Editor's Note: This is Chapter Four of a short story installment entitled "Dead Girl?" More chapters will appear in subsequent issues. "So you're really dead?"
"Yep. In every sense of the word. You're still trying to get over that? I've been following you around for hours now."
"Yeah, well, trying to tell yourself that you see dead people is kind of freaky and wrong in a whole bunch of ways. Maybe this is like one of those weird movies where I'm supposed to help you move on."
"Um, unless you're a professional line-jumper, you're not helping me go anywhere. There's a line to get into heaven. I already told you this."
He finally shut up after his four hour long rant about how this all had to be a dream and I couldn't really be dead. In a way, this was almost comforting, knowing that there was someone I actually knew that could see and speak with me. Talking to someone without them dropping a snide comment hadn't happened in a long time.
"Okay, so you're dead and I can see you. There has to be a reason."
"Well, if you insist. Say I agree. There's a reason that you can see and hear dead people. What would ever possess the universe to pick you?"
"How am I supposed to know?!? Are you always this skeptical and derisive?!?!?"
"YES!!! I'VE HAD PLENTY OF PRACTICE!!!!!"
We went back to our silence. When we reached the end of the street, I broke away from our synchronized walk to get some space. He seemed surprised, but didn't say anything. This whole situation just kept getting worse and worse. I'd always hoped that death and heaven would be wonderful, a place where everything was different. This had to be some sort of punishment. For what, I couldn't fathom, but this could not be paradise. My stubborn mind rejected that possibility. As a block passed by, a voice on the wind caught my attention.
Liam. It had to be. Despite every logical thought crossing my mind, I waited for him to catch up. He panted for a minute, but appeared alright otherwise.
"Sorry. I was just wondering what you were doing tonight. I know that sounds stupid, since you're dead, but I would have felt rude not asking."
"Um, I don't have anything to do. Why, what's up?"
"I wanted to know if you'd come back to my place. No one's home tonight, so no one can hear me talk to you."
This was a first. I'd never been invited over to someone's house from my school before. I'd been the curse of the school; you didn't go near me unless you wanted to sink me further down into a self-esteem hole. Not that this really counted, since I was dead, but still. Someone liked me enough to invite me over to their house without a good reason.
"Sure. It's not like I have anything better to do. Where do you live, anyway?"
"I'll show you. It's not too far."
I found it strange that I was better liked in death than life. It took breaking my name, meeting a questionable angel, and trashing my school to find someone who didn't insult me. Perhaps, death really wasn't so bad. I may still be on this Earth, but I've got someone to hang with now. Maybe things are looking up.