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I jolted awake, for someone shook me. "Hey, kid. Is this your stop?" A gruff voice asked me. Looking out the window, I knew this wasn't my stop, but I shook my head yes anyway. The bus driver huffed. "Well, go ahead and get off." I grabbed my backpack and hurried off my school bus. As it left, I made a full 360 turn where I was standing.
It seemed that I was somewhere downtown. Sighing, I called my mom on my cellphone. No answer. "Thanks, Mom..." I mumbled. Putting my cellphone in my pocket, I made my way through the crowds of people coming in and out of stores.
I walked past many stores that I wasn't all that interested in. Then, I saw a small store. A bookstore to be exact. The sign above the door said "Adventures Galore Bookstore," I snickered. "Who thought of that name?" I decided to walk in and look since my mom wasn't answering me any time soon.
The bookstore was quite large but very crowded with people. Case after case was filled to the top with books of all different genres. Looking around, I found a case overflowing with manga, my eyes widening in delight. I began to flip through a few of the volumes, a stupid and dorky grin on my face. I became so absorbed in reading that I didn't notice someone was trying to talk to me until they tapped me on the shoulder. The slight gesture made me jump, dropping the book I held in the process. Turning around, I came face to face with a woman in her thirties.
"I'm sorry if I startled you," the woman said, smiling. She had long chestnut brown hair that came to her lower back and eyes the color of emeralds. Her skin was slightly tan and very fair. Near the bottom of her right eye, she had this small birthmark. The woman wore a long, flowing white dress and black high-heeled boots. Around her neck was a silver locket. "Do you need help with anything?"
Embarrassed, I picked up the book, shaking my head. "No, thank you." I could feel my cheeks burn a bit. As I placed the book back in its rightful spot, I noticed the woman was slightly staring at me, a small frown on her face. "Um... Is there anything else you need to ask me?" I asked, uncomfortable.
"Oh! I'm sorry!" The woman laughed in embarrassment. "I was just wondering if you were new to the area. I didn't want to be rude and ask the wrong thing." She held out her hand. "I'm Miss Jonstin, the owner of the store."
"Anaiya. Nice to meet you," I said, shaking Miss Jonstin's hand. "To answer your question, I am new to the area. My parents and I moved here a few days ago."
"I see. Nice to meet you too, Anaiya," Miss Jonstin said. "I see you're a student at Skental High. My oldest also goes there. Her name's Kayle. Have you met her?"
Thinking, I tried to see if I met anyone today with the name Kayle Jonstin. I shook my head no. "To be honest with you, my first day was Friday and I haven't made any friends at all yet. It's hard." I admitted, scratching the back of my neck. Just then, my phone chimed. Looking at it, my mom had texted me asking where I was. I answered and placed my phone back in my pocket. "I should get going. It was nice talking to you."
"Likewise," Miss Jonstin chimed, smiling kindly. "You're always welcome here, Anaiya."
"Thank you. I'll be sure to look out for your daughter," I told her, saying goodbye. Walking out of the bookstore, I noticed it had gotten quiet, the sky darker than it was before. Most of the people had gone home. My phone chimed again. This time, my mother texted me to meet her at this certain statue in the middle of downtown. Sending a reply, I started walking, searching for the statue. By the time I found it, it had gotten eerily quiet. I set my bag down on a bench in front of the statue and started to examine it. About 11 feet tall, the statue was a young girl standing on a block of stone. It was on pretty good shape, excluding the cracks that were all over the stone block.
Crouching, I tried reading the plaque that was attached to the one side of the stone block. Most of the letters had worn away, but I could make out the words "Carina Wyledheart" at the top. Looking up at the stone girl, I noticed she had a sad, almost pained, expression on her face. I frowned slightly. Why did the sculptor decide to depict this girl with such an expression? Standing up, I suddenly started to feel lightheaded. Blinking my eyes multiple times, I saw a black, shadowy figure standing next to a tree. My chest started to tighten, and I felt sick to my stomach. I squeezed my eyes shut and started to suddenly feel better. Opening my eyes slowly, the figure was now gone. I was breathing hard, my body shaking.
A car horn honked behind me, making me turn around. It was my mom in her silver convertible. Grabbing my bag from the bench, I climbed into the passenger seat. The whole ride home, I stared out the window. What the hell did I see? Worse yet, was I going to see it again? Just the thought sent a shiver down my spine.