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P.S. I'm Gone
It’s been two days, but you lot will never know.
I can see you now, searching, running, yelling. Kathy always did like to yell. Especially in the theatre. Remember? Especially when the baddie was about to pull a move. Every time Kathy, and after she’d ask “Why didn’t you say anything?” and I’d always reply “I liked the baddie more,” and then we’d walk. We’d always push each other into the ditch beside the theatre, kick the beer bottles, pluck at those funny little weeds. The fall was especially nice, with the little oak tree changing so quickly. Bethany always waved to it, and when Kathy would ask her why, Bethany would always say “It looks lonely,” and then Kathy would say, “Like Gracie!” and we’d all laugh.
But my laugh wasn’t a real laugh.
It’s almost painful to watch Bethany run into the theatre and blabber out the recent happenings to the clerk. Her brown hair wasn’t always that dull. Remember? That summer before our junior year in the high school, when we took out the kayaks. Bethany’s hair was so shiny, like the paddles, only more welcoming. And the trees would be so green, and Kathy would always squeal when the dragonflies landed on her. She would shake it off, only to have another flit back and choose another resting place. Renny would say “I knew you weren’t human,” and Kathy would sneer and cup her hands in the lake, splashing water everywhere. But Renny didn’t mind, and soon we were all splashing and screaming happily.
But my happy wasn’t your happy.
Out of all the seasons spring was the best, though. Bethany would have the allergies: the runny eyes, the sneezing, the constant extraction of tissues from some undisclosed hiding place. You’re searching, running, yelling now, the first official day of spring. The dirty brown snow is still dotting the ground, and Renny, for once, not trying to avoid it. Her red hair is catching the sunset, her footprints leaving a new impression. Her skirt is still without the presence of that breeze that always seemed to follow us around. Remember? That time in the cemetery, as Renny’s fifteenth birthday when we all swung on the gate. The lightning wasn’t far off, and the road had the wet tar smell I loved so much. And the breeze came up and took our hair, and our jackets, and Renny’s skirt. We all leapt off the gate when that Statey drove by, and acted like we’d been walking. And then Kathy shouted “He’s gone!” and we all scurried back to the rusted, black gate.
But my scurry wasn’t a quick scurry.
Last winter was the worst. Too much snow for Renny to live with. She would come into school every day, blonde hair up in a bun, blue jacket dirty from rubbing up against her car. Her shoes were always the cleanest out of all of ours, though. Remember? I’m still wearing the black ones with the colors on the hell. Bethany’s are the same, white and pink, and Renny still loves the wedges with the polka-dots. But Kathy’s are different, not the usual flats with the bows. Now she has the boots, and she won’t put her phone down. Like that time, after the band concert when the other schools came. That boy playing the tuba with the green hair, the one who smiled at me when we passed in the hall. Kathy said “Why did you smile at him?” and I shrugged, a real smile playing over my face. She went on, “Why would anyone want green hair?” and I shrugged, gripping my flute tightly. “He’s a bit of a freak if you ask me,” she finished before turning and heading to her seat with the other bassoons. I sighed and took my seat on the end, flute resting in my lap. We played well that night, standing ovations for all the songs. Then the boy that Kathy had been eyeing had to play, and I clapped along with her.
But those claps weren’t standing-ovation claps.
And now the three of you are searching, running, yelling. Poor Bethany was turned away by the clerk at the theatre. Hopeful Renny is tromping through the dirty, leftover snow. Worried Kathy, calling the boy from the other band to see if he knew the boy with the green hair. I’d like to tell Bethany I didn’t go to the theatre, I’d like to tell Renny to get her feet out of the snow, and I’d especially like to tell Kathy it wasn’t the boy with the green hair, but the one who leapt out from the grocery. The one who held something cold to the back of my neck. The one who pushed me up into the van, muttering threats and vulgar ideas in my ear.
It’s been a week, but you lot will never now.