Chapter 3 (continued)
“Don’t listen to him, Bobby,” I cautioned. “He’s only trying to get a rise out of you. Like before.”
“Oh, ho, ho. A peacemaker, are you?” he asked, addressing me. “Well, it just so happens that you’re the one who has a secret today. Imagine that.”
This made me immediately nervous, because I knew that I was harboring secrets. I was feeling differently about Leah than I ever had, and I didn't yet know how to tell her so. Although Bobby was my friend, I was no longer content to have us hanging around as a threesome all the time. I wanted Leah to myself.
I didn't know how the ghost boy could have known any of this, but I was almost certain that he grasped my innermost thoughts. He had done no less in the cases of Leah and Bobby, after all.
That wasn't a conversation I was prepared to have. Almost without thinking, I knelt and picked up a rock. Then another.
The ghost boy smiled. In a voice that was a few octaves deeper than his normal adolescent boy’s voice, he said, “Go ahead, try it.”
So I threw both rocks. The results of that effort were almost as strange as the ghost boy’s impossible knowledge.
“Come on,” I said to Leah and Bobby. “Let’s get out of here.”
Simultaneously, we all resumed walking, quickening our pace to double time. Leah and Bobby had seen what I had seen, hadn’t they?
Our one lucky break was that there was a bend in the road directly beyond the pond. We didn't stop our forward march until we were well on the other side of that bend, and beyond visual contact with the ghost boy.
Leah said, breathing heavily, “Tell me you guys didn't see that, okay? I need to believe that was just my imagination playing tricks on me.” She stopped, unslung her backpack, and allowed it to drop at the side of the road. “So tell me that guys, okay?”
Bobby shook his head slowly. “If that was your imagination, then my imagination was doing the same thing. What about you, Schaeffer?”
I might have been visibly trembling now. Probably I was. “I saw it. I don’t know what to call it, but—”
“Just stop! Okay?” Leah shouted. “Can we just forget about it, already?”
Bobby looked at Leah, at me, and then back at Leah.
“Sure,” he said. “Let’s just forget about it. We don’t have to talk about it, do we, Schaeffer?”
“Nope. Nothing we need to talk about.”
“Okay then,” Leah bent down and hoisted her backpack again. We resumed walking.
* * *
Serial be continued....
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