While Alyse guarded the phone, and Melanie and Clara talked about my stories, I walked into my mom’s room and plopped on the empty bed. She was on her bed crocheting and then looked over at me, “What’s up peanut?” I shrugged and then couldn’t stop the ear to ear grin that spread across my face. My mom smiled back, “I take it you had a wonderful time?” I nodded and then asked, “Would you be against letting me go to the ghost hunt tonight?” I asked almost too quickly to understand. She looked at me weirdly and then sighed some, “Manda, you have anxiety problems and you want to go on a ghost hunt?” she asked half joking. I shrugged “Well Zak asked me to go with them….please?” I asked again and made a pout face. She shook her head, “I guess…but if you have a panic attack or feel weird or anything you better come right back here.” She warned. I nodded and then hugged her tight “Thank you mommy! If I have any problems I will call….I promise.”
Five rolled around a lot quicker than I expected. I was munching on some cooler ranch Doritos when the phone rang. Alyse picked up smiling, “Hello? No this is her cousin……Yeah one second.” She said and held the phone up to me. I walked over and smiled as I answered, “Hello?” Zak’s voice replied, “Hey Amanda?” “Yeah…how are you?” I heard a smile in his voice as he replied, “Great…so what did your mom say about tonight?” “She said it was fine.” “Awesome! Can I talk to her for a minute to get official permission? I trust you but its part of the whole she-bang.” I laughed a bit before replying “Sure, just hang on a minute.” I handed the phone off to my mom and she spoke with him about the rules and how I would get there and back again. I finished my Doritos and slid my hoodie on, psyching myself up for the lockdown. After a few minutes, my mom hung up and looked at me. I looked back at her and sat next to her, “So what’s the deal?” she explained when I had to meet the driver in the lobby and all that information. I hugged her again and thanked her for letting me go. Soon enough, it was time for me to head out to the reformatory.
I met the driver and headed to the prison. The whole ride, my stomach flipped and turned inside me. We pulled up to the building and I saw Billy standing outside waiting for me. I got out of the car and walked over to him. “Please tell me you’re Amanda?” he asked. I smiled some and nodded. “Oh good…three girls have walked over trying to convince me they were the girls I was waiting for.” I laughed a bit with him and he guided me inside. There were only a few lights still on and I saw a group of about twenty five people, not including Zak, Nick and Aaron. I saw Lissa and Nicole waving at me from Nick’s group. I waved back and Billy took me over to Zak. I looked over at Lissa again and saw her giving me thumbs up. I laughed some and then looked up at Zak who waved a bit, “Hey. I need to talk to you for a minute before we start so sit tight for a minute.” I nodded and put my hands in my hoodie pocket. Zak talked with Nick and Aaron and then had Billy stand with his group while he talked to me. I felt weird getting this special attention. I hated being on the spot and that’s the feeling I got.
Zak pulled me aside and smiled some. “So I talked to your mom earlier and she told me that you had some anxiety issues.” I blushed a bit and silently thanked God that there was one small lamp lighting the room we were in. I looked at him and nodded. He smiled a bit and continued, “I know where you’re coming from, sort of. I don’t wanna say I know where you’re coming from because I have no idea what the severity of it is for you.” I smiled some at his ramblings, but let him continue because, well, I was talking in private with Zak Bagans. “I just want to make sure you’re okay with this kind of thing. I mean, obviously you’ve seen and heard the kind of stuff that happens here so if you want to leave, I would not stop you.” I shrugged, “I’m gonna be honest, I am nervous but I don’t think it will be a huge issue.” Zak smirked a bit and said, “Well if you have an issue, please don’t be afraid to tell someone. Most, if not all of the hunt you’re in my group so if you have an issue and need to regroup or take a breather just let me know. I gave your mom my word that I would make sure you were okay tonight.” He let out a warming laugh and I smiled. “If something happens, I’ll let you know.” He nodded and then rubbed my arm some “Sweet! Let’s get this thing on the road alright?” I nodded and walked over to his group with him.
I couldn’t get over how sweet he was being and how caring he was. I had to stop myself from completely melting into the floor a few times during our chat. This hunt scared me to go into, but I didn’t want to give it up for anything.
31 March 2011