Autumn was just approaching again, almost a year later. My sister and I were excused from the Crumplebottom School of Bewitchment that semester, to mourn the loss of our Grandma Morgana.
We weren’t very close to Morgana, but I definitely loved her, and took comfort knowing that she died happy and that she’s in good company now.
Clementine and I have slowly been drifting apart, every since our ‘breakup’ for lack of a better term. She still hangs out with Salem, but usually just on the weekends and at Clementine’s house. She rarely comes over anymore.
She has also been spending a lot more time with some of the kids that Ghost introduced her to, who are part of his tribe.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m proud of Clementine for connecting with her heritage, but I was really starting to miss her, and felt as if I was being replaced by her new friends. I knew I had to talk to her.
After class, I rushed through the papers that I volunteered to grade for Ms. Loveland. She seemed stressed out lately, so I decided to lend a helping hand. It’s the least I could do for someone who dedicates their life to giving kids an education for only a little salary!
Afterwards, I went looking for Clementine.
Then I remembered she took piano lessons on Thursdays, so figured I’d just peep my head in to see if she was busy.
“There you are! I’ve been looking all over for you!” I said, making my in.
After being distracted by my entrance momentarily, she quickly picked back up where she left off, as her fingers stumbled over the keys, vaguely playing the tune of “Oh Susanna”.
“Do you need something?” She asked hastily, “My piano teacher will be in any moment now.”
I took a deep breath. “No, I just miss you Clem. That’s all.”
“Well, I’ve always been right here. You miss me, or do you mean you miss the female attention, cuddly hugs, and sexy texts?”
“No! That’s not it at all, I mean those things were nice too, but I-“
My sentence was luckily cut short by the music teacher walking in.
“Oh Yellow! Pleasant surprise, are you hear to sign up for piano? I’d love to have you!”
“Good afternoon Ms. Jaival, I’d love to, but-“
“Actually…” Clementine interrupted, “That’s a great idea! I have to get going pretty early today, for this family thing, but Yellow was just saying how he wanted to join. Don’t be shy, Yellow!” She smiled.
I tightened my lips, giving Clementine that ‘No, stop!’ look, but she just continued.
“Oh! Excellent!” Ms. Jaival enthused. “Let’s get started, this will be fun!”
“Um… Okay.” I said, hesitantly. I didn’t really have the nerve to say no.
“Wait, Clem!” I said, as she made her way out the door. “Umm… can we talk later?” I asked embarrassingly, as the teacher stood right next to me.
“I’m busy.” She answered, before walking away.
I was upset, angry and confused all at the same time, and playing ‘Mary had a little lamb’ over and over again only made it worse. But Ms. Jaival was not the cause of those emotions, so I was careful to not show them.
When I finally got home, Aunt Persephone offered me driving lessons. Of course they won’t do much good without an actual car, but I was thankful she let me practice with her van.
I picked up on driving fairly well, but the experience overall was awkward and strange to say the least. Aunt Persephone was quiet the entire time, crying in the passenger seat.
“Is everything okay, Aunt Persephone? You need a shoulder? I offered.
“No. Thanks though, Lo. Don’t mind me, this is just making me think of something I said to your mother years ago. I’d rather not talk about it.” She sniffled.
“Oh-okay…” I said, trying to think of something to change the subject. “Aunt Persephone, I’ve been thinking…” I began. “I’m ready for you and Aunt Gwendy to schedule that meeting now, you know with my future potential wives?”
Persephone wiped her tears. “Really?” She gasped. “Are you sure?”
I thought back to how angry and hurt Clementine had made me earlier that day, and cleared my throat. “Yes, I’m sure.”
After about a week of constant busy stress, I visited the cemetery to unwind, as always.
I sighed heavily. “Why does my life have to be so stressful?” I groaned out loud, to myself, laying down on the concrete bench while watching the clouds go by.
I began to close my eyes and attempt to clear my mind, when suddenly, I heard a voice…
“It doesn’t have to be!” Said a very dainty feminine, almost child-like voice.
Startled, I jumped up as my eyes darted around frantically.
“Who…Who said that?” I asked, trembling.
I felt my heart skip a beat as I heard an echoing giggle come from behind the bench.
I gasped when I saw the form of a bright pink, almost completely transparent young girl. She looked about a few younger than me, at first I thought she was just a child. She was playfully crouched down behind the bench, hiding from me, and when she heard me gasp, she disappeared.
I was definitely shocked by what I saw. I mean, I’m no stranger to seeing ghosts, but this was the first one I’ve seen outside of family members and pets.
After she disappeared, my initial fright quickly turned into curiosity. I searched the entire graveyard, perhaps several times, in hopes of finding the girl.
It was beginning to get dark, and I was just ready to give up when I saw a movement in the bushes from across the cemetery.
With a strong feeling in the pit of my stomach, telling me not to let her out of my sights this time, I barreled through all the graves, apologizing to each grave as I stepped over it.
She was hiding behind the tree, but I could see her clearly, and I was in awe. I’m not really sure how to approach a ghost, or what to say to them, as the conversation never came up in bewitchment school.
“Uh, hello…” I said gently. “My name is Yellow Darling, what is yours?” I asked.
The girl said nothing, she didn’t even look at me.
“Why don’t you come out from behind that tree?” I asked.
Her entire body lit up brightly as she shook her head vigorously. I felt bad for her, she must have been scared of me.
I focused intently on my hands as I made a bright red apple appear in my palm.
“Whoa!” I Shouted. “Oh, sorry! Are you hungry? Do you want an apple?” I asked, offering her the apple that I was amazed at myself for creating so easily.
Once again she shook her head. I don’t think ghosts can actually eat now that I think about it. I was just trying to think of anything to get her to respond to me!
I set the apple down gently on the ground, not looking away from the bright pink ghost.
“You don’t have worry, I won’t harm you, dear! There is nothing to be afraid of.” I said, soothingly.
She angrily jumped out from behind the tree, and crossed her arms.
“I am not afraid of anything!” She protested stubbornly.
Although I was caught off guard, I couldn’t help but laugh.
“Okay, okay!” I chuckled. “Then what’s your name?”
Her name was Donna Parr-Teague, and she was physically just a year younger than me, but technically hundreds of years older.
She was playful and child-like, but not afraid of anything! Her bravery reminded me slightly of Clementine, which was something I’ve always admired. She took such an interest in the present times, and was always curious about everyone who came through the gates of the graveyard.
Donna shared with me the story of how she died, as well as how she lived. Surprisingly, she knew a lot more about me than I could have guessed, as my secrets ran through the trees and shrubs of this cemetery.
She talked about how bored and alone she felt here and how she wished she just had a friend to play with. Then, she talked me into playing tag with her! I can’t even remember the last time I played tag. Of course, she has a one up on me, due to the fact that she could hover in mid-air without her feet touching the ground. I was out of breath before I even got a chance to tag her. It was an unfair game most certainly, but I wasn’t even about to say it out loud, because I was having the time of my life!
When she realized how much she had worn me out, and after some playful teasing, she lied in the grass with me and we talked for hours about everything.
I didn’t want the night to end, but I realized I wasn’t going to get my way when I noticed the sun coming up, as she was becoming more and more transparent.
I giggled and sighed. “You kept me up all night!” I teased. “The sun is already coming up.”
That must have triggered something, because she was quick to stand to her feet. Confused, I followed her up.
“What is it? What’s wrong? Was it something I said? I asked concernedly.
“I didn’t realize the sun was rising!” She said. “I must go now, before too many people see me, I will become a spectacle!” She worried.
I felt my nose involuntarily scrunch up in disappointment.
“Oh.” I frowned, “Well when can I see you again?”
She began glowing brightly once more, “Come back tonight, if you please!” She said, as she smiled warmly into my eyes. For a second, I could have sworn my legs turned into jelly!
“Yes, I do please! I mean, yes of course, I’ll be back tonight waiting for you.” I said, trying not to sound like a complete spaz.
I watched her slowly disappear into the light. I stood there smiling like a goofball, at the spot she disappeared in, even long after she was gone.
I snapped out of it and began walking home once reality and time came hurling back. All I could think about was the adorable little glowing pink ball of light that was Donna. Could it be possible to feel this strongly about someone you’ve just met? I was desperately hoping this wasn’t one of those weird dreams that the Crumplebottoms warned me about.
I was so wrapped up in my new feelings that I almost forgot how much trouble I was going to be in for staying out all night without calling home!
When I got home, my aunts were sitting at the table conversing about probably everything. Persephone had her daily early morning coffee, and Gwendolyn with her early morning unknown substance, presumably alcoholic beverage in a pineapple.…thing.
“Yellow Sun Darling, where have you been all night?” Persephone shouted.
“I’m so sorry, Aunt Persephone, I must have lost track of time, it won’t happen again.” I promised.
“It better not or there will be consequences young man, do you hear me?” She asked.
“Loud and clear.” I said. “But I need to talk with you!” I said, as my voice got way too giddy for me to control.
“…About?” Persephone asked, still a bit angry.
“Uh oh… he’s got that look in his eyes…” Gwendolyn said, taking a sip from her pineapple.
“Well… You can cancel the meeting if you’ve already set it up…” I began. “….I think…. I think I’m in love!”