forgotten memories unearthed. Family and friends sat in a large circle. The morning light touched the sky as everyone left the pub. Chloe received a round of applause when she fell flat on her face and kissed the pavement like the Pope. I’d learned a lot about my lost family members: my grandmother, my grandfather and Jayne. I went to bed, tired and glum. But my sleeping thoughts rested on the comical side of things. I thought about Mary’s indignation and Chloe’s drunken rant, and I smiled at the thought of them waking up the next day with their regrettable memories.
CHAPTER NINE A Ghost from the Past
Someone singularly special swam among the first years, when I entered my second year of college. Her golden hair fell just below her shoulders, and her wide green eyes smiled at me whenever she passed me in the corridors. I asked around and found out who she was. Could this be the same gummy-mouthed girl I’d known throughout my childhood? The tomboy I’d once promised to marry, so we could be mates forever? Lisa Cartwright had become pretty darn gorgeous in my absence. I could tell she recognized me. But we still hadn’t spoken in college, so she might have thought I’d been ignoring her. Sunbeams ignited the concrete path on the September afternoon that she spoke to me. I smoked a cigarette outside the main college building. Students chatted away in the background, filling the air with jovial laughter. ‘You don’t recognize me, do you?’ Her voice traveled through the laughter. I turned around and smiled broadly. ‘You’ve changed, Lisa.’ ‘In a good way, I hope!’ She chuckled. ‘Of course.’ ‘I switched colleges. The one I went to didn’t do Film studies, so I’ll finish my A levels this year and just do Film as an AS.’ She played with her silky hair. ‘You always loved your films.’ I lit another cigarette. ‘How’s your mum?’ ‘Same as ever. How about yours? Still crazy?’ ‘Yep. Where do you live now?’ ‘Same place. Still in our old neighborhood.’ We sat on a bench under the cool shade of a tree and talked about old times. She brought many memories back to me. We chatted about our ghost stories and bike rides. We laughed hard when she reminded me of the time we’d ventured into the mysterious warehouse at the end of the street. The building had always fascinated us. So at the age of eleven, Lisa, Elliott and I wandered through the shady summer night, gazing up at the proud building with its two large, circular windows. The windows surveyed the street like a pair of phantom eyes; they reminded me of the movie, The Amityville Horror . A melancholy mist crept under a rusty door protruding from a moldy wall at the side of the warehouse. The naked moon bathed in the twilight darkness, and a parliament of owls cooed conspiratorially among the trees as we tried kicking the door open. Our hearts raced when the door finally opened, revealing broad shadows. We couldn’t go back. Lisa’s parents thought she was staying over mine. My mother thought I was staying over Elliott’s, and his parents thought he was spending the night at my place. The lies had been told, the die had been cast - jacta alea est . We wandered through the blackness until we found a switch. Light spilled into the room, revealing old washing machines and other household stuff. Frankly, I’d expected something creepier. Whiffs of dust and damp earth filled the air as we crept up a wooden staircase, which creaked under our footsteps.