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Seeing Ghosts

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“I became insane, with long intervals of horrible sanity”.
-Edgar Allan Poe
--

She’s standing by the window watching the rainfall when Katie comes over to her, wraps an arm around her waist and tells her to come back to bed. It’s been that way for months on end after that night at the shed and the morning after when everyone received the terrible news of Freddie’s death, and Cook’s not long afterward. Standing beside the window is the only way she knows how to really relax. It’s the only thing that calms her down, since she can’t drink or do spliff and pills anymore.

Effy loves the rain, part of her wishes she could just strip all her clothes off, run out onto the streets and reach up to the sky as the cool water falls down on her, washing her clean of her sins and painful memories. She wonders what it would be like to be a raindrop; a life lived only for a moment until one falls from the sky to the ground, becoming nothing but a puddle of water that people step past while going about their daily business.

She wishes she could be anyone but herself right now, and it’s a sharp pain, stinging, she can feel it every time the thought passes through her mind. The hole in her heart grows wider, and nothing, not even Katie’s presence can help it. Only the drugs can, and sometimes not even that.

Sleep is a momentary fix, just like the medication she takes every time she needs to. Sometimes Katie holds her hand; sometimes she has to force her to swallow, telling her she needs to do it, that it’ll make her better. Effy hates her for it, but at the same time she knows that Katie’s just looking out for her, and she loves her all the same.

Emotions fuck with her; she hates them; she really fucking hates them. Every time she’s in bed with Katie sleeping next to her, her back turned with Effy threading her fingers through the long brown locks of hair, her eyes trailing down Katie’s curves, her hands sliding up and down her waist, occasionally brushing past Katie’s tits or arse, Effy keeps telling herself that nothing lasts, that nothing is forever and that she – like Freddie and Cook – will die alone.

She can still hear their voices sometimes, calling out to her. It’s all incoherent mumble, not so much words but something close to heavy breathing. Most of the time she can’t even tell whose voice it is, Freddie’s? Cook’s? Her brother’s? Sometimes it’s the voice of a girl, a younger girl. Effy looks up from where she’s sleeping and sees a child standing by her bedside. She screams, and Katie wakes up.

“What’s wrong?” Katie asks.

“I saw her again.”

It usually doesn’t need much more explaining than that. Not since it has become a regular thing and Katie had come to learn about it, and how to deal with it. Katie holds her close until Effy falls asleep again her head resting on Katie’s breast, her breath slowing down the minute she relaxes into her arms.

In her dreams she looks out the window and sees the back of someone, someone who looks very familiar. A tall, thin and gaunt blonde girl, she looks like a girl from where Effy can see. She can’t see her face because her back is turned, but she’s standing out there, dressed in nothing but a white gown, the rain pouring down on her. She’s drenched from head to toe and Effy knows that the girl will catch cold – or worse – if she doesn’t come inside.

Effy runs to the door and opens it wide, and the moment she does the girl is gone and all that’s left is the rain.

--

Katie goes out on a date one night, with some guy she met at work, but not before showing off her dress to Effy who surprisingly sits there in awe of how beautiful Katie has become lately, not that she wasn’t always gorgeous, but Effy hadn’t even bothered to notice before. Or course it didn’t help that they didn’t like each other much back then.

“So what do you think?” Katie asks. “I fucking spent two weeks pay on this shit so I better be looking well fit, yeah? And it’s definitely worth it. Aaron’s a proper gent, unlike all those other fuckers I’ve dated. This thong is proper cutting me in half though”.

“You look beautiful,” is all Effy can be bothered to say, trying to make it sound as genuine as possible. Not that she’s lying, but she knows that she hasn’t been straightforward with people in the past, not really. And her therapist keeps telling her that being honest is the key to good health so she’s always made sure to sound as truthful as she can and not in the condescending bitchy way she’s been so used to using before.

Aaron comes over and picks Katie up. Effy stays in and tries to keep herself occupied by watching some DVD’s on Katie’s new laptop, the one she bought after she’d saved up enough money to go study at university. Effy’s been through months of therapy, so it’s come to the point where she can actually be left at home alone, without the problem of not being trusted around sharp objects.

She’s taken her medication daily so everything’s fine, or at least she hopes it’ll be for the next few hours until Katie comes back. The truth is that she hates being alone, and almost despises that guy for taking Katie out, when Katie could be at home taking care of her, the two of them sitting side by side watching a film like they always have since they moved in together.

Effy takes out a DVD and slips it into the laptop, it’s an old sixties film called Repulsion, a movie Tony once recommended to her, which she’d never got a chance to see. It’s rather calm in the beginning, and Effy’s getting quite into it even though she knows it’s supposed to be a thriller that will probably make her uncomfortable as it goes on further. Once it comes to the scene where the main character, a young introverted blonde girl who stays indoors is being attacked by hundreds hands coming out of the walls, Effy can’t bring herself to watch anymore.

She turns the DVD off and rests her head back on the sofa, closing her eyes. She drifts off a bit, and in that moment she’s Catherine Deneuve, panicking, trying to crawl her way through a multitude of hungry hands clasping at her breasts, her hair, her arms, pulling at her as she tries her best to escape. Effy wakes up not long after with a tightness in her chest, and she’s so uncomfortable she could literally run out into the rain, but she doesn’t, she just sits there, daunted and a little frightened. She wants Katie to come home already.

Effy turns on another film Where The Wild Things Are, the new one. She’s only watching for half an hour or so but it makes her feel a little better. It takes her back to her childhood when she wanted to run away like Max, and discover a brand new world, full of nice, warm, fuzzy creatures to live with. She turns the DVD off because it makes her sad. She can’t bear to think that life could ever be so simple, because it isn’t. It never will be, at least not for her.

She watches The Runaways, one of the downloaded copies that belonged to Emily before she left. The day she found it, Effy looked at Katie strangely with Katie swearing it wasn’t hers because she’d never watch some “lezzer movie”. Effy finds she quite likes it, it’s raw, powerful and romantic. Something she would definitely watch. Not to mention Kristen Stewart and Dakota Fanning are gorgeous together. It’s the only movie she watches all the way through.

When she lies back down Effy feels a little better, she doesn’t want to do anything but fall asleep. And she does, not long after she rests her head against the soft fabric of the sofa. Effy loves to dream, it’s the only way she feels like she can escape, and in that moment, she’s off somewhere else. She’s Joan Jett walking into a hotel room, surprised by Katie who’s standing on a table like Cherry did, dancing and twisting around in her angel outfit while Effy watches in awe, her cunt clenching at the sight of Katie’s body, her breasts, the tight fabric of the costume accentuating her curves, making her one hell of a sight.

“Hi,” Katie says. “You like this outfit don’t you?”

Effy nods dumbly, without saying a word.

“I always knew you thought I was fit. We’re still the hottest in the room aren’t we Eff?”

Effy moves closer, walking toward Katie until she’s inches away from Katie’s cunt, shaking and dancing in front of her. Katie twists around, and Effy catches a glimpse of her arse, she reaches out and squeezes the flesh and Katie moans, Effy runs her finger down Katie’s legs, occasionally pressing her mouth to the skin, gnawing through the fabric of her stockings.

Katie undresses slowly, and Effy watches her while sliding two fingers down her pants. By the time Katie pulls her corset and wings off, her breasts spilling out and her cunt in full view, Effy can’t contain herself. She moves in closer until her face is at full range with Katie’s pussy and her tongue darts out to lick at the pink colored skin, while Katie slides a hand downward running circles across her clit.

“You want me,” Katie breathes, trying to steady herself on the table while getting herself off.

Effy takes a moment to pull away and when she does, she notices something behind Katie. Two figures in the middle of the room, and they look so familiar. It’s Cook and Freddie though they don’t look much like themselves, at least not how she remembers them. They’re bleeding and bruised all over, much like they would have looked after they were beaten to death with a baseball bat. It frightens her and Effy screams. They’re both still watching her, shaking their heads in disapproval as she falls into panic.

“No, no! NO!” she screams, waking up in a cold sweat, still lying on a sofa in the middle of the living room.

--

Effy decides a walk is the best thing for her, which she knows Katie won’t like when she comes back home, but she needs to get away. The rain has stopped by the time she makes it out the door, but the smell still lingers and Effy can feel the puddles splashing as she walks on down the road, not to anywhere in particular, just walking on, trying to put the image of Freddie and Cook out of her head.

She’s out about town, and people are still walking around, probably coming back home from the club or the bar. She spots three girls walking down the street, all ridiculously dressed, screaming, squealing and laughing together. The two dark-skinned girls are walking arm in arm lagging behind a tall blonde one who keeps huffing and moaning and looking at herself in her pocket mirror, she’s worse than Katie was on the first day of college. She has an irritated expression on her face and she keeps playing with her hair as she walks on forward, her two “friends” trying their best to catch up.

“God, I can’t believe the rain just fucking screwed my hair! Liv, Grace, hurry the fuck up for fuck’s sake!”

When she walks past Effy, she snorts and mumbles, “freak” under her breath, the two girls following her close behind laughing hysterically. Effy smiles and nods her head knowingly. She knows their type very well, she wonders whether they go to Roundview, which they probably do. And as she walks on she sighs a little, overwhelmed by how much everything has changed so drastically. But one thing hasn’t changed for her, she still sees them, the ghosts of her past, she still hears their voices at times and she wonders just how long it’ll take before it becomes too much to bear, but she knows things can’t go wrong if Katie is still by her side, taking care of her the way she always has since she’d lost everyone else.

It’s strange and comforting, but momentary, like the rain that starts and stops again when Effy takes the long walk back home. And by the time she makes it back Katie is waiting at the doorstep for her an angry look on her face. Effy knows she’s pissed her off by walking out without telling her.

“What the fuck Ef? I’m supposed to start trusting you on your own aren’t I? Fuck’s sake, I leave you alone for a few hours and…”

“Will you always come back?” Effy asks, sniffling, her eyes filling with tears.

“What?”

“Will you always be here for me?”

“Of course I will you dippy twat. Now come inside, you look like shit”.

Effy pushes Katie to the door and stares her straight in the eye. “Do you promise?”

“Jesus, what the fuck Ef?”

“Do you promise?”

“Yes, okay, yes I fucking promise.”

In one swift movement, Effy presses her lips to Katie’s, sliding her tongue down her mouth and tasting the wine on her breath coupled by the cherry lip gloss she’d wore to her date. Katie kisses her back, but more by reflex than anything else. Effy would have expected Katie to push her away but she doesn’t, she lets her and that’s the strangest thing.

“Guess your date didn’t go so well then?”

“The guy’s a boring tosser. Come inside, I’m fucking tired and I’ve got to go to work tomorrow. And you have an appointment.”

“So nice of you to take care of me like this,” Effy says sarcastically.

“Whatever. Get your skinny arse in.”

--

She's standing by the window watching the rainfall, in nothing but her knickers, and an equally naked Katie comes over to her, placing a hand against her shoulder, yawning a little and telling her to come back to bed. Effy follows her and the two of them curl up against each other, and it’s so fucking weird because Effy can’t remember the two of them having sex, but judging by the state of the sheets she assumes they have.

She kisses Katie goodnight and Katie closes her eyes, drifting off again. Effy tries to relax but the sounds are still in her head, the sound of rain, and the sound of voices calling out to her. The only comfort she has left is the knowledge that she’s not alone, that Katie will always be there for her when she needs her.

Effy’s getting help too, and she knows one day she’ll beat this and come out a better person because of it, she knows it in her heart. For once she feels like she wants to be herself again, that she doesn’t need to change drastically or erase her memories because Katie is not going anywhere, she’s not ever going to leave her and that gives her a reason to live.

But she still sees the ghosts.