This story is posted due to a pleasant request from a reader today. Thank you Nake for reminding me of this forgotten story I promised to post last year (2009 summer). It's not your usual ghost buster story. It's actually quite emotional and suspenceful. As a teaser, the ending of the story is unbelievaly touching. I had tears just picturing the last scene. sob~

Alright, I won't hold you any longer. Please, *courtersy bow* enjoy this story.

Massimo Varardi

Chapter 1: The Hidden Photo

written in July 19 2009

By Kalista Jia

"Massimo Varardi!" Like every typical day, my math teacher, Mrs. Row, spat angrily at my test score. Not a big surprise there. Come on, such result ought to be expected from a big, bad delinquent boy like myself. "What is the meaning behind this horrible result? I know you are a capable young man and certainly can do better than just write your name on the exam. Why didn't you at least try answering some of the questions even though you didn't study for it?"

"I don't want to make a fool out of myself by answering whatever." I shrugged, a victorious smirk printed on my face. My supporters whistled and some even stood up and patted me on the back.

"Well, as if doodling a picture of Captain Underwear on the exam is considered something admirable." Mrs. Row snarled ridiculously while the class laughed.

"You have to admit; I did a fabulous drawing." I snatched the exam sheet from the teacher's grip and paraded with it down the aisle. "Don't you think so, everyone?"

"Massimo!" She stood up furiously from the teacher's desk and stormed towards me. "Your attitude is horrible! I am going to talk your parents after this. Don't think you can get away with it this time, young man."

"Go ahead. I wonder how much does it cost to make a phone call to heaven. Mom will be glad to have a gossip partner to talk from up there. As for dad… well, good luck talking to a behind bar homicide killer."

Mrs. Row dropped her fists to her sides and held my shoulders in consolation. "Ah…I am sorry to hear that, Massimo." Speaking of mood swings. The rage and persecution I saw in her eyes vaporized in an instance just because of my sad, little, shitty family history.

I hated this stupid act of pity.

"Whatever, my dad is an asshole anyway."

I took my seat at the back of the class and put my headphones over my ears. I didn't give a damn to my academic studies. Sometimes, I wondered why I even bothered coming to school in the first place.

Mrs. Row sighed and dismissed my rude attitude. "Ok, don't get distracted!" She clapped her hands loudly for the class's attention. "Come get your paper! Gabrielle, Nick, Camille, Monica…" She went on calling the students up front to get their exam results.

I watched the rest of the class from my tiny corner. The bad girls built a line of fortress with their fake branded bags for the purpose of putting on their make-ups and texting their boy toys. It did get annoying when my phone kept buzzing every ten seconds continuously until the battery died out. Heck, it was like having a bloody vibrator in my pocket 24/7.

Putting that aside, the bad boys around me were laughing at their failing score. It was the usual celebration. We applauded when the boy in front of me screamed: 'I got the second lowest mark. Yay! Massimo, your legacy is hard to break.'

I just loved my classmates. They were so entertaining to hang out with. Of course, there were always some exceptions. The only boring people were the nerds.

Those wannabe Einsteins were taking notes of whatever the teachers said like they spotted Jesus. They venerated the teachers to the point where the nerds looked if they were ready to go on their knees to kiss the teachers' shoes to get extra points. Nerds, ha! Teachers' pets. I would laugh if they would wear a collar to school and walk on four. Poor teachers, they were like 'nerds-magnets'. Whenever I saw a teacher, I saw a nerd or, worse, an army of nerds tailing after the poor lecturer. Seriously, I pitied the teachers. But then again, the teachers should feel honored to have followers. I often tended to compare them to Jesus and his thirteen disciples.

Finally, the recess bell rang and Mrs. Row immediately walked out of the class (with two nerds following her) as if she was disgusted by us. No big deal, the feeling was mutual.

"Hey Massimo!" The typical bad girls gathered around my seat. "Are you free this weekend?" A blond chick asked, massaging my shoulders seductively.

"I have the time of the world." I laid my cheek on my palm and I put on my devilish and irresistible grin.

"You have no idea how hot you look right now!" Her friends giggled.

"Uh huh, your eyes are so sharp and oh, your brown hair, they are like so cool. I like men with great hairstyle, Massimo. Plus, even though you are wearing the same uniform as the other boys but for some reason, you made the uniform looks so wild and fashionable. So absolutely sexy." The Blondie threw her hair behind her shoulders and pouted.

"Buzz off, this week is my turn, Laura!" A Jamaican girl pushed the Blondie aside. What was her name again? I never bother to remember their names even though we had been classmates for a couple of years already. I just told myself that if I were to remember all the girls that hit on me, my brain will cease functioning. It was just a normal habit and routine. -Weekend, girls, clubs, music, alcohol and sex.

"Emma, fuck off!" Oh, Blondie had fangs. Turning her pretty face back to me, she smiled all so charmingly and placed my hands around her hips. "So, Massimo. Saturday at nine? I will be waiting." She tickled my chin playfully and slipped a hotel address between my fingers.

I smirked at the invitation.

"Aw man, another chick? You sure are stealing the girls from their jealous boyfriend!" A well familiar voice came from behind and before I had the chance to react, I felt an arm clamped around my neck in a tight wrestling grip.

"Hey, hey. My favorite buddy! You are back from suspension? Awesome!" I untangled myself and turned to see my best friend, Julius.

Even though I claimed myself as a badass delinquent, this fellow was the only person I definitely wouldn't pick a fight with. Julius had been on a week suspension because he was caught trying to set the principal's rubbish bin on fire. One crazy delinquent he was.

"Hi five man," we knocked our right knuckles and laughed. "What's up?"

"Look, Massimo, cut the chase short. There's something I want us to do." He grinned sheepishly. Whenever he made that face, something fun would happen. Unfortunately, my jaw dropped not in excitement but rather in bloody shock when he said, "Let's do a video clip."

"Pardon?" I repeated slowly, not quite believing my ears. "You want to do a what?"

"Check, Massimo. During the entire week, I have been watching shit on how to make video clips. I know more or less how the programs work but I need something to film on. You get it?"

I nodded as though I was shot with a numbing drug. "Video cam."

Julius shrugged his shoulders lazily. "Exactly, I need a cam-corder. My pop destroyed mine. Doesn't your dad have one?"

I nodded again slowly. "Basically, you want to borrow my dad's stuff. And you want me to help you steal it." Yes, steal. My father was a possessive ass who liked his junks more than his family. If I were to borrow something of his without his permission, it was considered stealing.

"Aw, you sure are my pal!" Julius hit my back as he laughed. "You are in?"

"Whatever, he doesn't give me a thing and since he is in prison… I guess his things are up for me to use!" I smirked. I was going to have so much fun going through his shit.

"Cool, I will go talk to Andrew about this. I will be right back!" Julius gave my back a last slap before ditching me alone in class.

Gosh, the girls were squealing in excitement. It was the usual crazy reaction when the name 'Andrew' appeared. Andrew, Julius and I were labeled as the three most handsome people in our school. Julius wasn't only famous for his cocky attitude and gangster-looking face, but also for his muscular body. Man, this guy mastered every sport this school offered; basket ball, soccer, baseball, football, tracking, swimming, hiking…etc. Fuck, he could practically kill someone with a Frisbee. That superman was a born athlete.

On the other hand, there was Andrew. To be specific, the real name was Andrea Lake and yes, he was a 'she'. However, everyone in the school called her Andrew and treated her as a male because she acted and looked nothing like a girl. Beside, Andrew liked it that way.

This manly girl was six feet one, just an inch shorter than myself. A quick glance at her wide shoulders and slightly muscular and flat chest, she could easily pass for a dude. Not just any ordinary dude, a fucking handsome dude. Her flamboyant red flaming hair was cut short and neat. Her face was sharp with a pair of piercing green eyes that seemed to see through anything. Plus, it was the thin white scar ran down her left eye which boosted her sexiness to the maximum.

Despite of being a girl, she was voted to be the second best looking man in school by the girls. I was the first of course. Julius came third. Girls found Andrew to be extremely hot. They even clearly pointed out the main difference between Andrew and me. What the girls wanted from me was sex, just fucking sex, whereas with Andrew, they wanted to go out with her. I can't blame them because Andrew was such a gentleman with the girls. So naturally, that made her the prince charming on white horse to the girls' pink fantasy. Andrew sure can make a straight arrow bend by itself.

Too bad for those losers anyway, Andrew belonged to Julius and vice versa. Those two were an item ever since grade 9 when Andrew punched Julius for calling him a fag. I didn't know how Julius's mind worked but he then suddenly felt the instantaneous attraction towards Andrew and started to hit on her.

Julius confessed his love to Andrew by taking a gang of six boys by himself. An amazing feat. It was his way of showing Andrew what he was capable I guessed. Andrew replied the love declaration by driving her motorbike up the school stairs. What can I say more? I had fucking amazing best friends.

Once, the couple was kissing passionately under the school tree when a new grade 7 boy walked pass and insulted them being "gays". The poor boy was hospitalized ever since. It seemed that Julius had delivered the brat his punishment by breaking his arms and Andrew had tied the kiddy's leg on her motorbike and dragged him across the school field at full speed. I felt a slight pity towards the brat but I will probably do the same thing if someone called me a homo.

"Oh! Andrew is coming here with Julius! They are soooo hot!"

I smirked. There, in front of me, stood my best buddies. Both of them were looking as cool and mighty as me. The three of us were basically eye candies to the squealing girls.

"So, Julius told me about the video filming." Andrew rolled her sleeve up to her elbow. She was so fucking cool even when she talked with her sexy accent.

Did I forget to mention, Andrew is the only girl in school who was allowed to wear guy's uniform? It appeared that the girls signed petition to let her dress as a dude. Much to my own surprise, the school board actually agreed to the demand. Mass power worked in strange ways.

"He sure did." I scratched my hair. "So? What do you want to film?"

Julius snapped his fingers and pointed at me. "I want to film something supernatural… like unusual."

I lifted my brows. "Ghosts?" Julius nodded eagerly. "Oh please, that is total bullshit." He pouted at my rejection. I was one of the few who were allowed to tease him like that.

"Whatever, let's just help Julius out this time. Otherwise, he'll harass me nonstop for the rest of his life." Andrew rolled her eyes and smiled at Julius who unsubtly gave her a thumb up behind my back.

"What the crap! They don't fucking exist! If they were, they'll be some mad scientists' lab rats!" I fist my arms high and groaned. "How are we supposed to film something invisible?"

"Easy, easy, easy, pal." Julius just had to have that smug look. "All you want to do is just go to some remote area. You know those creepy eerie places. I bet there are some there. Even better, wait!" He dropped his bag on my table and pulled out a few photographs. "See? Look at them carefully. You see here?" He pointed at a certain blurred spot on the old photo. "That got to be something! If you stare at it properly, you see a hand next to the lady."

Andrew and I leaned closer to have an insight look. Our eyes squinted to thin lines.

"This is just disturbing." Andrew commented at last.

"Are they cool?" Julius folded his strong arms across his chest and grinned. "Ok, you know what? Andrew and I are going to share a cam-corder. You take your dad's."

"This is just stupid." I pinched my brows and the couple laughed.

My best friends could be quite impossible when they wanted to. Once, a nerd in class was talking some shit concerning some history project of his in front of the class. So there was a picture of the king and his subjects. Then, the nerd asked the class who was the man dressed in red next to the king supposed to be? Julius answered it was the devil. The answer was the freaking Latin cardinal. I cracked! Everyone just burst into laughter, except, of course, the nerds who probably were scandalized by Julius's answer. Like I said before, the nerds were plain boring, bunch of party poopers.

For the rest of the day passed rather fast since I was sleeping throughout classes. I reached home, my empty, typical Italian decorated home. My mom was the stereotypical housewife who devoted her life in creating the most beautiful house. Anyway leaving that aside, for first time, I barged into dad's room and started searching for the cam-corder. After an hour search, I got irritated. I never knew my dad was such a secretive person. Where the fuck did he put his cam-corder?

Eventually, I ended up searching in all the bedrooms, the kitchen, the living room, the computer room and every possible hiding place in this house and I still couldn't find the fucking video cam.

Sitting on dad's bed from exhaustion, I observed his room. I have thought of this for a few times but I never quite understood. There was one thing I could say about my parents was that they never loved each other, not even a single bit. They acted like strangers who happened to live under the same roof. I mean, Julius's parents had their marriage arranged too but they still loved each other. Mine was arranged too, but they look as if they were disgusted by each other's presence. I didn't blame mom because dad was a freak anyway. He had never once slept with my mom. I was implanted into my mom's womb by doctors for Christ's sake. That was just so retarded.

I remembered a few years ago, mom had a fight with dad. I didn't know what was it about but all I saw was my dad grabbed the cooking knife from my mom's hand and stabbed her. Talk about domestic violence, uh huh. Anyway the police came and arrested him and he went bye-bye to prison.

Swinging my legs, I dropped my head against the pillow when I knocked my skull against something hard. Immediately jumping up, I twisted my body, placed my hand on the pillow and felt something beneath it. I frowned deeply. Curiously, my fingers crawled under the soft pillow and pulled the mysterious shit out.

Bloody funny, it was the cam corder that I spent so many fucking hours searching for. Why on earth was it under the pillow?

I roughly unzipped the camera bag and pulled the cam corder out. It was an old model though, I hoped it better worked. I also noticed a picture attached to the cord.

It was a photo of a rather nice looking teenager. The boy was probably eighteen to nineteen at the time the pictured was taken. Frail looking and pale flawless skin, narrow nose and a pair of hypnotized blue hued silver eyes made up his lovely feature. Even the jet black hair shone dazzlingly under the afternoon sun.

"What a babe!" I joked lamely. It was an old habit that I did all the time when I saw an unnaturally pretty man. "If I were to meet him, I will ask him to go out with me." I snickered again.

It was then I felt a gentle breeze twirled across my cheeks. I blinked out from my thoughts and frowned. I began to look around the room. It suddenly felt bizarre.

Where did the wind come from if the windows were barred?

And that wind… it felt as if someone just touched my cheeks!

Creepy fuck!

I tried to calm my pumping heart down a little. "Julius's supernatural idea must have gotten to me, jeez. What. The. Fuck. really."

However, for some reason, as if I have developed a sixth sense or whatever shit they called, I actually sensed there was something else in the room with me.

Another presence…

~To be Continued~

How was it? I was slightly anxious to release this story to the public. I usually don't write in 1st person POV. Oh and please review to encourage me. XP I promise the ending is very touching and unique (I mean it'll really be unexpected!) I had it thought out already. I just need to add some spice in the development to embellish the main dish!

Happy New Year everyone! Hope you'll be in great health and have a wonderful year.

You can start making my year joyful by reviewing. (opportunist authoress) *smile* As a bonus, review returns!

~Kalista Jia~