Ghost 22 – Leaving Home

“It’s not growing,” I whined. I was staring at the death flower pot. Twelve months and all we had was a tiny shoot.

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Julia looked up from her book and frowned. She was always distracted these days and even though we spent time in the same room, we never did anything together. I’d draw and she’d read. Boring. Which is why the death flower had drawn my attention in the first place. Wasn’t this her priority? Not school tests or college.

“She said it would take years,” Julia sighed turning back to her book.08-05-16_10-35-04 PM

That was always her response. “But who said?” I asked again. “Some mysterious girl in the darkness? How do you know you can trust her?” This had not been the first time I’d asked after the girl.

Julia opened her mouth quickly and for a moment I thought she’d tell me what she was hiding. Then she closed it again and shook her head. She put down her book and sat up, patting the bed next to her. I came over and sat down. Julia gave me a soft smile and my frustrations melted away.

“It’s only for four years,” she said. “And I’ll visit lots.”

How did she know what was really on my mind? I didn’t want her to leave for college and that day was fast arriving. “Every weekend?”08-05-16_10-39-13 PM

She laughed. “My sisters asked the same thing.”

I hated being compared to her sisters. We weren’t the same at all. I was…I was James, right? I frowned and didn’t answer her.

She stood up, “Let’s go outside,” she said and headed for the door.

I followed eager, anything to get our of this room. Spring was in full swing and the garden that had been abandoned for so long was thriving under Julia’s care. If only the death flower would grow so well.

“Sorry I’ve been so busy,” she dropping in her chair. I sat down next to her.

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I opened my mouth. Shut it. I knew that people went to college. They left home and got lives of their own. But I didn’t want Julia to do that. I didn’t want her to go away at all. Not for a week and not for four years. I didn’t care what anyone else did, I only cared what Julia did.

“Before…this,” I waved, gesturing to the house and the two of us. “Before we met, I was, well, not happy, but not bothered. I was okay alone. But now I’ve been happy for the first time. Happy only with you.” I looked up at her. Did she understand? I couldn’t go back to being alone, not now. Not after I’d met her.

Julia was silent for a long time. I wanted to interrupt; to ask her not to go; to stay. Would she change her mind if I asked?

“Growing up you were my best friend,” she admitted. “My only friend, my everything.”

I nodded – that was exactly how I felt! Julia was my everything.

“But then you were gone.”

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“Not on purpose!”

“No. But you were gone. I’d never felt that alone before. Never. Every night for the first year I waited for you to come. My parents wanted to send me to therapy becuase they thought something was wrong. You didn’t come for five years. I had to learn to be happy on my own, alone.”

I shook my head. It wasn’t the same at all. She was choosing to leave me. And she had told me to go. It’s not like I got lost on purpose.

“I’ll be back, James,” she promised. She reached toward me, hestiated, and then dropped her hands back in her lap.

Sometimes I watched Julia in the evening with her sisters. She would reach out to them when they were sad and hold them close.

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I wished she could do that with me. I felt more alone than ever. Julia was sitting right next to me but there was a gulf between us. She was leaving me behind.

The words stuck in my throat. “Don’t go. Please?”

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Bre flopped down on her bed with an overly dramatic sigh. Julia looked up from her computer, a smile quirking her lips at her best friends theater.

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“We have been studying forever,” she moaned and rolled over onto her side pinning Julia with her stare. “You need to get out.”

Julia laughed ignoring her friend’s stare, “I’ve got a paper due Monday.”

“Which you’re already half done with and it’s Friday. Admit it. You have all weekend to finish. When was the last time you left this room?”

“Um, two hours ago?”

“Classes and cafeterias don’t count” Julia opened her mouth, but Bre interrupted again. “Nor does the library.”

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“Last weekend,” Julia finished her thought and stuck her tongue out. She wasn’t stupid enough to claim the library.

“Your home doesn’t count either. Jeez, out-out, like having fun out.” Julia couldn’t answer that.

Julia bit her lip, she couldn’t answer that. It’s not like she didn’t want to have fun, but couldn’t Bre see she was having fun? She loved her classes and the library and even learning things and doing papers and stuff. She didn’t need to go out and do other things.

Bre sighed and stood up. “That’s it, you are getting out of here tonight. You need to take a break before you burn out.” Bre pulled Julia to her feet and pushed her towards the closet. “Find something to wear.”

“What’s wrong with what I’m wearing?” Julia looked down at her pant and jacket, they were comfortable.

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“Something sexy…oh never mind – ” Bre pointed and Julia sat as ordered. She watched as Bre pulled out clothes from both their closets until she had something she approved of. “There. Wear that. No protesting.”

Julia put on the clothes with some trepidation, but growing excitement. Perhaps, Bre was right, she should get out more. Live a little. All the best poets didn’t spend their days locked in a dorm room. Although that would make for an amusing comic poem.

trapped at the desk/the pen furiously writes/ Hmmmm, something about the weight of knowledge pressing down…

“Julia!” Julia blinked to find Bre’s face mere inches from her own. “Ready?”

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Yeah, she should probably get out. She followed her friend out the door.


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Credits

24 comments

      • Like rainygamez said, i feel bad for James too. This must be really hard on him. He’s used to talk to Julia several times a week and now he gets her only on the weekends? Btw how does she care for the death flower plant when she’s at Uni?

        Liked by 1 person

        • She’s taking the pot with her. You can’t see it in these pictures, but it’s on her desk.

          And yeah James isn’t very happy right now. It’s only four years though? Silver lining?

          Liked by 1 person

    • There is! That’s Marq – in case I changed him too much when he aged up. He’s going to the same Uni as Bre and Julia, (Ben is going to a different one).

      As for James, gah – yes, this is so hard on him since Julia is his first friend ever. And unlike Julia he didn’t have a five year period without her, to him it was just a random amount of time in the darkness. So this is his first time coming to grips with Julia being her own person and not always being 100% aligned with him.

      Liked by 2 people

  1. Yay! An update! *happy dance* That scene with James begging Julia not to go and them talking about loneliness and being each other’s only friends was so well done and emotional. It made me almost feel a bit teary.

    Also I agree with Julia that studying and libraries are fun!

    And uh-oh, romance in the air. Good for Julia! But I hope it doesn’t make her forget about James for too long at least… Because bros before… no, that doesn’t work here, really. Uh, ghost-friends before boyfriends? Or at least equal attention towards ghost-friends and boyfriends.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Poor blue James! I wonder if he might become friends with one of the sisters!

    And… a boyfriend for Julia!

    I’m glad she’s having fun with college. I loved college–writing papers, going to the library, yeah. Good times!

    Like

    • I loved it too – and Julia is in her element for sure. And college is all about having fun as well as studying, so it’s good that Bre got her out.

      Poor James. He does need more friends than just Julia that is for sure.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Awwww poor James being left alone. And wooo!! I sorta thought Marq and Ben were gay. I guess I was wrong!

    So happy that Julia is living a bit!!

    Like

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