In case you hadn't noticed, "The Daughter Of" is undergoing some hard out renovations! Never fear though! The essentials will still be here:

I am still Mariah, your egocentric author.

"The Mediator" series still belong to the (slightly less fabulous than me, but only just,) Meg Cabot.

The story is more or less the same/similar.

However I have done some seriously harsh editing and re-writing, and so on. I just wanted to clarify and sharpen this story a little.

Oh. And the title will soon be changed to "Legacy"

Love and kisses for all!

Re-1). The Beginning

No. This isn't happening. This CAN'T be happening. Please . . . PLEASE tell me you're joking.

My mother reached out and laid a hand gently on my shoulder. "I'm so sorry Melinda."

I stared at her and my father, sitting there on the living room couch, effectively tipping my life upside down.

"I wish . . ." mum sighed. "I wish I could tell you that I was joking."

Me too. "But . . ." my voice was indistinguishable. I cleared my throat and tried again. "But this is . . . crazy. I don't believe it."

And yet . . . I did. I DID believe it.

I guess I'd always known that there was something wrong with me . . . Although I was thinking more along the lines of Diabetes. Or maybe Anaemia. Strangely enough, the thought that I might be able to SEE GHOSTS never even crossed my mind.

I looked up and met mum and dads concerned eyes and tried to make a joke. "So . . . I guess I'm like a ghost buster now?"

Mum grimaced.

"Not really." Dad—always the joke killer—said. "What you have to understand, Melinda, is that being a Mediator—"

"Excuse me. How come you got naming dibs? "mediator" sounds so sixties flower power. I'd much rather—"

"Melinda . . ." Mum warned.

Oh for Gods sake. Don't you just HATE it when the parentals tag-team you?

Sucks ass.

"—being a mediator comes with responsibilities," Dad continued, "and—"

Great. Make the job sound like a fucking hall-monitor, why don't you?

'—you have a duty to the souls who are not at rest to help them to their afterlife."

Okay. I'm sorry. But if I'm correct, daddy darling, mum didn't really help YOU find YOUR afterlife now, did she?


If having a dad who was legally dead a couple centuries ago doesn't get me on Oprah, nothing will.

. . . But whatever. Bygones, man. Bygones.

"Jesse," mum said quietly to her husband. "Leave it for now. She's got enough to worry about."

Thanks Ma. Of course, you do OWE ME, considering that it's YOUR bloody D.N.A that's responsible for the genetic abnormality that I am. Well, that coupled with the fact that you got freaky with a GHOST.

Therefore, I would just like to point out, that if ever anyone calls me weird ever again, I will now have a good reason for being so. Not that this is something I'll want to go shouting around . . .

When I once met Nicks father, Paul Slater, whose a lawyer, he said that I do a bit too much shouting things around. He says I get it from my mother, and that I should be nicer to people, because you "catch more flies with honey than with vinegar."

I think Mr Slater may have a possible drug problem.

It's my only explanation.

And his spawn, Nick, is equally repellent, and just as inclined to use his powers for evil. A real man-bitch that one.

Oh, sure, he's HOT, don't get me wrong, but he's just such a fucking negative-cheese! He was thrilled when Brian dumped me

At my best friend's funeral.

At Stacy's funeral.

Stacy's dad, Gervis, was standing up behind the shiny black coffin, barely visible beneath all the red roses, Stacy's favourite, talking about his precious daughter. He could barely talk, he was that chocked up. He loved her so much . . . after her death, he left Stacy's mum. Said there was no point without his little princess. In the middle of his emotional reminiscences about "Princess", Brian tapped me on the shoulder and said in a really loud stage whisper: "I reckon we should break up, yeah?"

I think the only person who maybe didn't hear him was Grandma Vanderleigh, and she's a little hard on the hearing. Not to mention the fact that she's not always "there", if you get my drift. I don't think she even knew why she was at this funeral. In fact, I'm pretty sure she didn't, because afterwards she came up to me and asked me if I was having a nice birthday.

Personally I would prefer it if Nick and Brian would just hook up already. I mean, I think we all know Brain's gay, and for two reasons: ONE, his name is B-R-I-A-N. It just screams gay hairdresser. And TWO: He passed up on all of this. Everyone wants a piece of this.


So why have they waited so long? Nick and Brian I mean.

We've already established Brian's sexual tendencies, and Nick? Well, Nick'll stick anything that's still for long enough. If he'll go out with Cindy—the dumbest fucking airhead God ever created—then I for one cannot discern any personal standards whatsoever.

. . . Bitter? Me?

Nah . . .

"So . . . Honey? Mum gently interrupted my musings. "I don't want to sound like one of those up themselves shrinks, but how do you feel about all this?"

I smiled slightly.

I knew that mum and dad were worried about my mental health, seeing as they'd just told me that I could see dead people and all that jazz.

But you know . . . it really didn't bother me.

I said as much to them.

They frowned, clearly not sure wether to believe me or not.

"Come one guys." I shrugged. "We always knew that there was a special ward in Bellevue reserved just for me."

I guess I have to say that . . . it all makes sense now.

Cliché, huh?

Then I stoped smiling as something occurred to me. "So . . . does . . . everyone come back as a ghost?"

Dad's gaze was a little too understanding for my liking, as he replied, "No. Only those who have reason to remain earthbound."

"Unfinished business," mum supplied.

Oh how UN-awesome. My life is suddenly like a spin-off of "Casper meets Wendy".

I shrugged again. "Oh well. That's Ok then. I know that Stacy has unfinished business. I mean . . . she never said goodbye, even. That's definitely unfinished business, right?"

Mum shifted uncomfortably and dad wouldn't meet my eyes.

Eventually, mum broke the silence. "Oh honey . . . I don't know . . . Stacy . . . well, Stacy chose her . . . uh, her path—'

. . . A fact I knew only all to well. I don't think I'd ever forget that day.

Alanna and I went to Stacy's house to try and get her to come out with us. A movie or ice-cream or something, I don't remember. We turned up her street and couldn't even get up the driveway because a heap of emergency vehicles were in the way. Policemen were swarming and the whole house was taped off . . . Then my phone rang, and I got a hysterical phone call from my mother, telling me to come home, everything was fine, just "Melinda, please please come home right now . . .".

But I wanted to know.

We ducked the tape and ran over the Vanderleigh's lawn (Stacy's mom would have freaked,) but a Police lady grabbed my arm, and another one grabbed Alanna. But it didn't matter anyway. Because being wheeled out of Stacy's front door was a body, covered and strapped to a gurney. Stacy's mom, assisted by a paramedic, stumbled out the door after the gurney and reached out to grab the body with grappling hands.

Her fingernail polish was a weird gold brown colour.

And then I knew. I knew exactly who the body belonged to. And I let the policewoman lead me away. She took me and Alanna home. Mum took me into the kitchen and hugged me lots, then explained that Stacy had killed herself. Because she must have been sad. And then mum made me a hot-chocolate, but I couldn't drink it because the colour made me think of Mrs Vanderleigh's nail polish.

"You know mum," I snapped, "topping yourself isn't actually an automatic disqualification. Stacy WASN'T "sad". And she didn't say goodbye." I repeated stubbornly, getting to my feet. "She HAS to be back. She HAS to be."

I was all ready to stomp off up the stairs, but I was stoped in my tracks by dad, who said all warningly "Melinda. No. You are not just walking off."

I was about to say "watch me" but mum beat me to it.

"No we will not watch you. Your father is right Melinda. Sure Stacy might come back, she might be in the kitchen waiting, but honey, she might not be."

I dismissed this.

Dad raised his eyebrows at me.

"What?" I jumped on the defensive. "Yes, OKAY, I heard you. Jesus."

I gave each of them a hug and left. And I did NOT go past the kitchen, just to see if Stacy would be there, sitting on the counter and munching an apple, like she used to.

Okay, so I did.

And she wasn't.

As I climbed the stairs to bed that night, I was unchanged physically; but I was aware that my life had changed forever that night.

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