Beetlejuice watched Lydia. Days later, and she almost fell through the couch. Ever since she had visited his mom, her progress became slower. Now, she was eve regressing. “It’s a couch, Lyds. Why are you falling through a couch.” It wasn’t a question that needed an answer. There was only reason she’d be regressing. “You’re holding something back and it’s keeping you from concentrating.”
She denied it again. “No, I’m not,” she said, clinging to the couch. “You can’t make progress without taking a few steps backward.”
Beetlejuice turned himself into a donkey and changed back. Enough said on what he thought of that.
“Death is hard, okay?” Lydia groaned. “Everything’s new. It takes adjustments.”
This time he turned into a bull and slightly snorted, puff coming from his nostrils. “Sure, Lyds.”
“Look, you don’t get it. It’s all frustrating, okay?” She tried to steady herself on the couch.
“Look, you don’t get it,” Beetlejuice came back. “I know there’s something bothering you.” Flies appeared near his bull’s appearance rear end. He started to swat them with his tail. “If you ever want to walk around normally like you used to down here, then you are going to have to tell me what you’re hiding.” Could she be remembering something vague already? “I mean. You got some memory of before it happened, you should express it.” He turned himself into some mail marked express and fluttered next to her lazily by the couch. “Come on, Lyds. Who’s your best friend?”
“I don’t have any memories,” she insisted again. “Really. It’s just. Issues. That’s all. Personal issues, I guess.”
Beetlejuice groaned and turned back to normal, now sitting on the arm of the couch. “Personal issues? You’re dead! What kind of personal issues you got left?” Ah, okay. Fine, there was something there in her eyes. It was super personal. “Girl things?”
“Sort of, I guess,” Lyds said. “And don’t turn into Betty Juice, that won’t help.”
Oooh, real girl things. “Well.” Ooh. “I know one of those real ones! Kind of? Well, close enough.”
Lydia was left alone with Ginger for a little while. She was on a chair which as of yet, she had no problem with. “Hello.”
“Hi,” Ginger said. “So. Beetlejuice said you had problems that you couldn’t discuss with him? Uh. This really isn’t the time to start having issues that you won’t talk to anyone about,” she said slowly. “so, I’m here to listen.”
Uuh. Lydia wasn’t so sure about that. “I don’t know.” The subject, it felt like something she should be discussing with Prudence and Bertha. She didn’t mind Ginger, but this subject?
”Oh, I know we aren’t the best of friends,” Ginger admitted too. “But, you are going through a very dangerous phase, I mean complicated phase!” She corrected herself. “And, well, it’s . . .”
It’s not like she was going to get a lot of options. I have to tell someone. Beej is right, this isn’t helping. But how can I tell without . . . “I don’t know how to tell you,” Lydia said. “I mean. I didn’t even know how or if I . . . feel something about . . . someone.” It could just be because he was spending so much time with her. Because he never let her down, and she was right there whenever she needed him. But, friends were there for each other too. So, why was she even considering it? He didn’t. He wouldn’t, he was her best friend. She was his, and this was not the time for these weird feelings to pop up.
She looked back toward Ginger. The spider was slowly nodding.
“Oooh. I get it,” she said. “You. You really liked someone in your world, but you didn’t realize it at the time?”
Close enough. It was as close as Lydia could risk getting.
“Okay. Oh no, I can see why you didn’t want to talk about that,” Ginger said. “That’s a lot of burden, I’m sorry! But, uh? It’s not over? Maybe someone here will make you happy? You should really tell Beetlejuice, maybe he can leave the one you liked a love message?”
“No!” Lydia felt her cheeks getting warm. No, absolutely not, he could never do that. “No, I don’t want that.”
“Oh. Okay. Well? I’m sorry, Lydia. That time was short though, and you have so much more time here now,” Ginger said. “So, you shouldn’t be scared to tell him. Do you want me to tell him for you?”
Usually, no, but Lydia was hiding something very big in there that she could risk giving away. That the guy in question was Beetlejuice. If Ginger tells him whatever, then maybe that will end this need to know from him? “Fine, but I don’t want to dwell on it. I just. I’m just trying to deal with it, while dealing with death too.”
“Okay. Hang on, Lydia. You’ll find someone else.” Then, she left the room.
Strange. Lydia just told her that she supposedly might love someone in her world before she died. Why didn’t she grab a hanky and start crying?
“I got it,” Ginger said as she approached Beetlejuice right outside the Roadhouse. “It’s going to make this harder, Beetlejuice.”
“Ah, great.” That’s not what he wanted to hear. “What is it?”
“She just realized she had pent up feelings for someone in her previous world. Lovey dovey feelings and she never expressed them,” Ginger said softly. “So . . .”
“Heh. Well.” Beetlejuice scratched his head. “Someone out there’s trying real hard to one up me, she’s got repressed feelings about some boy in her class or something?” Damn.
“I know,” Ginger said. “On one hand, it’s romantically cute and sad, but I can’t even stop to think about it ’cause-”
“That just increases her chances of getting in trouble.” No! “Naw, fate, I totally can take more. Throw the whole solar system at me!” His juice hit him in the back of his head with an art project of a solar system. “Art. I don’t want to see art right now.” He made it disappear.
“Maybe you should go to the other world, and leave him a note Lydia writes or something,” Ginger recommended.
Beetlejuice didn’t like that. “She’s dead. Whoever this is, is not. What’s the difference?”
“Uh? Closure?” Ginger said like it should be obvious. “She needs to find closure over this.”
“Well, why’s this guy got to be such a big deal?” Beetlejuice said. “I mean, I ain’t never heard of no guy she liked that much. And like, no blushing or anything! And I was always around her girl-girl friends, they would have thrown it out at some point.” It didn’t make sense. Who could she have possibly liked? Not important who it is. “Nah, we need to just . . .” Um.
“Make her tell him in a letter,” Ginger said again. “Eventually. She needs to get over the frustration. Confront how she feels.”
“But.” Who cares about some little . . . “It.”
“She won’t say his name right now,” Ginger said. “I don’t think she trusts anyone enough for that, and she says she’s still working out how she feels.”
“Well there you go! She is working out how she feels,” Beetlejuice said. “That’s the reason she’s faltering, indecision. That’s reason enough not to jump the gun on this one. Okay. Give her a little more time. Pushing her is even worse you know.” Death probably wasn’t an easy thing to accept, and there’d be a lot of frustration with feelings.
“If she doesn’t get better, we should do something,” Ginger said. “Your selfish tendencies of always wanting Lydia will have to take a back seat to help her if she can’t get past it, Beetlejuice.” She smiled at him. “Besides, it’s not like whoever it is is some threat. She’s gone from that world. You shouldn’t feel jealous. You have her all the time now. Whoever this special someone is, they never will.”
Beetlejuice was hitting his head. “I’m racking my brain over this.” His head turned into pool balls being set up and split apart. He just didn’t know anybody that meant that much to her. That she ever hinted about. She didn’t even have any real friends that were boys to warm up to. So?
He went back into the Roadhouse. Fine. Great. Somehow she liked someone that completely slipped by him. He smiled toward her. Lost love crap. How do I handle this? He looked at her. Now she was all blushing and wiggly and . . . damn it, she really does like somebody?
Okay, fine, no problem. She was growing up. Well, she was growing up there, so, whatever! Not his area. Why was he starting to focus on this? Who cares?! Getting her to a point she can walk across the floor so I can start going after those little gremlins! That’s what matters.
Right now, he still couldn’t leave. He wanted to, he really wanted to. But slipping through the couch again? Not happening yet.
Duncan, Carter, Finley and Brady arrived at the auction to a surprise. Finley’s dad was there. Mason Jennings.
Finley walked toward him. “What are you doing here?”
“You, buying a couple pieces of art, and then selling them back to me? While everything goes to the way side, I don’t think so.” He patted his son’s shoulder. “Don’t worry, I’ll let you grab something a piece afterward.”
“Hey, hey, hold up,” Brady said. “That’s not right. We did all the hard work.”
“And you’ll be rewarded with a piece,” Mason said to Brady.
“No. No way. Look. That shit was risky,” Brady pointed out. “Risky! If anything goes wrong, we are the ones who go down, not you!” He looked toward Finley. “This isn’t fair, this wasn’t the deal!”
“This isn’t about you, dad,” Finley confronted his dad. “This stuff, it’s-”
“Dangerous for you to even be here, Nitwit,” Mason said outwardly. He brought out his checkbook. “Brady, you wanted to quit school, marry, and have a nice job. What do you think you need for that?”
“Um. I need a house and a car,” Brady said. “So I gotta get in on this.”
“That’s just annoying and a waste of time. If you don’t know who it goes to, you make nothing,” Mason said. “From what you pay verses what you make, you won’t even be able to afford a real ring.” Mason wrote him a check and gave it to him. “Cut out the middle man and take that. Putting your future at risk was dumb enough. Don’t screw it up a second time.”
Brady looked at the check. “Screw the paintings, I gotta go. Good luck you guys.”
“Shit.” Finley looked at his dad. “Are you just going to pay us off for a quick settlement?”
“Why drag it out?” His father asked. “I’m the one with the contacts. Your plan was to buy up some paintings, sell them to me, and then I would make my end that way. A terrible plan.” He looked toward Finley. “You couldn’t have pulled anything off without me. Not your education, and not other activities,” he said. “Even this? If I was a cruel man, I could out you out of everything by threatening the truth. There is no connection placing me anywhere of importance. In your college activities and otherwise.”
“Fine. I don’t care, I just want the money,” Carter said. “I just want this done and over with.”
“There isn’t checks for everyone now,” Mason revealed. “I had some to give to Brady since obviously he was in a bad predicament. He was making bad decisions. I got him out of the way.” He smiled. “You can take 10,000 a piece after the auction, or wait for me to sell and make ten percent. Your choice.”
“Is ten percent better?” Duncan asked. “Is ten percent better than 10,000, Finley?”
“I’ll wait,” Finley agreed. “You better not cheapen me out on this. We took the risk.”
“But as much risk as you took, you won’t be able to take everything. Your students. How much do you have? Do you think they’ll be giving it away at five dollars a piece? Art is still art. Even if they sell everything in large collections, Deetz’ family isn’t just going to let it go for nothing. It was what made her happy. The darkness made her happy.” He smiled at his son. “What an interesting twist to the situation. That just makes it all the more appealing.”
Finley looked toward Duncan and Carter. “Well?”
“I’ll take the ten,” Carter said. “I want out of this, really, it’s bugging me. A lot. Just. The whole-”
“Let’s not talk about historical activities,” Mason warned him before he dropped anything. He wrote him a check. “You can’t change your mind now.” He looked toward Duncan and his son.
“I’ll wait,” Finley said. “I can wait.”
“I . . .” Duncan sighed. “Man, I? Nah, I’ll wait. If Finley’s waiting, I’m waiting.”
“Good, now either get out of here or sit back and be quiet.” Finley’s father dusted his sleeves. “I’ve got art to purchase.”