A/N: Well, well, well, lookee what we did. This is NiceHayley here, coming to present a little surprise that Lolly and I have been cooking up this past week. I remember it like it was just this Monday...okay, it WAS this Monday, but whatever...Well, anyway, we were just chatting away, and Lolly brought up that she heard Twilight was gonna be Meg's last book. And I wasn't surprised...so I asked her, "Where can it go?" Lolly persisted that it could go far...and she suggested that they could make a ghost-busting team. So we tossed the idea around...and POOF! Well, when I say tossed the idea...it was basically Lolly (being the lovely genius she is) spouted these way cool ideas, and I just went with them! So, are we ready Lolly?


Lolly – Aw, Hayley, stop it . . . I'm blushing . . . nah, kidding. Um, yeah. I hope you like this.

DISCLAIMER: The Mediator does not belong to us. It belongs to God – um . . . You know, Meg? Her. All the characters that you recognize do. The ones that you don't are property of Hayley and Lolly. Yeah . . . beat THAT.

. . . Sorry. Just tired.


. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

"23rd June 2009.

Dear Ms. Susannah Simon,

Some memories last only a few years, but there are some that last a whole lifetime. With that said, I would like to invite you, on behalf of the Faculty and Staff at the Junipero Serra Mission Academy, to the five-year reunion of the class of '04. This would be a great opportunity to renew acquaintances, rehash some old memories, and chat with your former educators.

As your classmates so honored you by voting you Vice President your sophomore, junior, and senior classes, so would we also like to honor you by requesting that you give a speech in front of your former classmates.

The reunion will be held in the Mission's beautiful courtyard on Saturday July 10th from 6:00 p.m. until 11:00 p.m. that evening. Dinner will be provided along with music, dancing, and a wonderful celebration of old friends and new memories.

We will enjoy seeing there, and wish you safe traveling.


Sister Ernestine S.S.N.D."

. . .

. . . Oh.

Sheesh, you'd think I'd have something more exciting to say than "Oh", wouldn't you? I mean, after receiving a letter from one of my old Hitlers . . . um, teachers, you think that I would be thrilled at the idea of seeing that beautiful Mission again, after these five long years since graduating from Junipero Serra, right?

Well, I wasn't.

In fact, I hated the idea.

So I had already decided, there and then, that I was SO not going.

Oh God . . . This stupid invitation – no, DEMAND, it couldn't have come at a worse time. I mean, you'd think that that greater being out there, whoever or whatever it is, would have some sympathy on a poor little Boston College gal who was at the decrescendo of her bloody life, right?

But noooo. Can't let the old memories stay buried, can we?

. . . Stupid greater being.

Well, it was already settled, in a record of three seconds subsequent to finishing the letter. I was staying put. I wasn't going all the way back to Carmel, to have to relive everything all over again. I wasn't going to open the scars that had taken so long to heal. Some of which never would heal . . .

What is the point of a reunion? Just for all the pretty people of the class to have a little check up on how shitty everyone else's lives are going excluding their own? Just to make sure that they are still on top, despite the years that have passed? Making sure that their success is still at its peak, and kicking everybody down who tries to climb up the ladder of life? Because that's all these crappy reunions were. A chance to mock the lesser mortals that graduated into a world of closed doors.

This whole stupid gathering...it was all about expectations. When we graduated, everyone expected the beginning of a new life. And even though it would be hard, everyone expected to get out alive and well. Our teachers had told us how much promise we had deep, deep inside. They expected us to do well in our new life outside of high school.

But what would my teachers say about me now, hmm? I couldn't live up to their expectations...I couldn't even make the one person I...nevermind. God...

Oh...I'm sorry, allow me to introduce myself.

Hi, I'm no one. That's right. Keep walking, nothing to see here. But yeah, look a little closer, and you'll find Susannah Simon. Me. Blah blah, ex- Junipero Serra Mission scholar, now college student, blah, three step brothers, one stalker, shitty life, can speak to ghosts, and I've finally managed to grow my brunette hair past my elbows, after so many years of –

. . . Why'd you stop me? Oh, yeah. The ghost thing.

Yep, that's me. Suze Simon. I'm what the more open-minded people call a "shifter." I can converse with, touch, smell, and annoy the shit out of the undead. You know, ghosts? Spooks, ghouls, what not? Yeah. That and being able to cross between the physical and the astral plane. And a whole bunch of other tid bits that will really freak you out if you don't have a very strong sedative handy. Go me, right? You don't have to tell me, I already know. I'm a freak of humanity. I have these weird supernatural powers that makes me just that bit different from everyone else.

And not in such a hot way.

You see, despite the fact that I have the uncanny ability to contact spirits, I'm, at the current time, a slightly hapless breed of loser. The fact that I am a liaison between the bad-breathed and the no-breathed, well, it hasn't really helped me in my career. Like I said, my life is no neck-and-back-massage. I take the phrase "It's not always rainbow and butterflies" to new heights. Lately, all I've been seeing is blue and grey. That's my world. One big disappointment after another . . .

I glanced at the letter again, rereading the professional, impersonal words of the Miss Trunchbull of my schooldays. No matter what she said, Sister Ernestine didn't give a rat's ass if I showed at this joke of a reunion or not. No one would . . . except maybe Father Dom. But definitely not Jes –

. . . Nope.

No one would care.

No one.

For God's sake, this STUPID letter! It was just dragging back up all of the things I thought I'd left behind in Carmel five years ago! All the skeletons in my stupid, brand-name closet. I didn't want to have to think about all those things that had happened in my past, I just wanted to look ahead adamantly.

But Sister Ernestine thought otherwise, obviously.

I SO couldn't go to the stupid highschool reunion. How corny was that, anyway? Sounded like something out of a one-star movie. Highschool reunion indeed . . . what, with the little origami napkins and the antique copies of the year book and the big banners saying "CLASS OF '04, WELCOME!" and the old teachers with now little or no hair, or three extra chins? Um, no thank you. I'm just not the reunion type o' gal, you know?

Hell, I'm no one's type o' gal.

I sighed as the whirlwind of thoughts started to spin faster and faster, drawing me in ever closer to that past that I'd been trying to escape for five years. Well, physically, I'd ran away long ago. But mentally, I was still running. And now, I felt like someone was dragging me back as I was kicking and screaming. Carmel was home to too many memories. I wanted them to remain forgotten and neglected, not revisit them.

So going back was the last thing on my mind, especially after what happened between me and –


Nothing. Nothing happened. Just . . .


There wasn't a thing in this damned psycho world that would make me haul my cute little ass back to that pine-tree central. No matter how much life sucked here, I wouldn't even dream of going back to a place that launched this tragic existence.

I was going to Boston College, in Boston Massachusetts. I know, it was ages away from Carmel. Oh, did I know it. Trust me, I totally wanted to go to NoCal, but I got on the stupid waiting list . . . That was where the shit first hit the fan -


I jumped in alarm. Shit! He'd seen me!

'Um, no, Mr Lowe, I was just – '

'Simon, I'm warning you . . . ' Mr Lowe marched up to me, his stature mean and his glower meaner, 'You continue this blooming laziness, and you're on the street. I'm almost at wits end, trying to make this a functioning workplace, and we have you, Simon, sitting on your ass during peak hour!'

I blinked. 'Look, I was only reading my mail because I was in a rush this morning and –'

'GET TO WORK!' he roared.

'Okay,' I squeaked, and bounced from the room that I'd been hiding in – the staff loo. Grimy little thing it was, too. I swear, if one more person missed the toilet bowl when they pissed, the WC go on strike or something. It was gross. It stank to high heaven, and it hadn't been cleaned since the old king died. Major "EW" factor there.

Well, at least Mr Lowe hadn't decided to leave me to clean this grimy, smelly mess. But the idea wouldn't surprise me anyway.

Mr. Lowe, or as I'd like to call him Mr. Low on Patience, is my extremely over-bearing boss. I can never do anything right around this guy. Not that I have. Done anything right, I mean. Not since I left Carmel and flew to this hell-hole.

This stinky hell-hole...

In a daze, I stumbled out to one of the dirty tables, and instantly, my face paled as I saw who was waiting for me.

'Hi Suze,' Cole nodded at me.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Yeah, that's where I worked.

I know! Look, I REALLY know. It's the pits, for me. It's like, the lowest I can get, right? Aside from being homeless, I mean. Selling coffee, wiping tables, mopping floors, cleaning mugs . . . it doesn't get any worse than this. But seriously, I was FORCED to take this job. I needed cash, and fast. I had to keep paying the rent on my apartment, hole that it was. I refused to let Mom or Andy chip in. They didn't even know where I lived. Sure, they knew my cell phone number, but that was it. I was like, this total disappointment to my mother now. We hardly talked anymore. And I wanted it to stay that way, for the time being. Don't get me wrong, I loved her unconditionally. Just . . . I felt like I wasn't a good enough daughter for her yet . . . I didn't want her to know how deep I was in this trouble. That I was running low on money, and stuff, and all these guy problems.

Cole Kennedy being the prime problem, at the moment.

'Go away,' I snapped at him. I stood there, before this tall, blond haired and totally hot guy. But he wasn't nearly as attractive as he'd seemed before all of this had began. 'I'm working.'

'Hey, I'm a paying customer,' he simpered haughtily, showing me a dollar bill. It was held casually in his large, tendon-lined hand. 'I want a coffee.'

'Tamara?' I yelled to a short, plump woman at the cash register, 'This guy wants a coffee. Serve him.'

'You serve him, Simon,' she snapped at me, 'I'm busy.'

I pursed my lips and glared at her, and then turned back to Cole. He was smiling at me, looking totally arrogant and smug way. Bloody asshole . . . Thought he was God's gift to women.

Well, most women would agree with me when I say he's hott. He was tall at six-five, and incredibly strong. You could even go as far as to say he had muscles in his teeth. His incredibly light blonde hair that swept ever so slightly in his face made him irresistible. I guess that was where it all went wrong...

Yeah...we'd gone out, and stuff, but you could say it ended badly.

Really badly.

As in, me saying no, him pushing, me slapping, him fooling with Cassidy Hilton, and me dumping.

Fun for all the family . . .

Only, now he was kind of, you know, stalking me or something. It was totally freaky. He was partly the reason why I tried to spend most of my time in the kitchen, rather than serve up-front. He had almost all of the same classes as me in college, and so he was free when I was. Which meant he spent most of his unoccupied time, well, here.

Trying to get me back.

It was kind of scary, in a way.

I turned and went to walk away, but his hand shot out to the cord at the back of my green apron, and he yanked me back. I squeaked a little, but didn't draw as much attention as you'd think – our coffee shop is pretty busy at two in the afternoon, for some unfathomable reason. I fell into the lounge beside him. Further to this, he placed his hand over my lap so I wouldn't move. I felt my heart quicken a little. As much as nothing scares me anymore, well . . . Cole did.

'Look,' I hissed at him, shoving his hand away from me, 'I already told you, you've got to get over it. Get out of here. Get out of my life. You're driving me mad, you bastard. I'm sick to death of seeing you every – '

'Suze,' he smiled at me, showing me his very white – and pointy, even – teeth. His hand moved over mine. My heart pumped even faster. No, not because I was feeling anything affectionate or whatever. I was just, well, scared . . . 'Come on. I'm sorry about what happened. I was pushy, I know. I won't be like that again, I swear.'

'You shoved me against a wall, Cole,' I said flatly, not looking at him. 'I didn't want to, and you called me a – '

'God, I said I was sorry!' he snapped, tugging my hand so I'd look at him. I turned my head. He had a hard nose, and grey eyes. They had once been so wonderful, so open to me. Now they were cold, and hard.

Another attempt to get over . . . um, someone. That's all he'd been. An attempt. A wasted attempt.

Now I was dealing with the aftermath of this attempt.

Good God . . . was he serious? He thought that all would be well with a "I said I was sorry!" trick? What PLANET was this guy from?

'Yeah, well sorry isn't good enough. And I loved how you apologized right after that, when I walked in and found you giving Ms Hilton a French lesson,' I retorted back.

There's only so many times a guy can mess up and say he's sorry, you know? And after they've crossed that line...you begin to realize that they'll never change. Cole was no exception to this.

Cole frowned a bit. Unfortunately, he still managed to look good, even frowning. He opened his mouth to say something...probably to apologize again. Well, I wasn't going to let him.

'Go find some other skank to lay, Cole. I'm not that type of girl. I have standards.'

'You bitch . . . ' he breathed at me, yanking my hand again so my face was right in front of his. 'Are you saying I'm not good enough for you? Are you?'

I raised my eyebrows coolly. 'That's exactly what I'm saying.'

That was when his hand squeezed mine so hard, I almost cried out. His fingers were crushing mine. I stifled a yell, and tried to jerk away from him, but he didn't want me going anywhere, as he proved by holding me down. Me heart was almost popping it's blood vessels 'bout then. He brought his lips right beside my hair.

'I'm better than you, you dumb whore,' he said in an aggressive whisper into my ear. 'And the customer's always right, Suze. Now go get me a frigging coffee. Then you're coming home with me.'

I winced, bowing my head so he wouldn't see my face. You think someone, ANYONE, would notice that this guy was threatening me, right? But again, you obviously haven't seen Starbucks at a peak hour.

'I'm not a whore,' I retorted in a low, hurt voice, flicking my hair back with as much dignity as I could gather. 'I'm the opposite of that. I just don't want to waste myself on something as pathetic as you –'


My hand shot to my face in alarm. He did not just – he just – did Cole Kennedy just SLAP me?

I totally pushed myself off the lounge that we were sharing, and stumbled back to the counter.

'Suze! Suze, come on, I'm sorry, you got me mad and I – SUZE!' he was yelling, but I didn't stop.

There he went again...trying to blame all of this on me. I got him mad. I wasn't giving him what he needed.

I'd had enough. Of this dumb job, of seeing his dumb face every dumb day of the dumb freaking WEEK.

My throat all choked up, and my hands kind of shaky, I ran to the storeroom, and ripped off the stupid green apron, throwing it against the stacked boxes, all printed with the Starbucks logo. I think I slid down the wall or something then, just . . .

Okay, I was crying. I KNOW, crying is the WORST and it is POINTLESS and STUPID and very, very, very WET.


. . . I seemed to be crying a lot more often lately.

But never as hard as this . . . not since Je –


My whole body was shaking, and I – I didn't understand – why . . . It was weird and my body was aching and my face was all screwed up and OH MY GOD I FORGOT TO WEAR WATER PROOF MASCARA.

Pity . . .

My fingertips were cold on my clammy, damp face, and everything existed in a swirl of blue and grey. I wasn't angry, but I just felt so . . .

. . . So alone.

And to think, if I hadn't have been so STUPID, I wouldn't have had to be so alone here . . . maybe it was my fault? Had I done something wrong that made him hate me? Did I do something that made him not want to come with me? Was it because of Paul? Was that why Jesse had said that we could never –

. . . NOTHING.

I take the fifth!

Shut up. That was all just, um, emotional psycho babble. Ignore it. It didn't mean anything. Jesse . . . is someone from my past. That's all. No one special. Let's not bring him up again.

Stupid hot Latino gentlemen who thought he was SO –


I tried to slow my breathing. Tried to make it even, and not so sharp, and make it not hurt so much. But it didn't matter what I did. It would always hurt. It was always there. It never went away. It would always haunt me, the pain of knowing that it might have been different if maybe I would have done something different that –

Whoa. And to think I was talking about breathing at the start there . . .

But this was my life. No matter how hard I tried to dream of something else, I'd always drown in my fantasies and find myself back here again. In this hell. This blue, grey hell. Which stank of coffee . . .

I couldn't quit my job. I knew it. I wanted to, but I knew that I couldn't. I was being childish. For God's sake . . . I was twenty-three years old! I couldn't throw stupid tantrums like this every time something in my life went bad. It wasn't good enough. I was becoming so WEAK.

And vulnerable.

With a tense body, and an even tenser heart, I stood up, dabbing my eyes carefully, trying not to smudge my make-up anymore. I quietly slipped to the door that divided the counter and the kitchen, and I peaked through the crack.

Cole was gone.


After checking my eyes – they weren't as bad as I thought – I went back to work. Either that or Mr Lowe would fire my ass into outer space.

So I continued taking orders and making lattes, as I was expected...in Starbucks with its edgy brown décor. There were no other colors besides the forest green I was forced to don as a uniform. It kind of made me feel out of place...one spot of color in an otherwise all-brown environment.

But no one else seemed to notice the green girl in the swirl of brown. I blended in to my surroundings. Almost like I've blended in to this dull life.

I drove home that night, feeling as empty as a drum. Everything was echoing around me, but I couldn't hear a thing. It was always like this nowadays. You know, living in a blur. Like I was inside this bubble, where no one could hurt me, and only when I let it pop, could people come in and try to get close to me.

My ponytail wasn't as sleek as it had been that morning. Little strands of hair were curling under my chin. My cheeks felt like they were on fire, and my hands were rigid, and still trembling. They hadn't stopped. I'd dropped two plates today, and Mr Lowe was ready to sack me, I could so tell. And then Cole had come back in . . .

I blinked as I remembered when he'd dragged me out to the alleyway . . . beside Starbucks . . .

. . . He'd yelled at me.

. . . He'd hurt me.

. . . I kicked him over.

And I'd run.

And I'd drove.


. . .

I pulled up in the carport of the apartments, and just stared. Not at anything in particular. Everything was dark. Before my eyes, I saw these funny moving shapes. They were black, and drifted very slowly to the right. Didn't mean anything, they were just there . . . I was trying not to think about anything that was happening. I wished that Cole would just lay off. I swear, he was almost as bad as Paul had been –

I'd never forgive Paul for what he did, though. Nothing could come close to Paul.


I felt shivery. Like, I was only half there. As if I'd wake up, and I'd still be sixteen. None of this shit had happened. Me and Jesse had just kissed in the graveyard. We didn't care about the future; we only cared about how deeply in love we were with each other. Nothing else mattered. It was all just stuff that we could deal with later.

Well, I sure as hell was dealing with it now . . .

And there was hell to pay.

Because that's where I was.


The strident shrilling of my stupid jolly-toned cell-phone snatched me from these deep, depressing thoughts. Shaking my head angrily, I grabbed it.

'What?' I demanded, running my hand down my long mane of hair that was still captive of my stupid hair elastic. It was slicked back so tightly it was hurting my head . . .


I froze.

'M – Mom? Is that y – you?' I spluttered into the Nokia.

'Susie! Oh, hi honey, how are you going? It's so good to hear from you! How's Cole and – '

'Mom, look, this isn't the best – '

'Brad told me all about the reunion, Susie! When are you coming? Andy has a couple of boxes in your room, but we'll get them all out of there tonight. When can you come down soonest? Tomorrow? Or maybe day after? We're so looking forward to seeing you – and Cole for the first time, too –'

Yeah, my mum? Not too informed on the whole "Cole" thing.

'Mom, shut up for a second,' I said. 'Look, I'm not going to the reunion.'

She was silent for a second.

'. . . What do you mean, Suze?'

Oh God . . . you totally had to hear her voice right then. It was so upset. It sounded like she thought she'd done something wrong. I felt horrible. But I was going to be stubborn here. I wasn't going back to Carmel. No matter how many miles the guilt trip she sent me on was . . . I wasn't going.

'I'm staying here. No one'll miss me, anyway. And besides . . .um . . . I'm kind of not at liberty to just buy a pointless plane ticket, seeing as I'm – '


' – Busy.'

Again, she was silent.

'But Suze, that's rubbish,' she admonished. 'You can certainly afford to come. You told me that you just got a promotion.'

Actually, that was sort of a code word for getting fired from the drugstore. Boss had it in for me. Said I stole a whole boxload of aspirin. Funnily enough, she didn't report it. Wonder why, you stupid dumb lying –

'Um, yeah, about that – '

'Suze? Is something wrong?'

Now THAT'S a funny question.

Is something wrong? Um, if you just overlook the fact that I'm working for minimum wage at a coffee lounge, my boss THERE hates me, I'm being stalked by my ex who cheated on me, I'm failing the Art course at Boston College, I'm AT Boston College instead of NoCal when DOPEY got in, my long-lost love hates my guts and refused to move to Massachusetts with me because he said we "couldn't work out" and it was all Paul's fault that he was talking this codswallop and that my apartment was a hole and that my HAIR stank of coffee and I had a bruise on my face and my whole life was a toilet that hadn't been flushed for FIVE YEARS and my heart was still broken and it would never ever heal and I knew that I was never going to feel happy again because Jesse was the only one I could have ever loved and he didn't want me anymore, then . . .

'No?' I said. 'Why would you say that?'

She laughed cheerfully into the phone. 'Oh, well, that's good. You sound . . . well, sad.'

No, I'm not sad. I'm not sad at ALL.

'Okay, well, I'll see you soon, okay? Sorry, I can't stay long sweetie. Andy's got seafood on the table. Garlic prawns in this creamy white sauce with some beer batter chips and this divine –'

'Yeah, sounds nice,' I said quickly. 'Mom, I have to go. And I'm not coming to the –'

'I love you, honey. I can't wait to see you and Cole,' she burbled gleefully, and then hung up.

God . . .

Did you hear that?

Did you hear how happy she was? It was . . . beautiful, but at the same time, horrible. She was perfectly happy. I loved it when my mum was happy, don't get me wrong – she deserved some happiness after my dad died – but she was happy even though I wasn't there. And she was happy because she expected me to be coming, God knows when. I'd TOLD her I wasn't going, but she still acted as though she hadn't heard a word I said. For an anchorwoman who made a point of paying attention to instructions as to know what to say on the local TV, she sure needed better listening skills.

But I couldn't let her down.

It was bad enough that my life sucked. I wouldn't depress mum as well by not showing up.

But . . . going back to Carmel. Why did I have to go back? So soon? Before I'd had a chance to convalesce from last time? Mend all those broken things in my life?

I couldn't see Jesse . . . I just couldn't. I couldn't give him the satisfaction of letting him see how much he'd effected me. I couldn't stand to see that he hadn't cared when he'd refused to come with me to Massachusetts, when I had cared so much.

I couldn't . . .

. . . But I had to.

Don't be weak, Suze. Be strong, and have some guts, for once in your pathetic life.

Don't be a no one.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

A/N: Hayley's here to bug you again! Whew, Lolly that was fun. Give her a big round of applause, will you? She wrote an excellent first chapter!! GO LOLLY!!

Lolly – Whoa, Hayley, you're like a reviewer without having to click the purple button. Shut up already, you edited and chucked in all the things that I couldn't while in my tired, writer's-blocked-for-Addicted-Chapter-20 mood.