The Girl, By A.S., Age 14

March 31, 2020

The Girl
By A.S., Age 14

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Today was the last day of school and I’m glad. I’m ready for summer because I get to go to my aunt’s lake house, and I get to see Lily, my niece for the whole summer. I get off the bus and I see my aunt’s car and a big smile creeps across my face because I don’t see my aunt often.  She likes to paint, and she goes everywhere to sell them because she is really good. I walk inside and Lilly runs up to me screaming Grace. She is always happy when she sees me and I’m always happy when I see her; I guess it’s because I don’t see her often. I pick her up and give her a big hug and she is giggling. With her still in my arms, I go into the kitchen where I see my mom, dad, and aunt.

My mom and aunt are arguing like always, but they stop as soon as I walk in. I put Lily down and run up to aunt Sara and give her a big hug. She giggles and then she gives me a kiss on the forehead. I look at my mom and she looks sad.  I ask her what’s wrong and Sara says she doesn’t want you to come to the cabin with us. I look at my mom and ask why?  She says it’s because I will be too far away, and I basically will be babysitting Lily. I said I don’t care I love playing with Lily and I say it really loud so I know Lily will hear it and she does. She comes running saying yay, “We always have a lot of fun and we play games all the time.” I look at my mom and say, “See Mom, I will be fine, there is no need to worry.”   She looked at me and said, “Fine, you can go.”  I was so excited I gave her a big hug. Sara asked me if I had packed my bags already, I said no, and then she said you and Lilly should go do that so we can talk.  

Lily and I go upstairs, and we pack my bag and then I tell her to go pick a book off my shelf.  She does, and she picks a Nancy Drew book. The one I found in the attic a couple days ago. I haven’t read it yet, but it looks cool, so I grab it. When I go to open it up, a small picture falls out.  It looks like it is my mom and my aunt and another girl in a tan bathing suite, and she has long blond hair. I flip it over and see my mom and aunt’s name, but the other name was scratched out. I wonder who this is because they look like close friends, but anyway, I start to read the Nancy Drew book to Lily and soon she is fast asleep in my arms. I lay her down on my bed so she can rest, because we have a two-hour car ride and I know she gets grouchy if she doesn’t sleep.  So, I move her as carful and quietly as possible and I grab the picture from my night stand and go downstairs to show my mom and ask about it.

As soon as I get into the kitchen, I see my mom and she looks so happy, she is clearly having fun, and her smile, God, I miss that smile.  But when she looks at me her smile drops quickly, and she comes up to me and asks what I have; I said a picture I found in one of the Nancy Drew books. I look at her and show her the picture and I ask who that third girl is and she got mad and grabs the picture and tells me that I know I’m not allowed in the attic and she starts to cry, so my dad took her to her to their room and she goes to bed. But before she left, she looked at me and asked, “Where is Lily?” I told her upstairs sleeping. I ask, “Do you want me to go get her so we can go,” and she said, “Yes.” I go upstairs and I pick up my backpack put it on, and then, I get Lily. As I am picking her up, she starts to squirm a little bit, but she soon goes back to sleep in my arms. I walk downstairs and my aunt is at the bottom waiting for us as I walk down, and I can see her holding the picture with a frown on her face.

We go to the car I put Lily in her car seat, and she goes back to sleep. Then I put my stuff in the trunk and get into the front seat. As we start to drive, I ask my aunt about the girl in the picture and she said she died.  She was a really good friend, that’s why your mom got so upset. I asked how did she die? My aunt didn’t want to talk about it so I left it alone. By the time we get to the cabin it is like 6:00 am and I didn’t even realize that I hadn’t slept, and I was exhausted. A couple days went by, Lily and I went swimming a lot, but not too deep, and we built sand castles while my aunt painted a lot.

But one day was different.

I walked outside and saw Lily playing with a girl who looked very familiar. I walked over and instantly knew who she was. It was the girl from the picture, and I didn’t want Lily there because that girl was supposed to be dead. As I walked over, I heard the girl from the picture say something about going out on a canoe, and as soon as I heard that, I ran over and said, “No!” pushing Lily behind me. The girl asked, “Why?” with an evil smile on her face. I said, “It’s because Lily has to take a nap right now, that’s why,” but you could come in and talk to me for a little bit, after I put her down for a nap. The girl said, “Fine,” so we went to the cabin.   My aunt was out so I put Lily to bed for a bit and talked to this girl. I was talking to her for a while and then I noticed her hand started to change like it had been in water for years. A soon as she noticed that I looked, she smiled and I said, “You can go now, I think I’m going to lay down with Lily, and she said, “No, she was waiting for someone,” and I said, “Fine!  I will wait with you.”  

I knew she was waiting for my aunt, but I didn’t know why. As soon as my aunt walked through the door she screamed.  She definitely recognized the girl, and once the girl saw my aunt, she became this type of monster and grabbed me.  She said, “Tell her!” I was confused, but my aunt was speechless.  Right then, the grip on my throat became tighter and I couldn’t breathe, and the girl screamed, “Tell her now!” At this point, my aunt was screaming, “I didn’t do anything; we didn’t do anything; let her go!” Then, as the girl was about to crush my throat, my aunt yelled, “Fine!” “We let you fall, and we shouldn’t have gone out there, we tried to save you, but we were kids and we didn’t want to get in trouble, so we didn’t tell anyone. I’m so sorry!” 

The girl let me go and she stood beside me.  I asked my aunt what she was talking about and she said, “We killed her, we weren’t supposed to go out in the boat, but we did, and her toy dropped in the water.”  “We wanted to leave it, but she didn’t.”  “She leaned over to get it and she fell in.”  We couldn’t save her, we let her drown and we didn’t tell anyone, and ever since we have never talked about her.  I looked at my aunt with tears in my eyes.  How could you not tell anyone?  What if Lily had gone in the boat with her?   Which, by the way, she did try to do.  What about her parents, do they know where and how she died? Do they have closure?   I yelled at my aunt, “You will tell everybody what happened, including her parents.”  They need to know what happened!   Look at her, she is a ghost and she is hurting. Telling everyone is the only way to fix this.

So, my aunt did, and we never-ever, saw that girl again.

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