Tate stood by the bathroom door, hearing the sound of running water from the faucet of the bath stop. The following sounds were a faint mix of water being moved, scrubbing, and a gentle, but very lamenting weep. He couldn't blame her. Realizing his own death wasn't his happiest moment either. Yet, something else seemed a bit off. Why wasn't anyone around at all at the moment? Usually, at least a few other ghosts would appear during his alone time, which admittedly wouldn't be possible if he hadn't know how to make the other ghosts leave him alone. However, none were out now. Only this one, but she was far from native to the Murder House. How she had even become a spirit alike himself without being on their property was yet another mystery, but he didn't question it. However, this whole wacky adventure did seem to help him keep Violet off his mind...
Carrie emerged from the bathroom in one of Violet's robes. Now he recognized her. She looked much different than she did on the television, though it was easy to see it was the same girl. She seemed prettier in real life, even without all the make up for the senior photo. Her strawberry blonde hair was no longer wiry, her lips looked tender, she had beautiful blue eyes, and she had the cutest freckles covering certain areas of her face. He would have told her how pretty she was, but he couldn't take any chances, just in case Violet were to forgive him.
He invited her into his room and closed the door behind them. "You know," he said with a slight laugh, "I've had my share of high school murders too. I once shot up my school actually," he said in a tone that made it sound like he was talking about something he did the other day.
Carrie was still looking down at the floor the way she had been since she left the bathroom, but her eyes quickly darted up to him with sudden curiosity. "...Really?"
"Yeah," he confirmed, pulling up a chair while Carrie sat on the bed. "You see, something... well something happened that I'd rather not get into at the moment..." he grumbled, "it happened, and it just made me realize that this world... Well, there's really no other way to say it, Carrie. This world is bullshit." His voice took on somewhat of a more passionate tone. "I thought about how much suffering it is, and you know something? People don't need to live through that. That's why I felt like a savior when I pulled the trigger on 'em. 15 of 'em to be exact."
"...15? You shot that many students."
"Well..." she shifted uncomfortably. "I... had a different experience... You see, I was covered in blood because of a sick prank. Someone must have made fake ballots so my prom date and I would win. They dumped blood—pig blood, I think—all over me..." She grimaced. "Do you know what it's like, uhh..."
"Tate. Tate Langdon."
"Right. Tate, do you know what it's like to be tortured by kids throughout your life, and then have those same kids take the happiest moment of your life and turn it into the worst? Well it feels horrible, and... and that's how I felt when they all started to laugh."
Tate looked rather appalled by what she was telling him. "They... They laughed... Are you telling me that they laughed at you because a you were doused in blood, because that is honestly really screwed up."
"They are screwed up!" she said, raising her voice a little, but then lowering it again. "Well, they were screwed up. I... I kinda lost it and started using telekinesis... I'm sure you know what that is." Just in case, she glanced at a phone. Flex. Music began to play at a low volume. Tate smiled in awe at this. "Yeah, well it wasn't so pretty that night. I trapped everyone in the gymnasium by shutting all of the doors. I sprayed people to death with a fire hose... I cut a teacher in half with a rafter... I electrocuted the principal... and that's when the fire started. I don't think most people survived that. I wouldn't know. I left the scene once the fire began to get out of control..."
Tate's mouth was agape again. He had heard of school shootings and killings worse than his own, but this... this was something that would never be forgotten. "How... How many people did you kill?"
She hesitated before speaking, although she still didn't know how she knew this. "...85. And 67 of them were people my age..."
"Whoa!" Tate was taken aback by this. This really was crazy, but it could still have been worse. In the end, it was just a matter of fewer people being able to suffer through the shit storm that was life, and it must have been rather satisfying for Carrie to receive that revenge. At least, at the time... She was probably pretty torn up by this now. "That is so- that... wow, Carrie, that must be..." he watched her for a few seconds, noticing she starting to cry. "What's wrong, Carrie?"
She hesitated for a few moments, but soon, she said the words in a quiet, aching voice. "I want my Momma back..."
Well that was unexpected. "Your... Momma? Carrie, what are you-" he suddenly remembered what he had seen on TV. Both she and her mother were dead when the firefighters found them. "Oh..." It must be a shame to love a mother you hold dear. He couldn't relate to either of those, unfortunately, but something didn't add up. "About that... the TV mentioned something about stab wounds in your bod-"
"I killed her," she said quickly and remorsefully. She whisked away a strand of hair that fell in front of her face. "I... I crucified her in our kitchen... I sent stuck her hands to the walls with knives and kept hurling more of them at her until she... until she died..." Carrie closed her eyes in bitter regret. When asked why, she answered, "she... she had a knife too. She stabbed my lower back and began to chase me around..." A tear rolled down her cheek, following a moment of silence.
"So... you're saying... Your own mother was trying to kill you... and yet you love her anyway?" Tate asked. She nodded. His brow furrowed a little. "Carrie, out of curiosity, did you have a good relationship with your mom?"
"Well, yes, of course!" she answered. "It's just... I needed to be disciplined. A lot. I didn't always listen to her. She used to drag me to my prayer closet so I could pray for forgiveness when that happened. Sometimes I'd refuse. I was such a bad child... Well, I still am. My existence is still sinful and God probably loves me even less now..."
Tate frowned noticeably. "Who told you that?"
"M-Momma..." The single tear was followed by a few more.
He breathed out quietly. "Carrie... stop crying." He got up and sat beside her on the bed, wiping her eyes. "Look, no one's existence is a sin, no matter what your mother told you. Sure, there are bad people out there, but you aren't one of them. To be honest, it sounds like your mom wasn't doing a very good job of being a mother. And believe me, I know what that's like."
She gazed into his eyes. "Really? But, how?"
He sighed. "My mom... Well, you know how mothers are supposed to be there for their children? My mother was never there for me. She wasn't exactly a great mother to any of my siblings either. There are a lot of terrible things you can do while raising a child, but neglecting them is definitely one of the worst."
"That does sound terrible," Carrie said, nodding. Sure, her mother was abusive, but even through her fanaticism and insanity, Carrie couldn't say that the woman had neglected her. "What about your father?"
"Oh, he ran away a lot when I was a kid. Eventually, I never saw him again. He didn't exactly play a part in my life." Tate shrugged.
Carrie, however, was rather shocked. "R-Really?" A gleam flickered in her eyes. "So did my father! I was really young when it happened, so I barely even remember him. It's... It's terrible, isn't it?"
"Oh yes," Tate answered straightaway, nodding in agreement. "Yes, growing up without a father and very little attention from my mom was, indeed, horrid."
The two looked at each other and smiled, though the grins were rather different. Carrie's was very sheepish and almost clumsy if a smile could be described that way, while Tate's showed surprising comfort and maybe even sincerity. He had just met this girl and he already seemed to have more in common with her than he had with Violet throughout their time together. Of course, what she had mentioned about Margaret White did bother him quite a bit, but he was somewhat relieved to have been able to hold himself back and not tell Carrie that the woman was repulsive and didn't deserve to have a child. The woman probably didn't care about her. It seemed like no one gave a damn about her or her feelings. Well maybe he did. She deserved something better. His train of thoughts was interrupted when she asked him a question she was hoping she wouldn't, though.
"Well... I assume the likes of my death are pretty obvious now, but how did you die, Tate?"
Tate's gaze met the floor as his demeanor suddenly became dour. He took a few moments to respond. He felt he wouldn't, but somehow, he couldn't not tell this girl the truth. "The afternoon of the massacre," he began, "I was alone. I was in my room. No one came to my rescue. No one wanted to talk to me. No one even took a single step in my room... until the SWAT team showed up." He looked down at his chest, remembering one of the last things he felt while he was alive. "They all had their guns aimed at me, but I couldn't just let it end that way! If I was going to die, I wasn't going to let the world be the one to take me, so... I went for my gun." He snickered, but not in good humor. It was out awe, of disbelief, of disappointment in the world. "Let me tell you, Carrie, it's a good thing you died the way you did; before anyone could reach you. Not yet being an adult won't stop those fuckers from blasting twenty holes in your body." He heard a little gasp escape her lips. It was no wonder. Even he was somewhat surprised by what they had done.
"Tate, no... I... I shouldn't have asked. Now I can't get this mental image of you getting shot out of my head... just like Tommy's expression when the bucket fell..."
Tate's spectral heart suddenly began to sink. She didn't mention a boyfriend before... "Who's Tommy," he asked in a low tone of voice.
"Who was Tommy," Carrie somberly corrected. "Tommy was the boy who took me to prom. He was so nice and so sweet, and he was the only person I ever knew who said I was beautiful." She was slowly starting to weep again. "You see, the bucket that dumped the blood on me was hanging from a rafter, but the string broke and it fell. It... It hit Tommy in the head. It looked like he only lost consciousness, but..." she looked up at Tate, tears now streaming steadily down her cheeks, "but I know he didn't survive that fire! I think... I think I loved him, and he loved me back, but now... he's dead! And no ones going to love me now!"
Carrie fell forwards, sobbing mournfully on Tate's shoulder, but her snivels didn't last long. He allowed himself to wrap his arms around her, but he picked her head off his shoulder so she could look directly at his face. He spoke his next statement with complete wholeheartedness.
Carrie sniffled again, but she felt a sudden warmth from the inside. "W-What?"
Tate repeated himself. "I love you, Carrie." And he did. If moving on was the rational choice, then he didn't want his heart to be empty while doing so. He hadn't known the girl for very long at all, but someone so alike himself was hard to not bond with instantly. He wouldn't be exaggerating if he said he cared about her already. Carrie only looked at him in disbelief. In an effort to show his sincerity, he sealed his claim by leaning in closer.
Their lips met. The passion was so real that it was almost alien to Carrie. Not even Tommy had kissed her like this. This young man truly felt for her, and it made her want to cry even more, though it would be out of elation. However, tears weren't going to get her anywhere. Returning the favor would, however. She held her hands up, one caressing Tate's cheek while the other stroked the golden hair at the back of his head. She couldn't deny how extraordinary it felt, but something knew was happening that hadn't happened once when she was alive.
For the first time in her life, Carrie had discovered true love.