"She told me you've been dead for more than four years, even before her."
Nelson didn't say anything.
"Is that true?"
He just kept staring at Darren with unblinking eyes.
"So it's true. You've been here longer than both of us."
"Both of us?" he laughed. "So now you're gonna marry her?"
Darren could feel his face flush with both anger and embarassment. "If I didn't know better, I'd say you've gone nuts. Or jealous. Or something."
"Jealous? What piece of you do I have to be jealous of?"
"You're jealous...because you can't get back to the living world like I can."
"You seriously think you'll live again?" Nelson scowled mockingly. "Just because you and your playmates had a good time taking candy from a baby yesterday?"
"Take a good look," he continued, pointing to a line in the article. "Security around the Main Offices in Protected and Unprotected Ghostopia has been beefed up. I know what you guys are planning next, and they know it too. No way you're getting in and out so easily this time - believe me, I've been there."
"You've been there?"
Nelson pondered for a moment, then sighed deeply. "Like it or not, I can't keep hiding this from you. Darren, what Kat told you was true. I was a member of the Ezisa four and a half years back, and I was involved in that infamous escape attempt."
Darren felt a lump grow in his throat. That escape had been orchestrated by the Ezisa? And Nelson was one of the survivors?
"I'm telling you this because I don't want you to do what I've done in the past."
"I had just arrived in Ghostopia and was feeling bitter over the way I died, like you. Mortie wasn't the Gatekeeper then, and that other guy wasn't as nice. He sent me straight out there without any idea what to do next - get a job, meet people, and all that. So I wandered in the marketplace for my first week, living off scraps like a common tramp. Unlike Kat, I wasn't blessed with her charm and quick wit to turn to full-time crime."
"However, it wasn't long before I got to know some of the other homeless guys at the marketplace. Eventually, three of us - what were their names again - myself, Greg, and Lucas, came up with the idea of setting up our own stall in the marketplace."
"That's where all the trouble began. The authorities refused to give us permission, closing down our stall time after time on the grounds that we were "too young". With the whole place being run by old hags, there was no way we the minority could do anything but live on the streets."
"And then, one night," He nodded proudly like a scientist about to reveal his latest invention. "Lucas told us about an organisation named Ezisa."