September 24, 2008
By Emily Richmond, Jonesboro, AR

We are all sitting around the room, separate corners, separate trains of thought.

Tick, tick, tick, tick.

At the moment, it is one of the most annoying sounds I could conjure up in my mind. The clock reads 5:13 p.m. The four of us have been here, sitting silently, awkwardly, for almost two hours. I am aware of every noise around me. Each one’s separate breathing, the whoosh of the fan, and I’m pretty sure I can hear the scuttling of dust mites. It is that quiet. It is maddening staying all bottled up like this, I—

“Okay, okay! Enough already! This is stupid,” she exclaims, interrupting my thoughts. “Can’t we just forget this every happened?”

“Don’t you think it is a bit easier said than done,” I ponder out loud. If she thinks my mind will simply tuck away all that has happened in some secret locked compartment, hah! I see Nicole staring dejectedly at Audrey and me, after our sudden outbursts.

“I don’t believe it even concerns us,” she quietly says. “It’s his fault. Our reaction is unequivocally pointless. We turn on each other like a pack of deranged hyenas.” I see her point. I feel like all of those really snobby, gossipy girls at school. Yuck. Nicole is the quiet, small, calm one of the bunch. The extremely differentiated bunch. I, Violet, band geek naturale of the group, am in every school related club that there is. Yes, that’s me. Audrey, she is the popular one. At our junior high she is basically a supernova. She exists to set an example of the quintessence of popular. And then, Laura. She is the newest addition to our now disjointed group. She didn’t come from exactly the best household in the world, but she is in a foster home now. We aren’t positive where she fits in at school, except with us. We know she still worships him like a loyal puppy dog to its cruel, murderous master. After everything. It upsets my temper when I think about it.

“It wasn’t his fault,” she says apologetically, after being quiet the whole time. I wish she would stop saying that. We all see that he is a waste of elements.

“Oh yeah? Then whose was it,” Audrey asks menacingly.

“It was mine,” Laura says, defending, always defending.

“We know that isn’t true,” I say, taking the role as Captain Obvious.

“I can’t explain why yet, I just can’t.”

“Then I can’t understand, and neither can they,” I say, staring at her, unbelieving. We all watch as she silently stalks out of the room.


She is missing. We have been looking for days. We can’t find her and so we converse. We forgive and forget, and pray she is found. As we sit, quietly, identical to that day, only connected and thinking as one, I have an epiphany. And now I know.

We have created a monster. With simple selfishness. We still haven’t found her. We wait for days, expecting her to come back, or something to show up.

And then we see it on the news.

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