Your eyes fly open from what must have been a fit of slumber. Had you just been sleeping? You survey your surroundings and realize that you are still in your room on your bed.
Did you just have a horrible dream? A dream that your mother came to tell you that your best friend Jack had died ... You consider the possibility but then realize how badly your eyes and head hurt. But it is not like the throbbing hurt of a headache ... no ... you quickly recognize the discomfort as something that occurs after you cry. You had been crying ... very hard. Realization and reality kick in, drowning you in a feeling of hopelessness. Jack really is dead. Tears begin to stream down your cheeks and you gasp for breath, the pain you had felt earlier slowly starts to overtake you. No, there is no way Jack can be dead, for all you know this could be another one of his tricks (an extremely sick twisted trick that is in no way funny).
With warm tears continuing to roll down your cheeks you get up from your bed, open your window, and leap out onto to cold evening ground. Luckily the moon is out tonight (full and glowing brightly) providing a dim light that is just enough for you to see. It is very cold, your breath easy visible in a smoky puff once it escapes your mouth.
You break into a run ... the frosty air piercing through your thin clothes and nipping at your skin but you ignore it. Following the trail through the village and up the hill you make your way off the path and into the freezing white forest. You are being completely irrational right now but that hardly concerns you, all you care about is finding the ...
You stop at the sight of the familiar frozen pond that you had been to early yesterday ... with Jack.
Rays of moonlight hit the icy surface causing the ice to dimly sparkle and glow. All is silent except for the fast breaths leaving your mouth. You try to clam your quick breathing. After a few moments you start to walk and halt at the point where the ice and earth meet. Scanning the evenly frozen surface you see nothing that indicates cracked or broken ice. It must have frozen over.
The tears had ceased when you reached the pond but now they return in full force and flow down your cheeks. Why are you here? There is no way that you are going to find Jack here at this frozen pond … at least not above the ice but below … you quickly shut the idea out of your mind and fall to your knees on the snow covered ground. You curl into a ball and cry deeply into your knees, for how long you do not know ...
After some time you slowly raise your head up to the pale, glowing moon. How beautiful it looks tonight, if it had not been full you probably would not have been able to find this place.
“Jack … I- I miss you so much. I only hoped that it wasn’t true, that you weren’t dead ... but ... y- you are my best friend ... my only real friend,” you whisper quietly, your voice cracking.
There are so many things you want to say but know they will not be heard by him, he is dead after all. Regret fills up greatly within you. Oh how you wish you could have told him how you truly felt about him. Explain what you thought that warm burning ball meant to you whenever he laughed or smiled. It wouldn’t have bothered you (at least now it wouldn’t have) if Jack did not feel the same, but at least you would have told him.
Your mind continues to swirl in several thoughts and emotions as you lay broken beside the frozen pond. After some time you conclude that you never want to see this place again and start to leave. You do not want to ever be reminded of the painful emotions and memories that now reside in it.
As you slowly walk back into the forest a low sound catches your attention and you turn your head slightly toward the pond to listen ... it sounds like a person ... someone yelling ..? The sound is muffled at first but quickly becomes clear within a few seconds.
You are startled by what sounds like something heavy hitting a tree only a few feet from where you stand. You turn your eyes quickly to where the source of the noise came from and see small heaps of snow falling from the treetops to the ground. Slightly shocked and nervous you stand frozen for several seconds and wait, staring at the tree trying to look through its snow covered leaves to find the source of the loud crash.
There is nothing but silence ...
Then a light chuckle echoes through your ears and there is movement. Something ... or rather someone ... drops to the floor and starts to walk toward the pond, quietly giggling. You can hardly see the back of the person as they walk away from you but judging by their stature you conclude it is a boy.
As you watch him several thoughts race through you mind, one questioning how this strange boy just got up in a tree without even making a single sound until now. Is he hurt? Those little chuckles could say otherwise, plus he is walking perfectly normal.
He continues toward the pond and you step forward to get a better view of him, cracking a branch under your foot in the process. The boy stops abruptly and your heart rate jumps as he turns around scanning his surroundings. His face turns toward you (and even though you cannot clearly see you know that his eyes have found you) and for the longest stretch of time he does not move. After what feels like and eternity he turns his back toward you and continues walking to the pond.
“Weird girl ... walking around in the forest alone,” he mutters to himself. You only faintly heard what he said but it was just loud enough for your ears to register. You feel your face twisting into a confused expression.
You’re one to talk, you think to yourself. The strange boy stops and slowly turns back to look at you again. Oh crap, did you say that out loud without even knowing? You must have because he is now intently staring at you, head tilted to the side in curiosity as he shuffles forward.
The closer he comes the better you can see his face wide-eyed with surprise ... or maybe shock. His hair is unlike any color you have ever seen ... white like the snow that covers the ground. He is also holding what looks like a shepherds staff in his hand and is wearing ... no shoes? Alright this boy is a little bit more than strange ...
“You ... you responded to me ... then that must mean-” his voice sounds familiar and full of worried excitement- “you can see me ... c-can you see me?” The boy’s arms gesture to his chest, indicating himself.
What a strange question to ask ... you nod slightly and answer, “Yes ... of course I can see you ... not very well though ... you’re too far away.”
He is still a good ten feet or so away, buried between trees and brushes covered in snow. A chuckle escapes from the odd boy ringing throughout the forest. Another follows, then another, each containing more excitement than the last. Then he laughs.
“She can see me! Hah! She can!” The boy leaps into the air and jumps around with excitement; it reminds you of a little child. You cannot help but to smile despite the weird reason for the boy’s happiness. After a few seconds the boy advances toward you and quickly closes the distant between you two. Yep … he was barefoot alright … and walking perfectly normal in the freezing snow with a huge smile across his face.
Now he is only a foot in front of you and his appearance greatly overwhelms you. Why? Because despite how simple he is dressed you cannot help but notice how similar he looks to someone ... someone who died yesterday in the very pond you both are feet away from ... he looks like ...
“J-Jack?” you stumble with this name in utter disbelief. You do not know why you asked if that is his name, it simply came out. The boy’s face is now wide-eyed again and full of excitement.
“Ha ... yes! You said my name!” he giggles with joy, “But how I- I don’t even know who you are?! How do you know my name?”
You are not able to answer his question, heck you do not even register what he says. You feel as though you are about to collapse because of how dizzy you are. This strange boy is Jack ... Jackson Overland ... your best friend who was supposed to be dead as of yesterday.
He is different ... his white hair the most obvious ... his skin is a lot paler too, more so than you remember and ... those sparkling eyes of his are a beautiful shade of blue unlike anything you have ever seen. This is Jack ... you can never mistake his face ... or his voice ... and this boy has both. You cannot grasp a reason as to why your dead best friend is in front of you … alive ...
The excitement on Jack’s face slowly disappears as he looks at you.
“Hey, are you alright? You look like you’re crying,” he quietly points out.
You look down at the ground to avoid his gaze and several tears escape from your eyes rolling down your cheeks. With a gasp you suddenly realize how dizzy you are and start to loose balance.
“He- woohh!” you hear Jack say as you feel yourself falling. Just before you hit the snowy ground you a pair of hands catch you …