The Outsider
Hello? Are you getting this? Jeez, is this thing even on? Oh, there we go.
Hi Jason! It’s me, Kali. It’s been awhile, hasn’t it? I think the last time I saw you was Homecoming. But that was almost two years ago. And ever since then, I’ve been wanting to explain what really happened. Why I did what I did.
Do you remember Curious Katie? My imaginary friend? Well, “imaginary friend” is what the psychologist called her. Anyway, Curious Katie always visited me at night.
When I was four, she first appeared when my parents were out on a date. Nanny was asleep on the couch. You remember my nanny, right? She was always really bad at her job. But my mom and dad never noticed.
At the time, I should’ve been asleep. But I wanted to get some applesauce, considering how little Nanny fed me. I sauntered down the stairs into the living room. Unlike most children that age, I wasn’t afraid of the dark. I actually liked it. It made me feel safe. Secure.
I walked over to Nanny, frustrated. I placed my stuffed bear, which I named after you, on the floor and tugged on Nanny’s arm. She shuffled on the couch and mumbled something I couldn’t quite make out. She turned on her side and fell back asleep.
I scoffed. I walked back toward the stairs, my arms crossed. And there she was. Curious Katie, standing at the top of the stairs. She looked like a bride at a wedding. She wore a long, white dress and a thick vale that covered most of her face.
I wasn’t scared, just confused. I’d been to weddings before, so I just thought she was a bride that wandered off. I was to young to know that a newly-married woman wouldn’t just wander into our house.
Katie walked down the stairs. As she came closer, I could make out a cheerful smile under the vale. “Hello there!” She said, sounding almost like a grandmother. “What’s your name?”
Without hesitation, I replied, “My name is Kali. K-A-L-I. And I just turned four years old.” I held four fingers out in front of me.
Katie’s barely-visible face lit up with the fake-amazed look people always gave children. “Four years old? That’s so cool!”
I smiled with pride. “Shouldn’t you be getting married-ing?”
Katie’s grin twitched. “Oh? I can’t do that. I wouldn’t be able to talk to you.” She looked down at Jason the teddy-bear. “That’s a cute bear. What’s his name?”
I hid Jason behind my back. “You can’t have my bear! I don’t know who you are!”
The bride chuckled. “I wasn’t going to take him. I just want to know his name.”
I frowned. I was very protective of Jason the bear. Probably because he reminded me of you.
“Oh.” Katie seemed sad. “Well, I should get going. Goodnight, Kali.” She turned around and slowly trotted up the steps. She looked down at me for a few seconds, then walked into the darkness.

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