This was impossible. It simply couldn't be happening.

I was on the floor, staring wide-eyed at the fantastical scene taking place before me. An empty soda can was suspended in the air. It was flying around in slow circles, all on its own. Surely it had to be on some kind of string or wire, right...?

Yet here I was, on the ground in my room at three O'clock in the afternoon, with nobody else home, watching a soda can fly on its own.

I stuttered trying to get a word out, but failed miserably. The best I could get out at any one time was a bunch of "Wha-wha-wha"s. I'm not even sure what I was trying to say. Maybe something like, "What is this?", or, "Who are you?". I couldn't decide which question to ask first. Was I even trying to ask a question? My mind was so confused I wouldn't have known how to respond, even if something had spoken to me.

Izzy? You can hear me, right Izzy? I heard the voice in my mind. Somehow, 'speak of the devil' doesn't quite say it.

I was already freaking out. I let out a short, terrified cry. I finally made sense of the "wha"s I was blurting out.

"What the he-"

Careful! My poor, innocent ears, Izzy!, replied the voice.

I screamed again and finished the curse this time. "Why are you screwing with me!? What in the world are you!?"

What are you talking about? replied the voice. You know who I am, right?

At this point I was at least able to figure out that it sounded like a young female. But I obviously didn't know who it was! Was it telepathy or something!? People can't just throw their voices inside your head!

I should've figured that she could hear my thoughts too, considering her voice was in my head. The voice giggled cutely, but it just freaked me out even more.

You silly! We've always talked like this! Don't you remember? Look, look!

The floating can starting doing loops at an incredible speed.

I couldn't say anything anymore. I was afraid I was going to enrage it or something. It might throw the can at me, and judging by the speed it was going at this point, it probably wouldn't be very pleasant if I got hit by it. I really didn't want to think about that, so I tried pressing the voice for more information anyway.

"Who are you!? What's your name!?"

At this point, the voice was silent and the can slowly stopped looping.

Wait... Do you really not remember?

This took me off guard. I started thinking a little; the intense fog surrounding my mind started to clear up a little and the voice started to sound a little bit familiar, but... I couldn't quite decide if I knew the voice or not.

We both stayed silent for a while. Eventually, the voice spoke again.

I'm sorry..., she said. The empty soda can began descending slowly. I didn't mean to scare you.

"It's, um... alright," I said automatically. I started to get up slowly, looking around cautiously, but still keeping an eye on the soda can. The voice wasn't saying anything else, so I spoke up again.

"Um... If you're still there..."

Yes? I was surprised since I didn't expect it to speak again.

"Wh-what's... your... name...?"

Everything was silent for a while. The longer I waited, the more I needed to hear the answer. The soda can remained stationary.

It's... Terra.

My face grew pale in an instant. Was it really who I thought it was? It couldn't be. No way, that was impossible... But... That name... I did know that name...!

That person's face made its way to the front of my mind. As it did, I began to make out a figure. There was a girl in front of me. She was standing with the soda can at her feet. She was staring at the floor, looking sad.

I could see right through her. This person... No, it wasn't a "person"... It didn't have a real physical form. The being which stood before me was completely transparent.

I saw her glance up at me for a moment. Our eyes met. At that time, I no longer had any doubt. I knew this girl.

She was beautiful, incomprehensibly beautiful. Her long, amber-colored hair shined radiantly in the light of the afternoon sun. She wore a similarly-colored blouse and a long, ruffled skirt that reached down to her ankles. Even her eyes were a golden amber color. I recognized every single one of her features immediately, even though I had never seen those details the way I was seeing them now. It was someone I had never truly known... It was someone I thought I would never even get the chance to meet. Nonetheless, she used to be my best friend in the entire world.

She was my old imaginary girlfriend.

Chapter One

My name's Israel Shields. My friends call me Izzy. I'm fifteen years old, a Sophomore in high school.

Ever since 1st Grade, I had been home schooled by my mother. Because of that, you could say I'm pretty oblivious to the real world. I only started going to Geldegarde High School some three weeks ago; luckily, I've already started to get used to it there.

I managed to make some friends in that time. All four of us had just entered this school, so I guess it was only natural that we grouped together and tried to help each other out. We had met each other in our Science class. My school has two separate rooms for both the science lab and the room that they actually teach the class in, so when the teacher had told us to get our textbooks from the school library and then head to the lab on the first day of class, all four of us had raised our hands wanting to know where those places were. As soon as the teacher told to me, the other three put their hands down. It was almost comical, and we all noticed it. We started talking on the way to the library, and found that we had pretty much the same interests, so we started hanging out at lunch. It worked out pretty well, since, as it turned out, at least one of them was in all of my other classes, too.

One small thing of note about our group: We're all guys. And, being the teenagers that we are, we did our best to attract the attention of the more... female members of our species.

On one such occasion, I was urged by my friends to talk to a certain cute blonde who happened to be standing all by her lonesome by the door to the cafeteria. I didn't want to look like a wimp in front of my friends, of course, so I approached the lovely rose, my malicious goal ever on my mind.

"Hey," I said, coming up to her from behind. The girl spun around, looking somewhat surprised. She was a lot shorter than me. That's something I found quite attractive. And she looked even better close up than she did from far away.

"Hi," she said shyly, brushing her hair back. Damn, what a good start!

I launched at the opportunity, feeling pretty suave. "What are you doing here all alone? Waiting for somebody?"

"No, not really..." She said with a coy smile. "I'm just waiting for the line to get shorter."

I glanced at the buffet. The line was already pretty small. I was feeling pretty confident at this point.

"It doesn't look that bad," I said with a smile. "Come on, I'll go with you."

The cake my mom had packed for my lunch today must've been magical, because she agreed. We went through the line quickly, the girl piling modest portions of food on her tray. Finally, we got to the end of the buffet and the girl took a small pouch out of the handbag she had on her arm. She took out a few dollar bills and coins, but she suddenly froze for some reason.

"Oh, no," she said. "I think I'm short by fifty cents!"

My instincts perked up and I thought quickly. I had two options: Offer to share my lunch or pay the difference for her. I thought back. I had already eaten most of my lunch. Was there enough left? There was no time to remember. It was too risky. Wait! Wasn't there another sandwich in there? But what if she didn't like PB&J?

I quickly reached into my pocket and placed two quarters on the counter by the rest of the girl's money. The cashier accepted it, looking relieved. The girl looked very happy. She smiled up at me.

"Thanks," she said, her face turning a light pink color.

I soon learned that her name was Rosa. I could feel my friend's eyes burning holes into my skin from across the cafeteria. Rosa and I sat across from each other at an empty table. I realized I had made a mistake! She would want to know why I wasn't eating! I know, I would tell her that I already ate. That was the truth after all, right?

She never did ask, but I went through our entire conversation with this scumbag mentality intact. We talked for a while until the bell rang. As we got up to leave, my persistence payed off, for as we were saying good-bye's to one another, Rosa turned back towards me and asked if I would like to trade phone numbers with her.

On the inside I was jumping for joy. I agreed of course, and we programmed each other's numbers into our cell phones.

On the way to my next class, my friends swarmed me.

"How'd it go, dude!? Did you get the goods!?"

"She was hot, Izzy! You're freaking lucky, man!"

"I saw phones! What happened with the phones!?"

I had a smug smile smeared across my face. I told everyone to calm down in a cool, collected manner, as if I ruled the world.

Then I got a text.

Everyone was silent, the tension mounting, as I checked it and read the message.

After a dramatic pause, I held up my phone for everyone to see. "Looks like Rosa and I are going to be spending some time together at lunch from now on."

My friends starting going wild, making low grunts and punching my arms.

After school, I wasn't able to see Rosa anywhere. I recalled hearing something about a club that she attended after school during our conversation in the cafeteria. I figured she must have been there.

After me and my friends went our separate ways, I started walking home. There were a few other kids on the sidewalk around me. I took a turn into a forested residential area. It was a shortcut to where I lived.

It was then that I noticed that I was alone. The subtle smirk from that afternoon dropped to an expressionless, serious face.

And then I heard the voice.

So you really like that girl, don't you? The female voice sounded irritated.

Be quiet, Terra, I thought back. It has nothing to do with you.

But it does-! Terra replied, sounding pouty.

I let out a small sigh. Look, I already told you, I'm not in love with you, alright? Stop being jealous and just let me live my life.

At that point, the girl's ghostly form appeared in front of me. I stopped walking automatically.

Izzy, she said, her voice echoing as if we were deep under the surface of the ocean. You may not believe it, but I've known you for years. And during the time we've spent together-

I walked through her.

Hey-! Terra floated after me.

It was common for us to have exchanges like this. At first I was always surprised when Terra suddenly spoke to me out of nowhere. But now, she just annoyed me whenever we would talk after school. It's not that I thought Terra herself a was pain; it's just that she always had something annoying to say. For instance, if I hadn't taken home my text book because I didn't plan on doing my homework anyway. Or if I had been slacking off during Gym class because I was tired. Today's subject just happened to be something of relatively higher importance to her, though. I had already known in the back of my mind that she was going to cause a scene the second we were alone, but even so, I found myself to be somewhat unprepared to deal with her.

Anyway, this whole situation with invisible girls and mental communication must be very confusing. Allow me to explain.

You see, Terra is a ghost. Apparently, she's been haunting my house for more than ten years. That's longer than I've even been living in the place! It used to be that we couldn't communicate at all.

I might have mentioned it already, but I've been home schooled from 1st Grade all the way up to three weeks ago. My parents work during the day, so I was never able to go to any kind of kid's clubs or anything else like that. Needless to say, I used to get very lonely. As a result of that, I, well... I kind of, uh... I made myself an imaginary girlfriend, alright? I'm not too proud of it, but the past is the past. Besides, I bet there are a ton of guys out there who have had one, but are just too afraid to admit it! Yeah, I said it!

Anyway, I just got finished with that phase of my life. I have some real friends now, and, as you can see, I'm even starting to talk to real girls. Although it's only been a short three weeks since I started high school, it seems like that time in my life was ages ago...

That's when 'ghost girl' here appeared before me one day in my room. Guess what? Turns out I never really had an "imaginary" girlfriend at all. The girl I was talking to was Terra the friendly female ghost all along. According to her, it was never really my imagination; it was my innate spiritual power manifesting or something like that. I don't really understand it, but it's what allowed me to see and speak to her originally.

I don't believe most of that is really true to be perfectly honest, but the fact of the matter is that she's right here and she's speaking to me, crazy as it may seem. I'm still testing whether or not I'm just going insane, but I still haven't gone berserk, so I'm about 85% sure that I'm still mentally stable. For now.

At any rate, as a ghost, my spending time with her and getting attached to her caused her to form some type of link with me, so now wherever I go, she goes, too. It used to be that she couldn't leave my house because of this "linking" business, but it seems that's been undone. I've tried thinking of ways to link her to something else so that she can stay away from me, but so far, I've had no luck.

"You know, somehow, you're less attractive when you're actually real," I said.

Well in that case, I find you that much more attractive now that you realize I'm real!

"I've said it already, I don't mind if you want to talk to me when nobody's around, but don't start talking about how much you adore me. It's just not like that anymore!"

You seemed perfectly fine to say it before.

"That was before, this is now," I retorted. "Even when you were 'imaginary', I always knew that you weren't actually real! It's not like I ever thought it could work out somehow!"

Izzy~! She had run out of comebacks already, so Terra had resorted to whining cutely. That used to work on me, but it just wasn't the same as it used to be.

I closed the door to my house before she could get in. She passed through the door and continued following me up to my room where I threw down my backpack and kicked off my shoes before flopping down on my bed with a relieved sigh.

Terra tried to lay on top of me. It was something that came naturally, more out of habit than any sort of sexuality. She felt like a cool breeze against my skin.

"Come on, Izzy," she said out loud in her echoing voice now that we were at home, "don't you ever wish we could go back to how it was?"

"I'm sorry, but I don't," I said, gazing into her golden amber colored eyes. "If there were some way we could make it work, I would, but... we just can't."

"You don't know that. You didn't even believe in ghosts until you met me, right? How do you know there isn't something else out there that can give me a real body?"

"And what will we do if something like that does turn up? What if it's some black magic ritual that requires 'six sacrifices on the first twilight' or something weird like that? And even if it doesn't, how could we possibly explain your existence? My parents would think you're just some random girl I'm trying to hook up with."

Terra grew silent, a worried look on her face. Of course, I was completely right. Even if there was some way to bring her back to life, it would doubtlessly end up badly. Every action must have an equal and opposite reaction. You might even call it the "Law of Equivalent Exchange". You can't create or destroy matter, after all.

In that case, what options were left for poor Terra? Would she have to wait for me to die before she could be reunited with her love?

Such questions tortured this frail ghost. A tragic being who, although it was forbidden, fell in love with a living human while she herself was nothing but the residual energy remaining from an ended human life. Even though she loved me, it lead Terra to sometimes question her entire existence in this world. But the thought of leaving her beloved Israel here alone was simply too much to bear...


Author's Notes!

UPDATE: Somehow a few obvious typos made it past even my eagle eyes, so I've taken this chance to make one final revision to these first two chapters. I promise there will be NO more edits unless there is another typo or grammar mistake I've made that needs fixing. I take typos and grammar very seriously as I feel that having even a bit of that can really make a story feel unpolished and amateur, so please, PLEASE send in reviews with typo reports from here on! :)

Hello, everyone! Some notes to share on the opening chapter of Terra!
First of all, I hate how this site gets rid of my indentation. I think there might be a way to change your settings so that it does indent new paragraphs, but I'm not sure, as I mostly submit to this site, I don't read stories here very often. _ If anyone knows of a solution, please let me know in a review!

So, when I had finished the final edit of this chapter, inserted the double-spacing and everything, it turned out to be just over nine pages in OpenOffice. For me, that's pretty unusual, as I've previously always stuck to writing pretty short chapters. However, it's been a long time since I've written a story, and now that I'm sort of getting into it again, I find that it's more fun to just go all out in every chapter instead of limiting myself for fear of seeming like I'm droning on and on about things that don't matter. After proofreading a couple of times, I can say with confidence that I'm happy with the final version. You may not realize it, but this chapter is setting up for many things to come, so commit it to memory, alright?

In case there was anyone reading/following the story previously (I don't recall if there were any), you'll notice a few important changes in this chapter. I changed a lot of sentences and added a few crucial details. Chapter two is likely to get the same treatment too, so even if you've read the first two chapters previously, I recommend you read them both again, just so that you don't miss out on any important details.

So, with that out of the way, I hope you enjoy the story! I have up to chapter five completed at this point, and I can't wait to write some more. All five will be up as soon as I proof-read and edit them. My goal is to get at least chapter two up tonight, but chances are I'll go above and beyond like I always do and put up all five within a couple of hours. ;p