Part Three of Ten
Chapter five: Shopping and a secret revealed
Chloe was happy to be sat in the back of Ashley’s car being taken into the city, so she could have her hair and nails none, as well as getting her ears pierced. James had asked his mum if Jane could get her ears pierced, but she’d said that other people wouldn’t look kindly on a small boy having pierced ears.
Nicole Cale had hoped her son would grow out of wanting to dress and act like a girl, but she never looked into the thing that caused her son to do it in the first place, then she met Mark Mann and she tried to stop James dressing all together. Nicole knew from the start that Mark Mann was a man’s man. All his friends called him Mark the man. He’d been sweet and kind to Nicole and James to begin with, but James soon saw another side to Mark when his mother wasn’t around to see it. James tried to tell his mum what he’d seen Mark doing, but his mother just put it down to James being jealous of her sharing her love with someone else.
James had kept dressing, and his mother had still spent some time cooking and playing dress up with her part-time daughter, but that stopped when Nicole started feeling tired all the time. Nicole had marred Mark by this time, so when Nicole passed away, it was now Mark’s job to look after James, but neither one liked the other, so it was hard going and James found himself trying to look after himself most the time. It wasn’t long before James was dressing as Jane and pretending to live on his own as a woman, even if he was only eleven at the time.
It was during one of these times that Mark came home from where ever he’d been for the past week and found Jane cleaning up instead of James. Rather than have a fit, Mark just laughed as he seemed to have some sort of plan form in his sick and twisted head. That was when Mark started bringing weird men home to sit and talk to James, or Jane as it was whenever the men came to the house. Just as things were about to take a turn for the worse, Jane had poured hot tea all over a man’s groin and then ran away, to be chased by Mark who managed to catch Jane just before they were both hit by a truck. Mark died at the scene, and James was ready to die, but Chloe had other plans for him. Now he was Chloe, or he would be when his new mother got everything sorted out.
Chloe was soon being snapped out of her thoughts of how she came to be sat in the back of a car looking like a girl when Valarie spoke to her.
“Everything alright back there sweetie?” Valarie asked as she looked over her shoulder at Chloe sat in the back smiling at her. Valarie was used to her Chloe never shutting up, but this Chloe seemed to be happier to just sit and listen to what others had to say, but given her past, that was understandable. Valarie just hoped Chloe would relax and start to enjoy life a little more, now she was being looked after.
“Yes, fine mummy. I’m just enjoying the company and the drive.” Chloe smiled even more as she started to get excited about getting her hair and nails done. “How will you be letting me get my hair done mummy?” Chloe asked.
“In a hairdressers silly.” Valarie giggled as she gave Chloe a goofy look like she was being stupid.
“Mum!” Chloe whined. “I mean what sort of style.” Chloe giggled as she reached forward and playfully slapped her mother on the arm as she sat in the front passenger seat next to Ashley. Chloe wasn’t sure where the action came from, but she seemed to feel that it was the right thing to do. It would have been something the other Chloe would have done.
“We’ll look through some books and see what might suit you the best, when we find a stylist we all like.” Valarie explained her plan to Chloe and Ashley.
“Does this mean we all get our hair done then sis?” Ashley asked with a grin.
“I think we could all use a little pampering, don’t you?” Valarie smiled. It had been some time since Valarie took any pride in her looks. Losing Chloe had stopped her doing anything except mourning the loss of her daughter and reason for living.
“Now that sounds like a plan.” Ashley giggled.
They were soon in the city and Ashley parked the car in a multi story car park, and then they set to work finding a hairdresser’s they all liked the looks of, so they could get Chloe and themselves looking and feeling better than any of them had felt in some time.
Chloe couldn’t stop smiling as she walked down the road with her new mummy holding one hand and her new Aunty holding the other. They stopped to look at a couple of beauty shops, but none of them seemed to be what Valarie was looking for. They had been walking around for nearly an hour before Valarie finally decided she’d found one she liked the looks of, so they entered and then Valarie explained that she wanted Hair and Nail treatment for all three of them.
Valarie and Ashley sat looking through some folders with Chloe until Chloe found a style that looked to beautiful for words. “Can I have my hair styled like that mummy?”
“I can’t see why not sweetie.” Valarie said as she looked at the picture in the folder, and then at Chloe’s hair. “I’ll have a word with the stylist and make sure it’s doable.” She added as she gave Chloe a hug.
It turned out to not be a problem, and Chloe was soon sporting a very feminine hairstyle, just like her mother and Aunt were. Chloe was grinning as she watched another woman work on her nails while the person doing her hair finished off. She was soon looking at a full set of sparkly pink nails, and feeling even more like a girl than she ever had before.
Valarie was happy to pay the bill when they were all finished, then they left the salon and went to find a shop where Chloe could have her ears pierced. Valarie and Ashley smiled every time they walked past a shop window dark enough for Chloe to check out her new hairstyle in, or they walked past a mirror.
“Don’t worry, you still look just as beautiful as you did in the salon.” Ashley giggled as she wrapped an arm around Chloe’s shoulder and pulled her into a hug as they walked down the road.
“Not as beautiful as you and mummy do.” Chloe said as they walked past a window so she could see them all stood together.
“Keep talking like that and I might have to treat you to a new dress or two.” Ashley grinned as she hugged Chloe a little tighter to her side as they walked down the road.
“Do I get new shoes as well?” Chloe suddenly said before she slapped her hand over her mouth, not knowing why she said that. “Sorry.” Chloe mumbled through her hand.
“Your sister used to always ask the same thing, so don’t worry about it.” Ashley smiled as she thought how much better she felt having this new little girl in her life as well. Ashley realised that she’d been living in denial just like her sister all this time.
“My sister?” Chloe asked looking puzzled when she realised what her Aunty had just said.
“Yes, your sister.” Ashley smiled. “I can’t think of any other way to explain the other Chloe, so I think referring to her as your sister is the best way to explain some of the things you keep doing that reminds us of the fun times we had with her.” Ashley explained.
Chloe had to smile when she thought that having the other Chloe as a sister would have been amazing growing up and she did feel a loss now that she’d gone to be with her father up in heaven. “I like that idea Aunty Ash.” Chloe giggled.
Valarie was soon leading the way into a jewellery shop that offered a piercing service. “I’d like to get my daughters ears pierced.” Valarie said to the woman behind the counter.
“Wonderful. We’re doing a two for one offer this week.” The woman said looking happy to help.
“Do you mean both ears, or two sets for the price of one?” Ashley asked looking a little confused as to why a young girl like Chloe would come in just wanting the one ear pierced.
“Oh, I’m sorry. I mean you can have two studs in each ear for the price of one set.” The woman giggled when she realised what she said came out sounding all wrong.
Chloe stood and watched as she woman pulled out a tray and then placed it on the counter in front of her. “Pick the two sets you like while I get set up ready for you honey.” The woman smiled just before she walked over to the other side of the shop where there was a seat and some other bits that looked a little scary.
“I like the pink studs and the purple ones.” Chloe heard her Aunty say, or Chloe thought it was her Aunty until she looked to her side and saw the other Chloe stood there smiling at her.
Chloe looked a little freaked out as she jumped back while letting out a squeal. She bumped into Valarie who looked a little worried at the way Chloe suddenly acting. “What’s wrong sweetie?” She asked.
“Tell her you saw a spider run across the floor.” Ghost Chloe said quickly to the scared looking Chloe.
“Sorry mum, but I thought I saw a spider run across the floor.” Chloe said as she looked down while trying to get her heart to stop trying to beat its way out of her chest.
“I can’t see anything now sweetie.” Valarie said as she looked down at the floor as well. “You must have scared it off with your screaming.” She added with a giggle as she hugged the shaking girl in her arms.
Chloe used the hug to help calm herself down enough to look up and see if she was just having some sort of funny turn and seeing things, but the ghost of the real Chloe was still stood facing her. She was dressed in a pretty pink dress and had on a matching pair of shoes. Her hair and face looked much prettier than they had the last time the alive Chloe saw her.
“I know you have some questions for me Chloe, but we can’t talk here. Well I can, but you’d just look insane if you started trying to talk to me.” Ghost Chloe giggled. “You’re the only one that can see me.” She added when she saw the puzzled look on the other Chloe’s face.
The real Chloe looked even more freaked out when she saw the other Chloe just fade away until there was nothing left. “I’ve gone insane.” Chloe thought to herself as she kept looking at the spot where the other Chloe had just been. She was soon looking around though when the woman asked if she’d picked out which studs she wanted in her ears.
“I like the pink and the purple sets.” Chloe smiled. She actually did like those ones even before the other Chloe showed up and almost scared her to death.
Chloe followed the woman over to the chair where she sat Chloe down and then wiped her ears with some smelly stuff on a piece of cotton wool. Chloe was waiting for the pain to start, but all she felt was a slight prick in her ear as the gun made a popping sound. She felt the same thing three more times before the woman said it was all over. The woman gave Chloe a piece of paper with instructions on how to care for her ears, and Chloe also noticed that her Aunty was carrying a small bag from the same jewellery shop as they left the place.
“Are you feeling alright sweetie?” Valarie asked when she saw Chloe looking around as they walked down the road towards a shopping centre.
“Can we get a drink and sit someplace quiet for a while mummy?” Chloe said as she kept looking around trying to see if the other Chloe was anywhere to be seen, even if it was only by her. “I really need to tell you and Aunty something important.” Chloe added with a pleading in her voice Valarie had never heard before.
“Sure, I could use a cold drink myself.” Valarie said as she looked for a shop where they could get some sodas and then some place to sit and talk.
They were soon entering a small park that had a playground and plenty of benches for them to sit on away from anyone else. Chloe was still looking for her ghost sister and name sake to show up when she took a seat between her worried looking mother and Aunt.
“You’re beginning to worry me now sweetie.” Valarie said as she saw the way Chloe’s eyes were darting around like she was looking for trouble. “Have you seen someone that might know who you are?” Valarie asked getting the wrong idea about Chloe being worried.
“I saw Chloe again, while we were in the shop getting my ears pierced.” Chloe explained. “It wasn’t a spider at all.” She added looking even more worried.
“I thought you said she’s gone to be with her father in heaven?” Valarie said looking just as worried as Chloe now as she also looked around expecting to see her as well.
“She did, but now she’s back, but she looked a little different.” Chloe tried to explain. “She was in a beautiful pink dress, and her hair and face look so beautiful.”
“Thanks sis, you look much better now as well.” Ghost Chloe said as she was suddenly stood facing new Chloe, making her jump again.
“You have to stop doing that!” Chloe snapped at her ghostly name sake through gritted teeth.
“Sorry, still getting use to these cool new gifts I have.” Ghost Chloe giggled as she vanished, just to appear again on the bench sat next to Ashley.
“Is she here again now Chloe?” Valarie asked as she looked around, but couldn’t see anything.
“Yes she’s sat next to Aunty Ash.” Chloe said as she pointed at the bench to the side of Ashley. “Can’t you make it so they can see you as well?” Chloe asked as she looked past Ashley to where Ghost Chloe was sat looking at her Aunty and mother smiling.
“No, sorry. But I have no control over who can see me and who can’t.” Ghost Chloe shrugged.
“How come I can see you then?” Chloe asked.
“You can see me because you died and then came back to life again.” Ghost Chloe said looking nervous. “And also because I forced my way into your body means that you can now see and communicate with the dead.” She added with a pained look.
“What?” Chloe asked, not wanting to believe what she’d just been told by the ghost of the dead girl she was now pretending to be. “So all people that come back from the dead and then see ghosts?” Chloe asked.
“I didn’t know this would happen when I stopped you going into the light.” Ghost Chloe pleaded. “Not all people that come back can see ghosts, just some.”
“So why are you back again, and looking like that?” Chloe asked as she waved her hand up and down Ghost Chloe’s body.
“I’ve been sent back as a punishment for what I did.” Ghost Chloe said with a sigh. “I’ve been charged with keeping an eye on you and making sure you don’t have any trouble from other ghosts.” She added with another big sigh.
“So you’re like my very own guardian angel then?” Chloe asked with a grin.
“NO! Angels are very different to what I am.” Ghost Chloe snapped. “Think of me as a spirit guide. I also have a new name now as well.” Ghost Chloe pouted.
“So what do I call you then?” Chloe asked.
“Spirit.” Ghost Chloe pouted some more.
“Spirit? I like the sound of that.” Chloe smiled. “It will make things easier not having to call you Chloe as well as myself as well.”
“What’s going on Chloe, and why is Chloe back?” Valarie asked looking confused with calling both girls by the same name.
“Chloe is now called Spirit, and she’s back because I can now see ghosts and she has to help stop them from doing something to me. I think.” Chloe said looking just as confused as Valarie and Ashley did.
“You’re like a ghost whisperer then? Or a medium? Just like on those TV shows with Jennifer Love Hewitt, and Patricia Arquette.” Ashley said looking all excited about it.
Chloe just looked confused even more, as she’d never seen either of the TV shows her Aunty was talking about, but Spirit looked excited to see that someone understood what Chloe had become.
“Aunty Ash understands it perfectly Chloe.” Spirit said as she sat clapping her hands together with joy. Spirit went to touch her Aunty, but her hand just broke up and passed straight through her like smoke. “Sadly I can’t touch anything though.” Spirit added with a sigh.
“She says you’re spot on with your guess Aunty.” Chloe pointed out for Spirit.
“I am?” Ashley said looking shocked. “Does that mean you have to help dead people find their way to the other side, and help solve mysteries for the police?” Ashley was thinking about the characters in the TV shows now and what they did.
“I hope not.” Chloe said looking worried as she looked over at Spirit again for an answer.
“You will be asked to help out with things like that, well the helping dead people move on, not the helping the police part.” Spirit explained.
“Great, I’m going to be known as the crazy girl that talks to dead people.” Chloe groaned as she put her head in her hands while Valarie rubbed her back.
“If it’s any help Chloe, you will look really cute while you do it.” Spirit smiled, hoping to cheer her up a little.
“Well it’s not any help Spirit.” Chloe groaned some more as she tried to wrap her head around all this news she was being told by her spirit guide called Spirit.
“You’ll have me with you as well.” Spirit said, hoping that Chloe thought that would be a plus to her new calling in life as a ghost whisperer.
Chloe looked up and then smiled at Spirit to let her know that that was the one good thing she had just found out. “It is nice to see you again Spirit.”
“Will Spirit be around all the time now then Chloe?” Valarie asked as she looked at the empty spot next to her sister where Chloe had said she was sat not long ago.
“Tell her yes, and I think she looks much better now that she has you in her life Chloe.” Spirit said as she was suddenly stood at her mum’s side trying to stroke her face, but Spirit’s hand just turned to mist as it passed right through it.
“She said yes, and she also said that you look very beautiful now that you have me in your life.” Chloe smiled with a tear in her eyes as she saw just how much Spirit wanted to touch her mum one last time. “She’s stood right next to you now mummy.” Chloe point out.
“Thank you for helping Chloe find her way to me, but I still miss you.” Valarie said with tears in her eyes. “I know you’ll do a wonderful job of keeping your sister safe while she uses this new gift she has.” Valarie added with pride for her dead daughter.
“Sisters?” Spirit asked as she looked at Chloe with a grin.
“Yes, mother and Aunty said that we would have been great sisters had you still been alive.
“I would have liked that too sis.” Spirit giggled. “I can’t see why we can’t still be like sister, just with a very different relationship.” Spirit added as she stepped over to where Chloe was still sat and she reached out to touch her.
Chloe lifted her hand expecting it to pass straight though Spirit’s, but they made contact instead. Chloe could tell by the look on Spirit’s face that she wasn’t expecting this to happen.
“Why are we able to touch each other?” Chloe asked a stunned looking Spirit as she kept stroking her fingers across the palm of Chloe’s hand.
“I’m not sure, but then there has never been someone quite like you before.” Spirit said. “I wonder if it has anything to do with us sharing your body for the last several weeks.” Spirit added with a shrug. “They never covered this in training.” She giggled as she kept enjoying the touch of Chloe’s hand under hers.
“Training? You’ve been gone less than a day, what could they teach you in that time?” Chloe asked.
“Time is different up there sister dear.” Spirit smiled. “I’ve been training for almost a year to be your guide.”
“So that’s why you look so different to how I saw you yesterday?” Chloe asked.
“Yes, do you like what you see?” Spirit asked as she stepped back and did a quick spin to give Chloe a better look at her.
“Yes, you look like an angel.” Chloe said in a dreamy voice, wishing she could look that beautiful. “Spirit? Can you tell me if I’ll ever become a girl?” Chloe asked looking hopeful.
“I can’t see that far into the future sis, but I have a good feeling about your future though.” Spirit smiled. “I better let mum and Aunty Ash take you shopping now. Don’t let Aunty Ash buy you any less that three new dresses and shoes to match.” Spirit added with a giggle just before she faded away again.
“Has she gone again Chloe?” Valarie asked looking a little frustrated that she couldn’t see Spirit for herself.
“Yes, but she said that Aunty Ash has to buy me three dresses and shoes to match.” Chloe said as she cuddled up to her Aunty and started pouting.
“Far be it for me to anger the Spirits.” Ashley said in a spooky voice as she wrapped an arm around Chloe and pulled her close.
Valarie laughed at her sisters little joke, but she was also worried about what kind of affect this would have on Chloe, and the fact she was a transgendered child. The last thing Valarie thought Chloe needed was a calling that would put her in the spotlight if the wrong people found out. Ashley had the same look on her face as well when Valarie looked over at her getting up and helping Chloe to her feet, so they could go and do some shopping.
All three of them had soon put the thoughts of Chloe being a ghost whisperer to the back of their minds, as they went from shop to shop having fun as they helped Chloe try on tons of different outfits. Chloe was having just as much fun watching Valarie and Ashley trying things on.
By the time they were all worn out and ready to go home, Chloe had lost count of the number of new dresses and other things she now owned. She did have a wonderful time though, and she never saw Spirit appear once, but she could sense she was still close by keeping an eye on her.
Chapter six: Trying new things
Chloe was in her room trying to sort out all her things that still needed unpacking, as well as all the things that they had just bought in the city. The problem Chloe was having was all the stuff belonged to the other Chloe, now her spirit guide called Spirit. Chloe felt like she was prying into someone else’s life as she opened each box and chest to see what was in each one.
“This is all yours now sis.” Spirit’s voice said from just behind her, making Chloe jump.
“You’ve got to stop doing that Spirit.” Chloe said looking scared still as she tried to get her heart to slow down again to a more normal pace.
“Sorry, but I’ve been stood here watching you for some time now, I just thought you’d realise I was here.” Spirit said looking sorry for scaring her new sister.
“No, I’m sorry for snapping at you Spirit, but it’s just a little sad looking at all your things and realising you’ll never get to use or touch any of it again.” Chloe said as she plopped down on the bed and let out a sigh.
“I don’t mind Chloe.” Spirit said as she knelt down in front of her and smiled as she looked Chloe in the eyes. “I think it’s pretty neat being your spirit guide, and I get to spend time with you and the rest of our family as well.” Spirit said looking on the bright side.
“I’m scared Spirit.” Chloe said as she looked her ghostly sister in the eyes. “What if I can’t be a girl or someone finds out that I’m not you.” She added in a shaky voice as she tried not to cry.
“You’re not me silly, you’re you.” Spirit said with a grin as she took hold of Chloe’s hands in hers.
Chloe suddenly felt calmness come over her and she wasn’t scared anymore. “What are you doing to me?” Chloe asked with a contented sigh. She’d never felt so relaxed before in her life.
“While you were shopping, I went to have a word with my probation officer about the fact we could touch each other, and she said that it had happened before, but only a couple of times. She also said that I could use some little tricks to help calm you in times of stress.” Spirit explained as she kept working her magic.
Chloe wanted to question the fact Spirit had a probation officer in heaven, but she just felt too relaxed to even try speaking at that moment in time.
Spirit finally felt that Chloe was calmed back down, so she stopped feeding energy into her and then sat on the bed next to her and waited for Chloe to come out of her calming trance.
“That was amazing Spirit.” Chloe smiled dreamily once she felt able to talk again. “Did I hear you right when you said that you have a probation officer?” Chloe finally asked.
“Yes, but not like the ones your thinking of. She’s just there to help me deal with any problems that I might have trouble with, or things that pop up I haven’t been trained in yet.” Spirit explained.
“I take it finding out we can touch was classed as one of them things you hadn’t been trained for?” Chloe asked with a giggle.
“Very much so.” Spirit said with pride. “I’ve been moved to advance training now because of how special you are.” Spirit added as she playfully bumped shoulders with Chloe.
“Goody.” Chloe said sarcastically. “If I’m supposed to be able to see ghosts, then how come I’ve only seen you so far?” Chloe asked looking puzzled.
“I’m shielding you from all the other ghosts at the minute, and I’ll only let you see the ones that we need to help.” Spirit explained.
“So you’re not just a normal ghost then?” Chloe asked as she tried to understand just what Spirit was.
“No, I stopped being a ghost when I walked into the light. I will eventually become an angel, but only when you join me on the other side. Until that day, I will be your spirit guide in this world.” Spirit said it with pride.
“What will happen to me then? Will I become a spirit guide for someone?” Chloe asked.
“No, you will be allowed to choose whether you become an angel, or you just kick back and relax.” Spirit said as she vanished, just to reappear lying on the bed with her hands resting behind her head grinning at Chloe.
“I like the sound of becoming an angel with you.” Chloe said looking thoughtful. “Have you seen any angels yet?” Chloe asked.
“Yes, Sammi my probation officer is one.”
“Do you think I’ll ever get to meet her?” Chloe asked looking hopeful she would.
“She wants to meet you, but wasn’t sure how you’d cope with seeing her. Most ghost whisperers aren’t as excepting as you have been.” Spirit explained.
“I’d love to meet her.” Chloe grinned. “It’s nice to feel special in some way, instead of just feeling like a freak.” Chloe added.
“You were never a freak Chloe, and I’m sorry for what I did. I bet that didn’t help you feel any better either.” Spirit added.
“At times no, but some of the time it felt nice having you there to guide me.” Chloe smiled as she thought about all those times she’d seen the path she needed to take in her dreams, or a voice in her head telling her to go left or right when she felt lost and alone. “I can’t say I miss the nightmares though.” Chloe added with a shudder.
“Sorry, but it was the only way I could stop you from giving up on finding our mother and stopping her from killing herself.” Spirit said as she was suddenly sat at Chloe’s side again with her arm wrapped around Chloe as she rested her head on Chloe’s shoulder.
“The reward was worth the pain I guess.” Chloe giggled as she looked around the room at all the things she now had. “Thank you for giving me all this.” Chloe added as she rested her head on Spirit’s.
“No, thank you for saving my mum.” Spirit said as she lifted her head to look Chloe in the eyes.
“Don’t you mean our mum?” Chloe grinned.
“Yes I do.” Spirit grinned as she started grinning. “Now get back to unpacking everything, and I’ll tell you what it meant to be used for, and where it would look best in the room.” Spirit said sounding all bossy as she got up off the bed and stood with her hands on her hips waiting for Chloe to get back to work.
Chloe let out a sigh, and then started giggling as she got up and started pulling books and cuddly toys out of the boxes and placing them on shelf’s as Spirit told her stories of how she got each one.
Valarie and Ashley were both busy in the kitchen getting the meal ready for when Jennifer arrived, so Valarie could try and talk her old friend into letting Chloe go to her school, and hopefully get the help they needed to help her become the girl she is on the inside also on the outside.
“Am I doing the right thing getting Jenny involved in this sis?” Valarie asked as she looked at her sister chopping up some carrots on the other side of the table.
“I can’t see as you have much of a choice Val. You need to trust someone.” Ashley sighed. “I mean you could home school Chloe for the time being, but you still need to get her to a doctor that can help with the hormones and other things Chloe will need to help her become a woman.” Ashley added.
“I’m just scared that if things go wrong tonight, and Jenny decides to report me, I might lose Chloe again.” Valarie said close to tears.
“You do realise that Chloe isn’t really Chloe, right?” Ashley asked looking a little worried that her sister was getting a little too engrossed in this new child in her life.
“Yes I know that sis, but if I’m going to fool the rest of the world into thinking she is, then I have to believe it myself.” Valarie explained the reason for her talking like she was.
“Good point, but have you given any thought to the other little problem?” Ashley asked.
“What other little problem?” Valarie asked looking a little puzzled as to what her sister was getting at.
“The fact that Chloe thinks she can still see Spirit as she called her.” Ashley huffed like Valarie should have known what she was talking about.
“So you think that Chloe is making all that stuff up then?” Valarie looked a little shocked to hear her sister say that.
“I believe that Chloe believes it, but with everything she’s been through, I can’t blame her for having an over active imagination, but do you really think that Chloe has come back to be a spirit guide called Spirit to your new daughter that thinks she can now see and talk to ghosts?” Ashley asked it like Valarie was insane if she said yes.
“I just have a feeling that Chloe is telling the truth, and Spirit is real, and now helping Chloe.” Valarie said, but had no real way to explain why she felt it was all true.
“I’ll be sane enough for the two of us then.” Ashley giggled as she tried to lighten the mood again.
“That will be something new for you then.” Valarie giggled.
“Hey! What you trying to say?” Ashley asked as she threw a piece of carrot at her sister who was still giggling at her on the other side of the table.
“I didn’t think I was trying to say anything sister dear, I thought I said it. You’re insane.” Valarie said as she dodged the piece of carrot and then picked it up and threw it back.
Even though Ashley was troubled by what Chloe had said earlier in the day, she couldn’t argue with the fact her sister was looking and acting much better than she had been since their Chloe died and they got back from America.
Once they had all the things ready for dinner, the two of them sat at the kitchen table enjoying a coffee and taking a break before they went up to get ready to entertain the person they hoped would be able to help them fool the world into believing that this new Chloe was the old Chloe, and she wouldn’t just call the police and get them arrested.
“How much of what happed do you plan to tell Jenny tonight anyway sis?” Ashley asked, hoping to get some sort of a plan worked out before Jennifer Scott arrived.
“I was going to tell her everything up to the point my Chloe finally went to join her father in heaven.” Valarie said looking serious. “It’s the only way I can think to make her fully understand what’s happened, and how I’ve been given a second chance at being a good mother to this new Chloe.”
“What about the little bit of news about Chloe being back and now being a spirit guide?” Ashley asked.
“I think the fewer people that know about that the better.” Valarie frowned.
“That sounds like the best idea sis. You won’t need to worry about me telling anyone.” Ashley promised with her hand on her heart. “News like that would have reporters parked out on your front lawn, and that would soon lead to them finding out that this Chloe isn’t the one you gave birth to, or is even a real girl yet.” Ashley added the last bit when she saw the look of anger Valarie had over her sister saying Chloe wasn’t a real girl.
“Thanks to all the money from the sale of Kevin’s house in America, and the life insurance he and Emily had, I won’t have any trouble greasing the right palms and making Chloe’s dream come true.” Valarie explained that she would do all she could to help her new daughter become just that, her daughter.
“You could also be opening yourself up to being blackmailed out of that money sis.” Ashley warned her to be careful who she spoke to about all this.
“Let’s just keep our fingers crossed that Chloe was telling the truth then, and she does have a spirit guide keeping an eye on her.” Valarie said trying to sound positive about everything.
“Let me get this straight. You’re pinning all your hopes of this working out, on the fact that the girl that saved your life is really able to talk to the dead and is now being guided by your dead daughter?” Ashley asked it like she was the one insane for even thinking it, never mind saying it out loud.
“Yes.” Valarie grinned like Ashley was being silly for having any doubts about this working out. “You just need to have a little faith sister dear.” Valarie added with a giggle.
“I’m beginning to think you need something a little stronger than faith sis, and it comes in pill form.” Ashley said as she made a circle with her finger to the side of her head to let Valarie now she thought she was nuts.
“I’m sure that Chloe will make a believer of you in the end.” Valarie said as she waved off her sister’s worries. “Let’s go and get cleaned up and dressed for dinner.” Valarie added as she got up and then pulled Ashley to her feet so they could go up and get dressed for dinner.
Chloe had just finished unpacking another box when she heard a knock on her bedroom door. “Come in!” She shouted to whoever it was. “Hi Aunty Ash.” Chloe smiled when she saw Ashley poke her head around the door.
“Hi Sweetie. How’s the unpacking going?” Ashley asked as she entered the room and had to stop when she saw that Chloe had set the room up just like the other Chloe’s room had been set up at the old place.
“It’s going okay, but Spirit can be a little to bossy.” Chloe said as she looked at Spirit stood tapping her foot waiting for Chloe to finish putting some books up on a shelf.
“Is Spirit here with us now?” Ashley asked as she looked around the room trying to see her, even though she knew she couldn’t.
“She doesn’t believe I’m really here you know.” Spirit point out. “She thinks you’re a little cuckoo.”
“Is it true you think I’m insane Aunty Ash?” Chloe asked looking a little upset at the news Spirit had just told her.
Ashley stepped back in shock at what Chloe had just asked her. Ashley thought she’d been doing a good job of covering her doubts up to this point. “I believe that you believe it sweetie.” Ashley said looking nervous.
“That sounds like a no to me sis.” Spirit grumbled from the bed where she was now lying with her head propped up on one elbow.
“Is their anyway to prove it to her Spirit?” Chloe asked.
“Sammi did tell me about something, but she did warn that it very rarely works.” Spirit said as she was suddenly stood at Chloe’s side holding out her hand for Chloe to take hold of it. “Now I need you to take hold of Aunty Ash’s hand.
“I need your hand Aunty Ash.” Chloe said as she held out the hand that Spirit wasn’t holding.
“What for?” Ashley asked as a cold chill ran down her spine.
“Spirit said that you might be able to see her.” Chloe said as she waved her hand around like an impatient teenager.
Ashley was suddenly feeling scared that Chloe was telling the truth and whether or not she really wanted to find out. It would blow everything Ashley had ever believed to be true in the universe. Ashley slowly reached out and took hold of Chloe’s hand. “I don’t see anything.” Ashley said sounding relieved.
Chloe felt the same feeling that she’d felt earlier when Spirit calmed her down, but this felt a little different though. “What are you doing now Spirit?”
“I’m forming a stronger link so hopefully Aunty Ash can see me.” Spirit said as she focused on building a bridge through Chloe to her aunty.
Ashley felt a warm calm feeling spread up her arm and then through the rest of her body, all that was soon forgotten though with what she saw happening on the other side of Chloe. Ashley could see the figure of a girl forming out of mist. She stood and watched as the mist became more and more solid until she found herself looking at a ghosted image of her niece stood there smiling at her.
“Chloe! It’s really you.” Ashley said as she reached out with her free hand trying to touch the image she saw before her, but only disturbed the mist as her hand passed straight through it. The mist reformed again and Spirit just giggled.
“Hello Aunty Ash. It’s good to speak to you again.” Spirit smiled. “I hope you’ll stop thinking Chloe nuts now as well.” Spirit pouted.
“Oh Chloe, I miss you so much.” Ashley snuffled. “I’m sorry for not believing, but it’s a little hard to just take on faith alone.” She tried to explain through the tears that were now flowing freely.
“I can understand that and it’s Spirit now. She’s Chloe remember.” Spirit pointed out as she looked at Chloe stood holding both their hands so they could talk to each other.
“I’m sorry that I ever doubted you Chloe. Please forgive me.” Ashley said as she also looked at Chloe. “You really are a ghost whisperer.” She added with pride in her voice.
“I’m beginning to wish I was deaf though.” Chloe frowned as she looked at Spirit. “She won’t stop bossing me around over how the room should look.” Chloe added as she looked at Spirit.
“She’s always been the same way since she was old enough to speak.” Ashley pointed out. “It must be driving her nuts not being able to move things around herself.” Ashley giggled.
“I was never that bad!” Spirit argued.
“We need to let your mum see this later. She’s taking a shower at the minute ready for Jennifer Scott coming here later for dinner. Speaking of which, I was wondering if I could use your bathroom so I can get cleaned up as well.” Ashley asked.
“No, I don’t mind at all Aunty Ash.” Chloe smiled.
“I really need to go and get my things together so I can take a shower, but at the same time I don’t want to let go of your hand and lose the link I have with Spirit.” Ashley said as she looked at the image of her dead niece again stood smiling at her.
“I’ll be close by when you want to chat again Aunty Ash, so please don’t worry about me going away again.” Spirit reassured. “And Chloe needs to finish sorting out this room anyway.” Spirit added as she looked at Chloe again.
“I better let you get back to work then.” Ashley giggled. “I love you Spirit, and we’ll talk more soon.” She added just before she let go of Chloe’s hand and then watched as Spirit faded from her view.
Ashley went to get her clean clothes and towels while Chloe got back to work sorting out the bedroom. Ashley had to run into the bathroom on her return with a hand clamped over her mouth trying not to laugh at Chloe. She was arguing with Spirit over the placement of some books, but it looked like she was arguing with herself due to Ashley not being able to see Spirit.
Chloe finally called it quits for the day when she saw Ashley come back out the bathroom and tell her that she’d better sort out what she was going to wear when she met her soon to be head teacher at the private school they were hoping to get her into.
“I’m not sure what I should wear for dinner Aunty Ash.” Chloe said. “Has this Jennifer ever met Chloe before?
“No, you’re mother hasn’t seen much of Jennifer in the past couple of years, so she’s hoping that she can get Jennifer to meet you and see how much like a girl you are, before she tells her the truth.” Ashley explained.
“What happens if this Jennifer won’t help me?” Chloe asked.
“We’ll work out something else. Or we could get Spirit to help us make this work.” Ashley said looking hopeful for some help from the other side.
“Tell her I’m a spirit, not a Jedi knight.” Spirit giggled. “This is not the ghost you’re looking for.” Spirit added as she waved her hand across the front of Ashley’s face, doing an impression of Obi-Wan, not that Ashley could see any of it, or hear her.
“Spirit says she’s just a spirit, not a Jedi knight.” Chloe giggled at the silly way Spirit was behaving with her Aunt.
“She’s doing the whole hand thing, and saying ‘this isn’t the droid you’re looking for’, isn’t she?” Ashley asked as she copied what Spirit was doing.
Chloe was now laughing too hard to speak, so she ended up just nodding her head up and down as she rolled around on the bed.
“We better see about getting you sorted out with something to wear then.” Ashley said when Chloe finally calmed down and let Ashley help her up off the bed. “I think that plum coloured dress and the matching shoes would look nice for an evening meal with guests coming.” Ashley said as she directed Chloe over to the closet where she hung up all the clothing that Ashley and Valarie had bought as part of Chloe’s new wardrobe.
“Does that mean I’ll need to change the colour of my nail polish as well?” Chloe asked.
“Yes it does.” Ashley smiled at the fact Chloe noticed that little fact. “Did Spirit just point that out to you?”
“Nope, she’s poking her head in the closet looking at all the new clothes.” Chloe said as she looked over and saw that Spirit really was poking her head into the closet through a closed door.
“I’m jealous of you now sis.” Spirit pouted as she stood up straight again looking over at Chloe stood near her aunt. “They never bought me so many new things before.”
“I didn’t ask them to buy me so much stuff.” Chloe pointed out.
“I know that, but I bet you had fun though?” Spirit asked with a grin.
“Yes, it’s been the best day I’ve had since before my mother died.” Chloe said as she thought back to the day James stood and watched the coffin with his mother in, vanish behind a curtain where she was being cremated. “Do you think I’ll ever get to see my real mother again? Or do you think she’d be too ashamed of what I’ve become?” Chloe asked Spirit more than Ashley.
“I bet she’d love to see you, that is if she’s not a spirit guide to someone, then it will be up to the angels whether or not they will let her come and see you.” Spirit explained. “I’ll have a word with Sammi and find out for you.” Spirit promised with a smile.
“Why would your mother be ashamed of you sweetie? I thought you said she used to dress you as a little girl all the time.” Ashley asked as she sat Chloe down at the dressing table so she could redo Chloe’s nails in a plum colour to match the dress and shoes she’d be wearing at dinner later in the evening.
“She did, but then she said I had to keep it our secret when Mark started living with us. Then the way he started treating me when he found out made me think I was naughty and was being punished for it.” Chloe said looking ashamed of herself.
“That Mark sounded like a nasty piece of work sweetie, and you can’t help being who you are, so just be proud of it, and your new mummy and I will do all we can to help you become the most beautiful girl the world as ever seen.” Ashley promised.
Chloe smiled when she heard those words, as her mind was flooded with memories of Ashley helping Spirit get dressed up for trips out while she was still alive.
“I can see the old Chloe’s memories of you helping her get dressed up for special events.” Chloe grinned. “You’re very pretty Aunty Ash.” Chloe added as she looked into her Aunt’s eyes.
“You’re going to be even prettier than me when you get older.” Ashley smiled as she carried on adding the new polish to Chloe’s nails.
Ashley soon had Chloe dressed and looking beautiful for a twelve year old girl, and then she set to work making herself look just as pretty, ready for when Jennifer turned up and Valarie convinced her to help them fool the world with a fake Chloe while they found someone to help then turn her into a real girl, or as real as medical science could.
To Be Continued Next Tuesday
Story by SaraUK
Edited and Posted by SamanthaK
EDITORS NOTE: Please Comment and/or leave Kudos and let Sara know you like her work please, Any comments on spelling, grammar or the layout of the story please PM me “Samanthak” not Sara. Thank you
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