"Wake Me Up Inside
Call my name and save me from the dark
Bid my blood to run
Before I come undone
Save me from the nothing I've become"

I was sitting in my room at the institute (or as I liked to call it, Area 51 Prep) when he first arrived at the school.

It was a normal day at Foxglove Academy. I'd gone to class, undergone some freaky tests, tolerated some mentally unstable kids' ramblings . . . same old, same old. I'd gone up to my room around eleven but hadn't gone to sleep. I was laying on my bed with my headphones in, reading a book. Despite the fact that my door was bolted shut, Maria entered my room with ease.

She was a pretty girl who appeared to be sixteen. She was petite with darkly tanned skin from her Latina descent and her hair fell like black silk halfway down her back. Her big brown eyes were outlined with a touch of eyeliner and moss green eye shadow decorated their lids. Her lips were freshly glossed and her skin exploited to perfection. She was dressed in the same long forest green gown and matching heels that she wore everyday. Did I mention that she died four years ago?

Yep, that's right. I see dead people.

I've been seeing spirits since I was thirteen and have never had a clue why. My mother didn't either and quickly sent me to every therapist on the East Coast. Since each of those was a fail, I could tell that my mother was considering sending me to a mental hospital. Thankfully, I was saved when a representative from Foxglove Academy heard about me (or maybe one of the psychics on campus told her about me) and came to visit me. Well after some tests were conducted it was decided that I was, in fact, not a loon and actually could see dead people.

So, it was off to Foxglove Academy I went. Now, at first I loathed the place; it was full of crazies after all. But after three years there It'd become my haven. I was never judged here. I could talk to people that nobody else could see in the middle of a crowded room and nobody stared at me or called me a nut. Because they could all do crazy things too. A couple of other people there could see dead people like me, but there was much more. There were telekinetics, pyrokinetics, aerokinetics, geokinetics, ectrokinetics, psychics, mind readers, empaths, telepaths, clairaudients, psychometry, hypnotists, bilocationists, postcognitionists, astral projectionests, power mimics, manipulators . . .

Now, most people don't know what most of these things are. Yet I've experienced almost all of them at least once. It was a strange place, Area 51 Prep, but it was my home and I learned to love it there. I had a bunch of friends . . . living and dead.

Maria was on the dead side of the friend spectrum. She'd died four years ago on her prom night after an OD. She'd lived in my town and for some reason, latched on to me. She was the first spirit I ever saw. I say spirit and not ghost. There is a difference. I define a spirit as someone who has moved on to 'the other side' and comes back to check up on the living, but a ghost is someone who has not moved for whatever reason and therefore never been to the other side. I see both.

Maria's a spirit. She's one of three spirits that usually hang around me who claim they were sent from the other side to help me. Although, they tend to be vague about why. I never pried though. At the time being, it wasn't any of my business. I usually liked the extra help anyway. Even though Maria mostly acted like a girlfriend and not a spirit guide.

She stood at the foot of my bed, hopping up and down. I sighed and pulled my headphones out.
"What?" I demanded.
"We've got a new student," she chirped.

"And why do I care?" I asked.
"Oh c'mon, he's really cute," she told me, winking.
"Because my dream in life is to meet someone who's as freaky as me so we can have little paranormal babies together," I said sarcastically.

Ivan suddenly materialized by my closed door, leaning up against the wall. Ivan was the second spirit who helped me out. He was dressed in his usual attire; jeans, a flannel shirt, and hiking boots. His dirty blonde hair, blue eyes, and tan skin made him a pretty good looking guy. He'd died several years ago after a hiking accident but that's really all I knew. None of my little spirit guides liked to talk about their deaths, which was understandable. They had their new lives now (well, sort of) on the other side. Everyone (well, everyone I knew who'd been there) told me the other side was great. So, I'd always figured it made sense for them to have moved on.

"Just go check it out," he urged.
"I'm not in the mood," I muttered, "I'm exhausted, I'm going to sleep. So, go away."
"Don't be so childish," Ivan complained, "Just go see the kid."
"Why?" I whined.

"Because we said so," he told me, crossing his arms over his chest.
"Oh, now who's being childish?" I retorted, just as Sam appeared. The last of my spirit guides.

Sam was around eighteen or nineteen when he died, I could tell by his appearance. He was tall and pale with a gorgeous face, dark eyes, and dark hair. He was dressed in his traditional leather jacket over a white t-shirt, jeans, and boots. I knew nothing about his life because he never said a word about his past life. Sam wasn't like Maria or Ivan who popped by just for kicks or to play tricks on the living. He only came by when he had something important to say. So, the fact that he was there meant that Ivan and Maria's request was a serious request and not just for their amusement.

"Go," he said simply before vanishing again.
"You heard the man, let's go!" Maria chirped.

"Oh fine," I grumbled, rolling off my bed.
"And let the show begin," Ivan muttered, as he and Maria linked arms.
"I'll get the popcorn," she joked, and they both laughed as they walked through the wall.

I moaned and followed them out, only I actually used the door. The hallway outside my bedroom was overlooking the front entrance of the first floor, not far from the grand staircase. It was empty except for Ivan and Maria; who were leaning over the banister side by side, looking excited. I rolled my eyes and stood next to them, peering down at the empty entrance.

"I don't see anything," I complained.
"Wait for it . . ." Maria told me.
"What else would I do?" I asked rhetorically as loud noises suddenly drifted from outside. Within minutes a few more people had been drawn out of their rooms because of the noise. My best friend Rain was one of them. She stood next to me on the opposite side of Ivan and Maria.

She was dressed in her blue cloud pajamas and light blue cammie with fuzzy slippers. Her dyed purple hair was pulled into a high ponytail and her brown eyes were half closed. She was rubbing her tan, pretty face tiredly.

"Hey, what's going on?" she wondered.
"I don't know, but Sam told me to come out here so . . ." I shrugged.
"Oh, is Sam here?" she wondered.
"No, just Ivan and Maria," I told her.
"Oh, hi guys!" she chirped, even though she couldn't see her.

"And hello Rain," Ivan purred, winking. Even though he knew Rain could neither see nor hear him.
"Ivan's flirting with you from beyond the grave," I told her, acting as a medium because well, that's basically what I was; a medium between the living and the dead.

She laughed. "Well, tell him that once I bite the dust, I'll give him a call," she joked.
"You know he can hear you," I said as the noise on the other side of the door got closer and closer.
"Yeah, I know but-" she was cut off when the front door flew open.

Seven people stumbled into the entrance way below. Six of them were employees of the school and one of them was a guy I didn't recognize. I couldn't really tell what he looked like so well because he was being restrained by two workers as they dragged him through the foyer. He was struggling furiously against them.

"New kid," I whispered to Rain as everyone who was out watched the scene from above. This was a typical response from people who came here for the first time. They were usually reluctant, thinking this was another institute or loony bin, not to mention that most people who came here were pretty emotionally damaged at the time. It took a while before they warmed up to the place.

"Ah. . ." she mumbled in understanding.
The kid they were restraining suddenly got even more pissed. He thrashed wildly and screamed, "LET GO OF ME!"

"LET GO! LET GO! LET GO!" he shouted, as they tried to pull him towards Headmistress Blacksnow's office. He was so desperate not to go there that he purposely dropped to his knees so that his weight would be more of a burden to them.

Two of the workers who weren't restraining him had clipboards and were taking notes while the other two were trying to sooth him. They weren't doing a very good job.
"Should I try to help?" Rain whispered to me. She was a top notch hypnotist.
I shrugged. "It's worth a shot," I said quietly.

She nodded in understanding and rushed down the stairs. I crept down a few stairs so I could get a little closer to the action, and get a better look at this kid. I could tell that he was tall, with skin that was kind of on the pale side, and messy dark brown hair. He was dressed in a black zip-up sweatshirt and jeans. But I couldn't see his face because he was staring down at the floor.

Rain gave one of the workers with a clipboard a questioning look and he nodded in approval. She nodded again and then crouched down in front of the guy on his knees with his arms being restrained. I crept down a few more stairs as she put a finger under his chin and forced him to look her in the eye. When he looked up I saw that he was really gorgeous with emo dark brown bangs that fell into his haunting eyes. They were the strangest eyes I'd ever seen; one jade green and the other ice blue.

"Calm down," she crooned, and I knew she was doing that freaky thing with her eyes that makes people do what she says.
The guy didn't immediately calm down though; I could tell he was doing his best not to fall victim to her hypnotization. So, he thrashed a little bit more, struggling against the two guys restraining him.

"Easy, easy," Rain soothed, stroking his cheek gently with the back of her hand as his different colored eyes slowly glazed over and his struggles came to an end.
"That's better," she cooed, patting his head like a dog once before rising to her feet.
"You've got two minutes," she told the workers. They nodded and dragged the now docile boy into Mrs. Blacksnow's office.

Suddenly, Maria materalized next to me.
"So what was the big deal with seeing this guy?" I demanded of her quietly. Everyone here knew that I talked to ghosts. But I still had a habit of not making a big production out of my conversations with them. I like to keep it on the DL.

"You'll see," she giggled before vaporizing.