Aubrey appears on the rooftop, and as Boone gawks at her, she asks, “How do I look?”
Boone stammers a bit before finally answering, “The dress looks pretty.”
That was definitely not what Aubrey wanted to hear, so she scowls at him.
Boone’s phone chimes, and he pulls it out of his pocket. He looks at the screen, and something causes him to smile. He puts his phone back in his pocket, walks over to Aubrey, scoops her up into his arms which causes Aubrey to squeal, “What are you doing?”
“Let’s go,” Boone says.
“To work,” he tells her as her eyes go wide. He sets her back on the ground.
“What?” she asks.
Boone tells her, “You have some money to pay back. We got a gig. Let’s go.” He starts to walk off, but she grabs his hand.
“This late at night?”
He keeps going, but she tries to stop him. “You expect me to fight ghosts in my new dress?”
At a local indoor public pool, we see it’s empty.
Empty except for the wet footprints that make their way towards the woman’s locker room. Inside, a woman is taking a shower. The ghost is obviously peeking in on her without her knowledge.
Something causes her to look around like someone might be in the room when her water shuts off suddenly. She glances up at the shower and then reaches for the faucet and turns it back and forth, trying to get water out.
She doesn’t see the dark, creepy hand sneaking out of the wall until she feels it brushing up against her leg. She glances down and sees the ghost’s face coming at her, and she screams.
Walking back into the apartment the next morning, Boone is on the phone as he walks up to his apartment door, “I’ll text you my account number, and you can transfer the funds over. You’re very welcome.”
Aubrey walks behind him, obviously being overdramatic about being tired as she turns the corner, just as Boone walks into the apartment and closes the door after himself.
Aubrey walks into the door. “Ow.” She rubs her head, “Inconsiderate jackass…” she mutters under her breath.
Inside, Boone gets another call. “Right now? Sure, I can make it,” he tells the other party as he turns back to the door, opens it, and sees her on the others side, “We have another job,” he tells her.
Aubrey’s eyes go wide, “Another? We just finished a job!” She shakes her head, “I refuse. I’m way too tired.”
Boone shakes his head, “Nope. They want us right away.”
“I’m so tired. I hit my head on the door because I wasn’t concentrating enough to walk through it,” Aubrey whines. “Just a little nap?”
“Don’t forget our deal. You want me to help you study, and you expect me to house and feed you? You gotta earn your keep,” he tells her.
Aubrey stomps her foot, “This is so wrong,” she says. “You can’t work me like a slave just because you bought me a dress!”
“This is an important job,” he tells her. “You can sleep the rest of the day once we are done with this one, okay?”
“I refuse!” Aubrey starts to go into the apartment when Boone grabs her by the wrist and pulls her down the hall.
The Paranormal Clubhouse is still trashed from Bennie’s ghost encounter. Jersey is putting the door back on the hinges that Boone kicked down to get inside to help. Bennie is picking up a few things here and there, “We really need to get this place fixed back up. The housing committee will really throw us out of here if they see it like this.”
Jersey shakes his head, “You should be grateful to be alive.”
Bennie folds her hands in front of her, “I’m very grateful to be alive. I promise. I should be most thankful to Boone. He might be an asshole, but he showed up when we needed him. He’s a real man.”
Jersey scoffs at her.
“I wonder how he knew I was in danger?” she wonders out loud.
Jersey is about to explain when his phone chimes. He pulls it out, “Oh, it’s Boone.”
“Wait, Boone is texting you? He’s probably concerned about my well-being after such a traumatic incident,” Bennie hypothesizes.
“No. It’s not that,” Jersey says as he reads the message.
Bennie is super curious now, “What does he want then?”
Jersey holds out the phone for her to read.
“Please deposit the fee into my account,” is all it says.
Bennie loses her smile as she reads the message. “Wait. What account? What is he talking about?”
Jersey tries to explain, “Boone’s fee is a thousand dollars per exorcism.”
Bennie rises from her seat with a shocked look on her face, “One thousand dollars? Like American dollars? Or a thousand pesos, per chance? A thousand yen? A thousand won?”
“One thousand dollars,” Jersey repeats.
Bennie reaches up and scratches the back of her neck as she digests this information. “So, let me get this straight. Boone didn’t come to save me?”
Jersey nods. “That’s correct.”
“He really is an asshole,” Bennie says.
“Where are we going to get a thousand dollars?” asks Jersey.
Bennie just brushes him off, “Get it out of petty cash.”
“First of all, we only had twelve dollars in petty cash, and we used it to buy Doritos and Mountain Dew. Now we don’t have any petty cash. If we don’t pay him, he’s probably going to be pretty pissed off.”
Bennie nods her head and then sits back down, “We do what we always do when we’re in trouble. We ignore the problem and hope that it goes away.”
Jersey is about to say something when there’s a pounding on the door. “Anyone in there? We’re with the housing committee!”
Bennie and Jersey exchange looks as Bennie motions to be quiet.
“You can’t keep ignoring our calls. It’ll only cause more trouble for you.” The pounding continues. However, it appears that Jersey did a horrible job fixing the door as it suddenly just falls into the room, slamming with a thud onto the floor.
As promised, Boone let Aubrey sleep after their gig, but Aubrey has a rough go at it as she rolls off the couch and onto the floor.
She sits up and hugs a pillow with one arm while scratching her head with her other hand, “How long did I sleep?” she asks no one in particular. She gets up and begins to call out, “Boone? Boone?” She walks through his door to find him pulling up his pants. She immediately squeaks as Boone tries to cover up.
Aubrey slips out of the room the same way she came, super embarrassed now.
After Boone finishes dressing, he walks out, and Aubrey immediately yells, “I didn’t see anything! I swear!”
“You need to knock before you come into my room from now on,” he snaps back at her.
Aubrey rolls her eyes, “Fine.” Boone is about to leave when she notices, “There’s something different about you today.”
Boone stops and turns to her to try and figure out what the hell she’s talking about.
She eyes him over, “Did you iron your clothes today? You did something to your hair too, didn’t you?”
“What the fuck are you talking about?”
She snaps her fingers, “Today’s the day you have class with Cameron, isn’t it?” When she says “Cameron,” she really drags it out.
“It just so happens that we are in the same class today. It has nothing to do with how I dress. I’m leaving. Don’t follow me,” Boone tells her and walks towards the door.
“Don’t follow you? Why? Do you think I’ll infringe on your time with her? Is that it?” Aubrey continues after him.
At the door, he turns to face her, “Did you complain about how tired you were? Get some rest. We may have more work tonight.” There’s a room right off the entrance to the apartment. He points it out, “And stay out of this room. Bye.” With that, he turns and leaves the apartment.
As he walks down the sidewalk, Aubrey poofs next to him. “Heading to school?” she asks.
“The hell?” Boone says as she startles him. “You know I’m heading to school. We just had this conversation. Go back inside.”
Aubrey pouts, “I’ll be bored at home alone. Besides, how can I not go out and have some fun in a pretty dress like this?”
Boone rolls his eyes, “Fine, whatever. Do what you want.” He starts to walk on, and Aubrey rushes to catch up to him.
As the manager of the housing committee tapes an eviction notice to the door of what used to be the Paranormal Club, the camera pans back to see Bennie and Jersey, along with everything inside the club, all out in the hallway.
The manager turns to them, “I’m charging you for that door. Understand?”
Jersey nods, while Bennie just fumes. The manager turns and walks off, nearly tripping over some of their stuff. He turns and gives them one more glare before stepping off.
Jersey turns to Bennie, “Seriously, what do we do now?”
“How the hell am I supposed to know?” Bennie snaps back. Something falls from the stack, and it scares the shit out of Bennie and Jersey, who both yell, “Ghost!” and run out of there.
As Aubrey and Boone walk towards the college, Aubrey notices someone, “Oh, it’s Marja!” She stops walking as she notices her friend by a bus stop.
“Who?” asks Boone.
“I’ll catch up with you later,” Aubrey tells Boone and poofs.
Boone shakes his head, “After all of that, she just runs off.”
Meanwhile, Aubrey reappears next to Marja, “Whatcha doing?”
Marja is very happy to see Aubrey, “Remember that pretty professor I told you about last time?” Suddenly, Marja notices Aubrey’s new dress. “Where’d you get that dress?”
Aubrey beams with pride as she does a little spin, showing it off. “How does it look?”
Marja seems like she might even be a little jealous, “What do you think? You look totally gorgeous!” She then grins, “Of course, you looked great in that other outfit as well, but this one makes you look absolutely stunning. You look like a model or a rock star in that dress.”
“Marja,” Aubrey says, though she’s enjoying the compliments.
When Marja looks down, she notices something, “But girl, you gotta do something about those shoes.”
Aubrey’s sneakers have definitely seen better days.
“You need a pair of heels with that dress, honey,” Marja tells her. “But, you have to tell me, who burned the dress for you?”
Aubrey just bats her eyelashes a few times.
“Not the ghost fighter?”
Again, Aubrey continues to play coy.
“Oh, I’m right, aren’t I?” Marja asks. “I think he likes you.”
Suddenly, Aubrey’s expression changes, “That makes absolutely no sense at all.”
“Why not? Is there a rule that a human can’t have feelings for a ghost?”
Aubrey scoffs, “I had to beg him to get this dress for me. Besides, he already has a crush.”
Marja just chuckles, “My instincts are always right, and right now, they are screaming that this guy digs you.”
Aubrey shakes her head, “There’s no fucking way.”
A bit later, Aubrey appears next to Boone as he’s about to go into the building.
“Where’d you run off to?” he asks.
Aubrey just grins, “Just a ghost, I know.”
Boone nods his head.
Aubrey remembers Marja’s words about Boone liking her, and she grins, and it doesn’t go unnoticed.
“Why are you smiling like that?” Boone asks.
Aubrey just shakes her head, “It’s nothing. Nothing at all.”
“Boone!” someone yells. Aubrey and Boone look up to see Cameron waving at Boone. Now it’s Boone’s turn to smile. He walks right over to her.
“Aren’t you early?” Cameron asks.
Boone nods, “Just a little.”
“Let’s go get ready for class then,” Cameron says to him.
Boone nods his head, still smiling like a dork, “Sure thing.”
As they head inside, Aubrey is no longer smile. “Sure thing,” she imitates him. “I knew he liked her.” She does notice Cameron’s heels, though. “Those are pretty, and they would go great with this dress,” she says to herself as she watches them disappear inside. Aubrey looks down at her worn sneakers with a sigh and heads inside.
Boone checks out the microphone at the podium to make sure it works when Cameron walks in carrying a large stack of binders. “Here, let me help,” Boone says and rushes over. He takes the stack from her, but she takes half back.
“We’ll split it,” she says and walks off.
“Oh look, Boone, the rescuer of damsels in distress,” Aubrey says mockingly.
Boone glares at her but knows better than to respond. Cameron begins to lay the binders at each desk, and Boone does a different section but looks at Cameron, who seems oblivious.
“It’s written all over your face how much you like her, dummy,” Aubrey tells him. “You don’t even have the guts to ask her out, so why even bother?”
Boone glares at her again.
As Cameron and Boone meet at the aisle, Aubrey gives Boone a push, which causes him to bump into Cameron.
“I’m so sorry,” Boone apologizes immediately.
Cameron shakes her head, “It’s not a problem at all.” She gives him a smile and moves into the next row.
Boone turns back to glare at Aubrey, who smirks.
“You guys are here early,” says Ilias as she walks into the classroom.
Boone and Cameron greet the professor, she responds, “Thanks for helping out. I really appreciate it.” She notices the booklets that are being out, “Can I see one of those?” Cameron happily hands one over, and as Ilias is flipping through, Cameron notices the scratch on the professor’s hand.
“Oh, that scratch looks bad,” Cameron says.
At first, Ilias is confused at the comment, and then she remembers the scratch, “Oh, it’s no big deal.”
Aubrey gets close to take a look, “Oh, that looks like it hurts.”
Ilias sets the booklet down, “I forgot some materials in my office. I’ll be right back.”
Ilias goes to leave, but she steps around Aubrey, who was standing right next to her.
Aubrey immediately notices and spins around to look at the professor. She thinks to herself how weird that was. Everyone else goes right through her.
As Ilias teaches from the front, Aubrey leans over, “Boone?”
“Hm?” responds Boone as he turns to look at her.
“When I was standing next to that professor, she moved around me when she left earlier,” Aubrey whispers.
Boone looks up at Ilias and, after a moment, turns back to Aubrey, “You’re a little crazy right now.”
Aubrey turns away from him to watch the professor, “Maybe I saw it wrong,” she says to herself.
“Why aren’t those two answering my texts?” Boone says as he and Aubrey walk out of class.
“What two? The ghostbusters?” Aubrey asks. “If you think you’re getting paid from them, they looked pretty broke-ass to me.”
Boone looks annoyed as he tries to call but immediately gets the answer to leave a message, and he hangs up, “Seriously, these two idiots. I saved their ass, and now they’re avoiding me.” He storms off, and Aubrey follows.
Soon, Boone walks the hallway where all of Bennie and Jersey’s stuff is still piled up. He immediately sees the eviction notice, “The fuck?!”
“They’re skipping town on you,” Aubrey says with a smirk.
Boone looks down at her, unamused, “That’s partly your money too, you know?”
Aubrey isn’t all that amused anymore, “What?” She turns to glare at the notice, “How dare they steal our money!” she growls. She snaps at Boone, “Call them again, goddammit! Hurry up!”
Boone pulls out his phone and dials again but again gets the message to leave a voicemail, all the while Aubrey is fuming.
After Bennie sends Boone to voicemail, a text pops up. She swipes it open.
“What is it?” asks Jersey.
Bennie shakes her head, “They want us to pay a maintenance fee of 872 dollars.”
This time Jersey’s phone rings, and he pulls it out of his pocket and sees that it’s Boone. “He’s not going to stop calling until he gets his thousand dollars.”
Bennie snatches the phone out of Jersey’s hand, “I’ll solve this,” and she’s about to throw it across the quad when Jersey snatches it back out of her hand before she can. “I need that!”
Bennie glares at him.
“Where are we going to get all this money? 800 dollars for the building fee. A thousand dollars for an exorcism fee. I have a hard time enough as it is just keeping up payments on my laptop. I’ve already tapped out my folks.” Jersey turns to look at Bennie, who is intentionally avoiding his gaze. “Are you sure you have nothing?”
“I really have nothing,” she tells him. “I’m not just broke. I’m broker than broke.”
Jersey is getting agitated, “Isn’t there someone you can call? Don’t just sit there. We need to do something.”
“Fine! Fine!” she snaps at him. She pulls out her phone and dials.
Jersey’s phone begins to ring, and he looks down at it, then he turns and looks at Bennie. He stands up and walks away from her and answers, “Hello?”
“Hi, it’s Bennie. I’m completely broke. I’m in dire need of borrowing some cash. Can you front me something? You have my word I’ll pay you back,” she tells Jersey over the phone.
Jersey shakes his head, “You’re telling me I’m the only friend you got?”
“You’re all I got,” Bennie tells him. “I got no one else.”
They both sigh and hang up their phones.
A woman sits in the quad, looking pretty preoccupied, when Cameron spots her, “Kimberly!” Cameron walks over to her. “I didn’t see you in class today.”
Kimberly nods her head, “I had some things to do this morning.”
“There were some handouts in class today, and I got some for you,” Cameron says as she reaches into her bag. When Professor Ilias walks out of the building, Kimberly remembers when she stumbled across the dead mother cat a few nights ago.
In fact, just before she found the dead mother cat, she saw Professor Ilias near where the body was found. She remembers seeing the professor there and ducking down when the professor turns around.
Ilias pets the cat several times as she has a faraway look in her eyes. Kimberly slowly peeks up from behind the wall as she watches Ilias pick up the cat. Ilias looks into the cat’s eyes and then begins to squeeze.
Kimberly watches as the cat begins to scream out in pain until a snap is heard, and then the cat goes quiet. Kimberly winces in disgust. Ilias sits there and seems to soak in the torment she just inflicted on the cat. She smirks as she ponders how easily killing that cat is, but a sound causes her to look behind her.
Kimberly ducks down again.
Ilias rises up to her feet and walks off, but as she does, a pen falls out of her pocket and lands near the dead cat’s body.
Kimberly hears the teacher walking away and clamps her hand over her mouth to avoid getting caught.
Suddenly, Kimberly gets to her feet, grabs her purse, and stalks off while Cameron is digging for the handouts. Surprised, she looks after the woman and yells out, “Kimberly!”
She leans down and picks up a pen. The pen had fallen out of Kimberly’s purse when she rushed off. As Cameron stands back up with the pen in her hand, she notices it was the same pen she saw at Ilias’s vet clinic a few days ago, engraved with Professor Ilias’s name.
“Why does she have the professor’s pen?” Cameron wonders aloud.
“Is it time to eat?” Aubrey asks as she poofs in next to where Boone sits in the quad.
He glances up at her as she sits down next to him, “Do you only ever think about eating?”
Aubrey nods her head. Boone pulls something from his bag and sets it down next to her, and she’s a little confused, “What’s this?”
“If you want me to tutor you, I need to know what your current knowledge level is,” he tells her. “This way, I can create a suitable lesson plan for you.”
The smile she had when she thought it was lunchtime slowly begins to fade when she realizes he really plans to tutor her. It was her plan, but she only used it to get close to him because she feels that he is somehow connected to getting her memories back.
“Take this quiz. You have an hour,” Boone tells her.
“Right now?” she asks with a grimace on her face. “I have a bit of a headache today.”
Somehow, Boone anticipated that she’d try and weasel her way out. “Look, do you want to cross over or not? You said you needed to pass your final to cross over and asked me to help.”
“I mean, yeah, I do want to cross over, but can we do this another time?” she asks.
Boone shakes his head. “You have an hour.” He glances at his watch, “Starting… now!”
“Wait! Wait!” Aubrey says, “I’m not ready.” She grabs at the material and starts to take the test.
“Do you remember what the passing score is for this class?” Boone asks after she finishes the test. He’s looking over her answers.
Aubrey shrugs, “Not too sure. I guess as long as I have an average score, I’ll pass.”
Boone smirks at her, “Doesn’t look like you have a chance in hell of crossing over this year.”
Aubrey seems surprised as she grabs at the paper, “What?” As she looks at the paper, Boone has written “32%” on the paper in big red numbers. “This can’t be right. Are you sure? 32 percent?”
“Yes, 32 percent.” Boone looks a little disappointed, “At this rate, I’d say you don’t even have a chance to get near the pearly gates, much less get into heaven.”
Aubrey is a little embarrassed, to say the least, “It’s my first test in five years, and it’s just a practice. Don’t give me shit. I’ll be ready for the real one.”
“It wasn’t even that hard of a test.”
“Professor!” yells Cameron as she spots Ilias heading into the building. Ilias stops and turns around.
“Oh, hello, Cameron,” Ilias says. “What brings you here? Class is over.”
Cameron reaches into her bag, “I found this, and it has your name on it, so I thought I should return it.” She hands over the pen.
Ilias is confused at first and then recognizes the pen immediately. “Oh, this is mine. Thanks. Where did you find this?” she asks.
Cameron shakes her head, “I didn’t find it. Kimberly found it.”
Ilias thinks for a moment, then recalls that Kimberly was the one who was feeding the stray mother cat. “Oh, she missed class today. I hope she’s doing well.”
Cameron isn’t too sure about that.
“Well, thanks for returning this. I’d been looking for it,” Ilias tells Cameron. “How’s our puppy doing?”
“He’s doing great,” beams Cameron.
Ilias smiles, “That’s great. Let me know if you need anything at all.”
“I will, thank you,” Cameron says. “I’ll be on my way.”
As Cameron turns and leaves, Ilias watches her go with a smile, but as Cameron gets some distance away, that smile slowly fades as Ilias looks down at the pen.
A few moments later, Ilias is at the site where she killed the cat. She kneels down and sees a bouquet of flowers lying on the ground where the cat died.
Ilias doesn’t look very happy at all.
“Your test results are back,” a doctor says as he walks into the room.
Tetzuka is sitting on the bench, “I’m in perfect health, right?”
“You wish,” the doctor says. These two go way back, “If you don’t stop doing these exorcists, you’re not going to live much longer. You’ve got the body of an 80-year-old.”
Tetzuka waves him off, “What do you know? You’re just a quack.”
“Well, this quack is telling you that you need to start taking it easy. It’s probably time for you to consider retirement,” the doc says as he hands Tetzuka the paperwork. “Your pulse is weak, your blood sugar is high. Your joints are nearly worn out. Does Boone know you’re doing all of this for him?”
“It’s none of his concern.” Tetzuka glares at the doc, “Don’t even think of saying anything to him either. And stop telling me I’m in bad shape. I’m totally fine.”
The doc just shakes his head back and forth, “You might look fine on the outside, but inside, you’re a complete wreck.”
“Have you heard from Boone’s father?” Tetzuka asks.
The doctor shakes his head, “I heard he moved from where he was staying, but I haven’t heard from him in ages.”
Tetzuka slides off the bench, “He’s supposed to keep in touch. I’ve been trying to call, but there’s been no answer.”
“Is he still chasing after that evil spirit that killed his wife?” asks the doctor.
“So it seems,” Tetzuka responds as he buttons up his shirt.
The doctor rises up, “Ah, there was a story going around that after he left, a stranger came looking for him.”
Tetzuka grabs his hat, “A stranger?”
The doc nods his head, “A very pretty stranger, they say. The rumor going around is that he ditched a lover.”
Tetzuka finds that very strange indeed.
Jersey storms out of a camera store with Bennie walking a good distance behind. Suddenly, Jersey flips around and stares down at Bennie, “It was you. You messed with this camera.”
The plan was to sell back the camera to get some money to pay off their debts, but the manager of the camera shop noticed someone tampered with the camera, voiding the warranty.
When Bennie doesn’t answer right away, Jersey continues, “I told you if you messed with the camera, you’d void my warranty, did I not say that?”
Bennie is looking everywhere but at Jersey, “It wasn’t me,” she says, not very convincingly.
“You know I used my room and board money to pay for this camera, right?” Jersey asks her.
“I know that,” she admits.
“And you know I have ten more payments on this camera, right?” he asks her.
Bennie nods, “I do know that.”
Jersey snaps at her, “Then why did you do it?”
“It wasn’t me. It was those guys, you know those one guys who did that one thing,” she tries to explain, but honestly, nothing she’s saying is making any sort of sense.
Jersey begins to rub his temples as a headache hits him. He lets out a loud primal yell right in her face in the middle of the busy sidewalk, and everyone walking around them stops and looks at him for a moment before going on their way. He places the camera in Bennie’s hand, turns around, and storms away from her.
“It scares the crap out of me every time he does that,” Bennie admits. She starts to run after him, “Jersey! Wait!” She catches up to him and tries to give him the camera back, “How about I buy lunch?”
“Get away from me!” Jersey snaps and starts to run.
Jersey is obviously still angry as he bites into his hamburger. Bennie feels very remorseful as she picks up her plate and scoops some of her fries onto his plate.
“Jersey, please don’t be angry at me,” she says, giving him a very pitiful look. “Should I get us some beer?”
“Beer, my ass! Don’t even think about it!” Jersey snaps at her. “We are fucking broke, Bennie! We don’t have money for beer.”
Bennie nods sadly and goes back to eating.
Suddenly, Jersey pulls out his wallet and reaches in, and slaps down a few dollars on the table. “Take everything bit of money you have and put it on the table,” he demands. He put about thirty dollars on the table.
Bennie slowly reaches into her pocket, pulls out a few wadded bills and some change, and lays it on the table.
Jersey begins to laugh as he unwrinkles the bills to find a few dollar bills. “You’ve barely got ten dollars. How were you going to get us beer with ten dollars? You barely have enough money for the food, and you wanted to buy beer?” Jersey’s laughing has stopped, and now he’s just breathing heavily in anger.
Bennie can’t even look at him right now.
“Where are we going to sleep?” asks Jersey.
Bennie shrugs, “I’m not sure. What about you?”
“I can go home,” Jersey tells her.
“What am I supposed to do?”
Jersey says, “You’re coming with me.”
Bennie shakes her head, “Your mother doesn’t like me. No, your mother hates my guts.”
Jersey gets to his feet, snatches up all the money, and starts to shove it into his pocket.
“Where are you going all of a sudden?” Bennie asks.
Jersey looks at her, “We have to find a place to sleep, right?” He grabs his stuff and walks out of the diner.
Bennie turns around, “Are you abandoning me?” She takes one more bite of her burger and grabs her things, and follows.
Aubrey is sitting on the floor in front of a coffee table. Her back is leaning against Boone’s couch, and she does not look very happy with her arms crossed in front of her chest.
Boone walks in and drops a stack of textbooks on the table in front of her.
Aubrey gasps out loud as her eyes go wide, “I have to read all of these books?”
“All of these and more,” Boone tells her. “I get it you don’t remember much, but college ain’t no fucking joke. You were in your senior year in college, and for you to catch up, you gotta read it all from the start.”
Boone just smirks at her, “So, where do you want to start?”
Aubrey glares at him for a moment before looking at the stack of books. She just grabs the one on top, “This one, I guess.” She starts to flip through it and nearly has a heart attack as she shuts it right away. “Not this one.”
She reaches for another, but Boone stops her and hands her back the first book, “Let’s start with this one.”
“Wah, wah, wah,” she says.
“I can hear you,” he tells her. Boone scoots down on the floor next to her and starts looking through the book when Aubrey suddenly grabs her stomach, “Oh god. I’m not feeling so good.” No one said she was a great actor or anything. “I should probably use the bathroom.” She starts to move away when Boone places a hand on her shoulder and pulls her back.
“Ghosts don’t use the bathroom.”
Aubrey glares at him, trying to think of something else to get out of this torture. She grabs her head, “Oh, my head. I think I have a migraine.”
He pulls her back one more time. “Stop stalling. You’re the one who wants to cross over. Now, study.”
“How far do we have to walk? Let’s just pick a place,” Bennie whines. Night has fallen, and they’ve been walking all day. She is carrying three backpacks, and Jersey is carrying four. It was all they could manage of the stuff that was thrown out of the clubhouse.
Jersey is guiding, using his phone to navigate, “This place is offering a fifty percent discount. We need this discount, so stop whining.” He glances up and points, “It’s right there!”
Bennie looks relieved as she follows Jersey across the street.
“Why was this place so cheap?” Bennie asks as she plops down on the bed. “And there was like, no cars in the parking lot.”
Jersey drops a backpack on the chair and takes the second bed, “Who cares? We finally have a place to sleep for the night.”
Jersey’s phone chimes. He pulls it out of his pocket.
“If this is how you want to handle things, we have a problem.”
“Is it Boone?” asks Bennie.
Jersey nods, “Of course it’s Boone.”
“What does he want?”
“What do you think? He wants his money,” Jersey says.
“Goddammit!” Bennie snaps. “He just won’t give up, will he?”
Jersey mutters, “What do we do?”
Bennie lays her arm out across the bed, “Give me your phone.”
Jersey hands the phone across the aisle between the beds, and Bennie takes it, turns it off, and sets it on the nightstand. “There. Problem solved.”
“Hey!” Jersey yells but decides that maybe it’s not such a bad idea. “I’m going to sleep.”
Bennie is already sound asleep, but Jersey is having a hard time getting there. He reaches up and wipes the sweat from his brow, gets off the bed, and walks over to turn on the air conditioner, but the thing doesn’t kick on. “Well, now we know why it was fifty percent off.” He grabs the ice bucket and heads out of the room.
Hearing the door shut, Bennie turns over onto her side. The lamp next to her begins to flicker, and she squints her eyes open, rolling onto her back again. “Jersey?”
Her eyes slowly open, and then they are wide open as she screams when she sees a bald-headed ghost over her!
She flies out the door and runs as fast as she can down the hallway but suddenly stops as the ghost grabs her by the hair and starts to drag her back towards the room. “Jersey!” she screams out as she kicks and flails.
Jersey hears her scream and drops the ice bucket, and runs back into the hallway, just in time to see Bennie disappear back into the room. Jersey rushes over and begins to pound on the door, “Bennie!” He pulls out his key card and swipes it several times, but it beeps red every time.
Inside the room, Bennie is screaming her head off. She manages to break free of the ghost’s grip long enough to reach the door and pull it open, and both Bennie and Jersey get the hell out of there.
Boone pours himself a cup of milk when he hears a groan coming from the living room.
Aubrey lifts her head off the coffee table, where she fell asleep studying the night before. She grabs the back of her neck and groans. As she whimpers, she moves her neck from side to side.
“You’re up?” Boone asks.
Aubrey just responds with a groan. “Why was I sleeping like that?”
“You fell asleep studying last night,” Boone explains.
“Did I?” Aubrey asks, and then she gets angry, “And you just left me like that? Why didn’t you wake me up?”
Boone scoffs at her, “I tried, but you wouldn’t wake up.”
“You could have at least moved me to the sofa,” she whines at him.
“You think I want to throw my back out trying to lift you up?” he snaps back at her.
Aubrey gets up to confront him, but he walks into his room and shuts the door right in her face.
“Asshole,” she mutters. “What a complete asshole.” She starts to go back into the living room but notices that the door to the ‘forbidden’ room is open. “Hm? What’s this? I know he told me not to go in there, but….” She heads down the hall anyway.
The door creaks a little as she pushes it open and steps inside, closing the door after her. The room is more of a storage room than anything else. Boxes are piled up, and there are some blankets and pillows. “So much stuff,” Aubrey says.
There’s a shelf with some old VHS tapes on it, labeled “Home Movies.” She ignores those for the time being and begins to snoop through some boxes. She finds one box and opens the top to find some women’s heel shoes.
Meanwhile, Boone steps out of his bedroom and is about to go into the bathroom when he notices the door to that room is open.
Inside the room, Aubrey has the shoes out and has her feet right next to him. “These look like they’re my size.”
Boone creeps closer to the room and pushes the door open, and sees Aubrey in there. “Why are you in here?”
“Boone!” She points to the shoes on the floor, “These shoes are my size. Can you burn them for me?”
Suddenly, Boone is angry. He storms past her, picks up the shoes, and places them back in the box. He slams the box back on top of the other boxes and turns to look at her. “I told you not to come in here. Did I say you could touch my things?”
“I was just….”
“You just remember one thing,” he tells her. “You’re a ghost. Stop acting like a human.” He leaves the room, slamming the door behind him, leaving Aubrey in there, feeling like crap.
“Why’s he so mad all of a sudden? What did I do?” she mutters under her breath.
A little while later, Boone walks out of his room and over to the kitchen table, where he grabs his lunch. He turns to see Aubrey sitting on the couch, hugging a pillow. She won’t even look at him.
He glares at her for a moment before turning and walking out of the apartment.
As the door shuts, she turns her head and mutters, “You really are an asshole, Boone.”
Bennie and Jersey have taken up residence at the quad for the time being after being chased out of the hotel by a ghost.
Bennie is lying on a bench when Jersey walks up and hands her some sort of snack cake from the vending machine. “Here, eat something.”
“Why do I keep seeing ghosts?” Bennie mutters. She has dark rings under her eyes from not sleeping the night before, and she can barely keep her eyes open.
Jersey opens up his laptop, “Look, Bennie. The reason that place was so cheap was that a man died there a month ago. Ever since, there have been rumors of hauntings at the hotel. Even at fifty percent off, they can’t book any rooms.”
Bennie sits up as she looks at the laptop screen, “And you couldn’t look up this information before we went to the haunted hotel?”
“I’m sorry, I didn’t think to find out that a hotel that was offering us a huge discount was haunted. It was all we could afford,” Jersey tells her. “It says here they performed an exorcism there, but I guess the ghost didn’t leave.”
“They should have let us stay for free,” Bennie grimaces as she tears open the food wrapper. “Maybe we can find an empty classroom to sleep in.” Bennie yawns.
“You can’t be that sleepy—” Jersey starts to say, and then he yawns.
Bennie yawns again.
Boone is walking through the quad, phone to his ear, only to get the recording again. “Those motherfuckers,” he mutters. “I’m going to make them wish that ghost had murdered them.”
But as he turns the corner, coming towards him are Bennie and Jersey.
Bennie quickly turns around.
“What is it?” asks Jersey.
Bennie whispers, “It’s Boone. Run for it.”
They’re about to run for it when Boone yells, “Stop!” Then they really run for it.
And, of course, Boone chases after them.
It doesn’t take him long to catch them, as he gives them a push, and they crash onto the grass of the quad.
As Boone tries to catch his breath, Bennie pleads, “It’s not that we don’t want to pay you. It just may take us some time to get the money together,” she explains as she looks up at him from the ground.
“How long?” Boone asks.
Jersey sits up and holds up two fingers, “Two months.”
“Two days,” says Boone.
Jersey nods his head, “Fine. Two days.”
Bennie leans back and asks, “How will we get a thousand dollars in two days?”
Jersey ignores her, “We will pay you back in two days.”
Boone crosses his arms across his chest, “And how will you do that?”
“It’s a secret,” Jersey explains.
Bennie is confused, “How?”
Jersey grits his teeth and mutters, “I said it’s a secret. Shut up.”
A few hours later, Bennie and Jersey are standing in front of the haunted hotel. For some reason, they are dressed up in suits, complete with black sunglasses. The only difference between the two is that Jersey has opted for a pair of shorts instead of slacks. Bennie is wearing a straight tie, while Jersey is wearing a bow tie.
They look very men-in-black-ish.
“Did we really need to dress like this?” asks Bennie as they look at the hotel in front of them.
“If we’re going to do it, let’s do it right,” Jersey explains.
It takes them a moment to psych themselves up, but finally, Jersey says, “Let’s do it,” and the two march into the lobby.
The manager puts a “temporarily closed” sign up at the desk when Bennie holds out her hand, “Stop right there, hotel manager, sir.”
“Are you having trouble due to a ghost?” Jersey asks. “We understand that an exorcism failed, but leave it to us. We will rid your hotel of your ghost.”
Boone walks into the apartment in the evening, and Aubrey is still sulking on the couch, sitting in the dark. Boone drops the bag of food he got at the store on the table and turns on the lights.
“Why are you sitting in the dark?” he asks her.
Aubrey shrugs, “Maybe I like it dark? I’m just a ghost, after all.”
Boone asks, “Are you hungry?”
“What if I am? Can a ghost starve to death?” she snaps at him.
Boone shrugs and starts to unpack the groceries until he gets to one particular package, “These short ribs sure look delicious.”
Aubrey still won’t face him, but her eyes go wide at the mention of ribs.
“And these potatoes will make great mashed potatoes to go with the ribs,” he says, probably a little louder than he needs to.
Aubrey smiles brightly and spins around, “Ribs and mashed potatoes—” she starts to say and then slowly turns back, realizing what a dork she is.
Boone snickers to himself as he turns on the stove while Aubrey just winces at her utter transparency.
“That was good,” Boone says as he pats his stomach.
Aubrey is still in the living room, trying not to give him satisfaction.
He gets up and sets his plate in the sink, leaving the rest of the food on the table, “I guess I’ll clean up in the morning,” he says out loud. After he sets his plate in the sink, he walks into his room.
Aubrey immediately turns around with a sly grin on her face, creeps into the dining room, and sits at the table, seeing all the leftover food. Her mouth goes wide as she takes a seat.
“Take a look at this chart,” Rosanna says as she brings it over to the desk where Bethany is working. “We aren’t seeing nearly as many patients as we were with the previous doctor.”
Bethany nods her head, “We were barely keeping up back then! I don’t know why Doctor Ilias even bought this clinic if she wasn’t going to be around much to run it.”
“I heard that she sold her last clinic on the west coast and moved here to take the professor position at the college,” Rosanna adds. “But, if she’s going to be a professor, I wonder why she opened the clinic?”
Bethany shrugs, “I like her. I think she’s super cool, so I’m glad she kept us on when she bought the place.”
Ilias walks into the lobby from her office, “Thanks for all of your hard work today,” she tells them as she heads towards the front door.
“Leaving already, doctor?” Bethany asks.
Ilias stops at the door, “I have someplace I need to be. Just wrap things up and head on home. We’re done for the day.”
“Thank you, doctor! Have a good night,” Rosanna says as Ilias nods and heads out the door.
Ilias’s polite demeanor quickly disappears the moment she gets into her car.
Boone is at his desk, studying when his phone rings. He gets a curious expression when he sees who is calling. “Hello? Right now?”
Meanwhile, Aubrey just stuffed herself with the leftovers on the table, “Such a good meal,” she uses the table to push herself up out of her chair. “I’m so full,” she says with a smile on her face when Boone comes out of his room.
Aubrey turns around, “Where are you going?”
Boone shrugs, “Heckle and Jeckle called.”
Aubrey is confused for the moment, then it dawns on her who he’s talking about. “Oh! Are they finally going to pay you?”
Boone nods, “That’s what they said.”
“Shall I come with you?”
Boone shrugs, “Sure, if you like.”
Bennie and Jersey are seated at the same diner from the day before, and Boone sits across from them. They are still dressed in their suits.
“Perhaps we should have a drink first?” Bennie suggests, handing out three bottles of beer. Bennie and Jersey take a drink, but Boone slides his bottle over in front of Aubrey, “No thanks. So, let me understand what you’re trying to tell me. You don’t have the cash like you said you did, but if I go to a hotel and get rid of a ghost….”
Jersey interrupts, “The hotel manager will pay you three thousand dollars.”
“It’s a win-win, really,” Bennie explains. “It’s three times more than what we owe you, so you can forget about the finder’s fee for us getting you this gig, and we’ll call it square. What do you say?”
Boone doesn’t look happy at all. He slams his hands on the table and stands up, about to walk off when Bennie hops up, “Okay, okay. Five thousand dollars. Just give us a moment.” Bennie drags Jersey off.
As Boone watches the two leave, Aubrey reaches for the beer and begins to drink. Boone looks at her, “What are you doing?”
“Hm?” Aubrey responds. “I’ve never had a beer. I wanted to have a taste.”
Boone grits his teeth, “Just put it down.” He tries to snatch it from her, but she holds it out of his reach. “You have never had beer before! Just put it down.”
“Fine,” Aubrey says but instead drinks it all down in a few swallows as Boone’s eyes go wide. She turns to look at him, “It’s not bad, actually.”
Meanwhile, around the corner, Jersey is upset with Bennie, “The job is only going to pay six thousand. If you give him five, that leaves us with one. We need more than that to pay all of our expenses!”
Bennie nods her head, “But without Boone, we aren’t getting a dime of that money, and you know it. We need him. A thousand is better than nothing. I’m not going back there without Boone. That ghost tried to murder me the last time we were there. He dragged my ass down the hall!”
Jersey waves her off, “Fine. Fine. We’ll give him five thousand.”
Meanwhile, Aubrey is drinking her second beer, stolen from across the table where Bennie and Jersey were.
“Hey!” Boone says as he catches her, but she’s drinking it all before he can stop her.
Her eyes are already getting a little glossy as she looks at him, “It has a kick to it,” she tells him.
Bennie and Jersey are laughing as they sit back down. “The job is for five thousand,” Bennie tells Boone, who is still looking at Aubrey.
With dollar signs in his eyes, Boone immediately answers, “Done. Deal. Tell me about the job.”
Bennie and Jersey are walking down the sidewalk, and Boone is following them. The duo enters the hotel first, but Boone pauses as he looks back to see Aubrey swaying from side to side, walking a good distance behind them.
She stops when she sees Boone looking at her, and she lets out a drunken giggle.
Boone just shakes his head, “Fuck.”
Boone walks down the hallway of the hotel, and Bennie and Jersey are huddled behind him. “It was here the ghost grabbed me,” Bennie mentions. “But I first saw him in our hotel room.”
Boone pauses, “You guys got a room together here in the hotel?”
Jersey nods, “Right. Wait, not like that. We just needed a place to crash.”
Bennie nods her head, “It’s nothing like what you’re thinking.”
Boone isn’t sure he believes them, but he takes the key and swipes it, and the door opens for them, and Boone slowly pushes it open. He walks in and looks around the room. Bennie and Jersey stay out in the hallway.
After a moment, Boone walks back out.
“He’s not in there?” asks Bennie.
Boone shakes his head, “No. He’s not in there.” He glances around, looking for Aubrey, “Where did she go?” he asks.
“I’m right here,” Bennie tells him.
Boone shrugs them off, “Never mind.”
Meanwhile, we see one of the hotel room doors open, and inside, Aubrey has passed out on one of the beds.
Boone leads them into the pool area. Something feels off to him, so he turns to Jersey, “Did someone die in here?”
Jersey nods, “An older man, in his 50s, died here last month. The hotel manager said he was a regular here.”
The overhead lights flicker off and on a few times, scaring Bennie and Jersey.
Meanwhile, we see a POV view of someone creeping up on Aubrey, still asleep in one of the rooms.
A hand reaches out and grabs her by the leg and Aubrey’s eyes open, and she’s face to face with the evil ghost.
She does the first thing that comes to mind.
Boone’s head snaps around as he hears her scream, and he rushes out of the pool area.
“Where are you going?” asks Jersey as he and Bennie follow.
As Boone runs down the hallway, Aubrey meets him halfway. “Are you alright?” Boone asks.
“I’m okay,” Bennie responds, not realizing there’s a ghost there.
Aubrey shakes her head, “It’s the ghost.”
Around the corner comes the ghost himself. He spots Boone and snarls as black smoke swirls around him. Boone springs into action, but as he gets to where the ghost is, the ghost vanishes.
Bennie and Jersey try to follow Boone, but Aubrey is still drunk, and now she’s an angry drunk, “That bastard,” she mutters under her breath, but when she hears a growl behind her, she spins around, and the ghost lifts her up over his shoulder as she screams out.
Boone sprints over and tries a superman punch, but the ghost dodges it, and Boone misses by a good distance. Boone scrambles back to his feet and charges in, but the ghost just hurls Aubrey right at him, and as they collide, they slide down the hall.
“What’s going on?” Bennie asks, as they only see Boone go flying through the air.
Boone winces as he sits up, “He’s a strong one,” he mentions as Bennie and Jersey come towards him, but the ghost grabs them and drags them back, and begins to make them go around in a circle.
“What is that fucker doing?” Aubrey slurs as she watches the ghost play around with Bennie and Jersey. She starts to find it humorous as she begins to laugh.
Bennie goes flying down the hallway while the ghost keeps hold of Jersey. Boone gets to his feet and rushes in for a kick, but the ghost puts Jersey right in the way, and Boone kicks Jersey, sending him down.
Boone gets to his feet, only to get punched right in the face. Aubrey staggers over and reaches into a vending machine to pull out some juice. She cracks it open, drinks it down, and tosses the can aside.
Boone goes flying again, and then Aubrey charges at the ghost, “I’ll kill you, asshole!” she yells, but as she gets close enough to hit the ghost, he grabs her by the sides of her head and tries to pull her in for a kiss. Aubrey’s eyes go wide as she extends her arms to keep that distance.
Then she hurls, right on the ghost’s face.
Angry now, the ghost hurls her down the hall.
Boone springs into action as he rushes in and gives the ghost a monkey flip. It’s then that drunken Aubrey notices the glowing slash across the ghost’s belly.
The ghost gets up and punches Boone a few more times before Aubrey can blurt out, “His tummy.”
Boone hears it and drives a knee right into the stomach of the ghost. The ghost screams out in pain as he begins to dissipate into a firey display until he completely disappears.
Aubrey giggles, “Took you long enough,” she slurs.
The door to one of the rooms creaks open, and we hear Bennie ask, “Is it over?”
Aubrey is still pretty drunk as she staggers from one side of the sidewalk to the other. “Can you hear me?” she says, much louder than she needs to. She begins to sing, “Wake me up before you go-go,” and then she laughs.
Boone is watching her, wincing at her drunken behavior.
Aubrey stops singing and turns to him, “Boone. Boone. Watch this, okay?” She sways from side to side as she repeats the song lyrics from before, then turning back to Boone, “You’re watching, right?”
Boone just sighs, “It’s not often I see a drunken ghost.” As he looks at her again, she’s leaning up with her cheek against a brick wall. “Aubrey!” Boone yells, “You’re drunk.”
“I’m not drunk!” Aubrey insists. She staggers towards him, “See? I’m perfectly fine.” She reaches him, raises her arms up and out, and then smacks Boone on either side of his face, “See? My Boone baby!” she giggles. She shakes his head from side to side, “You’re so ugly,” she tells him and then falls backward on the sidewalk.
Boone rubs at his face, “You can’t even stand up straight!”
Aubrey struggles to get to her feet and then struggles to remain upright, “Who can’t stand up straight? Me? I can walk just fine like this. Just watch.” She turns around and moves her arm back and forth as if to create a magical straight line, “This is the line. See it? I’m going to walk a straight line from here to there,” she slurs. When she walks it, her feet cross over each other, and Boone just stands there, shaking his head.
“Now, watch this,” she tells him. She leaps forward and disappears into a poof, and when she reappears, she runs right into that brick wall and falls down. “Ow, that hurt,” she whines.
Boone is just staring at her like, ‘what the fuck?’ “I knew it,” he says as he walks over to her. “Get up.”
Aubrey looks up at him, “It hurts, Boone.”
“I said get up so we can go home,” he tells her.
She suddenly gets drunkenly defiant, “I’m not going home.” Then she starts to laugh.
Boone just rolls his eyes, “Fine. Stay here all night.”
“Fine, you bastard,” she says, still on the ground. “I’ll just live in this very spot from now on. I’ll spend the night here.” She struggles to get to her feet, “Look, you can’t do this to me. Come here so I can hit you,” she puts up her hands, like she’s ready for a fight, only she’s really drunk.
She takes a mighty swing and misses, stumbling past Boone. She turns around, puts her hand over her mouth. “I missed. Did you duck? Don’t duck. Let me hit you.”
She takes another swing and misses again. This time she falls to the ground.
“For a ghost, you are an awful drunk,” Boone tells her.
Aubrey turns to look up at him, “I know. I’m a ghost. Not a human. You’ve said it already.” Her expression turns sad, “I’m only a ghost. I’m only a ghost.” She starts to cry, “Don’t say it anymore, okay? I already know. I don’t even know how I died? Do you think I want to be a ghost?”
Suddenly, Boone feels bad about saying that to her earlier. He stands there watching her cry. She turns to look up at him again, “I don’t like being a ghost, Boone. I don’t want to be a ghost anymore.” She drops her head down and passes out.
A short while later, Boone is carrying up the hill towards his apartment.
Kimberly walks down the stairs towards her apartment when a voice calls out to her. “Kimberly.”
Kimberly stops walking. She turns towards the shadows, “Who’s there?”
Ilias steps out of the shadows and approaches her.
Kimberly takes a couple of steps back. “Professor Ilias.”
“Why are you getting home so late?” Ilias asks her.
Kimberly doesn’t answer the question but asks one of her own. “Why are you here?”
“I came to ask you something,” Ilias tells her. She reaches into her purse and pulls out the pen, “Where did you find this?”
Kimberly can’t seem to look Ilias in the eyes, nor can she answer the question.
Ilias lets out a small chuckle as she puts the pen back in her purse and takes a step towards Kimberly, “It’s a quiet neighborhood here.” With each step that Ilias takes toward Kimberly, Kimberly takes a step backward.
Suddenly, Kimberly begins to run, and Ilias looks annoyed by it.
Kimberly runs down the alley, but as she gets to the end, Ilias steps in front of her. As Kimberly stops in her tracks, panting to catch her breath, Ilias is calm and collected.
A sound of a cat crying out echoes down the alley, and Kimberly’s eyes go wide. Ilias strikes out to grab Kimberly around the throat. Kimberly grabs Ilias’s hand, but the sounds of bones crunching are heard, and as Ilias releases Kimberly, she falls to the street.
At Boone’s place, Boone drops Aubrey on his bed and covers her with a blanket. He winces as he grabs his back, “Why is this ghost so fucking heavy?” he complains as he walks out of the room, turning off the light and closing the door.
In a nearby playground, a swing moves back and forth on its own. A voice is heard, “Make sure you hide really good. I can still see your hair,” the man’s voice says. The swing is abandoned, and the ghost heads towards the teeter-totter, which moves up and down on its own. As the ghost approaches the merry-go-round, it begins to spin as well.
“You’re gonna have to hide better than that,” the voice says.
The ghost heads up some stairs and down the hallway, and as he approaches a room, the door suddenly closes.
There’s a small bloody handprint on the door.
The next morning, Aubrey staggers out of the room, “Boone, my head hurts,” she says, rubbing the side of it with her hand. Why do I feel so sick?”
Boone smirks at her, “Headache and nausea? Nice going, dummy. You were no joke yesterday. I didn’t even know that ghosts could get drunk.”
She walks over to the kitchen table, “Well, I guess I proved that theory.” Then a curious expression crosses her face, “How did we get here last night?”
Boone just shakes his head, “You don’t remember a damned thing about last night, do you? I practically herniated my back carrying you home.”
Aubrey seems surprised, “Wait, you carried me home?”
“Of course, who else was supposed to do it?” Boone was kind enough to order some hangover soup, and he motions to it on the table, “Sit down and eat.”
Boone’s phone chimes, and he picks it up.
“What is it?” Aubrey asks as she takes a bit of soup.
“Those morons finally came through with my payment,” he says as he shows the screen where five thousand dollars had been deposited into his account. Aubrey also notices where Boone has over $60,000 in his account.
“You’re practically rich!” she exclaims. “You should buy me a nice meal!”
Boone rolls his eyes, “All you ever think about is food. I’m not spending this money on that.”
Aubrey pouts a little, “What are you saving up for? A car? A house?”
Boone shakes his head, “Nothing like that at all.”
Boone obviously doesn’t want to talk about it, “What I do with my money is my business. It’s none of your concern.”
Aubrey scoops some of the soup, “Must be nice to see ghosts and make a shit ton of cash.”
Boone sneers at her, “Not that great, not at all.”
This seems to surprise Aubrey, “Wait. You have this amazing gift that you use to make a living. Plus, you have a pretty ghost for a sidekick.” She flashes him a smile.
“Wow. You’re more obnoxious today than you normally are. How about we end this now before I become nauseous.” He glances at his watch, “Shit, I’m gonna miss my bus.” He scrambles up and grabs his backpack, and hustles out the door.
Bennie and Jersey are behind one of the campus buildings counting out the remainder of the money they had left after paying off the building maintenance fee.
“This ghost-fighting stuff is pretty lucrative,” Bennie says as she sniffs her cash.
Jersey nods, “Yeah, but we got lucky that Boone agreed to help us. There’s no way we do this without him.”
Bennie nods, “What’s why we have to recruit him.”
Jersey shoves his cash into his pocket, “He won’t even join our club.”
Bennie reaches over and smacks Jersey with her fanned-out cash, “What’s my name?”
Bennie deadpans, “That’s not what I meant. When you are as charming as I am, everyone will eventually do our bidding.”
Jersey knows she has something in mind, but he’s not sure he’s going to like it.
Rosanna is mopping the floor of the clinic, and Bethany is updating some paperwork behind the desk when she glances up at the clock, “The doctor is late today. I don’t think she’s ever been late before, now that I think about it.”
Rosanna nods her head, “She didn’t even come back after going out last night.”
Bethany’s mouth dropped open.
Rosanna blinks, “What?”
“Do you think she has a lover?” Bethany asks.
Rosanna considers it but then dismisses it. “I doubt it. I’ve never seen her anywhere near a man or a woman.”
Suddenly, as if on cue, Ilias walks in, “Good morning!”
“Oh, you’re here! Welcome back, doctor,” Bethany says.
Rosanna nods her head, “Good morning.”
Ilias smiles, “Sorry for being late. I’ll check the appointment calendar after I come back from class. Continue to get everything prepared until then.”
“We will,” Bethany says, and with that, Ilias walks back to her office.
Rosanna continues to mop but stops, “What’s this? Where has she been where she got mud on her shoes?”
Bethany peeks over the counter to see the mud prints leading to the back, “Maybe she went to the shelter again?”
“You think so?” asks Rosanna. She shrugs and mops up the mess.
Ilias has changed clothes, putting on her jacket as she stares at herself in the mirror. When we finally see the reflection that Ilias sees, we see it’s not actually a reflection of her, but a reflection of something ghostly, painted face, black smoke. Ilias stares with a straight expression on her face before turning and scooping up the clothing she wore the night before and shoves it into a garbage bag, including her muddy shoes that get shoved in last.
She throws the bag into a corner and walks out of the office.
Boone and Aubrey walk down the hallway when they pass the exit, just as Bennie and Jersey walk in.
“Boone!” Bennie yells out, and as Boone turns around, she asks, “Do you have a moment?”
Boone seems curious.
A few minutes later, they are inside an empty classroom, except for a table and a projector. Bennie has put together a Powerpoint slide show, and the title is Ghost Extermination Services.
“Welcome to my presentation,” Bennie says. She has even put on a pair of glasses to look more professorly. Jersey claps, which causes Aubrey to clap, but she stops when she sees Boone isn’t clapping.
On the screen, we see that the membership is listed. Bennie is listed as the President and Jersey as the vice president. She begins to speak.
“There comes a day when everything changes. We are in the center of that change right this very moment,” she says dramatically. “How, you might ask? A 24-hour, on-call, exorcism enterprise, otherwise known as GES.”
Jersey claps in a rather over-the-top manner.
Boone has heard quite enough, to be honest. He grabs his bag and stands up, and starts for the door when Jersey and Bennie rush to cut him off, “Wait, where are you going? We haven’t even gotten to the good part yet,” asks Bennie.
Boone glances at his watch, “I have a class.”
Jersey points at the screen, “You just heard a very impressive presentation, and you’re just going to walk out?”
“I don’t even know what all of this is,” Boone tells them.
Bennie is shocked, “What do you mean by that? We are proposing a partnership. If we create an app that leads us to more jobs for you, like the hotel haunting last night, you could make a lot more money.”
Boone shakes his head, “What is your cut?”
Jersey interrupts, “We’re proposing that we take care of the unnecessary aspects of what you do. We will provide you transportation to and from the exorcism sites. All we ask for is a small percentage of what you make.”
“Think about it,” Bennie says, avoiding that particular question. “You’re busy with school and fighting ghosts. We will look for work for you, transport you there. You beat up the ghosts, and we bring you back home. We also will collect all fees associated with the exorcism.”
Aubrey taps Boone on the shoulder, “It’s not the worst idea I’ve ever heard.”
Boone looks like he’s considering the offer.
Bennie speaks up, “In fact, we already have your first gig. A local gym has had some hauntings.”
“How much?” asks Boone.
Jersey holds up three fingers, “Three thousand dollars.”
Boone seems impressed. “Fine. Deal.”
Bennie and Jersey fist bump. Jersey pulls out a piece of paper, “If you’ll just sign this contract….”
“We’ll give it a try, and if I don’t like it, I’m out. I’m not signing shit.” Boone says as he brushes past the duo. “I’m going to be late for class.” He walks out of the room with Aubrey in tow.
Bennie and Jersey watch him leave, then slowly turn to each other, hug, and jump around excitedly. “We did it!”
As Boone walks out of the building, Cameron is walking from the other direction. “Oh, hey Boone. Heading to class?”
Boone nods his head, “I am.”
“Let’s walk together,” Cameron says. As they start to walk, a bike comes from around the corner, and Boone leaps in front of Cameron as the biker swerves around them. Cameron apparently didn’t see the biker, so she looks confused.
“It was nothing,” Boone tells her.
Boone doesn’t see that Bennie and Jersey are watching them from behind a large tree.
“Did you find a partner for the final lab yet?” Cameron asks.
Awkward as always, Boone shakes his head, “I haven’t.”
“How about we partner up for it then?” Cameron asks.
Aubrey appears right next to Cameron, “Boone likes to do his projects on his own, thank you.”
Boone answers, “Sure! I’d love to.”
Cameron obviously can’t hear Aubrey, so she smiles at the acceptance of her proposal, “Great!” Meanwhile, Aubrey looks at Boone with confusion.
Boone motions for them to walk, “Let’s get to class,” he tells her with a big goofy ass expression.
As the two walk on, Aubrey stays behind, in utter confusion. “What’s so great about her anyway?” She finally heads on after them.
Meanwhile, behind the tree, Bennie is grinning like the Cheshire Cat and giggling.
“What?” asks Jersey.
Bennie turns around to lean against the tree, “I just had a genius idea. I know how to get Boone to join our club.”
In class, we see Aubrey is obviously fuming. She snaps her head to the side to glare at Boone. Boone is looking to his left with that big smile on his face because Cameron is sitting right next to him.
“Hello!” Ilias says as she comes into the classroom.
The class responds, “Hello!”
Ilias walks over to the podium and glances out the window, “It’s a really nice day outside, isn’t it?”
One student yells, “Let’s have class outside!”
This seems to take Ilias by surprise, but suddenly, the rest of the class agrees with the student.
“I bet you all would rather be outside than in this stuffy classroom,” Ilias says with a smile, “How about this? If we get a good portion of today’s lesson done, I’ll let you all go early.”
That gets the majority of classroom approval. Ilias begins to do role call, but there’s no answer when she gets to Kimberly’s name.
In fact, we see where Kimberly is buried somewhere out in the forest.
“Kimberly?” Ilias asks again, but there’s no answer, so she marks her absent.
Cameron turns to where Kimberly usually sits and gets a concerned look on her face.
As promised, Ilias releases the class early, and as everyone is heading out, she approaches Boone and Cameron, “As my assistants, I’d like to offer you lunch if you’re free this afternoon.”
Aubrey gets excited until Cameron agrees to go, and then her mood sours. When Cameron agrees, Boone also agrees, which makes Aubrey even more sour as she mocks him.
“Let’s go,” Ilias says.
As they all enter the diner, Ilias sits down first, and Boone takes a seat. Aubrey sits next to him, but Cameron also is about to sit right on Aubrey, Boone holds up his hand. “Wait one moment.”
He forces the chair back, taking Aubrey by surprise, and then pushes her out of the chair, which only pisses her off more than she already is. “There was something on this chair. It’s safe to sit now.”
Ilias is watching this entire exchange curiously.
Cameron takes the seat while Aubrey is left standing. “What the fuck?” Boone just glares at her.
Aubrey walks behind Boone, slapping him in the back of the head, and then poofs away.
“Ow!” Boone yells out as he rubs the back of his head.
Cameron and Ilias look at him, shocked. Boone tries to laugh it off, “It was nothing.”
Ilias slightly turns her head to where Aubrey disappeared.
As lunch comes, Ilias begins to ask Boone a lot of very specific questions. Where he lives. Does he live alone? Where are his parents? Does he see them often?
When Boone says he doesn’t see them often, Ilias shakes her head. “Take care of your parents. One day they’ll be gone.” Boone smiles. It almost seems as if Ilias is fishing for some information as he hasn’t asked Cameron anything about her family.
Ilias asks Boone, “Have you seen your father recently?”
Boone is starting to get uncomfortable with all these questions, “Why are you asking me that?”
Ilias shakes her head, “No reason. I’m just making conversation.” She must realize she’s coming on a bit strong, so she changes the subject, “How are preparations for the final lab coming?”
“We’re about to start ours,” Cameron says, looking from Ilias to Boone.
“You two are working together? That’s great,” Ilias says. “Let’s finish up our meal. I know you have more classes today.”
Meanwhile, Aubrey is back in the quad, moping when Marja bounces over and takes a seat next to her on the stone bench, “Aubrey! You okay? You seem upset.”
Aubrey doesn’t really want to talk about it, “It’s nothing.”
“I couldn’t find that cute professor today,” Marja says as she leans back a little on the bench. “This campus isn’t that big. I should be able to find her.”
Aubrey is still stewing though, “Just thinking about it makes me so pissed off!” she snaps.
“So, you are angry!” Marja asks.
“You’re damn right I’m angry. How dare he push me out of that chair,” she says, turning to her friend.
“I know, right?” Of course, Marja has no clue what’s going on.
“What a jerk. He’s always scolding me, nagging me. But in front of ‘that girl,’ he’s always smiling and laughing like a goddamned idiot.”
Marja scratches her head, “Are you talking about that same guy from before?”
“Yes!” Aubrey yells, “He’s probably laughing and eating with that girl right now.” She mimics him, smiling and laughing.
“You got it bad, dude,” Marja says to her, but Aubrey just continues to fume.
Aubrey walks down some steps as she continues to rant about the morning when her foot slips and she nearly falls, only to be caught by Boone.
As he spins her around for a moment before getting steady, he looks at her. “Watch what you’re doing. Are you still hungover? You’ve been out of sorts all day.”
“Why are you asking me that?”
Boone shrugs, “No reason. Let’s go home. I’m tired.” He heads down the steps, leaving her confused for a moment before she follows after him.
Cameron walks out of the campus building, and waiting for her are Bennie and Jersey, who quickly rush up to her.
“Miss Cameron, I’m Bennie, and this is Jersey.”
Cameron seems confused, “Okay?”
Bennie continues, “We are close, personal friends of Boone. I think you might know him?”
Cameron nods her head, totally unsure where this is all going. “I do know him, yes.”
Bennie nods her head, “If you have a moment, we’d like to have a word.”
Jersey holds up two fingers, “Just as small moment.”
Cameron is still very confused.
Bennie, Jersey, and Cameron are sitting in the quad, and Bennie begins to explain.
“You see, our club has had a difficult start, and to be honest, we’re on the verge of being shut down for good. We’re not sure what we’re going to do, miss,” Bennie and Jersey are hamming it up, looking like they’re nearly in tears at this.
“What can I do?” Cameron asks, feeling a bit sorry for them.
Jersey looks very solemn, “We just have a small, tiny favor to ask.”
Jersey hands over a form, and Bennie hands over a pen. It’s the college’s club registration form.
Cameron looks from one to the other for a moment.
A few moments later, Bennie shakes Cameron’s hand, “Thank you for your time.”
Cameron is still a little bewildered as she accepts the handshake and turns, and walks away from the duo.
Their solemn looks slowly turn up to a grin as she gets a good distance away. “Gotcha, Boone,” Bennie grins.
The two begin to laugh.
Boone is standing in the entryway to his living room. He has two energy drinks in his hands as he is looking at something.
That something is Aubrey, sitting in front of some textbooks, sitting upright but fast asleep.
Boone walks over and places the cold drink against her face, and it wakes her up immediately, “Hey!”
“You have no passion for studying whatsoever, do you?” Boone asks her as he sits down next to her. “I got up for like a minute to grab these drinks, and when I come back, you’re asleep.”
“I’m very passionate, but when it comes to studying, it just puts me to sleep,” Aubrey admits.
Boone reaches over, grabs her by both shoulders, and turns her to face him. She’s taken surprise by this sudden action.
“Get your shit together,” he tells her. “Studying equals crossing over.”
Aubrey nods her head awkwardly, “Okay.”
Boone reaches for a drink, “How many have you solved so far?” He glances over at her page while Aubrey just looks a little embarrassed. “Six? We’ve been here for hours, and you’ve only solved six problems?”
Aubrey pouts, “It’s hard!”
“Look,” Boone tells her as he picks up a pencil and begins to explain it to her again.
The clinic is closed, but Ilias remains in her office after the staff has left. She has a photo album, and she’s flipping through the pages. The first few pages are baby photos, but she gets more towards the middle and finds what she’s looking for.
Ilias plucks the family photo from the binder. It’s the same family photo Boone has, showing Boone, his mother, and his father.
In fact, at Boone’s apartment, Aubrey is looking at the same photo, framed on Boone’s dresser. “You were a cute kid. What happened?” she asks Boone, who’s putting his own study material away.
“Ha. Ha,” he tells her.
Her eyes fall on a different phone of Boone’s mother and father. Her eyes are drawn to his mother’s feet, where she spots the shoes from the other room and now realizes why Boone got so upset at her messing with them. She turns to him, “They were your mom’s?”
Boone glances at her, “Yes.”
Aubrey now feels bad. She knows she fucked up.
“I need to get to sleep. Time for you to go,” he tells her.
Aubrey nods and sets the photo back. She starts to head out of the room but pauses. “Boone, I’m sorry. I didn’t know they belonged to your mom. Goodnight,” she tells him and then starts towards the door.
“Aubrey?” Boone says.
Aubrey turns to look at him, “Yes?”
“Turn off the lights?” he asks and lies down on his bed.
She nods, and flips the light off, and walks through the door.
Outside of Boone’s apartment building, Ilias is standing there just staring up at his window as if she knows exactly where he lives.
It’s late. A man is sound asleep when the sounds of a child playing wakes him up.
Suddenly, his daughter bursts into the room, “Dad! It’s so noisy here! Why did we move here?”
A few moments later, the man is down the hall, pounding on the apartment door, “You’re not the only one that lives here! Keep those kids quiet!”
Suddenly, the door cracks open.
The man opens the door and walks into the apartment. It looks abandoned. He slowly walks down the corridor into the room. There’s garbage everywhere but no furniture in sight.
A sound makes him suddenly spin around where a child’s face peeks out from the open closet. The man screams at seeing the ghost child and runs out of the apartment.
An old van pulls up in front of Boone’s apartment building, and we see that Jersey is driving and Bennie is in the passenger seat. “Did you tell him we were coming?”
Bennie nods, “He said he’d come right out. Where’d you get this beater anyway? I won’t lie. We’re lucky we made it this far in this contraption.”
Jersey is shocked to hear her talking this way, “What do you mean? Do you even know what I went through to get this finely tuned automobile?”
Bennie shakes her head.
“Well, not that much, honestly. My cousin enlisted in the Army and left it behind, so I just asked if I could use it,” Jersey explains.
Bennie leans over to check something, “Wait. This van has five hundred thousand miles on it.”
“At least show a little gratitude,” Jersey exclaims! “We could be walking!” Bennie gets out of the van and does a walk around. Jersey follows her out. “Besides, we could sleep in it until we find a place.”
Bennie seems shocked, “Sleep? In that van? Are you nuts?” she said, giving the bumper a little kick, and of course, it promptly falls off.”
“What did you do?” asks Jersey as he looks at the bumper with wide eyes. Suddenly, both Bennie and Jersey turn to see Boone standing there watching them.
Aubrey is standing next to Boone. She just shakes her head. “Idiots.”
Driving down the street in the van, we see that the bumper has been taped on with copious amounts of duct tape.
Aubrey is sitting in the back next to Boone, fanning herself. “It’s hot in here. Is there no air conditioning?”
Boone reaches over her and slides open the window.
“By the way,” he asks. “Where are we going? Didn’t you say something about a gym?”
Bennie explains, “We got an urgent request that pays more. We’re heading to an apartment building.”
Jersey is still driving, “They hear the sound of a kid crying and carrying on every single night. When the tenant went to check it out, the apartment was empty. It’s been empty for a year now.”
“They say the rent in that building continues to plummet because of the ghost,” Bennie tells them. They’re offering five grand if we can get rid of the ghost.”
Aubrey turns to Boone, “That’s awesome!”
The van pulls into the parking lot, and everyone gets out. Bennie turns to Boone, “Jersey and I will go get the contract signed.”
“Which apartment is it? I want to go check it out,” Boone asks.
Jersey nods his head, “You’re such a professional. It’s building B, number 617.”
Aubrey is immediately distracted, “Oh, there’s a playground,” and she poofs.
Boone just shakes his head. “All she thinks about is eating and playing.”
When Boone arrives, Aubrey bounces from the slide, the merry-go-round, and the swing, where she finally settles. One would notice it’s the same playground as before.
She poofs off the swing and appears next to the teeter-totter. “Boone, you get on one end.”
“Are you a child?” Boone asks her. “I didn’t come here to play.”
Aubrey frowns, “You’re always so negative.”
Boone obviously has something on his mind, but a movement distracts him. Over on the playhouse, a woman is sitting on the steps. Aubrey stops playing long enough to notice as well. The woman looks at them and then looks away. She seems to be very dirty and wearing a hospital gown. As she looks away, she begins to bite her nails.
Aubrey moves over next to Boone and watches as a security officer walks into the playground towards the woman, “I told you that you can’t keep coming here,” he scolds her.
When she doesn’t look at him or even respond, he asks, “Do you understand what I’m saying? Every day it’s the same thing.”
A nurse rushes onto the playground, and the security officer points to the woman, “Please take her out of here and keep her out of here.”
“I’m so sorry,” the nurse says. She’s carrying a pair of shoes, and she kneels down to place them on the barefoot woman. “It’s time to go back, Lauren. I don’t know why you keep coming here. You’re going to get yourself into trouble.” She tries to get the woman to come with her, but the woman struggles to stay where she’s seated.
“Ma’am, you have to get her out of here. Management is already upset because of the ghost rumors,” the security officer tells her.
Finally, the nurse gets the woman back on her feet and leads her out of the playground as the officer follows. Meanwhile, Boone and Aubrey are watching the episode as it plays out. Something about it doesn’t sit right with Boone.
Inside of a modest store, Tetzuka sits at a small table. “I need an amulet that will keep ghosts away.”
The woman seated across from him just shakes her head, “I heard about that last job you did. You saw the ghost and ran away.”
Tetzuka points to the store sign behind her, “You should change that sign. Virgin Maureen? You’ve been married three times.”
Maureen gets angry for the moment, just about ready to throw something at him, but then asks, “I heard the one who actually put that ghost to rest was amazing.”
Tetzuka seems curious, “Who?”
Maureen pauses in her writing to think. “I heard his name is Bohn or Boone or….”
Maureen nods, “I think that’s it. I’m not sure where he came from, but he’s getting quite the reputation around here for being able to get rid of problem spirits.”
Tetzuka is getting angry, “Are you sure it’s Boone? That little punk, I’m gonna wring his little neck. Can you put a rush on that?” he asks.
Later that night, Boone and Aubrey step up to the door to the apartment with the ghost inside. Boone glances at Aubrey for a moment before reaching out and opening the door.
As they step inside, Boone pulls out his flashlight and begins to look around. He walks into one of the bedrooms, and on the wall are crude child drawings. One looks like an older man with a big club and written next to it in big letters reads “I hate you!” and the caption below reads “Dad.”
There’s another drawing of a smaller figure, seemingly a child.
Boone moves the flashlight and sees a closet door ajar. He walks towards it and slowly begins to open it when…
“Boo!” Aubrey leaps out from the closet as Boone leaps back, scared. “Did I scare you?” Aubrey asks, a bit grin on her face.
Boone responds by closing the door on her.
As he starts to leave the building, she poofs next to him. “I did get you.”
He pauses, takes a deep breath, and turns to glare at her.
“Are you mad?” she asks.
Boone just responds. “Let’s just work and not fuck around, alright?”
“You’re no fun,” she mutters under her breath.
Boone starts to walk out of the room, but something causes him to stop. He turns around and points the flashlight back at the closet. He slowly walks back towards it and opens the door, and as he points the flashlight up, his eyes go wide.
A small ghost child is looking back at him, with a missing tooth in front, smiling widely at him. The child giggles as if playing and poofs away.
Boone rushes out of the room and out of the apartment, just in time to see the small ghost running down the hallway, and then disappears again. Boone spots him one floor below and rushes towards the stairs.
Aubrey and Boone run down the stairs to the next floor and run face to face into the little boy. They almost collide. Boone kneels down and takes the boy by the shoulders, “Let’s stop playing games, okay? You need to cross over. You’re causing quite a bit of ruckus here.”
However, Boone stops when he notices bruising around the child’s throat. The kid suddenly turns his head to the right as if seeing something. He leans down and bites Boone’s arm, and when Boone releases him to tend to the bite, the boy runs away and disappears.
“Goddammit!” Boone yells when he gets bitten.
He is about to run after the boy when Aubrey taps his shoulder and motions to the side where the boy was looking.
A bit of dark smoke hovers around the corner, not enough to see who that ghost is, but it’s much taller than the small child.
Boone narrows his eyes and slowly walks towards the smoke. When he gets to the corner, he prepares himself and then leaps around the corner and swings…
… almost hitting Bennie in the face as she stands there, eyes wide. She places a hand on her heart and leans back against the wall. Jersey rushes to her side, “Are you alright?”
Boone winces, “Sorry?”
Aubrey is cracking up behind him.
“I think my life flashed before my eyes,” Bennie says as she tries to catch her breath.
After missing not one but two ghosts in one evening, Jersey pulls the van up to Boone’s apartment, “Here you are. We’ll try again tomorrow.”
“We will get them tomorrow,” Bennie agrees.
They both offer their hands to Boone, who looks at the hands and sighs. He opens the door and hops out. Aubrey slides out after him.
“Oh wait, we almost forgot the best part,” Bennie says as she gets out of her side.
Jersey suddenly remembers, “That’s right,” he opens the driver’s side door and gets out.
Boone isn’t sure what’s going on, but he pauses and turns around, “What is it?”
“We have a present for you,” Bennie says.
Jersey adds, “Well, two presents.”
Bennie hands over a piece of paper while Jersey hands over the second piece of paper.
The first is the signed club membership form signed by Cameron. The second is a blank membership form.
Aubrey looks up, “Wait? She joined?”
Bennie and Jersey can barely contain their excitement.
Boone glares at them.
A few moments later, Aubrey and Boone walk towards the apartment when Aubrey asks, “Why did you join? You said you weren’t interested. You joined just because she did, right?” Now Aubrey is getting a little pissy.
Boone doesn’t acknowledge her but continues to walk into the apartment building.
“Goddammit, Boone!” Aubrey yells after him.
Meanwhile, Bennie turns to look at Jersey and offers her hand, “I told you I was a genius,” she says.
Jersey accepts the handshake and looks at the two contracts, “We can now move back into the clubhouse.”
Boone slams the lid to his laptop down after doing some more research on that apartment building. He doesn’t like what he found. Not at all. Angrily, he walks out of his room, grabs his coat, and starts towards the door.
Aubrey sees him and yells, “Where are you going?” When he doesn’t answer, she runs after him.
Boone hails a cab, slides in after Aubrey, and tells the driver the address to the apartment complex.
Aubrey seems surprised, “I thought we were going tomorrow?” When Boone doesn’t answer, she assumes the worst, “You just want to get back at that kid for biting you.”
“Make sure you hide real good,” the voice says.
The boy ghost from before cannot be more than 6 years old. He’s hidden between some boxes and trying hard not to cry, with his hands over his mouth.
“I can see your hair,” the voice says.
It seems to get closer, so the kid scoots deeper between the boxes, obviously scared to death.
We now see the adult male ghost walking down the hallway towards the child ghost, “Make sure you hide real good.” The man carries a broom and a set of keys that jingle as he walks, and as he gets closer, the boy has tears streaming down his face.
The taxi pulls up to the apartment, and Boone and Aubrey hop out of the car. Boone first sees that woman from before, sitting on the same spot as before in the playground. Boone looks from her to the building. He knows exactly what’s happening now. He knows who that woman is.
Aubrey turns to look at him, “What is this about?”
“That kid isn’t playing,” Boone tells her. “He’s running away.”
Aubrey is confused, “From who?”
The ghost’s keys still jingle as he moves closer to the boy in his hiding spot.
The boy is super silent as the man walks right by him.
Boone and Aubrey come up the stairs, “Who is he running away from?” Aubrey asks again.
Boone turns to look at her, “The one who killed him.”
“Who is that?” she asks.
The boy has a tear running down his cheek as he seems relieved to not have been caught, but he jumps when he hears the jingling again, and when he looks up, the man is right in his face, “I found you!”
The woman outside of the apartment building at the playground remembers it well. It haunts her and probably will until the day she dies. The day she caught her husband walking out of her son’s room. She rushes in and turns her child over to find him dead, and then her blood-curdling scream that followed.
“I’m sorry,” she says softly under her breath. “I’m sorry, baby.”
Boone stops running when he hears a child’s scream. Looking down the hall, he sees the man ghost dragging the child ghost by his hair. The boy is screaming his apologies for whatever he did.
The ghost removes his belt from his pants and is about to strike the boy when Boone charges in and punches the ghost right in the face. As the ghost goes down, Boone checks on the child, but the man is already up and begins to lash Boone with the belt.
Boone uses his own body to cover the boy, but the ghost takes the belt and wraps it around Boone’s throat. Using the belt for leverage, he begins to slam Boone’s face into the wall.
Suddenly, Aubrey flies in and kicks the dude right in the face. The man staggers back and then comes at Aubrey, who easily dodges his punch, allowing her to grab his arm and bending it into an armbar, and flipping him over.
As she moves in, he grabs her and slams her down to the ground. He’s about to punch her when Boone grabs him and throws him against the wall. As the man falls to the ground, Boone angrily kicks him several times in the stomach.
Aubrey notices the little boy and rushes over to comfort him.
As the man ghost lies on the floor, he remembers exactly how he died.
The boy’s mother is screaming at him, and he’s had enough, so he pushes her down. She gets up to her feet and pushes him back, but he slips and falls against the glass kitchen table shattering it.
When he rolls over, there’s a large shard of glass sticking in his neck.
The ghost man gets up and grabs a chair, and breaks it over Boone’s back. Boone, however, is on another level of anger as he scrambles back to his feet and nails the ghost with two right hands, sending him sprawling.
Boone picks him up and throws him down again. Boone mounts him and just starts driving fist after fist into the ghost’s face while Aubrey tries to shield the child ghost’s eyes from the violence.
Boone flashes back to the female ghost who pushed his mother into the traffic, killing her, and he just lays into this ghost over and over and over again.
Aubrey watches with concern as Boone lays in three more strikes, with the last one finally being the fatal blow as the ghost vanishes away into flame and smoke.
Boone kneels there, physically, emotionally exhausted.
Aubrey leads the young boy ghost out of the apartment and onto the playground. As soon as the boy sees his mother sitting on those steps, his smile lights up. The mother turns her head and begins to cry as she sees her son.
“Mom!” the boy cries out and runs to his mother as Boone finally walks up next to Aubrey.
The mother kneels in the dirt to accept her son as he latches onto her and hugs her tightly, “Is it you, Josh?” She hugs him tightly to her and rubs his back. As she pulls back, the bruises on the boy’s neck are gone. She looks at him, and with tears streaming down her face, she tells him, “I’m so sorry.”
The little boy lifts a hand and begins to wipe the tears from his mother’s cheek as she continues to apologize. As the two hug, the boy turns to look at Boone and Aubrey, and he smiles at them.
“He was waiting for his mom,” Aubrey says as they watch the emotional scene. “He must have been so scared.”
Boone is starting to tear up as he remembers a similar scene when he was a child, having just lost his mother. She appeared before him after she died and held him tightly as he cried and cried. “I’m sorry, Boone,” she would tell him. “I’m so very sorry.”
Even as he cried his little heart out, he watched as his mother crossed over, disappearing from him forever.
Boone turns quickly, walking away from the scene that reminded him of so much he doesn’t want to remember. Aubrey turns around to see him walk away, having no idea what he’s gone through. “Boone?”
She goes after him.
As the mother and child hug, the boy pulls back. “I have to go now,” he says to his mother, and she watches as he disappears from sight.
Tetzuka sits at a bar, he takes another shot. There’s a bottle of tequila in front of him, and it’s about half empty. He’s about to pour another shot when he spots Boone walking by the tavern.
He rushes out to the sidewalk, “Boone!” he bellows out. Boone sees him and walks over, noticing his mentor’s inebriated state.
“What are you doing here?”
Tetzuka motions for him to come inside, “Join me.”
Boone walks up and takes a seat next to Tetzuka, who asks for another shot glass and pours Boone a shot. Aubrey takes the seat next to Boone.
“I told you to stop exorcising,” Tetzuka says as he picks up his glass.
Boone hasn’t taken that shot yet, “I’m not exorcising,” he lies.
Tetzuka shakes his head, “I know everything. How am I supposed to face your mother when I die? She’s going to blame me for getting you into this racket.”
Boone pushes the shot glass away, “Why are we talking about my mother all of a sudden?”
Tetzuka sighs drunkenly, “I should have never made that mistake back then….”
Boone shrugs, “Stop worrying over it. It’s over and done with now. Look, I don’t blame you for what happened to me. You saved my life. Let’s go back to the apartment. You can drink more there.”
“No,” Tetzuka says. “You’re a punk. I have other places I can go to besides your place. But you, you are as stubborn as your father.”
Boone has no desire to talk about his father, so he remains quiet. Tetzuka slides down from his barstool and throws some money on the bar. “I’ll go then.”
Boone doesn’t move as Tetzuka leaves the bar. Instead, he reaches out, grabs the shot glass, and downs the contents. Sitting beside him, Aubrey has watched the whole sad scene play out, realizing how little she knows about Boone.
Boone is asleep, but Aubrey is looking in on him after the events of the evening. She notices his bloody knuckles from his battle, and she kneels down next to his bed. Aubrey begins to blow gently on his knuckles.
“Go away, ghosts,” Boone mutters under his breath as he begins to twitch in his sleep.
It’s a nightmare he has often, that first moment as a child, he recalls being tormented by ghosts.
Aubrey reaches her hand out and places it on his forehead, and he begins to calm down in his sleep.