Some bonds can't be broken...not by time or distance and certainly not by death. Every place has its urban legend. Our city was no different but had I known the truth about the bond behind our towns legend then I would have never had Kelly turn her car around to investigate, what at the time seemed to unbelievable to ignore. In hind sight, I should have just brushed what I thought I saw off as my mind playing tricks on me and just turned up the Madonna song playing on the radio. Maybe if I had, the bond that held two sisters together in life and death would still be in tact and I would still bonds to be broken.
It was a boring Saturday afternoon and the elation of having finally graduated from high school had worn off while the anticipation of going to college had started to set in. I was going to be four hours away, clear on the other side of the state, and I could hardly wait. Unfortunately, until then I was stuck in what was considered the "country" part of a city with a population of 25000. I had gotten dropped off to, my best friend, Kelly's house earlier that afternoon to try to entertain myself by asking her dad as many questions as I could think of about the history of our boring little city. He always gave the best answers in the most ridiculous of manners that embarrassed Kelly, whom I referred to as Kels, beyond belief. As funny as his take on the local history was it was always accurate and quite educational. Kels was an only child and her parents spoiled her like one accordingly, but they were also way overprotective of her, as if someone wanted her other than them.
It was time for me to get back home and after the humiliating day of watching her father walk around in khaki short with black knee-hi socks and shoes, while he recanted the local legends as he continuously cleansed his bifocals with his shirt, Kels was more than happy to take me home. Her parents gave her the usual rundown of the dos and don'ts along with a curfew, that Kels quickly reminded them wasn't necessary because she was spending the night at my house. I had promised my parents that I'd baby-sit my little sister, whom we affectionately called, Baby Doll, so that they could have what would be their last overnight trip until I came home for the holidays.
"Blah, blah, blah," Kels said as she threw her duffle bag in the backseat of her car before climbing into the driver's seat of her car, drowning out whatever her mother was trying to tell her. As she turned the key in the ignition she said, "I will be so freaking glad when we're outta here!" All I could do was turn up the music in agreement and scream out "WOO!" as we sped off down the road towards my house.
I swear it was like any other trip we'd made down that long country road that lead to the subdivision where I lived. The sun was setting and dusk had almost chased away all of the light that had dared to stay around to make room for night but there was still plenty of light to have a good look at our surroundings. Kels was shrieking out the Madonna song on the radio as we started to make our way past Midnight Manor, an abandoned manor house that was surrounded by ten to fifteen acres of land that was now being maintained by the county. The same couldn't be said about the house, though it was in fairly good shape for such an old structure, it could definitely use a little TLC. It was just then that I saw a woman dressed in what looked like a dark petticoat with a white high collared blouse and a long dark colored skirt. She bent and picked up something from the bushes close to the house before she looked up towards the road.
"What the heck?" I said not sure of what I was seeing, "Who's that?" I looked over so that I could see the dial to turned down the radio and in the split second it took me to do so the lady was gone. Frantic, I shouted to Kels, "Holy crap! Did you see that? Kels turn around...turn around!"
"What?" Kels said as she slowed down and made a three point turn in the street to go back. I loved that Kels never really asked the "whys" of anything I asked her to do until we were in too deep. She turned the car around and instinctively slowed the car down in front of the manor house. She turned into the driveway before she again said, "what is it? Did you see her?"
"Her? Who? What?" I said totally confused by what I thought I had just seen. I stared at the house and cringed a bit, as I thought about the rumors that it was haunted. The house had been empty my entire life and I had never seen anyone outside of county workers who cut the grass on the property. It spooked me a little but not enough to not get out of the car after Kels had driven basically up to the front door. Kels seemed more excited than any one person should be to see a derelict house.
"I though I just saw a woman standing right over her picking up something," I said as I walked around the part of the yard where I'd seen the woman standing. "That's weird," I said as I scratched my head before having a look around the yard. Kels seemed fixated on one of the upstairs windows, so I asked, "what are you looking at?"
"That's strange," she said not breaking her stare on the window, "she's usually not in the window this late."
"She who?" I asked as I walked over to have a look at whatever had captured Kels full attention.
"See that doll in the window," she said, waiting for a second or two before continuing, "she's usually only sits there until the late afternoon. I've never seen her up there this late in the evening."
I hunched my shoulders; not willing to take the bait Kels was throwing out. I saw the doll sitting in the window as if she were watching the yard but I didn't think too much of it. I did, however, follow her glare to a spot in the yard over to the side of the house. "Hey look at this," I said as I made my way over to the spot that the doll seemed focused on and there woe and behold was another doll. "Look at this! This doll is dress exactly like the lady I thought I just saw standing in the yard."
"What! Let me see!" Kels said, seemingly excited by the my findings, "Oh my God! This looks like Charmayne Devoe, her and her sister used to own this place. They lived here until they died."
"This is too cute!" I said somewhat hypnotized by the doll. She was heavier than a normal doll but she was exquisitely made. She looked like the porcelain dolls that my grandmother kept locked in the curio in her living room. As I stared at her, all I could think was that my little sister would love me forever if I brought this home to her. She loved the dolls that our Nana had and there was nothing better than a new doll to an eight year old and this one was in pristine condition. For no other reason than doing so I stated, "I'm taking this home to Baby Doll. She'll love this!"
"Girl, you'd better leave that thing here," Kels said, "that thing probably came from inside the house and this place is haunted."
"Whatever," I smirked. I knew that bullcrap legend about the two sisters haunting the property but I didn't believe it. Besides this beautiful baby wasn't a house; she was a doll so there was no way she was haunted or possessed or any other such nonsense. Against Kels wishes, I took the doll with me. As I opened the backseat, with the doll in one hand, to throw it in...for a second, just a split second...I could have sworn that the doll pulled away from me as if she were trying to stay at the house. I brushed it off and tossed her in the backseat. "Oh crap, we better hurry up. My parents are gonna want to leave before it gets too late and it's starting to get dark."
Kels was going on about not believing that I was taking the doll and complaining about having it in her car as we literally backed all the way out of the driveway. I wasn't really listening to anything she was saying because my eyes were fixed on the doll in the window. She seemed to have turned her head to watch us leave with outstretched arms, as though she were reaching out for something or someone.