Emily was never completely the same after the experience in the graveyard. She was calmer, to begin with I had to take over as the compulsive adventure planner, but she soon regained her abilities.
The scar on the back of her head slowly faded. We never spoke about what happened though. Not once. Every so often one of us would be contacted by the media looking to prove or disprove the existence of UFO’s or ghosts. We turned them down. None of us wanted to publicly look like we were crazy. Everyone in school had seen the article in the local paper, and didn’t let us forget it.
I had been watching far too much Ned’s Declassified School Survival Guide so at this point I feel I should offer my tips for when everyone at school seems hell bent on humiliating you.
It’s actually simple. Keep your head down, laugh as if it’s funny and punch anyone who takes it to far... That is assuming you think you can take them!
Yup. Ned’s would be a very different show if I was in charge!
I liked watching it though. It made me happy to just sit and watch the simple, amusing version of the world put forward by the TV show. Every so often we would laugh, not from the jokes, but a laugh of recognition.
Eventually the laughter and the whole ordeal faded from our minds. It never faded entirely, but it faded enough so that we could continue our lives, in a similar way to before.
Emily’s parents still didn’t like me a whole hell of a lot. We continued to hang out mostly in her room and mine. It was easier that way. ‘Parents’, in the immortal words of the Fresh Prince, ‘just don’t understand.’ They just don’t. Sometimes it is like they don’t understand feelings.
It was a Saturday night and I had managed to be roped into a family night. We were watching the notebook. Bob and I were visibly bored, Kim looked uncomfortable, and Rose kept crying at the movie. All in all, I don’t think it was the family experience Rose hoped it would be. The movie finished, and I went up to my room.
I planned to go straight to sleep, it was around 10 o clock and I was tired. But I heard a familiar tapping on my window.
I saw Emily, her face partially lit by the light in my room. I sighed and opened the window. “Hey!” I said.
“Get your jacket, we’re going somewhere.”
I had learned to ere on the side of caution so I brought my phone, wallet and iPod.
We stepped out into the dark. I held her hand. “So where are we”-
I never finished the sentence because she was kissing me. When we broke apart I wanted to say something smart, but nothing came to mind. I ended up just staring into her eyes wondering what I had done to deserve her. I could hear both of us breathing, loud and fast.
She didn’t say anything as we grabbed our bikes. Mine was second hand and creaked slightly but it was still a lot better than walking!
Neither of us were wearing high visibility jackets or even had lights on our bikes, thus the journey involved not one but three near death experiences. Even this far outside L.A. drivers can have a little of the Angelino spirit.
We reached a wall, maybe ten feet high. I had long ago learned that physical barriers meant very little to Emily. I pushed her up and then she dragged me up. It took a few tries, but we managed it.
We sat on top of the wall and finally I saw what she had brought me to. It was an outdoor swimming pool. The water lapped against the edges loudly enough for us to hear in the silent night.
Like a cat Emily leapt down. I followed, with considerable less grace.
We sat with our backs to the wall and took a few, giggling breaths, flushed with the excitement of getting in somewhere after hours.
“Come on.” Emily said, standing up.
“What?” I asked.
“We’re going swimming!” Emily said, as she unzipped her jacket.
“Uh…” I paused. She knew I didn’t bring a swimming costume. It quickly became clear however that she had not brought one either.
She turned her back from me, and suddenly was in her underwear. Before I could really see she had jumped in the pool.
I untied my converse, and took off my socks. I hesitated.
“Come on!” Emily said.
“That should be your yearbook quote.” I said. She beckoned me into the water.
I jumped in. It was cold. I swam up to the surface and trod water, my teeth chattering slightly.