Disclaimer: I own nothing but the words and the occasional OC.

When I was little, I used to think we were all related. That every person who came over to our house, or every person that invited us to theirs, every person that stopped my mother in the street with never ending questions about what she's been up to since the last time they crossed paths, were part of a huge family. I don't know if it was just child's logic, or if it was something that came from being raised in a small town. It was something I grew out of.

I used to think that if I slept with any of my limbs hanging off my bed the disfigured man living under there would pull me underneath, never to see the light of day again. Unfortunately, that's something I haven't grown out of. Realistically, I know there is nothing underneath there except for dust. My irrational fear was due to an overactive imagination from my childhood.

People can be disfigured in such a subtle way that you may never notice. It usually runs deep, underneath the surface. Twisted thoughts, unforgivable acts they've taken part in, secrets they're trying to hide.

Everybody knows everybody else's business around here. Nothing gets past anybody. If a husband were having an affair, it wouldn't stay secret for long, surely? That could be true, but it most likely isn't.

People are good liars, and people do denial well. I find that many people I've come to know are just a mirage. There is at least one person that knows something about you that you wouldn't want them to know. Over time, I'd find out something about you, too. Perhaps accidental. Perhaps not.

If people don't think you're listening they can inadvertently share their deepest secrets with you, or somebody else's.

I'm good at keeping secrets. I don't use what I overhear against anybody. Even if I don't agree with it, it's their business, not mine. I think it's important to have time to yourself during the day, to breathe and catch up with life's demands, to be yourself - whoever that is.

I don't judge people. If I don't like somebody, then I'm not the kind of person to make it into a big deal. I just don't care to speak to them. I probably sound like a hypocrite.

Sometimes, I used to wonder if I'd ever overhear something that would change my life forever. I wasn't sure if that was something I should have anticipated with glee, or something I should have dreaded like a bullet.

People talk constantly. Usually, about each other. Mostly, about nothing life-altering.

I used to wonder if they did that to avoid talking about themselves: to keep their secrets hidden. Now, I know.

That's how I found out a house on Kenwood Avenue was sold. The same house on Kenwood Avenue that was supposedly haunted.

I wasn't even aware it was up for sale. However, eventually, it was brought by a middle-aged couple who had a teenaged daughter.

Some people said they had to move because the daughter was banned from the California state; some said she doesn't talk because a drug dealer cut out her tongue; and a few were saying she had just been released from a juvenile detention centre. One person said she killed somebody.

Those rumours were what first peaked my interest. The fact that nobody knew. The fact that everything was just that: a rumour. I don't like second-hand information. I prefer to find out for myself. It isn't very often that happened. Usually, if people moved here, they knew someone, or had been here before. But, not them. They were something nobody knew anything about, and I, for one, was impressed. I never expected to find out what I did. I never expected the things that happened, to happen. I never expected to feel like this.

But I should have, because you should always expect the unexpected. Always expect people to surprise you. Sometimes they won't surprise you how you want, and sometimes you'll want to hate them…but what is the point of hate? What does it prove? It proves nothing.

Sometimes you have to learn that the hard way. Sometimes, you're just lucky. Trust people to be who they are, no matter who it is. My father used to tell me the stars in the sky were souls of the deceased: that they watch over us at the darkest times to keep us safe. That was something he stopped telling me a long time ago.

I'd believe anything he tells me. He's a smart man. The kind of man that was born to be a father. I was never born to be a mother, but I'm okay with that.

I was born to be hers. I'll always be hers.

Let's go back to the beginning.