~sorry for the HUGE delay! i had a bunch of summer programs I was doing...anyway I'm back! And I want to submit the next chapter of this story...and just a note I'm trying to wrap it up in the next couple of chapters! please enjoy and review! And I don't own N2N!~
It was already late in the day, but Natalie wasn't going to just sit around. She needed to speak with her mother right away. Was there really a possibility that her mom would have killed her as a child to get Gabe back? Or was this just Gabe's sick way of messing with her? She needed answers and she needed them now. She drove with Henry to see her mom.
Her grandma opened the door again, but Natalie was not in the mood for small-talk. She pushed past the old woman and hurried up the stairs, leaving Henry downstairs to apologize before joining her upstairs.
"Oh, Natalie, what a surprise," Diana said. She was in her pajamas already, writing in a journal. "What's wrong, honey?"
"Don't talk, just listen," Natalie snapped. "I know you put a note in Gabe's music box. Now, I don't know why, but I know you were looking up ways to swap spirits and all that other fucked up shit, because Gabe told me himself. You need to explain yourself now and tell me how to get rid of Gabe before I drive myself crazy."
Her mother looked like a deer in highlights. She definitely wasn't expecting Natalie to say what she did-and that was more than enough proof for Natalie that her mother really did do such a thing.
"Natalie, you have to understand something," Diana said quietly, after a very long pause. "I was so distraught after your brother died that I really didn't know what to do with myself. I was crazy; I've come to accept that now. But I never wrote that note. I promise you."
"Well then who did?"
Diana took a deep breath before continuing. "Like I said, I was desperate to get your brother back. One day, when you were no more than a few months old, I found some woman online who could talk to spirits. I usually didn't believe in that whole psychic business, but I just had to try. I dropped you off at day-care and went to her studio. She gave me a reading and told me that Gabe was always with me, and always would be. She said he was hurting because he wasn't with us anymore, and that he would do anything to come back. She said that Gabe had a message for me. That was when she wrote that note. She said it was all Gabe wanted. I stormed out of there without paying the woman a dime."
"But you kept the note..." Henry said uneasily from his post in the doorframe.
"By accident!" she insisted. "When I got home, I shoved it in the first place I could find."
"The music box," Natalie said, stringing the pieces together.
"I never would think of doing something like that, no matter how unhappy I was."
Natalie ignored that comment and kept on thinking. "I guess we have to find that medium and get some answers from her."
"Natalie, this is getting ridiculous-" Henry started.
"I have to," she said. "You don't understand. Neither of you do. I want to get rid of Gabe. I don't care what I have to do."
"Natalie, don't do anything stupid," her mother said. "Gabe really wouldn't do-"
"Yes, Mom, he would. He would do anything. Give me the name of that lady."
"I really don't remember, Natalie. We were living on Walton Way then."
"It wasn't The Amazing Aliana, was it?" Henry asked slowly.
"A woman with dark brown hair that goes all the way down her back, with that one streak of grey? And she always wears big gold rings?"
"I believe it was," Diana said with a nod. "How did you know?"
"My aunt's really into all that stuff. Aliana's, like, the only supposedly reputable medium around. Her shop's somewhere on Grayson Way, across from that organic grocery store."
"Then we're going there now," Natalie decided. "Thanks for the help, Mom." She ran downstairs, Henry close behind her.
"Nat, it's almost eight o'clock," Henry said. "We should give it a rest for tonight."
She wheeled around to face him, stopping him in his tracks. "I can't give it a rest, Henry. This is my life. If you don't want to help, you can go home and I'll walk. I have no problem with that."
"I'm obviously not letting you walk across town by yourself."
"Then shut up and drive." And that they did. They got lost a few times on the way, but soon enough they were parked in front of The Amazing Aliana's House of Fantasy. The neon OPEN sign was still flashing, thankfully. They hurried inside, taking in the posters for $5 palm readings and special $12 aura readings.
From behind a curtain in the back of the shop, a woman emerged just as Henry had described her. "Ah, what can the Amazing Aliana do for such a lovely young couple?" she said, her voice thick with a pretty pathetic French accent.
"I need to ask you about a reading you did about seventeen years ago," Natalie told her.
"I do not remember things from so long ago."
"But you're a psychic," Henry said. "That's, like, your job..."
The woman must have realized that was true because she ushered them to the back room. "Come sit," she said. "I will see what the cards have to say about this."
"We don't want a card reading," Natalie said as she was forced to sit in a giant black velvet chair. "We just need some answers."
"Well then speak, and Aliana will see what she can do."
"Um, okay. So my mom came in here wanting to talk with her dead son. Her name was Diana Goodman and she was trying to contact Gabe. He was just a baby when he died. Apparently you told her that Gabe wanted his little sister dead. And I'm that sister."
"Ah yes," the woman said, closing her eyes. "I remember Diana. Those blue eyes are hard to forget...so haunted...I knew her case was serious. I did contact her son, and yes the things you speak of are true. I don't see what else I could possibly do for you."
"Well, can't you tell me how to get rid of him?" Natalie asked. "My brother, that is. I was in a car accident, and ever since I've been able to see his spirit. He's capable of terrible things, and now he wants me dead so that he can come to life again."
"Oh yes, the common case of sibling rivalry. If this Gabe boy was able to kill you, he would most likely be able to capture your spiritual energy to double his own, making him practically human. But it would take more than one sacrifice to bring back the dead."
"But it can happen?" Henry asked, dumbfounded.
"Of course. Anything is possible."
"So you don't know how to help me at all?" Natalie asked.
"I can only think of one thing. To banish a spirit, you need to complete a certain ritual."
"Great, how much is that going to cost?" Henry mumbled.
"Nothing," Aliana promised. "I do not perform such rituals here in the shop. They are very dangerous and I cannot risk my business. For the small fee of ten dollars, I can tell you what you need in order to get rid of Gabe forever."
There was a chance this woman was just a lunatic and would be no help at all. But Natalie was running out of options. She had to try everything. She passed a ten dollar bill to Aliana. "Tell me," she said.
"Excellent. You need to wait until midnight. Only at the stroke of midnight will this ritual work. You must be sitting inside a circle of white rose petals. The white rose is a symbol of purity and cleanliness. Gabe's spirit is an unclean one if he wishes to kill. He will not be able to penetrate your circle, however, especially if you have lit four black candles. Black symbolizes focus and survival. Place those candles in a square around your circle. A square will symbolize stability and structure. It will show your brother that you are solid and grounded-that you should not be tested and you will not fall."
"I better write this down," Henry said, pulling out his phone and writing himself a memo.
Alian continued. "There is more. You should be burning incense. In a small ceramic bowl, burn white sage, cedar, and myrrh."
"Where the hell are we gonna find myrrh?" Henry mumbled. Aliana ignored him.
"White sage represents healing. It will bless and cleanse you. Cedar is used to keep out unwanted spirits. And myrrh signifies enlightenment. You must keep your minds open. You must stay in the light. His spirit will push you into darkness but you must fight it. You will need more candles. Put four small orange candles on your windowsill. It will signify perserverance and keep you aware and thoughtfull."
"This is a lot of stuff to prepare," Natalie said.
"And there is still more you must do. All of the elements must be in place for the ritual to work. Make sure you two are sitting with your legs crossed inside of the circle. At exactly midnight begin the following chant: My heart is clean and pure, my mind a shining beacon. My spirit is floating free. Draw from my energy your own strength to pass on. Take our hope and soar, soar away to the afterlife you deserve. Repeat that chant over and over until he finally leaves you. I promise it'll work."
Once Henry double-checked his notes with Aliana and Natalie thanked her for her trouble, they were able to leave.
"That was so crazy," Henry said as they drove.
"But we have to try it," Natalie told him. "There's got to be some store we can go to to get this stuff."
"I don't know. This is the freaky side of town, maybe we'll find something."
They drove around, looking for some kind of spiritual store. Natalie made a mental note to thank Henry for being so awesome. He just believed everything she had told him and was now driving around the bad side of town in his mom's car to find what they needed for some kind of freaky ritual. He was officially the best boyfriend on the planet.
They finally stumbled on a Native American tribal store. Luckily they had all the herbs and candles they needed. They set off home, waiting for midnight to roll around.
When they got to her house at around ten o'clock, her father of course wanted Henry to go home. But Natalie insisted it was crucial to her mental health that he stay. That seemed to convince Dan. He probably didn't want another melt down on his hands.
Once they were in her room, they started setting up the circle of rose petals, then the square of candles. They set the incense burning, and lined up the tiny orange candles on the windowsill. Dan knocked on the door to check on them many times, probably thinking they were smoking something illegal in there. At 11:50, they sat in the circle with their legs crossed and waited.
"Do you think this is really going to work?" Henry asked quietly.
"I hope so," Natalie said, taking his hand. "I'm sort of out of options. It's either this or kill myself."
"You're not killing yourself," he told her firmly. "Let's just get rid of this bastard once and for all."
Her alarm clocked beeped midnight and the chanting begun.
Hope you liked! I've decided the next chapter's going to be the last! Please review! I can't wait to finish this story and I hope I'll get the update up real soon!