Friday, July 19, 2013

The Darkest Hour - Chapter 2

Ivy Mae Carter
“Loss is nothing else but change, and change is Nature's delight.” – Marcus Aurelius

As I surf through the obituaries on Monday morning, I wonder what Benjamin would think of my newfound hobby. I can almost picture him telling me to let it go - to live in the real world now. I know I can't do that though. I can't escape this part of my life. I never expected to discover the existence of ghosts, but now that I know they are there, I can't just ignore them. I would want someone to guide me to peace, wouldn't I?

 "Ivy!" my grandmother calls from the living room. "Maggie's here to walk you to school!" I have done one thing that Benjamin would be happy about. I have reconnected with Maggie and rebuilt the friendship that I let fall apart in my adventures with Benjamin. We're stronger than ever. I still haven't confided the truth of Benjamin but I'm hoping I'll be able to in due time.

"I still say it's a shame that they never printed his obituary," Maggie says, coming up behind me.

"Whose?" I ask, closing the paper in front of me. I really don't want to try to make up excuses for reading the obituary section again. You can only get so many character names from him before someone is going to ask to read this story you're writing.

"Benjamin," she says, picking up my bookbag and handing it to me. "After you told me about the tragic way he died, I figured there would be something about it in the paper - if not in the obituary section, then at least somewhere else. Something to remember him by."

 "He wasn't from around here," I respond, hoping this conversation changes topics soon. "Not enough people knew him. I don't really think anyone would have cared about the death of a boy they barely knew."

"I guess you're right," she says as we head out the front door. "But still, a stroke at his age? It's such a sad thing. And I guess in some ways a warning."

 "A warning?"

 "That life is short. That we should enjoy it while we can," she says as we set off on our way to school.

"Well, then let's look to the future and not linger in the past. Much more joy in the future I hope," I say calmly. Maggie has mentioned too many times about how she's amazed that I'm handling things so well. I guess I should have grieved more than I did. Benjamin's last words keep ringing in my head though. Something tells me that was not the last time I'll see him.

"Future. Check." Maggie says with a small smile. "Have I told you about the new boy in my chemistry class? He's certainly someone that I hope we see more of in the future."

"Oh really?" I say with interest. Gossip about new students is a welcome relief from talk of Benjamin's made up death.

"He's polite, good looking, and seems quite smart," she says smiling wide. "Seems like a definite charmer."

"Seems like you've learned a lot about him," I say, doing my best to feign interest. "What's his name?"

"That's the one thing I don't know." I'm surprised by her response. Maggie normally knows all the small details if she's interested in someone.

 "How do you not know his name?"

"Well, I was late to chemistry last week when he showed up and missed his introduction," she explains. "He's only been there a day."

"Well, then I have a job for you today," I respond as we reach the school. Danny heads in our direction.

"Is it an easy job?"

"Yes - find out the name of this new guy," I say with a smile. I know Maggie will love getting all the details she can. "And report back to me after school."

"Aye aye captain!" She jokes and heads into the school. Danny approaches and we make small talk on our way to history class.

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