|Ghosts, By Rebecca Carvalho|
The Wanderer is a children's book about a ghost that starts to haunt the bathrooms of the Oak Hill Academy. A group of students will try to communicate with her before she makes life there very difficult. They agree to help her find the ghost of her lost son.
By Rebecca Carvalho
-- BASED ON A TRUE STORY --
“Okay, I'll tell you a secret. But don't tell it to anyone,” Jessica whispered to me. We had been friends for only a week, and I was glad that she already trusted me. “I'll tell you what scares Dana the most.”
Dana was her little sister, who always followed her around wherever she went. The girl immediately covered her ears with her hands. Whatever it was that scared her, it was something unbearable to hear about. I liked that.
Jessica gave Dana a supportive look, and then leaned forward so nothing she said accidentally leaked into her sister's ears.
“She is afraid to see the lady in the bathroom,” she told me in the most secretive manner.
Her revelation was a huge disappointment.
“What? You mean the lady who occasionally cleans the bathrooms here?” I asked. “I spoke with her once, and she seemed friendly.”
She really had been nice to me. She was mopping up the floor the first time we met, and I was afraid I would mess up her work if I stepped into the bathroom. But she smiled and told me I shouldn't worry. As I washed my hands, she realized I was a new student at Oak Hill Academy and wished me good luck.
“No, no. Denise Dawson, the cleaning lady, is fine. And I'm talking about the ghost of a woman who used to appear in the bathrooms of our old school. We called her the Wanderer, because she went from bathroom to bathroom asking about her lost son.”
“What? A ghost haunted your old school?”
“Just the bathrooms.”
I felt goosebumps.
“But why does she go from bathroom to bathroom looking for her lost son?”
“One of my friends at Riverside Academy, my old school, once asked her the same question. He said that she was very vague about it, but from what she said he believes that her son died in a school bathroom, and she's been looking for him since then.”
“What? He asked her that?”
I was impressed.
“How old is he?”
“Just like me!”
“And me,” Jessica added.
I had never met an eleven-year-old brave enough to speak with a ghost. Not even my cousins, who were a year older than me, would have been courageous to talk with the Wanderer.
It was the end of recess, and the bell that signaled we were supposed to go in line to return to our classrooms startled us. Poor Dana, who had been covering her ears all this time, jumped really high just from observing our sudden reactions.
Jessica and I were from different classrooms, so we couldn't continue our conversation. At Oak Hill Academy they divided the students into five different classrooms within their academic year. We were first-year students, and I had been assigned to classroom 1-E. Jessica was a 1-A student, and her sister belonged at K-B, a kindergarten classroom.
I spent the rest of the day thinking about the Wanderer, and by the time our Mathematics teacher finally had managed to suck out all happiness from us, I was already starting to believe the whole story about the lady in the bathroom and the boy who had talked with her were Jessica's lies. I took pride at the fact that I was a little girl who liked reading the news, and I had never read anything about a kid who had died in a school bathroom. Even if there was a rumor about a ghost wandering from bathroom to bathroom and Jessica had not lied about it, the boy who claimed to have spoken with her had to be a liar.
Kids liked ghost stories, but up until then I had never heard of anyone my age who had actually spoken with one.