It had been almost a year since my best friend Conner died. One day he was here laughing and joking with me and the next, he was simply gone. I told warned him to take that old, beat up car of his in to a garage to have it looked at. I would even help pay for it if he couldn't afford it. But like the stubborn guy he was, he refused.
The next day the authorities found the car wrapped around a tree and charred to bits. There was enough left to determine that the breakes went out and he lost controle late the night before, and the engine caught fire.
Since Conner didn't have any family in the area, I was the one called down to identify the remains. It was a burned up mess, and I almost ran out of the room. But there was no mistake that it was him; the body had the exact same ankle tattoo.
It had taken months fo rme to get those images to stop haunting my dreams. Correction: nightmares. They still popped up from time to time, but not as severe. And now I mostly remembered how Conner was before he died; always laughing and messing around, hardly ever serious. He always told me I was too serious.

Nights like this always made me think of him. They were his favorites; the clear sky full of stars, slight breeze, and seemingly perfect for an adventure.
I pulled into one of my parking spaces in the parking garage of the apartment building where I lived. There I saw that someone had parked in my other spot. It was a really expensive luxury car too. Must be someone new who didn't know what was theirs.
My apartment was on the first floor, so it wasn't a long walk. When I got to my door, I was still too annoyed and muttering to myself about the stranger parked in my space that I didn't fully comprehend the dim light coming out from under. Unlocking my front door, I walked in to see the single lamp next to the couch lit. And sitting there on the couch beside it, reading, as if he never left, was Conner! Risen from the dead.
" Hey there Ash, it's been a while. Did you miss me?"
I froze, dropped my things right where I stood, and fell to my knees. My head was reeling, all the possible explanations spinning around. He came over to me got down on the floor facing me, and took my hand.
"I'm back Ashley. It's not a dream, a figment of your imagination, or a ghost. I'm very much alive!"
Conner's eyes were twinkling as he pulled me to my feet, and there was just a hint of a grin. That was enough to snap me out of my shock. Jerking my hand out of his, I slapped him as hard as I could accross the face.
"You idiot!" I screamed, "Do you seeriously think you can put me through everything you did and then just waltz back and expect to be welcomed with open arms?!
"I thought you were dead! I was the one they had to call to identify the remains after the accident! I had to do it all alone! Do not come back and expect a warm hello like nothing happened. "
The tears had started to trickle down my face then, after almost a year of next to none. I had been too numb. I saw tears forming in Conner's eyes too, but I didn't care at the moment.
"Ash, please listen to me... I had to leave for a while! And I couldn't tell you without putting you at risk. I didn't think I'd be back. But now I need your help."
" If you honestly expect me to help you, you had better make the explaination a good one."
"It's a really long story."
" You made me believe you were dead for eleven months. I have the time."
Little did I know then the events that would set in motion...

The End (For now)