Have you ever been accused of something that you didn't do?

If so, I'm sure it wasn't that major, since you probably wouldn't be sitting here reading this.

I was though. And so was my mother. We were accused of being things that were certainly were not by any means. God, we didn't even practice it.

But some people believed we did and that's all that mattered.

When I was sixteen, my mother and I set sail to the New World. We came over on ships to start a "new life". When we lived in England, we were persecuted because we were Puritans. I still don't see why to this day. We also came over because my mother's new husband and his three sons came over there a few months earlier.

We settled in this little village called Salem. Salem, Massachusetts.

My step-father built our house with his bare hands (and a little help from a few of his friends). We lived peacefully in our house, befriending our neighbors, and going to mass every morning. I even, unlike so many girls my age, helped my step-father on the plantation.

Many girls I knew swooned over my brothers. I really don't see why. Jake looks like he doesn't ever get any sleep. Brad is a . . . tramp. I see the girls he . . . does stuff with. They come to his room during the middle of the night - and I am just so privileged to have my room close to his - and I hear things that I would rather not hear. And David . . . well, he's okay.

We even had a slave from Barbados - well, they were called "indentured servants" but whatever - named Hantibu. She was nice and helped me a lot with my . . . problems. She was the only one I could trust to keep a secret. Her and my three best friends - Gina, CeeCee, and Adam - but I haven't told my best friends.

What haven't I told them?

Well . . . the thing is . . .

To put it bluntly . . . I see dead people.

I see the spirits of the deceased, ghosts of those who have died.

And let me tell you, it's not all that great either.

I have to constantly lie to my mother and sneak out at night. Whenever I have a bruise that can be seen with all of my clothing on, I lie to my mom and say I got it working on the plantation or that I fell the other day. I hate doing that to her, but if I told her . . . I knew she wouldn't believe me.

My mother . . . well, she's very set in her ways. She believes what she wants to believe and not what she needs to believe.

And that's the one thing that I hate about her.

But about this job of mine. I'm a mediator - a liaison between the living and the dead. I'm supposed to help them move on, even if that means giving them a "gentle" push to where they are supposed to go.

This supposed "gift" of mine - as Father Dominic, my priest and fellow mediator, calls it - was the cause of all of my problems. It even caused the biggest dilemma of my life - a life or death problem.

But it also helped me out of that problem. In more ways than one.

And it gave me one of the greatest things in my life.