then?” Alex felt like he was getting somewhere, however, he didn’t know how much longer he could spend talking to her. Daisy looked impatient out on the grass, and he was certain the dark figure would come back any second.
“No, Amber is not a ghost, silly.” She curled up her shoulders and looked up to the house. “She’s my best friend.”
Alex sighed again. He knew he had to show her the list. Maybe Kaylee would put the pieces together herself; maybe Kaylee would realize there was something special about her friend Amber. He wanted Kaylee to see. Alex never imagined he would think it, he never thought he’d believe it, but in a strange way, he wanted to help her. He wanted to save her.
Alex Thomas actually cared about Kaylee Cooper.
“Look at this, Kaylee, look at these facts. I’ve been writing these down on my phone, since you started following me around.”
“Why are you showing me this?”
“Because you need to find out who you are.”
“I’m Kaylee, silly.”
“No, that’s not what I mean. I think it is you who is friends with a ghost, Kaylee. I think you are the one who is in danger. If Amber says that her parents are crazy, then perhaps you need to get out of here”—Alex paused, searching for his next words—”Look, how many people do you know can talk to someone who no one else can see? What kind of kid predicts that people will become friends with a ghost? Huh? Is that normal? You have to admit, there’s something different about you. I mean, look at your clothes.”
Before Alex could say anything else, Kaylee looked at the screen again. The title of his list appeared clearly, ‘How to get rid of Kaylee Cooper.’ She blinked a few times, her lips moving as she read the words. Her nose twitched, then her eyes welled up.
“You want to get rid of me?” She stepped back and turned away.
“No, Kaylee. I don’t know. I, uh…I didn’t mean to.”
“Why don’t you want to be my friend?” A teardrop pushed through the lashes of one eye and glided down her cheek.
“Kaylee, come back. You weren’t supposed to see that. I wrote that a long time ago. Come back; I want to help you. I think you need to stop playing with Amber.”
Click Follow to receive emails when this author adds content on Bublish