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Chassing The Dead
Why does life pass us by? Leave us without any direction, when we never did anything to deserve what we got? So many things in my life were turned upside down the day I was murdered in front of my sister and boyfriend.
I still watch over them. Though things seem to change, everyone is in slow motion, having nothing to live for. I was a writer; I never thought that I would die because of it.
I left lots of letters behind. If anyone was to come across all the letters I never mailed to Nick they would find the truth of why everything happened. I tried and tried to tell him but every time I failed to tell him that it wasn’t going to work.
But now I have nothing, I can’t even tell him that. So the least I can do is visit in his dreams and give him the peace that he begs for every day. For my sister I still have yet to know how a year is going to treat her.
Some say the best way to move on after losing someone you care about is to let go. I can’t seem to do that, Katie, my sister was murdered in front of me a year from today. May 21.
A year from today, I stood in a musty room wondering if I’d ever see the sun again. If any of us would ever see the sun. I still remember the look on Nick’s face when the tall brown haired man came in to give us our food and Katie yelled at him….
“Let them go, please, I know you just want me. Let them go, they had nothing to do with any of this.” Nick’s face dropped and I could have sworn I heard his heart break into so many pieces.
For what Katie did is still a mystery to us all. The police believe if they could figure out what she had done to make them take us, they could figure out who killed her.
Mom wants us all to go to the ocean a spread her ashes. I remember when Katie was young she always would complain about being barred in a coffin. She said she didn’t want to be a vampire; she wanted to be set free and live in the ocean. She was smart to want that. Cause if I were to think about it now, I wouldn’t want to be a vampire either.
I wouldn’t want to rote away underground. The ocean just seemed like the way to go.
I was never afraid of losing someone until I lost the one person I cared about. Time just seems to tick by without any thought of escape. I want a way out. I want to see her again.
I still have yet to bring myself to say her name again. It’s been a year since she died in front of me and her sister, Brandi. I see Brandi around school; she’s not the same girl. Everyone stays away from us.
We walk down the halls and everyone makes a path. It’s as if we are sick and no one wants to get our sickness.
She visits my dreams every night. Every time a different place, but it’s become the one thing keeping me alive I believe. Sometimes I think back to when she and I were on the beach watching the wave’s crash against the rocks.
“Aren’t the powerful?” She’d ask and I’d nod my head. “Ever wondered what you’d do if you were died?” She asked me once.
“What do you mean?”
“Like would you want to be barred or turned to ash and sail the seas?”
“Never really thought about it,” I tell her. But I know that answer does her no justices.
She was always a writer; she planned to major in English. She loved reading books. Her room was full of them. She had four book shelves and even then they didn’t hold all of them. She had books full of her poems and her short stories. She wanted to put them all in a book and have it published. That was her one goal.
But today, I head over to her house to see the sad faces of her parents and follow them to spread her ashes in the ocean that wanted to sail after her death.
They seem to forget all of the fun and funny times we all used to have. I may be gone but these memorize should be the one they think about and smile about.
But they just push it all away as I watch them go to the rocks were me and Nick used to sit and watch the waves.
Brandi was wondering why we had gotten kidnapped. Why I hadn’t told her what was going on. I do wish that I’d told her. I wish I’d told them both. I never meant for my writing to ever get me into trouble. I don’t think anyone means for anything they do to ever get them in trouble, it just seems to happen.
Nick was driving to meet up with my mom and dad; thinking about the dream he had of me last night.
It we were sitting on my bench outside of my back yard. The sun was setting and he was sad.
“What did you do?” He finally asked me looking at me. I stayed quiet. “Kitten, what did you do? Why did they kill you?” He asked letting the tears fall down his checks.
“I need to go.” I told him giving him a kiss on the check and slowly started to fade.
“KATIE!” He yelled as I slip away from him.
It had been the first time he’d said my name in the past year.
But I hope for them to think of the funny parts, and move on.
When thing got bad with her parents they were bad. It wasn’t just a small thing that would get to them. It was always a big thing.
So putting her ashes in the ocean today was a big deal. To me it was finally saying goodbye to the girl I fell in love with and being hit by reality that I would never again see her.
I ask questions every night:
Did she make it to heave? Does she really know who killed her? Does she wish that we could help her? Does she want to yell at us all for morning over her being gone for so long? These are all the questions I ask myself before I fall asleep and see her beautiful face in front of me.
The sun was out, yet it seemed like the sky was a dark as the night. I never really paid much attention to the time of day anymore. It seemed to make things just go on faster.
Without her being there when I get to school, hurts.
I missed her random bubbly questions.
“Nick! How did you sleep?”
“You know how I slept,” I tell her and give her a kiss on the forehead.
“How was dinner?” She’d ask later on that day.
“Mom cooked the best hamburgers last night. I wished you could have been there Kitten.” I’d tell her and she’d smile and dance off to her next class.
It all seemed to be just yesterday when this would have happened. But it’s been a year. And I still can seem to move on yet. I wish I could though, but I don’t know where to start.
I want to scream at him. You know how, you just don’t want to. You’ve got it all wrong Nick.
But I know it won’t do anything. He will move on when he’s ready. Though, I know he won’t be until I tell him why I died.
Yet, in all the letters I never sent him, they tell him everything. For why I couldn’t bring myself to mail them I do not know. It was the summer that he had gone to his grandma’s.
He called me the day before he’d left.
“Kitten, it’s Nick,” He said.
“I know, we still have caller ID you know?” I said with a soft laugh but he wasn’t laughing. I knew something was up. “Nick what is it?”
“I’m not going to be here this summer Kitten.” He said with the smallest hint of tears.
“It will be okay, we’ll write to each other. We’re together forever right?” I hoped that was still true.
“Kitten, I want you to come with me.” I stood there with the phone to my ear.
“Nick, you know I can’t.” I told him.
“Why not? I can’t go this whole summer without seeing you.” He was right it was going to be hard but we could do it.
“I’ll write you every day. I’ll tell you everything that goes on. I’ll tell you about all my writing pieces that I do and you’ll write me when you can.” I told him. “It will work. We can make this work Nick.”
It did in the end but there were so many letters that I never sent. I wanted to, but I couldn’t bring myself to send them.
But he knows how to move on, he just doesn’t want to.
Nick was Nick, he took this whole year hard. He hadn’t been over in the past year. It was a big change. He used to come over every day after school with Katie to study.
They would make cookies or a cake on the weekends and make a mess in the kitchen.
And mom would yell at them to clean it up and which made them laugh even more. Everything seemed so normal. But him coming over today, seemed like it was the first time he ever came over again.
“It’s nice to see you Nick.” Mom said giving Nick a hug. Dad smiled and I nodded.
“Nice to see you again to Eve,” he said hugging her back.
“Darling, you ready to go?” Dad said once mom.
The sun was shining down on us as we stood on the rocks. All of me wished that she was here. Her father held her mother tightly. Brandi had the ashes.
I began to wonder if Brandi was even ready to let go. If so how does she do it? Does she just block all the memorizes of her sister out? Or does she look back and remember the good times and smile?
I beg silently to know, but it’s no use. I just don’t know how to move on.
“You all ready?” Brandi asks looking around at all of us. She opened the can when we all nodded. Was I ready to say goodbye to her? Brandi took a deep breath and tossed the ashes of the girl I love into the ocean. I guess I have no chose but to move on.
He truly didn’t know that he wasn’t moving on anytime soon. Neither was Brandi. I wished they would move on, but some reason I feel they never will.
The thoughts of never moving on scared me. I was tired of watching them move on at their depressed state of being. I just want to see them happy. Watching the same thing every single day makes me want to scream.
I’ve tried to get Nick to move on. Dream after dream but he’s still as stubborn as always.
I remember the note, he wrote me reminding me not to publish the article. I did it anyways. I put them at risk. I published it and got myself killed and left them broken hearted and the more I try the more I fail.
Tears fell down Brandi's checks. I watched as she tried to hide the wet droplets. I wanted to run and never come back.
Finally, I decided that I'd had enough I left, truthfully I don't think they really noticed I'd left.
The trees passed by without any notice by me at all. Flowers were blooming, pink, orange, green, read, and blue. All the colors reminded me of her. I pulled over to the side of the road and parked my truck we used to make out in all the time.
I begin to remember homecoming three years ago.
"Katie?" I'd asked walking up to her a few weeks before homecoming.
"Nick?" She says in her sassy tone of the cheerleader she was. I wasn't quarterback or really anyone on the football team.
"Do you have a date for homecoming?"
"Nick...I..." I looked away.
"You do, I understand."
"Nick I would love to go with you." Soon after that she picked up writing.
I still remember how I felt homecoming night. The lights above us were bright, the music bounding, my heart racing. I was still a cheerleader at the time but I never put people down. Nick always said I'd change the world.
Would I have if I wasn't murdered for trying? Will others try and do what I did? Will they get hurt? The night came rushing back to us all.
"Come on girls!" the guy hissed at me and Katie. "We don't have all day!" I looked at Katie hop in my eyes. We're going to be okay.
Her eyes held so many apologize and too much sadness for someone that is being set free. Nick was being dragged out another door. Katie looked after Nick and got up.
The man grabbed my arm and Katie's too. He kicked the door open and the sun shone brightly down on us. I finally felt free like I could run but he still had a hold of me. I struggled to get free, but every time his grip got stronger.
Soon I felt weak and I could have seen joy in Katie's eye. I wish she would be happy; we were going to be free.
But little did I know it was at the cost of her life that Nick and I would be free.
The tall man in gray dragged me away from her. I wanted to scream but something held me back. Made me stop, I do not know what but it was something strong.
I took one last look at Katie, little did I know it was the last time I would see her alive ever. The next time I saw her was when we had to go in and confirm it was her. I didn't have to go, but Brandi had asked me to. I felt as though it was what Katie wanted then. After that was the first night she visited me in my dreams. where it all started.
"Nick!" She said in that cheerful voice she always used. We were in a grassy field with wildflowers ever were.
She ran and jump hugged me. "I've missed you." I tell her meaning it. I missed her smile she had whenever she saw me, I missed the way her arms fit perfectly around me, but most of all I missed the way she felt in my arms.
"I never left silly." She gave me a kiss. "See you at school tomorrow?"
"Sure thing, Kitten," I kissed her back and she started to fade and I woke up sweeting and screaming.
I know it's been a year and I'm a senior next year but to think that this was supposed to be her year. She had it all planned.
Study every day after school with Nick for three hours, make something to eat, sit in front of the TV with him for the rest of the night.
Then on weekends they planned to go to parties and on dates. She had it all set and stone, but someone came and took a knife to her neck and ended it. How could they have done that? How could they hurt so many people?
To think that even after a year they haven't found someone as good as Katie to fill the Random column spot on the school's newspaper. No one has been as good as Katie was at it. We all want her back. Though, it's never going to happen.
Got My Answer
I guess I got my answer. Even after a year. Brandi is still having a hard time. Nick does well with it all, but Brandi she's so much like me. She doesn't know what to do when things get hard. But as I watch Nick get ready for bed and I get ready for another mind blowing dream. I wish I could visit Brandi. Though, every time I try I get nothing.
"Kitten," Nick yelled looking around the empty high school gym decorated the same way it was during homecoming.
"I need to talk to you." I said standing up on the stage grabbing the mic. "Nick you need to help me! I'm stuck! I'm in the middle. I can't get out!" I scream into the mic.
"Kitten, what do you mean?"
"Brandi. She's weak; she doesn't know what to do anymore. I used to be the one that would get us through things like this. Help her, Nick, for me. Bring her the peace I can't. Find my unsent letters." I started to fade and the mic. makes a loud thud when it hits the ground.
Find the unsent letters? What the hell? What was she talking about? What did she mean stuck in between? And Brandi seemed fine.
The next day last day of school, you'd think I'd be happy, I wouldn't see the halls I used to walk down with her, ever again.
Moving on is to hard so why do it?
I end up running into Nick today. He tells me that he had another dream about Katie, but this time it was different.
"What do you mean unsent letters?" I asked him.
"I don't know that's what she told me and to help you."
"What about being stuck in the middle what does that mean?"
"The whole dream makes no sense to me. I was kind of hopping you could help with that."
"I'll think about it and call you when I figure it out." I tell him and head home to go look in Katie's room.
Same as I Left It
My room still had my iPod on my iPod dock ready for me to hit play when I got home. My notebooks I left when I meet up with CeCe that morning at the Starbucks across the street from our school. My clothes from that week still all over the floor; it was just as if I was on a long vacation.
I spotted my box of unsent letters to Nick. I tried to scream at my sister but all words fell flat and silent. She looked around the room. Her eyes stopped when they landed on my iPod.
She walked over and took it off my clock. "Katie doesn’t hate me for taking this. I know Nick would love to have it." She says looking up as if she were praying to me.
Truth is I knew Nick would've taken it earlier if he ever came by anymore. He was afraid it would bring back too many memorizes that he didn't want. He was truly trying to move on.
"I know, Brandi," I whispered. "Thank you."
Lying on my bed, were she used to find peace between all her writing and studying. I just don't know what to do anymore. I wish to move on, but I don't want the dreams to go away.
I wonder if she's trying to help me move on too. I mean maybe helping her sister will also help me. Just because we throw her ashes in the ocean to sail doesn't mean we've moved on.
But what does she mean when she says "Find my unsent letters'? And the part about being stuck in the middle, could it mean she hasn't gotten to heaven? Or that farm mama always told me about?
Right On the Nose
He's starting to hit it right on the nose. I remember sometime close after homecoming when I really started getting into my writing and I sent my first article into the school newspaper board. The first line was: "Why do we use so many different sayings that make no sense?" They immediately put it in the newspaper.
I told Nick and he picked me up and spun me around. "I'm so proud of you!" he said giving me a quick kiss and setting me down. "I knew you could do it!"
I smile, "How did you know?" I asked him.
"You're a fabulous writer. You could get anything published and you know it."
I guess he was right a few months later they asked me if I could fill a spot on the newspaper for a while. I said yes after talking with nick.
The end of that year came and the editor asked me to fill it full time; which meant over the summer to. I said yes hesitantly, but it was the best choose I had ever made. Other than the one that got me killed.
"Choices, we all have to make them. I'm making this on, Nick. I don't know what will happen. I don't know where I'll end up, but I do know that publishing this article is the right choice. So I'm going to do it." I stared at Katie's scribbled neat writing. I didn't know what to say. Let alone think of this. I sat on her bed with the box full of letters to Nick. I guessed they were ones she wrote while he was at his grandma's. I just don't get why she didn't send them. I picked up another one.
"Nick, I wish i could send you these letters. I wish you could be here to take my fear from all of the hateful letters that he's sending me. He tells me that publishing more on the subject of her death will cause me pain. I live in fear wishing you'd be here to comfort me." I laid the letter down scared. What had she written about? What could it have been? Something bad enough that she was killed, I guess. I got off her bed taking her iPod with me.
I closed my eyes ready to see her again, but she wasn't there. It was dark, I could see the stars dancing and twinkling in the sky above me. I was in a grass field, though the grass was dead and dry everything looked beautiful.
"Help," Someone screamed. "Help me, please!" They yelled again.
I looked around me trying to see who it was. I saw nothing. Everything was dark, the stars didn't give me much light.
"Where are you?" I yelled.
"Nick, help me!" She yelled letting out a whimper. "Nick!" her voice fell quiet.
"Still wish you could save her. Even if you try and see how she died in a different way?" A voice asks.
"Stop," I yell and wake up with sweat dripping down my face and neck.
The Time to Worry
He's facing the truth. He's taking a small step forward. I'm proud, but afraid of the next day. The last day of school, and the day Brandi shows him the letters. I'm afraid he'll take two steps back.
There is another one of those sayings. 'One step forward two steps back.' I don't think some of them should really be used. But right now isn't about me. It was time to worry about Nick.
I walked up to Nick with the letters in my hand. "Nick, I think these belong to you. And I know Katie would want you to have this." I said handing him the letters and her iPod. He stared at them not taking them.
"How did you find the letters?"
"I remember last summer when you went to your grandma's and she wrote to you every day in the beginning and then slowly became once a week. I was walking down the hall and I think she'd just finished writing a letter but she put it in a box and put that under her bed. I thought that would be the best place to start."
"Oh," he said and took the letters and the iPod from me. "Thanks," his voice unsure.
"Anytime; Nick, just take your time at reading them." I advised him.
"I will." I didn't know if he was going to or not, but whatever he did do was up to him, not me.
"I hope everyone is having a good last day!" Mr. Soko said to the class. "I don't want to review everything so go clean your lockers," he was one of my favorites.
Everyone was out the door in a second. I stayed and pulled out the letters from Brandi.
I'm sorry I haven't been writing to you as much. The newspaper is getting to me. I wish you were here. Today was the first day I got a letter.
He told me if I publish one more thing on the subject of Susan walls death that I would be where she's at too. I believe in what I write and I never back down from a challenge or what I believe. Nothing’s going to change that.
I know if I keep writing about it I could get him in the open, but I could get myself killed. I would be doing it for the right reasons, right?
But I'm not sure anymore, I just wish you were here. You always took my pain away, my fear too. I miss you, Nick.
I started at the letter. Why hadn't I seen it? Why hadn't I been there?
"Nick?" Mr. Soko said, "You okay?"
Locker cleaning; words to describe it... Horrifying? Exciting? Longing? Wishing? Hope? Boring?
Don’t think any of these are right. Most of the time you'd have someone to talk to, but everyone ignores me now. I am the sister of the chick that got murdered. I wondered were Nick was, had he started reading the letters? If so, was he okay? And what did he think?
I picked up the next letter.
Love....Words....Peace...Space...Life...Live....Save...Long...Sweet...Caring...Wondering...And hate. All words but what do they mean?
Love: Strong attraction to another, caring weather or not they are alive, thinking about them before you go to sleep and right when you awake in the morning. These are the things I know of being love.
Words: They hurt more than anything in the world.
Peace: Something that is never going to happen.
Space: What I want from the guy that is sending me letters.
Life: The everyday crap we go through.
Live: Laugh, singing, breathes, and so on.
Save: What I want you to do. Come save me from all of this please Nick.
Long: Days just seem to be getting longer with each passing day and letter.
Sweet: The feeling I get when I'm with you in your bed. Oh, Nick how I miss that.
Wondering: What I do every night?
Hate: What he has towards me.
It was the end of the day, the next time i saw him.
"Nick!" I called running after him. He stopped and turned around.
"Hi, Brandi," he had a sad look on his face.
"How are you doing?"
"Uncovering things, I don'[t know if I should be. How is this supposed to bring us peace? How is this supposed to help us move on?" He asked.
"I don't know, but she wants us to, so we should. No matter how hard things are." I tell him.
My dark condensed fog was starting to fade. I was starting to see other things. I swear somewhere in the distance I could see a computer and a printer. I tried to walk towards them, but a hand grabbed my shoulder.
"You did the right thing, Katie." Someone said.
"How can you be so sure?" I asked.
"Cause, this is what I had planned for you."
"But what about everyone I care about?"
"They'll move on. They'll get over it, my child. You just have to believe, have faith."
"I've had faith all my life, but nothing changes. I still got the articles published, he told me not to, but I still did."
"Give up on the wrong, and believe what you did was right, child. You did what you saw was right. You took the leap of faith in me. And I was there in the end, was I not?"
"You were, and still are."
"So let go of the past."
"I will but before I do I must see to it that Nick forgives himself."
"Okay, my child, I'll see you on the other side."
I know, I know. I promised to write every day, but I did not know this summer was going to be that crazy. I can't tell you how much I wish you were here, but I can tell you how glad I am that you aren't. If you were I don't know if I could sleep at night.
The letters are getting worse and worse. He's telling me that he's going to hurt all the people I care about. I'm more scared than ever. Yet, I keep writing. He says that if I were to stop writing about Susan Walls he'd go away forever. I want this to happen I really do. I just can't bring myself to stop though.
All the details about her death, the way he just left her there. It's not human, it's so far from human it's scary. But for the reason I couldn't bring myself to send you one single letter about him, I feel horrible. I do wish I could. Everything I try and put one in an envelope I just can't.
"Time passes us by,
and we all die,
But in our own time
Nothing will change
this is life."
Katie wrote everything down that came to her mind. Mom loved it; she loved how bright she was, how she always had some place to be and somewhere to go. Now that she's gone I wonder if she wishes I was like that.
I know I could never be like that. I'm not a people person, I'm not like Katie and I never will be, but I'll remember her and all the things she tried to change. And how she never gave up in what she believed.
And this poem; the one thing I managed to get out of her locker. It was just garbage to them, but to me...To me it was the only thing I have left of her.
"Why are we all living in fear these days? We are supposed to live life how we want to, or at least that's what the world tells us. We're the ones that are to make a difference. We're the ones that will change a life.
"We can't do that if we're in fear of what has happened to Susan Walls. Sure her murderer walks our streets. Yes, we do have the right to worry and be scared, but it's not going to change a thing. We need to keep living, even now. Especially now! If we don't he'll feel like he has power and he'll kill again. Don't fall weak; don't give him that power he wants."
The last article I published before he killed me. The article that got me killed.
If only life were just a little easier, maybe then I could sleep at night. Maybe if I didn't feel like I had someone stalking me at night, I could sleep. But truthfully I do not know if that would change a thing. I guess this is what God wants and I guess I've got to live with it. We all do really; it's kind of ironic really.
Choices we all have to make them. I'm making this one, Nick. I don't know what will happen. I don't know where I'll end up, but I do know publishing this article is the right choice. So I'm going to do it.
I could have saved her even if I wanted to....
We all have something to overcome in our life. Everyone’s is different no one has the same thing. If we did it wouldn't be life. We would have nothing to talk about or do with ourselves.
Mine is living with the fact Katie is dead, and there was nothing I could have done to stop it from happening, and recognizing that is the hardest part. We can all fight and wish that she was still alive, but that's not going to get us anywhere. Moving on will;
I got out of bed and went downstairs.
"Mom," I asked, she was laying on the couch with a book.
"Can I have the keys?" She gave me a look. "I want to go to the end of the year party."
"Okay, No drinking, and no drugs. The keys are on the key rack." She gave me a smile. I don't know if it's because she saw a little bit of Katie in me or if it was because I was moving on.
"Nick!" My mom called. "A girl is here to see you!" Who could it be? Brandi? I got out of bed and went down the stairs.
At the door stood Courtney Brooks; her long layered blond hair hanging over her shoulders. She was wearing jeans and a low cut shirt. She was one of Katie's best friends. Courtney had loved to write just as much as Katie had.
"Hello stranger," she said.
"I'll leave you guys alone then." My mom said going back to the living room were my dad was.
"What are you doing here?" I asked still completely confused.
"To ask you to be my date to the end of the year party."
I stared at her in complete shock. "Ummm...I..."
"Want to go, I know. Come on, grab a caught and let’s go."
"Okay?" I have no idea what I was getting into but okay.
The music was loud and the bass made the ground vibrate. I watched as couples grinned against each other.
"It's nice to see you here." A guy said walking around to stand in front of me. "Would you like a drink?"
"No Nathan, I don't drink." Nathan was in my Spanish class. Or I should say was in my Spanish class.
"So different from your sister, yet, you two are so much alike."
"Thanks, I think," I rolled my eyes as a new song started to play. "I love this song."
"Sure, whatever," I said and walked onto the dance floor. Taking a chance, it's what Katie did for fun, so I thought I should try it.
He said he needed some help on the farm, someone with two strong arms and willing to work until the sun goes down.
"Brandi, you're a hard one to crack."
I told him I was his man and we shook hands and he said the fence needs fixing and the cows need bringing round.
"I'm ready, sir."
"Did they find peace?" he asked taking my hand.
"I think so."
"You're an angel now you should know not think."
"I know they have. Even if it's not the way they'd hoped."
"I know you still wish he'd be punished, but I'll tell you something. He'll pay for what he's done at some point. And I'll be the one to judge him for his acts." I smiled at him and walked through the gates to see a new family and a new life.
We all will be judged and we can all know where we are going today.
Parties, were never my thing, but I do know that, I couldn't have saved her and that's that. I also know, I've known how to move on I just never wanted to.
Katie would want me to, Courtney's done so, Brandi seems to have, so I guess I should too. I didn't think that this was how I was going to move on.
I still wish that he would be punished for what he did to her, but he'll be judged one of these days and he'll wish he hadn't done what he had.
"You ready?" Courtney asked me.
"Yep, you," I said taking her hand and smiled down at her.
"Yes," She leaned against my arm, and we walked in.
Just when I thought t couldn't get any hotter I caught a glimpse of the farmer's daughter.
That's what Courtney was. And I was free from chasing the dead.