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As I walk through the woods, I try to remember last June. It seems like it all just happened, yet my memory of it is blurred. I read once that the more you remember something the more it changes. I think maybe that is coming into effect. A fat bunny catches my eye. They never seem to run away, like every other animal. I check my watch and realize I’m late, as usual. I quickly jog out of woods (even though I HATE running) and back into suburban Massachusetts. As I walk by Lucy’s old house, I see that their mom is getting ready to go too. I make an attempt to half smile, but she doesn’t respond. I close my eyes, trying to remember how things were before this mess.
“Pfff, that looks so fake,” I say to Lucy and Luke.
In my head though, I am trying to stop the urge to run out of the room screaming. I’ve never been able to handle scary movies well. Yeah, I know what you’re thinking, I’m a loser, but that’s pretty much the only thing I’m wimpy about besides spiders. I HATE spiders. Then again, I don’t know anyone who likes spiders.
“Heh, Heh, Yeaaaah,” Luke says, kind of shakily.
Ha, he’s just as scared as I am. Lucy just loves scary movies, so we always end up watching them. I always jump and yelp when stuff pops up, and they both give me the same facial expression like I’m insane or something. Mrs. Kemp walks in with some popcorn for us.
“Thanks,” Lucy and I say at the exact same time, which of course turns us into a laughing fit.
“Can we watch something else please?” I finally ask.
“But Regan, we are just about at the part where they go into the woods!” Lucy says.
“Don’t we do that every other day on the way home from practice?”
“Soooo this is my-”
“Yeah, maybe we should watch something else,” Luke interrupts.
“See, he agrees with me,” I shoot back at her.
He gives his usual sheepish, this-is-really-awkward laugh.
“Oh fine! Hey we can watch The Nightmare Next Door!” Lucy says.
“Really?” I say
“That’s not what we meant.”
“Yeah, but it’s something else, so it totally counts!”
It was short at least. I didn’t really have the nerve to say anything, so it was kind of boring. Everyone from school was at the funeral. Other people stood up and talked, but instead of them making me feel better, every time someone stood up, I just felt like she was slipping away again. Just seeing how many people knew her, made me feel insufficient, and as if we were just acquaintances.
“Smooth,” I say when Luke drops his bass drum mallet.
“Like you’ve never dropped yours,” he says.
“Who said anything about that?” I say with a laugh.
“Yeah,” says Lucy, backing me up.
“We are done for today, so you can pack up and go!” says Miss Doxford.
“Ugh, I messed up like twelve times!” says Lucy.
“It’s all the sixth graders’ fault,” I say.
“Yeah I know.”
“So are you doing anything this weekend?” I ask.
“Yeah, I have to go help my grandma move out of her apartment. Then I have to go to piano for, like, five hours because I’m kind of a failure at it.”
“Yeah I’m going to Boston again because I have to go to my brother’s college graduation.”
“Hey, are guys ready yet?” Luke says.
He’s holding, like, the hugest History project EVER.
“How the heck are you going to walk with that thing?” I say.
He shrugs and says, “I don’t know,” as we leave school.
On the way home, we stop for ice cream. Yeah, because ice cream is gonna fix everything. After that on the ride home, I instinctively go to my phone, and then realize I don’t really have anyone to text. Oh well, it will make my bill go down at least. But the last thing I am thinking of right now is money. No amount of money can get her back. I put my phone back into my purse. Then I walk back into the mini forest down the block that we used to walk through everyday in August.
As we are walking home, it starts to rain.
“Oh crap,” says Luke, who is walking with his History project.
“I didn’t realize ancient Egypt had that much rain,” says Lucy.
“Ha-ha very funny,” says Luke while trying to find a better way to carry the monster that is his History project.
I laugh, then remember I have an umbrella in my back pack, and dig it out.
“Here Lucy, you can stand under my umbrella, ella ella eh eh eh eh eh.” I say imitating Rihanna’s song.
Lucy and I start laughing really hard then start crossing. Then I hear the squeaking of brakes, but it’s too late. All I hear is a sickening “thud, thud.”
“BEEP BEEP.” I wake up to the sterile smell of hospital. I look around and see that I am not alone in the room. Lucy is to my left and is in bad shape. She’s still out. I feel a stabbing pain in my temple and in my arm. I test my arms and legs, and nothing seems to be broken. I’m just scratched up. I guess we didn’t see the car because of Luke’s project and my umbrella. I just don’t get how the car hit us, though. I mean we had a bunch of stuff, so maybe it was a failure of brakes. Whoever the idiot is who hit us better be in jail.
When I walk in the forest, I hear the usual echoes of my foot steps. I stop, but the footsteps keep going. I feel a chill go down my spine.
“Hello???” I call out, hoping not to get a response. I mean I know who’s buried in here. All of a sudden I realize that I’m not alone.
“Hey,” I say.
“Hey,” says Luke
“You scared me to death!”
Oh wait, it’s bad timing for me to say that.
I wake up to a solid beep. I feel frozen with numbness. The person next to me is not moving.
“Doctor! Please!” I screech.
I push the button on my hospital bed, and then finally a nurse shows up.
“Oh… I’m so sorry, there’s nothing we can do, she was beyond saving.”
I try to pinch myself to make it all go away but it doesn’t. Other nurses show up to take her away. I whisper goodbye, then try to go to sleep again.
When I wake up I see that I have a new roommate.
“Luke! Thank god you’re alive!”
“Yeah, I guess,” he says. Talking was never his strongest suit.
“When are they letting you out?” I ask.
“I don’t know.”
We just sit in silence for a little bit.
“When we get out of here, I’m going to punch Mrs. Heifer for assigning that stupid project.”
“And I’m never going to carry an umbrella again,” I say with a laugh.
“Well, good luck with that,” he says.
“This sucks,” he says.
“Trust me, I know,” I say.
“Were you always as freaked out by those horror movies as I was?” I ask him.
“Pfff no,” he says unconvincingly.
“Good because I saw one on the guide.”
After a few seconds of scanning the screen, he says, “Hey how about, ummmm, Hoarders: Buried Alive instead.”
One Year Later
I go back to the forest to visit Lucy’s new permanent home. It reads “Lucy Anne Kemp 1997-2010.” I leave flowers and the latest horror movie’s soundtrack and leave. Everyone is meeting at her old house to watch her favorite movie Saw. I watched the first like five minutes and then went to go to the bathroom. I just stayed in there for the majority of the movie; I don’t handle scary movies well. Plus, if you have ever seen Saw, it is, like, really scary. Finally I got the courage to go watch the end of the movie. Let’s just say it was the worst experience of my life, besides the whole getting hit by a car thing. It was hard watching it with only one twin giving me the “You’re crazy” look when I hide behind the pillows on the couch. We all didn’t know what to do when the movie was over, kind of like how we all don’t know what to do now that Lucy is gone.