Chapter 19: We Were Like Sisters

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What the hell? That sounded like Kassandra's voice. I unlocked my door and flung it open to find Johnny and Kassandra sitting side-by-side on my bed with Johnny's arm around her shoulders as she leaned into him with tears streaming down her cheeks.

I remembered to close my door before asking them what was going on.

Johnny's eyes glistened with tears. "Kassie has just remembered that she was sitting in that leaf litter because they were looking for her missing sister. They thought they'd tracked down the person that took her and they were watching his house to see if they were right. As it turned out, it wasn't him."

My heart clenched. That was horrible. I didn't have any brothers or sisters, but I knew it would be devastating. But thinking about that was too much. I couldn't bring myself to face it after today. I had my own problems to deal with.

"Okay, that's really bad, but why are you in my room? I thought you said you were going to give me some space."

Kassandra turned to look at me with teary eyes as Johnny's eyebrows drew together.

"Don't you ever think about anyone but yourself?" he scowled. "You think we no longer have feelings? Well, they're just as intense as when we were... alive."

"I'm not being selfish. After the day I've had, I just wanted some peace and quiet—"

"You'll get your peace and quiet," Kassandra yelled as she stood abruptly and stormed right through the wall.

Johnny stood. "I know you've had a rough day, but Kassie is hurting right now."

"So am I." I frowned. "You seem to be very chummy with her now. You've only just met her and she's been nothing but a pain in the ass to me, but you're comforting her like you've been mates for years."

"We're not 'chummy.' She's just had to come to terms with the fact that her sister is probably still missing and she can't do anything about it. Jeez, Maddie, have a heart."

My chest tightened more with each word. I did have a heart. I was just having trouble feeling sympathy for her right now with everything else just piling up on me. I felt like I was drowning. "Just get out of my room."

"Gladly."

And with that, he walked through the wall too.

I let the tears that had been building up for what seemed like forever fall as I sat on the bed, right where they'd been sitting close together. Was it too much to ask for to have a little peace? Did they have to be having a heart-to-heart on my bed? They could've been anywhere else in the house or on the property.

I realised that I was clenching my fists and tried to relax them. Why was I so upset about them being in here?

Because he said he was going to keep her away. Because I was upset and tired and stressed out. There couldn't be any more to it because I didn't even like him.

I sighed and let my mind wander as I tried to relax. It must suck to be dead.

I tried to imagine what it would be like if I found that I was dead and didn't even remember how it had happened. It was bad enough that I couldn't remember half of what had happened when I'd been hit by that car.

I felt sorry for him, for all the ghosts I'd met, but I had my own problems. I had to look out for my own interests. I had to behave and prove I was sane, otherwise I'd never get out of here.

I felt abandoned and it felt like Mum didn't care. Well, I didn't care anymore, either. I was just going to look out for me from now on.

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Justina kept glaring at me at the dinner table and I kept ignoring her. I couldn't let her get to me. I couldn't afford any trouble.

I talked a little with the others, but my mind was elsewhere.

Afterwards, I climbed the stairs to my room, looking forward to checking out my new phone and installing the apps I was planning to install earlier. I'd already gotten the Wi-Fi password from Tracy.

As soon as I entered the room, I knew I wasn't going to get anything done. Again. Kassandra was sitting on the edge of the bed, fire in her eyes. "Why were you yelling at Justina?"

I couldn't believe she was back after what had happened before dinner.

"Why are you back in here?"

"This is my room."

"Not any more. I told you already. It's my room now. And Justina deserves anything she gets. She's being a bitch for no reason, so I told her to stop it. She didn't like it."

"She's... Look, go easy on her. She's had a crappy life, and then I..." She gulped. "I died and left her with no one." She looked up at me. "We were like sisters."

My chest ached. It must be so hard for her, watching her friends suffer and knowing she couldn't do anything about it.

"That's no excuse for her to be such a bitch," I said.

I didn't need this. I just wanted to relax and play around with my phone. There wasn't much to do around here and I desperately wanted to catch up with Alina on social media. It dawned on me that I didn't need Mum to give Alina my number. I could do that myself. Duh.

"She's just acting out," Kassandra told me. "She's hurting."

"Well, she needs to pull her head in. I've done nothing to her." My voice was rising along with my irritation.

"You don't understand—"

"Kassandra, stop defending her! I'm angry about being here, but I don't go around sneering at people and treating them like crap. I'm not going to put up with it."

She tried to argue some more, but I turned on my heel and walked out of the room, slamming the door shut and hoping she didn't walk through it.

Justina was standing outside the door to her room, tears falling down her cheeks. "I suppose you think that's funny."


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Author's Note: How can Maddie explain this one?

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