That night, Lucas waited until he was certain his parents were asleep, and crept once more out into the darkness.
He found the girl exactly where she’d been the night before, hanging her head mournfully as she floated beside the hidden memorial.
“Uh… hi.” Lucas said softly, grabbing the ghost’s attention. “Please don’t leave.” He added hastily. “I just want to talk to you.”
The girl just sighed. “Oh… it’s you again.”
“My name’s Lucas.” The boy smiled as he gave his awkward introduction.
She continued staring at him.
“And… You’re Evelyn?” His green eyes flicked for a moment toward the white stone as he spoke.
Evelyn shrugged. “Yeah, that’s me.”
“Well it’s nice to meet you.” Lucas said happily. “What are you doing out here?”
“About…” He hesitated. “About what happened to you?” Lucas asked nervously.
An awkward silence fell between them.
Lucas stared at the ground, unsure of what to say next. To his surprise, it was Evelyn who finally broke the silence.
“Why are you so interested in talking to me anyway?” She asked. There was no hint of sarcasm in her tone – just genuine curiosity.
“Well, you look kinda lonely.” He explained. “And I’m kinda lonely too. So I thought… Maybe I could help you?”
A small smile crept onto Evelyn’s lips at the boy’s words. “That’s… Actually very sweet of you.” She admitted.
As she spoke, Lucas watched in awe as the dull blue tint of the girl’s body and clothing slowly began lightening to a bright green.
“About last night…” Evelyn began uncomfortably, “I’m sorry for trying to scare you like that. I’m just not used to people, I guess… I mean, most of ‘em can’t even see me, I don’t think.” She shrugged. “And everyone who can… They get freaked out and leave.” The girl paused and let out a sigh. “I’ve felt like such a freak for a long time… I guess I gave up trying to be friendly a long time ago.”
“It’s okay.” Lucas smiled. “I think I kind of understand…” Sometimes it felt like no one could see him either. And everyone at school definitely thought he was a freak…
Evelyn returned the boy’s smile. “Thanks.”
There was a few more moments of uncomfortable silence as Evelyn looked the boy up and down for the first time. “Cool shirt.” She said, her smile widening.
Lucas’ eyes lit up. “Thanks! My dad got it for me last year at Llamapalooza! Have you been?”
The ghost laughed happily. “Yup! My parents went with me back in ’83 when it first started. Are they still holding it at that big park down in Oasis Springs?”
Lucas stayed up nearly all night talking to Evelyn. He had only vague memories of wandering sleepily into the house with her at his side, yawning heavily as they spoke about his old home back in Oasis Springs.
When he awoke on the couch the next morning, he was alone.
He stretched and rubbed his eyes as he sat up, his eyes adjusting to the bright morning light. Lucas was exhausted, but he felt happier than he’d felt in a long time.
As he thought back to the night before, his mother’s words seemed to echo in his mind. “Things will turn around, you’ll see.” He smiled to himself. Maybe she was right…