When I walked out of the bathroom Kerry was waiting for me, and so was Mygle. They both waved at me. I didn’t know why Mygle had stuck around given how frightened he was a second ago, and I had told him to leave.
“You all set?” Kerry asked as I sat down.
“Yeah,” I said.
“What was that about?”
“I thought I saw a ghost.”
“OK?” She seemed a little concerned. I wasn’t sure if it was for my sanity or for her own safety.
We ate the pizza and talked about what we had been doing. Well, she told me what she had been up to. I couldn’t tell her that I had been hunting monsters for the past five years. She would think I was crazy.
A lot had changed since I had been gone. She had a whole new group of friends. When we were younger and it wasn’t just her and I hanging out, there were three other friends that we hung out with. Apparently they all had a falling out and said that she had changed. It didn’t seem to bother her—she had time to get over it—but it bothered me a little. We were all good friends so the idea that I probably wouldn’t be talking to them even if I was still living my normal life was sad. I was very quick to take her side because she hadn’t changed a bit. She was still as nice and funny as she was back then. Everyone else clearly grew up to be jerks. We were both better off without them.
Mygle tried joining in on the conversation several times, trying to make me slip up and look like a lunatic but I just ignored him. Eventually he got bored and decided to just leave us alone. It was great after that point.
After we were done eating we decided to go for a walk. I hadn’t heard anything about my bike yet so it couldn’t hurt to spend more time with her.
“It seems like I have been doing all of the talking here,” she pointed out. “What has your life been like since you left here?”
I’ve been hunting monsters.
“There isn’t much to tell,” I lied. “When I left here I was taken in by a man named Drake. He taught me a lot. He was kind of a hard-ass but it wasn’t like he was mean. It was more teaching and making sure I knew the truth. Drake really helped me out when I needed it.”
“Where is he now?” she asked me.
I felt a wave of sadness and guilt rush over me as I thought about it. “He died.”
“I’m sorry, Wes.”
“Not your fault.”
She stopped in front of me and looked into my eyes. There was sadness in them. She put her hand on my cheek. It felt so warm and nice, and I felt my heart beat really fast.
“You know when we were growing up I always had the hugest crush on you,” she said. I just about collapsed on the ground right there. I couldn’t believe she had just said that.
“I did, too,” I admitted.
“Why didn’t you say anything?”
“I was 11 and intimidated.”
“You’re not 11 anymore.”
I started to lean in and felt the heat rushing up to my face. As I got closer and closer she didn’t pull away or stop me. My heart was starting to hit my chest so hard I thought it was going to burst out of my chest just like in the movie Aliens. That was a weird place to go at that moment.
We were within millimeters of each other when Mygle appeared next to us shouting. After my heart started beating again I didn’t even wait for it and just kicked him square in the chest. As he rolled away I looked over at Kerry and the shocked on her face was evident. She was shocked, I realized, because she could see Mygle.
“What is your problem?” I asked him.
“What is that?” Kerry asked. She became more and more frightened by the second.
“Do you have to ruin every moment I have?” I continued to ask him.
He was trying to say something but I had kicked him so hard that was having trouble trying to breathe.
“You deserve that you little jerk,” I said to him.
He shook his head and mumbled.
“What?” I asked.
He looked off to the side.
“Wes, what is that?” Kerry asked again and sounded more terrified than before. This time she wasn’t looking at Mygle but was looking behind me. I suddenly became aware of the thumping sound.
I knew what it was before I even turned around: the giant troll from the night before was charging right at us…