She was still laughing when they got outside and over by the fire. He loved the way her face lit up when she smiled. The music was blaring outside and it was going to be hard to talk but he needed to tell her how he felt about her. The song changed to “Into the Mystic” by Van Morrison and Nick pulled her up and took her into his arms.
“I think you really pissed her off.” Chloe stated as she looked into his eyes.
He thought about that for a second. “Maybe I should go back and tell her I’m sorry and bring her out here.” He teased her and started to move away from her like he was going to go back in.
“No!” Chloe laughed and pulled him back.
They started to slow dance to the song and Chloe relaxed into his arm. “Did you mean what you said in there about me being pretty?” She asked him.
He gently touched her face. “I have thought you were pretty since the first day of school. You have to know I’m crazy about you.” He confessed to her finally.
She looked down shyly. “What am I going to do with you Nicky?”
“Trust me. Chloe I would never hurt you like Josh did. I’m not going to walk away when I find out your secrets or when the illusion finally fades and I really see the real you.” He lifted her chin so he could see her eyes. He needed to see if she was feeling the same way.
“What if you don’t like what you learn? The truth isn’t all that great and the real me isn’t what you would expect.” She tried to look away but for some reason she couldn’t.
“Funny, I’ve learned some of that stuff and I’m still here. I have also seen you at your worst, and yet, I’m standing here holding you like this and hoping you’re not feeling my heart pounding. I didn’t want to feel this way about you. But the more I get to know you…” She had put her fingers to his lips. She was trembling.
“I can’t feel your heart beat, because mine is pounding just as hard.” She whispered.
He put his hand on hers and slowly moved her fingers away from his lips. Gently he touched her cheek with the back of his hand, bringing her closer to him. So close he could feel the warms of her breath as she sighed softly. He tilted his head slightly and moved in closer, anticipating the feel of her silky glossed covered lips on his.
“Hey, they are going to start telling ghost stories. You guys coming?” Kevin hit Nick on the shoulder, ruining their perfect moment.
“Really Kevin, really!” Nick wanted to punch him in the face. Chloe had moved away from him quickly and just grinned as she covered her mouth.
Kevin started laughing. “You really didn’t think I would make it that easy for you, did you?”
He just shook his head and then smiled at Chloe. “No, why would I expect that. Just remember this when I get you back one day. And trust me, bro, there will come a day!” He looked at Chloe and took her hand. “Let’s go hear some ghost stories.” She bit her lips and then nodded following him to be close to the fire.
Most of the stories were the ones you would hear all the time, like the hook attached to the door handle and the monsters under the bed. And every time Chloe would jump. Nick would tighten his grip to reassure her. The one person who watched them closely was Robyn. No one noticed the anger building behind her eyes or the hatred she felt for Chloe as Nick held her. And as the last story ended, she took the floor.
“These stories are all good, but how about a town legend. One that will really make your hair stand up and that actually happened.” She said getting up to stand in front of the fire.
Dave laughed. “What the story of your missing cigarettes? We all know how that one ends.”
“No, I’m talking about the legend of “The Corps Girl” She is a classic in this town.” Robyn started and watched Chloe’s eyes fill with fear.
“The Corps Girl? Are you kidding me?” Kevin laughed and took a swing from his beer.
Someone chimed in that it was in fact a true story. An evil grin appeared on Robyn’s face. “Okay let’s begin. It happened almost 6 years ago. A quiet 10 year old girl was left to care for her sick dyeing mother. Day after day, night after night, the girl watched as her mother’s body slowly grew weaker. Her father had left and in his parting words to his young daughter said, “If you kill your mother and end this suffering, I will clam you as my child and give you all you ever wanted. But only after you have truly ended her life.”
“So Tiffany, that’s why you’re a daddy’s girl now.” Dave laughed.
“Fuck off David, the story isn’t about me. But you would be wise to end it now Robyn, before it gets out of hand.” Tiffany warned her.
She laughed at that. “Why would I stop now, we are just getting to the good part.” She stared at Chloe and then continued. “The girl, desperate for her father’s love did the only thing she could. One night, she made her mother a cup of tea. She crushed up a full bottle of sleeping pills and pain killers and stirred them in the hot liquid. Adding sugar so that it was very sweet, she took the deadly drink to her sickly mother. The girl watched as her poor mother drank it down, leaving nothing but a few bitter graduals at the bottom of the cup. Her mother started to gag, clawing at her throat. She looked at the girl in horror, realizing what her child had done. Her finale word in her last breath was “Why?” The girl called her father and he never answered. For three days she sat with her mother’s body. The stench of the rotting flesh filling the room and house. At night she sat in the dark, the word “Why” haunting her. Finally the father returned and found what his child had done. Discussed, he shut her in her room, locking her away from prying eyes, so that no one could see the monster that the girl had become. After the funeral, the girl overcome with guilt would go off to the cemetery at night and sit visual at her mother’s grave. She would tracing her mother’s name over and over until her fingers bleed.”
“Shut up, Robyn, no one believes you.” Gabbie said now, knowing what she was doing.
“No, let her finish.” Nick said wondering if this story was true. It just seemed so unreal and if there was any truth to it, it was pretty scary. Chloe just looked at her in horror, the tears streaming down her face.
Seeing that gave Robyn the cue she needed to finish the story. “So fed up with dealing with the girl, the father sent her to school. Our school. There were whispers and rumors but no one really knew for sure if it was in fact the girl that had all come to know. The quiet one who would sit under a tree and draw. Until last year, when the guilt over came the girl. She had killed her mother in a lame attempt to make her father love her. No one liked her, really liked her because of who she was. So she went into the girl’s bathroom on the anniversary of the day she murdered her mother and taking a razor, she slit her wrist. In the blood she wrote on the bathroom wall, “I’m sorry”. Lucky for the corps girl, the nuns found her before it was too late. But if you drive past Heaven’s Cemetery, late at night, you may still see her, sitting by her mother’s cold grave by the light of a single candle, begging for her forgiveness.”
No one said a word. “That can’t be true. She still goes there?” Nick asked finding it hard to believe the story he just heard.
“Okay the last part I made up about the cemetery, unless…Do you still go there Chloe?” She laughed waiting for the reaction she longed for.