I hug Logan tightly. I had missed him so much! And now we were friends again....I looked closely at his wound, and I knew how many times he must have punched a wall to inflict that much damage. And I knew that if I came to his apartment I would find broken furniture, dented walls. I knew him well--even now, I could easily see that he had not changed, remained the same man I had once known.
And now we were united against Her....
Which would not make Her happy.
Logan and I realize this at the same instant, and pull back, afraid.
She would not be happy.
And now that we were together? She could haunt us both at the same time....
Logan looks into my eyes, and rests a hand on my shoulder. "It isn't a good idea to remain near each other, is it?"
I shake my head, and tell him a swift goodbye before we sprint away from each other, racing away, praying She wasn't going to be following the other, and hoping She wasn't following us.
I did not want Her going after Logan, but I didn't want Her going after me, either.
--Jamie's POV, Ten Minutes Later--
I reach my apartment building to find it burning.
I wrench out my cell, and call Logan. He tells me that the same thing has happened to him--She had gotten to our homes before we did.
We hang up after terse goodbyes, our minds too filled with worries about ourselves to worry about each other.
I search through my contacts, knowing most of my friends I haven't seen in years--not since the day She died--but yet we'd still kept in touch, stayed updated on each other's lives--I'd just refused to see them.
And now I needed them.
But who to call?
Pat--last time we'd spoken, he was in Jamaica. That was six months ago.
Stacy--we'd never been close. She got too happy for me to be around anymore.
Ann--maybe I could stay with her?
I browsed all of the others, but she was the only name that jumped out at me.
So I dialed.
She picks up, and she sounds surprised to hear from me, "Oh, hi, Jamie! It's been a while--what's up? There a particular reason you're calling your one and only sister for the first time in two weeks?"
I started carefully, speaking slowly, knowing her answer already, "I kinda need some place to stay...."
Ann bursts out laughing. "Of course! That's why you called me....To ask for help!"
"So...can I stay with you?" I ask carefully, hoping.
She takes a second to reply, before speaking slowly, "Why not? I'm busy, but as long as you can take care of yourself and the kids when I'm at work you can come over right now."
Which is when I broach the touchiest subject: "Where do you live, exactly?"
She goes silent, before giving me her address. I hail a taxi, and I go, leaving behind my burning apartment and everything I owned.
I didn't care anymore.
That bitch! How dare She burn my apartment?
I stare up at the burning building, clenching my teeth. Everything....Everything I owned! My whole life was gone--all because of Her!
I glanced down at my cell, and looked through my contacts. Who could I stay with?
Pat--he was such a jerk! Why was he even in my contacts list?
Stacy--hm....Perhaps her and I could go back to being what we were...?
I browse through the rest of my contacts list, before deciding to pay that cheery girl a visit....
I can't believe he called me! Me, of all people!
I was his sister, but there were so many others he could have stayed with!
I hug Jamie the instant I see him, unsurprised at his lack of bags. I show him to the guest room, trying not to smile too much or act too awkwardly. I didn't know what to say to him--how long has it been since I knew how to act around him face to face?
And then I remembered.
I knew when: I couldn't be the same around him since I saw him with Her blood on his hands.
He had killed Her....
And yet no one ever said it was him or Logan, never blamed them.
But we all knew.
We just never spoke.
Jamie looks at me, frowning a bit, "You okay, sis?"
"I'm fine, bro." I say, forcing on a grin, "Why wouldn't I be?"
I end up in bed with Stacy in less than two minutes. But a gentleman never tells....
Suffice to say I woke up at noon the next day.
I look over at her, and she was still asleep. I smiled, and toyed with her blond hair before it started boring me. I got up, and looked around, eyeing her apartment. Nothing had changed since the last time I was here--brightly painted walls, cheery-colored furniture, soft covers, plushies.
The sight of the fluffy things makes me think of something: Why was I even sleeping with her?
I turn around, and look at her.
She was my freedom. Too happy to let me dwell, too normal to let me be weird. Stacy was just...happy.
And I can't believe how happy she made me, just by being with me.
I lie back down beside her, and hug her gently. She curls against my chest.....How could I be any less happy?
But then I smell Her.
And I sense Her.
She was in Stacy's apartment....
She had followed me!
I couldn't stay. I couldn't risk getting Stacy hurt!
I never even make it a single step before She was resting a hand on my shoulder, and whispering into my ear, "Hello again, lover...."
I shiver at her touch.
"Get away from me...." I whisper, begging.
She laughs, "Never....."
Which is when Stacy wakes, and calls, "I'm hungry! Where's food!"
"I'll go make it!" I call back, walking through Her on my way to the kitchen, refusing to shiver.
I make Stacy and I eggs, toast, bacon, and pancakes, carrying it all back to her bedroom. We munch happily, and I thank god that she doesn't see the look of fear in my eyes.
When we're done eating, I clear away the mess and clean up the kitchen and wash the dishes, while Stacy showers and gets ready for work.
When we're alone, She approaches me.
"You do not love her....." She whispers in my ear.
"So what if I don't?" I reply, turning to look at the empty space where She was.
She laughs, and says, "Because you're going to break her heart, like you did mine."
"Don't you want me to suffer?"
"Of course I do....I was just enjoying watching you think of replies."
I glare at Her.
Which was precisely when someone pounds on the door, and I open it to reveal none other than Ann, looking at me, her eyes wide. "She's here, isn't She?"
I nod, and ask, "How did you know?"
"Jamie told me about Her a long time ago, how She was haunting him. And because She wasn't with him, we guessed She was with you."
"And you were right...." She whispers, and you can tell from the look on Ann's face that she hears.
Ann swallows, "Long time no see." Ann says, looking all around, trying to pinpoint where Her voice was coming from.
She laughs, before saying, a bit louder, "Wish I could say the same....You may not have seen me, but I have seen you."
I take her hand in mine, gently, and pull her into the apartment, closing it behind her. "Ann...I'm sorry. But you're in this now. No point in telling you to go--you'd only have to face Her on your own later."
We stand there, as She laughs and drifts around us, whispering in our ears.
Nothing would ever change....
Because She controlled us. We could not move without Her seeing, could not speak without Her hearing, and we could not live without Her.
Or, at least, I couldn't.
Ann obviously could, but yet she was with us now, and unless she did the impossible and escaped she was with us until the end.