Now that I was here, I wasn't sure what section of books I should start with. Strolling over to their Non-fiction section, I walked in circles, back and forth through the same aisles with my head tilted while I read the titles.

"You look a little lost, dear. May I help?" a small, high pitched voice came from behind me. I turned around and straightened my head. An elderly woman with gray hair cut short to her ears stood before me. A circular pin that said My weekend is all booked! with drawings of little books all around it was affixed to her pink cardigan sweater on one side. On the other, she had a small name tag that said Laurette. She smiled.

"I think I am a little lost," I confessed. "I'm not really sure..."

"What subject are you looking for?" she asked sweetly.

"Ghosts," I said, instantly regretting that answer.

"Hmmm." She pressed a finger to her chin. "Ghosts? I'd say go over to that row, over there? See it? About halfway down is where we have all our ghost stories and such. Oh! And try the children's section on the other side! All of our Halloween books should be-"

"Oh," I replied. "That's great, but ummm...that's the fiction book section, right?"

She nodded happily.

I lowered my voice. "I'm actually looking for books that are non-fiction."

Her smile faded. "Non-fiction books about...ghosts?"

"Maybe ghosts isn't the right word. I meant...maybe spirits? Or haunting? Or, oh! Books about seeing dead people. Yes, that's it."

She looked side to side to nervously.
"Well, dear," she says in a whisper. "I think you mean fiction?"

I stared at her blankly. I smiled and answered, "I think you're right! Thank you!"

She smiled warmly and whispered a quick "you're welcome" before scurrying off. I sighed and tilted my head to the side again to read more titles. It took at least thirty minutes just to scan that aisle and my neck was starting to cramp.

Finally I came to books on religion and then a few books on UFO sightings from the 1970's

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Finally I came to books on religion and then a few books on UFO sightings from the 1970's. I stood up on my toes to read the titles on the top shelf and just when I was close to calling it quits, my eyes scanned over the word witch. That had to be close. At the end of the shelf, I reached up and pulled two books down. Rushing over to the table, I sat down on the chair I had already pulled out and began to skim through the first book.

Heaven, Hell & Everywhere In Between

I scanned the first few pages, flipping through the chapters to see if anything stood out. A chapter called The In Between caught my eye.

Remembering I had packed some paper and pen, I opened my bag and pulled it out. I unfolded my paper, reading a couple of paragraphs and then stopping  to scribble some notes:

The "In Between" is where spirits go once they transfer from the living to the dead.
A spirit stays there for whatever amount of time it takes to have their entire life reviewed to determine if they go to Heaven or Hell.

I scribbled little clouds around the word Heaven and flames around Hell. I kept reading.

Older person - takes longer to review their life than for a younger person.

(Best guess) Average time of The In Between : 3-6 months

I read over my notes before reading more. A spirit is thought to stay in this place, The In Between, for three-to-six months. It had only been about two months since Ariana died. I let out a sigh of relief. That means I still had at least a month minimum before I'd have to join her. One month or more actually; four more months possibly.

One month sounded like a lot more time than I had expected. Ariana had been so aggressive and angry, screaming that I needed to join her now. With the way she said that, I guess I thought she really meant now. Like any day now I would have to go. But one month would give me enough time to come up with a plan and make a list of things I wanted to take care of beforehand. Knowing that I would have enough time to do that was a relief, but I wasn't sure what I needed to do exactly.

So far, there were only two things I knew I wanted to do for sure: spend as much time as I could with Leo and somehow start to prep my parents.

My parents. Just the thought of them made my lip quiver, and I had to push the thought away just to keep myself from bursting into tears.
Stay focused.

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