Disclaimer: I don't own anything, all of the characters belong to Meg Cabot.
AN: This is a short oneshot that just happened to roll off my fingertips as I opened a word document. Let me know what you think, I don't know if I like it or not. Please review!
No. No. No. This could not be happening. This could not be happening. My life could not come crashing down around me like this. It couldn't be.
I could still hear her voice. Only she could call me Susie. And now I would never be called Susie again. A rouge tear slid down my cheek. Forcefully, I wiped to tear away. I had to be strong. I couldn't break down. Not now, not yet. I wasn't home yet. Only two more hours until I could break down.
The flowers in front of me became too much and I looked down at my shoes—black like the rest of my outfit. Black, like this day. Black, like the future appeared to be.
I heard her again. I bit my lip, trying not to cry. Brad wouldn't care that today was a horrible day, he would never let me forget that I cried.
"Susie…" a hand touched my shoulder.
No, it couldn't be. Slowly I turned and looked into the eyes of the woman behind me. Why hadn't it dawned on me before?
"Don't cry Susie," she wiped away my tear.
"Everything's going to be okay, Suze," said the man sitting next to me; my stepfather, Andy. "I know you miss your mom, but everything is going to be okay."
That's right, my mom was dead. A stupid drunk driver had killed the only person I truly loved in this world. And now I was an orphan. Oh God. What am I going to do now that I have no parents?
"It's okay to cry, Susie."
I wasn't hallucinating, that really was my Mom standing behind me. You see, that's what happens when you are a mediator. The dead come to you and want you to help them move on. But how could I ever help my mom move on? Selfishly, I wanted her to stay here forever, just like my dad was.
Almost on cue, my dad's spectral form appeared. "Hey there kiddo. Chin up. The world isn't so bad."
"Excuse me," I said to Andy as I stood. "I need some fresh air."
"Do you want any company?"
I shook my head, "I'll be fine."
My parents got the idea and disappeared. However, I knew they would be waiting for me outside.
"Are you okay, Suze?"
"Not now, Paul."
"Let me help you."
"Come on," he pushed.
"No!" I stalked past him and made my way outside and to the back of the building.
There, my parents were waiting and we could finally have time to ourselves. Time I have not had with both of my parents since my dad died years ago.
"Oh, Susie!" my mom threw her arms around me.
"Mom…" I let myself cry. Brad wasn't here to see me so he couldn't go around saying that his stepsister was a crybaby.
My dad came over and placed a comforting hand on my back. Suddenly, the world felt right. Everything had fallen into place. I was here with my parents and no one was interfering with our time.
That is, until we had a visitor.
I turned my head to look at the intruder. I ran up to him and gave him a hug. "I'm glad you're here."
It was Father Dominic, my principal at school and fellow mediator.
"Hello," Father D. greeted my family.
"You can see us too?" my mom asked in surprise.
"Yes, I have been helping Susannah ever since she moved here."
"She needed it," my dad winked.
Defiantly, I put my hands on my hips, "I did just fine on my own, thank you."
"Yeah, I'm sure. How many broken bones have you had from renegade ghosts?"
"I thought you said you fell!" my mom cried.
"And you believed that?"
"No, but I didn't think you were getting beat up by ghosts."
"Hey! The ghosts may have landed a few hits, but I was the one who beat them up."
"This was your influence!"
"Don't blame me! I wasn't alive for most of her life."
"If we could just focus on the task at hand," Father D. interjected.
I gave him a quick look of gratitude before standing in between my parents.
"Now, it is not natural to stay behind. We need to learn why you are not moving on."
"Father D., please, I just got my family back. Don't take them away from me…" I pleaded.
"I'm sorry, Susannah. These things need to be taken care of. Now why do you think you are staying here?"
"Easy, I want to see my little girl grow up and be happy," came my father's reply.
I smiled satisfactorily, they would be here a long time, because I could never truly be happy.
"And what would make you happy Susannah."
Easy, the thing that will never happen, "Jesse."
"Susannah, that's not fair to your parents. You know that cannot happen."
"Who's this Jesse?" my mother asked.
And so my father told her about the hot ghost who lives in my bedroom. Except, he didn't refer to him as hot.
"A boy lives in your bedroom!"
"He's been dead 150 years, Mom."
"Still! Why didn't you say anything?"
"As if you would have believed me. I just would have been sent to more shrinks."
She had no reply for that, as I thought.
Suddenly, Paul came into view. "You want to be happy, Suze?"
Happy with my family. "Yes."
Paul's eyes looked pained. "I can make that happen."
"Make what happen?"
"I can get you the thing to make you happy."
"You aren't saying that you can bring him to life, are you Paul?" Father D. asked.
"I am, but only if it is what Suze wants."
All eyes turned to me. I couldn't do this, I couldn't choose between my parents and Jesse. It wasn't fair. I didn't want to learn to live without my parents. But I wanted to learn to live with Jesse. Live being the key word. Because right now, I saw Jesse, but I couldn't experience life with him.
I turned to look at my parents.
"We only want you to be happy sweetheart," my mother smiled gently.
"Jesse's a good man; he will take good care of you."
"But I can't say goodbye to you two. I finally have both of my parents together."
"No matter where we are, we will always look after you. Do you understand?"
I nodded as my father moved forward and brushed away my tears. "She's right kiddo, we love you too much to abandon you."
"Then how can I abandon you?"
"You wouldn't be abandoning us, you would be healing yourself. You never got over my death. And you won't get over hers until you let us move on."
"I love you Dad. I love you Mom."
"We love you too, Susie."
"Have you decided?" Paul asked softly.
"Yes," I sobbed. "Jesse."
I couldn't help but notice the look of regret on Paul's face, "So be it." He turned to Father Dominic and said, "Tell them I slipped or something."
"What are you doing Paul?" he asked.
"No big," Paul grinned. Turning to me, he nodded and said, "Jesse" before falling to the concrete and hitting his head.
I ran over to Paul's limp form. "Is he…?"
Father Dominic examined Paul and I heard a sound behind me. "He has a pulse."
A sigh escaped me and I stood up. But I didn't get straight, for I stood up into someone. I whirled around. The figure behind me didn't have a spectral glow. "Jesse!"
"What is it querida? Why do I feel so strange."
"You're alive, Jesse. You're alive."
I waved my arm in Paul's direction.
"Susannah, did you let him sacrifice his life for mine?"
"I don't think I did. Father D. says he still has a pulse."
"That's right," Paul muttered as he slowly sat up. "Now Suze and I have both lost something."
"What?" I frowned.
He smiled wryly, "I can't even tell if your parents are here anymore or not."
I turned and saw my parents standing a ways off but looking a little fainter. I motioned for my father to come over. I put my hand on his shoulder to make sure he was still there. "Touch him," I said.
My father reached out to touch Paul. His hand should have stopped on Paul's shoulder. Paul was a mediator and shifter, he should be able to touch ghosts. But he couldn't. My father's hand went right through Paul. I gasped.
"You gave up your powers for me?"
"Your parents aren't the only ones who care about you, Suze."
"I know he can't hear us, but please tell him thank you from us as well," my mother smiled, growing fainter by the second.
"You take good care of her," my father said to Jesse.
"I will, sir."
And then my parents were gone forever.
"Don't cry querida. They're in a better place now."
"I know. I just didn't want to see them go."
"Everything will be fine," Jesse smiled at me. And then he gave me a kiss, and wow was it fantastic. It was the best kiss ever, because it was the first kiss of the rest of our lives.