Mikey is learning how to deal with his "gift".
Frank looked over at her. “We were just sitting around in the ball room talking about the new song.”
Willow had seen the room, which now resembled a recording studio.
“And all of a sudden I noticed Mikey wasn’t paying attention to us. He was looking over toward the other side of the room.”
Willow quickened her pace. “Is he scared?”
Gerard caught up with them. “Yeah, what’s going on with him?” He was terrified for his brother.
Frank wasn’t sure how to answer. “I don’t think he’s scared. He seemed more excited than anything. I asked him what was wrong and all he would say was go get Willow.”
They had reached the room and Frank stood back and let Willow enter first. She spotted Mikey sitting on a sofa. Following his gaze she pulled up short. Across the room stood a very young blond headed girl who was smiling at Mikey.
“Willow, I want to understand what’s she wants.” Mikey said realizing they had arrived. “Tell me how to do this.”
Slowly Willow walked over and sat down next to him. The girl looked away from Mikey to Willow and waved. Willow smiled in return.
“She’s so friendly.” Mikey said in awe. “But I feel bad cause I don’t know what she wants. Does she want something?”
Willow took a deep breath to clear her mind. After a moment she understood. Taking Mikey’s hand in hers she said softly. “Yes, she wants to tell you something. Take a deep breath and try to clear your mind. Concentrate only on her and let it come to you.”
Mikey did as she said but after a moment he frowned. “I can’t do it.”
“You’re getting upset. That won’t help. You have to stay calm.” Willow urged. “Just concentrate, it will come to you.”
Mikey tried again. Holding on tightly to Willow’s hand he focused all his attention on the girl. The room as silent as everyone waited.
“Oh” Mikey said suddenly. “Pictures. I see pictures.”
Willow nodded, “Yeah, she’s showing you things so you’ll understand.”
Mikey continued to concentrate. “Why is she showing me a grave?” He whispered.
“Many times because they want you to understand they know they have passed. The dead know that there are many of their kind who don’t understand that fact.”
“So sad.” Mikey whispered.
Gerard watched in awe. His brother was seeing a dead girl. He truly wished he was able to see her too.
“I don’t understand.” Mikey said softly.
Willow was seeing the same images. Unfortunately she did understand.
“That’s the woman I saw before.” Mikey said excitedly. “Is she telling me she knows her?”
“She’s telling you that was her mother.” Willow whispered.
“But why is she so sad? What’s with all the empty rooms?”
“Mikey she’s sad because she can’t find her.”
As they watched the little girl began to fade. She smiled at Mikey once more and then was gone.
Mikey turned to Willow. “She can’t find her? I don’t get it.”
“The images of the empty rooms? That was her way of letting you know she’s looking for her mother. She’s searching.”
“But her mother is here. I saw her before.”
Willow nodded, “Yes, and she can sense that. That is why she was drawn to you more than me. She knows you’ve seen her mother.”
“Well what do I do? How can I help her?” Mikey asked excitedly. “I want to help her.”
“I know you do.”
“Well what do we do?” He asked again. “Her mom is here. At least she was. How do we help them find each other?”
Willow released his hand and sat back. “This is the hard part of our ability. We want to help but it’s not always easy. For some reason she can’t find her mother. Did you notice the slight difference in the way the girl looked?”
Mikey thought a moment. “You mean from some of the others I’ve seen? Yeah, she was kinda brighter.”
“Uh, so the girl is gone?” Bob asked looking a bit nervous.
Willow smiled at him. “She’s gone.” She knew he was trying to understand but it wasn’t easy. For most people knowing that a dead person had just been in the room was difficult and often unnerving.
Gerard felt a shot of anger at the way Willow smiled at Bob. “Bryar afraid?” he taunted.
Willow looked over at Gerard. “Are you telling me you weren’t the least bit uncomfortable?”
He was but he wasn’t going to admit that fact. He shrugged.
“Why can’t the girl find her mom?” Ray asked trying to defuse the tension between Bob and Gerard.
“I’ve dealt with this a few times before.” Willow answered. She tried to explain so they would understand. “When Mikey says the girl was brighter he’s right.”
“She wasn’t as solid.” Mikey said trying to explain.
“Right.” Willow smiled, “She’s not bound to this place. She’s passed on but can come back. She comes looking for her mom.”
“But her mom was more solid.” Mikey said remembering the woman. “Does that mean she’s stuck here?”
“For some reason she hasn’t passed over. Something is keeping her here.”
“I still don’t understand why they can’t find each other.” Gerard walked over and sat down in the chair by Willow.
“It may be that her mother doesn’t want to be found. If a dark force is keeping her here she’s trying to protect her daughter.”
“This is some weird shit.” Frank said shaking his head. “Really weird shit. I’ve got goose bumps.”
“But what do I do?” Mikey asked sounding very upset.
Willow tried to make him see the positive of the situation. “Mikey, do you realize you understood her? You were afraid you wouldn’t be able to do it but you did.”
He nodded slowly. “Yeah, it was pretty cool. But fuckin’ confusing.”
“Welcome to my world.” Willow said with a small laugh.
“So each time I’ll get better at this?”
Willow nodded, “Yeah, I think so.”
“So I need to see her mom again.” Mikey said thinking out loud. “I need to find out what’s wrong so they can be reunited.”
Willow sighed, “That would be idea but it might not be that easy.”
“I’m gonna do it.” Mikey said with determination. “I’m gonna help them find each other.”
Gerard watched his brother closely. He couldn’t help but worry about how Mikey would react if he couldn’t accomplish what he set out to do. Suddenly he realized Willow was looking at him. Was she listening to his thoughts?
Willow glanced away. She knew she was going to have to explain to him sooner or later he needed to be very careful. She understood he was worried about Mikey but he really needed to worry about himself. The dark spirits in this mansion were drawn to him. They would consume him if he wasn’t careful.
“Hey lets get back to work.” Bob suggested. He just wanted some sort of normalcy.
The rest of the guys nodded except Gerard. He was still looking at Willow and trying to decide why he was feeling anger towards her.
When the girls returned they found the band was still practicing.
“Where’s Willow?” Alicia asked a few minutes later as they finished up and the music died away.
Gerard took a drink of water before answering. “Said she was going to use my laptop to do some research.”
“Well we bought her something.” Alicia said holding up a bag. “Any idea where she’s holed up?”
Gerard shrugged. “Nope, but we’re done so I’ll go look for her. I’ll tell her you’re looking for her.” He walked past the girls and headed up to his room. He needed to grab another pack of cigarettes.
“So what did you get her?” Ray asked as he sat down his guitar.
“It’s a tee shirt.” Christa answered.
Alicia nodded, “Yeah, hope she likes it.”
“Why wouldn’t she?” Ray asked sounding puzzled.
“Well cause we think she will but we’re not sure. We meant it to be funny but I don’t want her to take it the wrong way.”
“Show us.” Frank said joining in the conversation.
Alicia opened the bag and pulled out the black tee. As she held it up the guys read the words.
“Oh” Franks said. “I see what you mean.”
Gerard opened the bedroom door and spotted Willow sitting on the bed. She seemed to be so engrossed in whatever she was reading on the laptop she didn’t acknowledge him. Walking slowly up behind her he looked over her shoulder.
“That’s the painting.” He whispered.
Willow jumped. “Shit, you scared me.” She laughed.
Gerard’s eyes were still on the screen. “That’s what I saw in the nightmares. It’s the image you got from her too, isn’t it?”
Willow nodded looking back at the laptop. “Yeah, I remembered you said the artist’s name and thought I’d look it up.”
“So what does it mean? Why are you and I getting the same images?”
Willow shrugged, “I have no idea. My best guess would be the woman who is so drawn to you is doing it for a reason.”
Gerard sat down on the bed. “The woman who chocked me.”
“The woman who pleasured you then chocked you.” She reminded him softly.
He frowned, “Can you please stop reminding me about that? I’m really fuckin’ creeped out about that.”
“Sorry.” Willow said turning to face him.
“So what else have you found out?” He wanted to change the subject.
“Lots.” Willow said happily. “The history of this place is fascinating. Did you know at one time it was owned by a Franciscan order?”
“Catholic nuns?” he guessed.
Willow nodded, “Yeah, which explains why she’s dressed like she is.”
He sighed, “I just want this to be over.”
Even though Willow understood why he said it the pain still hit her hard. When this was over they would part. She would return to her life and he would return to his.
Gerard saw the sorry on her face. “You get what I mean, right?”
Willow nodded and forced herself to smile. “I understand. You want Mikey to find the answers he’s looking for then get the hell out of here.”
“Yeah, right.” Gerard couldn’t keep himself from reaching over and stroking her cheek with his fingertips. The jolt of electricity made him smile. “That’s all I meant.” He whispered.
Willow closed her eyes a moment to enjoy the sensation and to try to forget her earlier sorrow.
Gerard knew that if he didn’t stop touching her now things would get out of hand and they were supposed to be meeting up with the others for dinner soon. He pulled his fingers back immediately feeling the loss. “Uh, I’m supposed to tell you that the girls are back from shopping and looking for you.”
Willow smiled, “Oh, okay. Bet they had a good time shopping.”
Her words confused him. “Well yeah, I’m sure they did. Why didn’t you go with them?”
“Because I’m here to do a job.” Willow reminded him. “If I’d gone I wouldn’t have been here for Mikey.”
“You’re not one of our paid employees, Willow.” Gerard said frowning.
“Well, yeah, actually I am. I’m here to help Mikey.” In her heart she knew this wasn’t the only reason and she hoped he would acknowledge that fact.
He wanted to tell her that he needed her to be here as much as Mikey. He wanted to tell her but he couldn’t make himself say the words. “Let’s head back downstairs.” He said scooting off the bed.
Willow nodded, closed the laptop and followed him. When the reached the ballroom Mikey was excitedly telling the girls about what had happened when they were gone.
“I really saw the pictures in my mind. It was fuckin’ awesome.” Mikey saw Willow and smiled.
Alicia stood and walked over to Willow. “Hey we bought you something.” She handed Willow the bag.
Willow couldn’t help but wonder why she was hearing so many strange thoughts. Bob was especially loud with his thoughts. Whatever they had bought her he didn’t think was a good idea. He was worried she’d be upset. Slowly Willow reached in the bag and pulled out the shirt. Holding it up she read the words that were a quote from a now famous movie, “I See Dead People.”
Alicia was regretting the purchase. She knew Willow was often uncomfortable with her abilities and guessed she didn’t find the shirt funny. “Uh, we saw it and uh…” Her voice trailed off as she looked over at Christa and Jamia for support.
Suddenly Willow burst out laughing. “Oh my God you all are worried I won’t see the humor.” She surprised Alicia by hugging her. “Thank you. I love it.”
Christa joined them. “We thought you would but we just weren’t sure.”
Willow wanted them all to understand. “All of you know about my abilities and still like me. You just don’t know how happy that makes me. I’ve hidden this part of myself for so long I truly feel comfortable being who I am.” She giggled, “I’m gonna wear this tomorrow.”
Gerard was leaning against the wall watching the whole incident feeling strangely upset. He was beginning to see how much all of this meant to Willow. Her world had changed when she’d met them. How would be it be when it was time for her to return home? How would she feel going back to the life she led before that night she saved Mikey? He tried to tell himself she’d be fine and not to worry but it was getting harder to do every day.