Chapter 12

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Maude the puppy sat outside the bathroom door and barked at me as I scrubbed off my makeup at home in the bathroom later that night, "I don't know what's gotten into her. She was quiet all night," Mom said, studying the little dog. Maude looked up at me and barked, and turned to my mother as if to say, "See?"

"Crazy dog," I gruffly said, and walked down the hall to my room.

An hour later, when Trey tapped on my window, he announced, "I'm not sure I should keep staying over here. My parents know something's up."

My breath caught in my throat with both fear and panic. "What do you mean, they know? Do they know you're coming here?"  I looked through my window over to the Emorys' house, which was dark and silent for the night.

"They know I'm going somewhere. My mom sat me down tonight and told me that they didn't want to bug me before the big night but that they're concerned about my well-being and have noticed that I'm sneaking out at night." He sank into the edge of my bed, not wanting to get too comfortable, looking to me to confirm whether he should stay or leave.

"Crap," I uttered. It was already quite late. I could hear crickets in the back yard, and the ticking clock on the mantel over the fireplace in the living room. "Maybe it'll be okay. Maybe because we heard from Olivia last night, she'll leave me alone."

"Are you sure?" Trey asked, not believing me. I didn't really want him to leave, but was already highly suspicious that his parents knew exactly where he was going every night, and I didn't want them to approach my mom with the news. The warmth of his body in bed next to mine had grown familiar, and I was a little terrified that Olivia was going to be enraged that I hadn't figured out what she had wanted me to do at the dance from her clues. He took both of my hands gently in his, and ran his thumbs over the tops of my fingers. "I don't really want you to sleep here by yourself."

I looked around my dark room, up at the shelf holding my music boxes, and the other shelf holding my CD's, and shrugged. "I can sleep in the living room. I think it's safe out there."

Once Trey reluctantly left and scrambled back into his own room through the window, I grabbed my pillow and a blanket, and rushed out of my room as quickly as I could. As soon as I was situated on the couch in the living room, I could hear Maude down the hall in my mom's bedroom softly whimpering to herself. I hoped that I hadn't awakened her; my mother definitely would have questioned why I was sleeping in the living room on the couch instead of in my own bed. Then I began thinking about how on reality TV shows about ghost hunts, oftentimes pets could detect paranormal activity that humans couldn't see with their eyes, and I started freaking myself out.

In the morning, my fears that Maude had sensed Olivia's spirit was up to something in my room were confirmed when I peeked in there just after sunrise. At first everything in my room appeared to be in place, just as I'd left it, but then I nearly jumped out of my skin in surprise when I noticed one word written on my mirror in the plum-colored lipstick that my mother had left in my room while I had been preparing for the dance. It said:


On Saturday morning, Mischa borrowed her sister's car and we drove to the hospital in Ortonville to visit Candace. We talked lightheartedly about Homecoming and about boys, but primarily to distract ourselves from the severity of our situation. She told me that she thought Trey and I made a very cute couple and apologized for making fun of him weeks earlier at Olivia's birthday party.

"You have to admit he's weird," Mischa insisted, "but he is hot. I'll give you that."

"Okay, he's weird, but so am I," I agreed.

"Okay, he's weird, but so am I," I agreed

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