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The Never Outhouse
Author's note: I became friends with a girl who survived cancer when I started writing this book. I used a lot of experiences from my freshman year last year in this piece. I hope readers can relate and find the passion I put into writing this.
Even the weirdest kid in the world has to admit that sitting in the corner of a lonely room everyday by yourself is pretty depressing. The smell of the new paint job downstairs in the master bedroom causes headaches. The fact that you really have no friends to talk to causes sadness, and having the smallest amount of food to eat every meal is just, crucial! (Oh, if you have to read this for some kind of bogus English class (teachers take no offense,) and the teacher has probably asked you, “What point of view is this story from? First person, second person, second person omniscient, or third person?” Sorry to tell you that you’re out of luck. The view of this story switches a lot, only because it can be related to in many different ways.) People tell me I’m pretty, my hair’s a good length and that my eyes are the prettiest hazel they’ve ever seen. Sometimes I wonder if they’re lying. I often find myself wondering what people would do without me.
That’s the last entry in the blue notebook Kylie’s best friend, Emmalynn wrote. Emmalynn always wanted to be a successful author. She had tried so many times to start a novel. Every time she had a better idea, she’d just crumble up the paper and start over. Kylie made sure she kept that entry- just in case Emmalynn ever came back.
There’s three minutes until show time. This is like Dakota’s fifteenth television appearance. Do her parents not understand that after the fifth or sixth television interview, she was pretty irritated by now? Apparently not because they find it “a miracle” to get as many national blessings as they do every time they make another appearance on Good Morning Virginia, or Waking Up with Kelsey, and Lindsey’s Corner.
“Thirty seconds!” a show manager called out.
“Dakota, let’s go!” her mom called. Dakota got in her enthusiastic mode as she took a seat on the orange couch. Her dad, then mom took a seat on each side of her.
Oh great, here comes the host . . .Dakota thought.
“Show time, in three, two, one!”
“Good morning, everyone!” the host said happily as the audience clapped rapidly. “As you know, I’m your host, Holly Vastel: also known as the one who’s most likely to win a grammy,” Holly smiled. The audience laughed and Dakota rolled her eyes.
“Would that laugh just choke her already?” She quietly said.
“Dakota! Shh!” her mother whispered as she secretively nudged her.
“Today on ‘Hey Holly,’ we have a very brave thirteen year old girl here with us. She has suffered and survived cancer.” Holly’s face looked very sincere. The crowd was in a moment of amazement.
“Tell me, Dakota- how do you feel now?”
“I feel great! It’s truly a blessing to be here to talk about it today. My life a year ago was horrible. The doctor said I wasn’t going to live any longer than six months, and I’m proud to say the cancer has cleared almost completely. My hair has grown back, I have more energy and I’ve learned to cherish my life every day. I’ve also become extremely close to God and nothing is going to change my love for Him.” Dakota smiled to the crowd.
“Aw, that was so sweet!” Holly gave Dakota a hug. She proceeded with the rest of her show, and soon it was time for Dakota and her parents to leave the studio and return home. When Dakota got in the truck, she received two text messages: one from the not so nice, Chelsea and the other from the even meaner, Taylor.
Did your parents tell you to say all that? Because it all sounded SO fake.
That one came from Chelsea. The other text followed behind Chelsea’s soon as Dakota finished reading. Jenna’s said: Like YOU.
Mrs. Arbuckle ran down the hallway of her two story townhouse. A rug that she almost tripped on was the same rug she remembered Kylie sitting on when she was about ten months old. The day Mrs. Arbuckle could never forget- the day Kylie said her first word: “Daddy.” She was suddenly having flashbacks, as if she was reliving that day. Her husband came down the hall, stopped and stared at his wife who was standing in the middle of the hall looking rather dumfounded.
“Kelly!” he shouted, walking up to her. She still stood, but quickly snapped into reality.
“Yes?” she jumped with fright.
“Are you okay?”
“Um, yes. You just…startled me, that’s all.” She partially grinned.
“Where’s Kylie?” he asked.
“In her room.”
“You don’t sound too sure of yourself, Kelly. You know how she is.”
“I just checked on her like thirty minutes ago, Brian.” They were both looking at each other, and then made their way to Kylie’s room upstairs. Once they arrived, Mrs. Arbuckle knocked on the door- no answer.
“Kylie, it’s me,” She said. No reply.
“Please open the door,” Mr. Arbuckle said calmly. The two looked at each other as if they knew what had happened. Mrs. Arbuckle opened the door- an open window.
“Oh, no! Not again! My baby!” she cried.
“Call the police. This has got to stop!” Mr. Arbuckle said with oncoming rage. Mrs. Arbuckle was crying now. She was bawling her green eyes out. She began pacing around in her daughter’s room, when she found a note on pink paper. She picked it up and read it:
DON’T come looking for me this time.
Mrs. Arbuckle choked on her tears and began wondering- why? Why does she do this to me…to us? She looked at the bottom of the page:
If you do, I’m never talking to you again. I’ll kill myself like they did to Dad before I ever talk to you again.
“Alright, all of those who are auditioning to center stage, please!” the casting director instructed. Farrah excitedly walked on the stage. She was wearing the beret her aunt Ally got her last spring. She promised herself she’d only wear it to auditions that she wanted most. Her aunt told her “it looks determined to be the best.” How can a hat look determined? Oh well. Her aunt was always right.
The hat was pretty much good luck. It helped her convince the casting directors of the previous three auditions. Farrah was just fed up. Her mom didn’t support her acting. She’d never seen her dad but was told he was a drunk. Her sister had a kid she couldn’t even take care of, her brother- who even knows where Evan was these days. Last time he called the family was Thanksgiving. Farrah was basically doing all of this on her own. All her mom did was take her to the auditions and classes.
“Number fourteen!” someone called from the stage. Farrah looked down at her number tag: 14. She checked her hair and headed towards the stage.
“Begin, Farrah. . .?” the director seemed to be struggling to say her last name.
“I didn’t ask. Just begin. Let me see you act as if you’ve just given birth to a newborn baby. It’s crying, and you don’t know what to do. You get an idea of suicide, and you’re contemplating whether to do it or not. And, action!”
Farrah froze, as a tear rolled down her cheek.
Kylie had decided to run away, this being her third attempt. If the cops find her this time, she’d be put into a shelter just for girls. That’d mean no school, no parents and no stress. Living in the shelter also meant no Dakota, no Farrah and no Jesse (her somewhat boyfriend.) Those were the people she cared most about.
“Where is the closest restaurant around here?” Kylie said out loud as she continued walking; now standing a few miles from her house. Cars speeding down the road made her sandy brown hair blow in the wind behind and in front of her. Good thing she didn’t bring her phone with her. Now her chance to run away to somewhere safe could have a better result.
“I know where it’s at. . .” a voice said behind her. Kylie’s heart raced as she imagined the voice behind her belonging to a cop. She slowly turned around, being cautious of her surroundings every which way.
“I’m not a cop…I’m homeless. Can’t stand those daggone cops anyways,” the voice said. Kylie secretly studied the man once she had turned around. He was in fact homeless. He stood about 5’9”, had long shoulder length blonde hair, blue tinted eyes, and wore a shabby plaid shirt along with a pair of holey, brown khaki’s and a baseball cap. His shoes threw off the homeless image, for they were a fresh new pair of Concords.
“Yeah, I don’t like cops either. They catch me every time I try to run away from that hell hole the church tells me I should be calling ‘home.’”
The man laughed. “You can’t be but what, sixteen? Fifteen?”
“Fourteen. I’ll be fifteen on the 27th.”
“I remember when I was fourteen. Ah, best year of my life. Partying, getting wasted, sneaking into clubs, poker, high jacking cars from the snobby, rich neighborhoods…Oh, those were the good years.”
Kylie had gotten some feeling inside by now from listening to the man’s story. It was as if each word made her cringe, but then again they made her heart jump and her adrenalin rush. It was like her understood her.
Kylie, walk away, something in her mind said. Stay, Kylie. See what the guy’s got to offer. You can’t go back home. They don’t care about you, another voice said.
“Sounds like you had a great life . . . Why are you homeless?” Kylie inquired.
“Ha! Great life my . . . never mind.” The man’s voice was very raspy but he had a thick country accent. “My life was never great. It was always a living, walking, talking, hell!”
“I know what you mean.”
“My father left me to go deal drugs. He ended up getting life in prison for killing some music producer. My mother was known as Chattanooga’s Candy. Yessir, that woman slept with anybody and everybody! Ha-ha!”
“Whoa, really? Do you have any-?”
“Don’t even get me started! I lived with seven sisters and four brothers. There could be more, but I never even cared about those eleven. I was kid number eight. But I left the house when there were only nine of us. I went back when there was eleven, but once I found out she still hadn’t learned to keep them daggone cookies in the jar, I left for good. Yep, I was fifteen.”
“I don’t like my mother…but that’s no way to talk about your mom, is it?” Kylie said with sarcasm.
“Who cares, girl? If you knew the woman, you’d know! Any woman labeled as ‘candy’ to a street full of men, plus around the corner, down the alley and back is nothing but daggone trash, I tell ya!”
“Like a whore?”
“Not like a whore- the definition of one.”
“But if you’re homeless, how is it that you have new Concords?”
“Stole ‘em. I may be 27 years old but I still got my game when it comes to stealin’!”
“I’ve only stolen twice . . . an eyeliner kit from Dollar City and a pack of gum. How did you get to where you can steal something as visible and bulky as shoes?”
“Takes time. Maybe you’ll let me show ya, if you don’t get caught.”
“If I get caught, I’ll be sent to a shelter. That’s so stupid. . .” Kylie looked down at her feet.
“Say kid, what’s your government name?”
“Um, democracy?” The man laughed and then slapped his knees.
“Kid, I like you. Your government name- ya know… your name? Jody? Karen? Dorothy? Myra?”
“Oh…” Kylie felt clueless as she blushed and then brushed it off. “Kylie.”
“Oh, shucks. I ain’t never been no good at spelling words no way! Ha-ha! Well Kylie, my name is Edward. I go by my street name, E-Money.”
“Nah, I’m just pullin’ ya leg. But I do go by my street name E. Field.”
“E. Field? Why E. Field?”
“I sleep in fields.”
“That’s self-explanatory…I guess.”
“Those are some deep burn marks you got there!”
Kylie looked down at E. Field’s hand touching her wrist, as if to wonder, how did he find those? No one knows what they are! E. Field looked at Kylie from head to toe. Kylie tried to force her mouth to release a response.
“Um, house fire.”
“Liar. Your pants on fire!”
“Kylie, I’ve been there, here, everywhere. You smoke, don’t you?” As if it were planned, Kylie hacked up a slimy substance and coughed uncontrollably.
“Yes,” she managed to whisper as she gasped for the least bit of air she could afford.
“How much you doin’?”
“Depends how much my parents tick me off.”
“Is today one of them days?”
“I ran away didn’t I?”
E. Field gave Kylie a dirty look. “Don’t go gettin’ an attitude with me! How am I supposed to know where the heck you been?”
“Sorry…I’m just a little--”
“Say no more. Are you hungry?”
“let’s go get somethin’ to eat, eh?”
“I thought you were--”
“Will you stop cutting me off?”
E. Field laughed. “I’m from Chattanooga. That’s what my folks are known for. They call us the Cuttin’ Off Cosby’s.”
“Is your last name even Cosby?”
“Say one more smart remark and I’m gonna cut your tongue off so I can eat twice as much and leave your skinny self starvin’!” Kylie stood with a look of astonishment.
“I’m kiddin’!” Let’s go get some food.” As soon as Kylie stepped off the curb, a car sped by and shot at E. Field- and missed.
“Mess with my sister one more time, you dang pedophile!” the driver shouted.
“I ain’t do nothin’ with nobody!”
The car continually sped by, and in the matter of seconds, crashed. The explosion was massive. The car had ran a red light and t-boned what seemed to be a brand new 2010 Honda- fuchsia colored to be exact.
“That car looks familiar…” Kylie said.
“Dumb rednecks!” E. Field shouted. Kylie ran closer to the accident. A woman was being pulled from the driver’s seat, and the girl in the passenger seat was still buckled in. Firefighters were joining together to remove the body.
“Oh no…” Kylie began to shake. The woman, who was still breathing although covered in blood, was a woman she’d seen so many times before. Kylie turned around when someone tapped on her shoulder. She was now facing a gun- dead in the eye. Kylie began to scream as the person went to grab her throat…
“Kylie…Kylie…Wake up!” a voice repeatedly shouted. Kylie finally woke up but jumped with fright at the rapid shakes her arms received. She looked around as if she didn’t know her location.
“What were you dreaming about?” Farrah asked.
“It was the most terrible thing ever! I had a dream that me and E. Field were going to get something to eat, and someone shot at him. The bullet went past us but the car who shot at us got in an accident and guess who was in the other car!”
“Oh, no…Not again. Kylie, was it Emmalynn?” Farrah asked, with irritation and the slightest bit of worry in her voice.
“Yes! Emmalynn and Ms. Courtney! It was like something was telling me how she really disappeared.”
“Kylie, you know Emmalynn was kidnapped! That happened almost a year ago,” Dakota said.
“A year ago as of seven months from today,” Farrah added.
“Do you guys think…maybe, it’s possible, she’s still alive?” Kylie suggested with teary eyes.
“And what? Living in a mansion with some man who adopted her as his daughter and buys her whatever the hell she wants?” Dakota flicked part of her nail she had been chewing on at the floor.
“Cody, why are you always so bitter whenever someone wants to talk about Emalynn? You act like no one is allowed to talk about her!” Farrah stood up.
“Shhh!” the librarian angrily hushed from across the room.
“Back off!” Dakota shouted.
“Cody, you’re gonna get us kicked out. This is the third library we’ve had to move to,” Kylie whispered.
“Young man, watch your tone,” the librarian said, pointing her white, brittle finger. (Cody’s the occasional tomboy.)
“First of all; I’m definitely a girl, and you need to go clean them glasses. Second of all, my tone can sound however it wants to, got it?” Dakota gave a fake smile and sat back down.
“We’re sorry. Can you excuse her? She’s a little um--”
“High?” Dakota finished.
“Ugh, not even,” Kylie added smartly.
“Um, little ghost believer, Casper ain’t gonna bring Emmalynn back from the dead. So I suggest you shut up unless you want me to handle your skinny--”
“Cody, stop cussing!” Farrah pushed Dakota down in her seat- this being the fourth time she had stood up.
“She’s not dead!”
“Ladies, if I have to ask you one more time to be quiet you’ll be--”
“Yes, Grandma, removed, we know!”
“Excuse me?” The librarian tilted her glasses. Security walked in, and Farrah and Kylie got scared.
“Where’s the problem, Mrs. Colbert?” The tall woman in blue and white security uniform asked.
“Over there. Please remove her and her party.”
“Young lady, please gather your things and follow me out of the building. Party, I’m gonna have to ask you to do the same.”
“We’re sorry,” Kylie and Farrah apologized at the same time.
Once the girls got out of the library, they began to walk down Rosemary Avenue.
“Farrah, back to what I was saying, do you really think Emmalynn could still be alive?”
“Kylie, I don’t know. If they haven’t found her body, or her, then…well, who knows? Only God can answer that. Wherever she is, she’s safe.”
“Or floating in a ditch.”
“Cody!” Kylie shouted.
“Didn’t you say E. Field was in the dream? Does he sell the good stuff?”
:You don’t even know him.”
“I know from what you said. You don’t know him either. Next thing we know, you’re gone missing too. Then I’ll be stuck with Farrah’s constant crying over how you might possibly be alive too.” Cody laughed and began to hack “the cough.”
“Ew, Cody. What did we tell you about smoking?” Indeed they had said something, but it was apparent that Dakota paid no mind to it.
“You’re high, aren’t you?” Farrah said looking in Cody’s eyes.
“Ha-ha, as a kite on a windy day, my friend.” Cody’s eyes began to redden as the sun got higher in the sky.
“Every time you get high, you’re mean to everyone around you.”
“You should really stop. You already had cancer once. Do you want it again?” Kylie said.
“Shut up, okay? You know I hate when you talk about that.” Well that made two things you can expect a fight from if you talk about it with Cody: the disappearance of her best friend and the miraculous idea that she’s still alive.
Later that night when Cody got home, she was about to take a shower to “wash off” the “effects,” when her mom came in the room.
“Cody, Can I talk to you a minute?” she asked. Cody’s highness was wearing off and she was getting back to her normal self. When Cody isn’t herself, everybody knows why. As Cody went to sit on her bed in her purple leopard print robe, she received a text message: you know what’s funny? i was mean in my dream, just like you were today. It was from Kylie. Kylie could be your average nice girl; pretty, always happy, full of smiles, and willing to make anyone laugh. But after the death of her father, she had changed. Her prettiness was no longer natural (only with the artificial application of makeup,) her happiness was occasional, her smiles turned to frowns and she no longer cared if she made anyone laugh. Her dad was like her best friend. He’d always been willing to give her what she asked for without hesitation. He’d only been dead for six years, but it felt like six hundred. Kylie felt hate towards her mom for finding and remarrying a man less than a year later.
I’m sorry, Kylie. I need 2 stop doing that stuff anyways, Cody texted back.
i know you do...i know you hate talking about Em and your cancer but there’s things in life we all HAVE to deal with or it’ll make everything worse. my dad once told me a quote- “what takes courage and strength is finding the ability to seek new opportunities in change.” you’ve got a lot going for you, cody. don’t mess it up.
Cody read the text and felt a tear produce in her eye.
“Cody, come here!” her mom called.
“Yes?” they both sat on the bed.
“I’m going to ask you nicely…were you doing something illegal today?” Cody immediately blurted out “No!”
“Are you lying?”
“…No. I’m not lying.”
“Cody, if I find out that you lied or ever did something bad, you will never see another bright day! I’m not kidding.”
“I know, Mom.” Cody tried to hold her composure so her mom would leave. Once her mom finally left after sneakily trying to peer on top of the dresser, Cody got up and replied to Kylie: I know Kylie…I’m sorry. Again. I’m stopping after I take my shower to get it all off. Kylie texted back a simple smiley face and that was Cody’s “OK” to take a shower.
About ten minutes away in the neighborhood of Grassfield Cove, Farrah was on SunBlot – the popular teen social networking site. She was also texting her boyfriend of six months, Trey. His laugh was the cutest thing ever, he was sweet and caring, always kept his waves nicely edged up, had pretty brown eyes, an adorable nose, distinct forehead wrinkles that were a major turn on for Farrah, that oh-so sexy face, and he was a yellow bone. They were the perfect match. Farrah’s Chris Brown ringtone went off.
“Hi, is this Farrah?” The voice on the other line asked.
“Yes, who’s this?”
“Hi, Farrah. This is Charmaine with Waken Acting. I’m calling to inform you that you’re wanted for callbacks for the part of Maggie in the play you tried out for two weeks ago.”
“Really? Thank you so much!”
“Have a nice night. We look forward to seeing you again.” Farrah hung the phone up and got on SunBlot to set her new status: Got called back for the play :) I’m so excited!
*New Text Message*
My day was ok…I miss you :(
Farrah loved getting those sweet texts from Trey.
E. Field was a real person. Kylie had met him a few weeks ago when she tried to run away. How she even dreamt about that car accident was the way Emmalynn disappeared was something Kylie herself didn’t even understand. She always thought to herself, What if Farrah and Cody had a secret side to them no one knew about? The only things that were surfaced were that Farrah’s mom didn’t accept her wanting to be an actress and that Farrah wasn’t a virgin (by choice.) Cody, well…Cody was generally a nice person, unless she was smoking. Cody was diagnosed with cancer in fifth grade, had to be home schooled the rest of the year and all three of her middle school years. Not only was she going into a new high school freshman year like all of the other ninth graders, but she hadn’t made any new friends. She had to go to chemotherapy her fifth, sixth and part of her seventh grade year. In eighth grade, they let her go to remediation and when the cancer had cleared and gone away after her bone marrow transplant, they still wanted to keep Cody at home – just to be sure. She would’ve been at Bickson Middle, but since she only went for a week and didn’t feel comfortable (as she claims,) her parents allowed her to finish her eighth grade year being homeschooled. Maybe Cody being home so much was how she was featured on so many morning talk shows. Show your face in the morning, get schooled during the day. Cody wasn’t acting normal that one week she was at Bickson. She got nervous around people who looked at her funny and she’d twitch her eye when people asked was she any better. Kylie wondered about all of these things, as she was described as “the most thinking-est child” her mother had ever met. Of course her mom knew that…back when Kylie was eight or nine, since her mom barely knew anything about her own daughter anymore -- How sad…too busy running behind a man who works more than he breathes and spends time on his “business” computer more than he changes his own underwear. Back to Farrah. . .
Wait, what had been wrong with Farrah a few months before eighth grade ended? It was in…when was it? Kylie made herself think harder. It was around the time Mr. Hodgkin’s left town for his sister’s wedding, which was when we had that substitute that taught us alliterations, which was when Jenna and Chelsea sang each other the birthday song, which was when Farrah wasn’t there for her birthday, which was when Jenna and Chelsea got I.S.S for disrupting the class because they said…Oh, what was it they said? Oh! Jenna and Chelsea sang the birthday song to Farrah’s empty seat, which was when Farrah wasn’t there for her birthday, which was in February, which was why Jenna and Chelsea said “Farrah being born makes February wanna fall off the face of the earth,” and that was when the substitute yelled, “That’s an unacceptable alliteration! Now get out and go to the office!” Yes, Farrah left in February and didn’t come back until May! But why. . .
Saturday: the day to help the SCA with homecoming decorations. Kylie, Dakota, Farrah and another freshman, Monica came in that morning. Farrah had to stand on the table in the cafeteria to be able to reach the poles she was putting the streamers on.
“You’re the tallest, light bright! Get up there,” Monica said.
“Alright, Monica. Keep playin’. I’ll tape your smurf lookin’ self up there with these streamers!”
“Hanging smurfs!” Kylie shouted.
“It’s raining short people!” Cody yelled. All of the girls laughed together.
“Monica, how’s you and your boyfriend?” Farrah asked.
“Girl, what boyfriend? I’m single on the weekends,” Monica winked and laughed.
“Hey, you guys should actually put those streamers in a zigzag form. It’d look better,” one of the SCA members said to the girls.
“Oh, true! Thanks!” Monica said in her valley girl imitation voice. The other girl walked off and Monica rolled her eyes while saying, “Trick, if you got a problem with what we’re doing, come climb your stick body up on this table and do it yourself!” Monica was the type to always keep you laughing. She’d speak her mind if she felt the need but when you talk a certain way, she’d imitate you. Her boyfriend, Calvin Marzo (more commonly known as CJ,) was on Bickson’s basketball team. He happened to be one of four sophomores on the team. When people mention Monica, they generally describe her as “thick, Big Booty Judy, CJ’s Monica.” For some reason, everyone always wondered why Monica liked Cody, Farrah and Kylie. They were all mixed and Monica was all black. The answer: social classes. All the girls at Bickson were either too prissy or too ghetto for Monica. Farrah was still texting Trey while Cody texted someone too and was smiling from ear to ear.
“Cody, who are you texting?” Farrah asked. Cody smiled.
“Liar! Whoever it is, you better make sure he likes you for you and not for that yellow sugar cookie you got in that jar! Trust me, I know. That’s how it starts out: like, lust, kiss, never date, baby.” Monica said.
“Monica, you should be a sex ed teacher.”
“Nah, I just know how it is. Chicago didn’t teach me that crap for nothin’. You don’t love anyone if it’s been two weeks.”
A few hours into decorating, Cody had to leave for a church event. It was now only Monica, Farrah and Kylie in the cafeteria, when one of the nicer SCA girls came up to them.
“Hey, you guys are doing a great job!” She said. “Do you want pizza? Or did you wanna walk to Wendy’s down the street to get something?”
“Thank you,” the girls said together. “Um, we’ll walk to Wendy’s in a little bit,” Kylie answered.
“Okay, that’s cool.”
“Thank you for asking,” Farrah said.
“No problem.” The girl walked away. Farrah got down off the table when she went to check her phone. She let out a disturbing scream and she stomped in place.
“No! Nooooo!” She yelled.
“The world?” Cody said raising an eyebrow.
“Uh, Farrah…?” Monica placed her hand gently on Farrah’s shoulder.
“Hold up, don’t start snappin’ on people!”
“Ugh, I’m sorry. Look!” Farrah showed Monica and Kylie her phone’s blue and black, static filled, flashing screen. Broken. Great.
“Oh that’s bad. How did it happen? It was fine like ten minutes,” Kylie said, running her fingers across the non-responsive touch screen.
“It was in my back pocket. Maybe I sat on it.”
“You don’t have the butt to break it!”
“Very funny,” Farrah laughed and then frowned. “But my mom isn’t gonna get me a new one! Can we just go get something to eat?”
“Let’s do that. My dad just gave me $20.”
“Wait,” Kylie stopped. “What about these last two poles? We don’t have enough streamers, and I’m definitely not coming back to this school again until Monday.”
“Man, slap some tape up there and a small bit of blue. I’m hungry as a fish.”
Kylie looked around for the blue streamer roll.
“All we have is this, and it isn’t even a foot long.”
“We don’t care, we ‘re hungry,” Monica complained.
“Whatever you say.” Farrah climbed on the table one last time and made the tiny strip of streamer stretch as far as it could go until it ripped. They were so hungry, not to mention irritated by now that they took the smaller cut off pieces and taped the together to make the last strip look like it was all combined. When they began to clean up, Farrah went over by one of the first poles they decorated and stared in major aggravation.
“Really?” she shouted.
“What is it?” Monica said. Farrah held up a full roll of blue steamer. Silently, the girls kept their thoughts to themselves, continued cleaning up and got ready to leave when Kylie asked, “Why don’t we fix it?” Monica smiled in disgust.
“This ain’t my homecomin’!”
“Mo, we could fix it just so they can’t complain and say we did a tacky job and left it ghetto.”
“But it’s not even ours.”
“Do you wanna stand here and argue or would you rather fix it and get some food?” Monica didn’t even hesitate to think before she started unraveling the ne found streamers and quickly started wrapping it around the fat pole. The girls quickly but neatly finished, and they went back to get their bags from the SCA room.
“Are you gonna say ‘bye’?” Cody joked Monica.
“Nah! They’re not paying for my food.” Farrah, Monica and Kylie walked out of the school, down the sidewalk and then decided to go back and take the shortcut Farrah and her other best friend (who she called her cousin) discovered. When they arrived in the plaza, they walked n Wendy’s and got kid’s meals.
“I can’t believe my phone broke. Treys still texting me too. Aw, I can’t text him back. Wait, yes I – never mind,” Farrah made a “sap” (sappy) face.
“Girl, he’ll be alright,” Kylie said.
“Shut up! No he won’t. I won’t either.”
They took pictures together, grabbed their things, threw their trash away and left Wendy’s. They walked to the end of the plaza.
“I wanna try that frozen yogurt,” Kylie said.
“At Enterprise?” Monica asked.
“Allergic…” Farrah said, still trying to fix her phone’s screen. The girls walked over to Enterprise, but passed the “party” room first. Monica and Cody sped up and ignored the entrance.
“I thought you guys wanted –”
“Was that Taylor and Chelsea?” Kylie whispered in a frantic tone.
“Yes…I’m not going in there,” Monica said.
“Why?” Farrah asked.
“Farrah, do we really drama on a dang Saturday?”
“No, but why don’t you just-”
“Farrah!” Kylie snapped. “You know they’re full of drama. All they want is something to fuss over. And they’re not getting it here.”
Two boys on their bikes were approaching the girls. When they came to a stop, one asked, “Aren’t you Monica?” Monica looked at him, then at the other, and back to the first one.
“You know Chelsea doesn’t like you, right?”
“Wow, I don’t even care for real.”
“She said she thinks you’re ugly.”
“I don’t care what she thinks!”
The boys looked at each other in astonishment.
“Oh, okay then,” the other said.
“Is that all you came over here to say?”
“Yeah, pretty much.”
“Wow…” Monica used “wow” when she was irritated (just like Farrah.) But Farrah hated the word. It made her feel slow.
“Bye.” The boys pedaled back to the direction from which they came, when a familiar voice said, “Hey, Kylie!” The voice from around the corner belonged to a girl named Laura who used to be in Farrah’s Spanish class.
“Hey, Laura. why are you out here?” Laura hugged Kylie, then Farrah and lastly Monica.
“I’m trynna get some food. Plus Julieanne and Morgan made me walk through those stupid pine bushes and now my legs are about to fall off!” Morgan and Julieanne came from out the wooded area.
“Man, shut that up!” Morgan said. Although Kylie and Monica didn’t seem to have a problem with them, Farrah especially didn’t care for Morgan. She also didn’t really like Julieanne or Laura, but mainly Morgan. Julieanne was a tomboy. Everybody always thought she was into girls. She never even set foot into a pair of heels and not a single leg ever went in a dress.
“Hey, Farrah, what’d we do in science Thursday?” Morgan asked.
“We did a lab.” She kept it sweet and simple.
“Kylie, do you like Deshawn?” Laura asked.
“Who?!” Kylie responded in a tone as if she was offended.
“Oh, I heard he likes you.”
‘He can like me all he wants to. I don’t want him.”
“Okay, dang girl!”
“Anyways, we gotta go,” Morgan interrupted.
“Yeah, bye,” Julieanne and Laura said. They went towards Wendy’s while Farrah, Cody and Monica went the back way (which the other girls came from) – Farrah’s idea for avoiding drama and unnecessary congrontation.
“Let’s call Breanna. She lives in this neighborhood,” Farrah said and held her hand out for Kylie’s phone.
“So you gotta use mine?”
“Yes.” Farrah smiled and took the phone, which was working perfectly well (unlike her own.) Farrah scrolled through the B’s of Kylie’s contacts and found Breanna’s name, and pressed the call button.
“Hello?” Breanna answered.
“Hey! What are you doing with Kylie’s phone?”
“We went to the school to decorate for spirit week, then to Wendy’s, got confronted by some random boy on a bike, ran into Julieanne, Morgan and Laura and now we’re taking the back shortcut me and you found through Olive Square. You remember that shortcut?”
“Yeah I remember. Wait, why did you get confronted?”
“The two boys asked Monica if she liked Chelsea.”
“What’d you say?”
“…I said wow.”
“Breanna, you know I hate that word!”
“Stop being irrelevant and finish the story!”
“They asked her if she liked Chelsea.”
“No, they told me Chelsea doesn’t like me!” Monica added extra emphasis on the ‘told.’
“Was that Monica in the back?” Breanna asked.
“Yeah. But they told her Chelsea doesn’t like her. And she was like she doesn’t care. So I don’t know what they were trying to get out of her.”
“They must’ve known something.”
“Oh yeah, we walked past Taylor and Chelsea in Enterprise. Maybe they got the boys to come and tell Monica they don’t like her. Childish…”
“Well that’s really all uncalled for.”
“Yeah I know. Well I’ll let you go since you’re at Hailey’s house.”
“Okay. Bye girl.”
Once they came through the shortcut through the soccer field and onto the football field, Kylie’s phone rang.
“Who is this?” Kylie titled her phone and showed the number on the screen to Farrah.
“I don’t know.”
“Hello?” Kylie answered.
“Hey!” The other voice said in an awkwardly happy tone.
“Hi, who’s this?”
“Yeah, I just wanted to ask you if you wanted to chill with me, you know – hang out? I’ve missed you!”
“Um, my stepdad’s about to come pick me up from school.” Kylie sounded completely unsure of what to say, but Farrah caught that she gave away their location, and punched Kylie in the arm.
“Ow!” She yelped.
“What’s wrong?” Taylor asked.
“Uh, nothing. I tripped…”
“Why were you at the school?”
“I helped the SCA put up decorations.”
“Oh, cool. But okay, bye.” Before Kylie could say anymore, Taylor had hung up.
“Who was it?” Monica asked anxiously.
“It was Taylor.”
Kylie stood, still in the midst of her own confusion. Farrah began to violently shake her head.
“Are you crazy?!” She jumped and lunged forward towards Kylie and choked her.
“I…di…know!” Kylie quietly squeezed out what air she could.
“Farrah, you’re choking her! How do you expect to hear her?” Monica grabbed Farrah’s hands and pulled the two apart.
“Maybe I don’t WANT to hear her!” Farrah pointed an angry, French manicured nail at the girl grasping for air.
“Did I know who it was?”
“It doesn’t matter. It could’ve been Chris Brown! You still don’t…well, he’s sexy so he can come find us anytime. Well, me at least. But you get my point! Why would you tell anyone if it’s not our parents? Ugh, you can be so stupid!”
“You act like I told the cops on you!”
“I didn’t do anything for them to want me, you pothead!”
“That’s Cody, not me! But a pothead’s better than having everyone talk about me behind my back calling me a baby killer!” Everything got silent. The wind stopped blowing, the birds stopped chirping, the leaves stopped falling and it almost seemed as if the world stopped spinning. The sound of the girls breathing couldn’t even be heard, as if all life itself just had an electrical cord removed from the wall, a button pressed to pause, a movie called to “cut,” a ruthless child told to stop.
“What’d you just say?” Farrah said through a sudden rush of tears, although she was holding them back.
“Farrah, are you okay?” Monica asked, slowly putting her arm around Farrah’s back. Farrah jolted away from the comforting arm she knew she needed, but she would look weak…fragile…
“Don’t…touch me,” She said through tightly clenched teeth. Monica pulled her arm away. As the wind blew Kylie’s hair around in a personal tornado, she glared at Farrah. What did Farrah have to hide? Why did this “rumor” affect her so terribly?
“Wait, you guys, is that Taylor and Chelsea?” Monica said looking towards the football field. That must have been the decoder to the bitter silence, and Farrah’s tears welled back up and crawled back into the bottom of her eyes: gone. The wind blew Kylie’s hair back to normal: perfect.
“Oh no,” Farrah said.
Taylor, Chelsea and Becky (most known get around – at least for what her mouth can do) were in back of the “pack.” In front was an 8th grader over at Bickson Middle named Carl, the hyperactive, never stops talking, can’t sit still, annoying Carl. Next following him were the two bikers from the earlier approach. Behind them were Laura, Julieanne and Morgan. And in the back – the worst. Carl came to the three girls first, who were now on school property in the front.
“Are you Monica?” he asked.
“Carl, you know that! I missed you, boo!” She reached out for a hug.
“Uh, you might wanna run…” he said in one of his voices and stepped off to the side. Coming in next at the appearance of his front and center departure were the bikers. They rode in a circle and stopped their bike a few feet away from where the girls were sitting. The one who spoke to Monica took his phone out, and so did the other. Farrah gave them each a queer look.
“Wow, is this really necessary?” Monica rolled her eyes and said as Morgan, Laura and Julieanne walked up.
“I gotta see this,” Laura whispered to Morgan. Now, here came Taylor, Chelsea and Becky. Taylor had her hair in a ponytail, almost the same position as Chelsea’s, but she wore a thin headband. And Becky, she was wearing bedroom slippers. They came to where everyone else was and stood in a straight line side by side: Becky, Taylor, and Chelsea, in that order. It was silent.
“Why do you guys wanna bring drama on a Saturday?” Monica finally said.
“Why were you messing with Deshawn?” Taylor asked. The one question running through Kylie and Farrah’s mind was – Why is Taylor doing the talking if Chelsea was the one who went out with Deshawn? And why is Becky here if Chelsea doesn’t like her?
Well, two questions.
“I didn’t even mess with him for real.”
“For real? It still means you did!”
Monica and Chelsea kept arguing back and forth. Kylie got up and walked to the curb.
Why is she gonna leave me here in this mess?! Farrah thought to herself.
“But you keep runnin’ off at the mouth and you never back up what you say!” Taylor yelled. Farrah got a feeling in the lower part of her stomach, as if someone had just nudged her or given her a signal to get up. As soon as she stood up, the other boy on the bike that hadn’t really said much held his phone in her face.
“You’re just gonna leave you friend like that?” He asked as if he was recording her response. Farrah cocked an irritated eye at him and replied, “I have nothing to do with it but I’m not gonna leave her,” and stood by Kylie.
“Is your mom coming?” Kylie asked.
“Yeah, I called her like five minutes ago. I hope she comes before something happens.”
Farrah saw her mom driving from across the schoolyard. She turned around towards Monica.
“Monica, let’s go. My mom’s here.” No acknowledgement. Monica was still sitting down, although the three instigator’s positions had altered a little: it seemed to be a secretive triangle. Chelsea was a finger length apart from the black bench Monica sat on, Taylor was off to the other side of Monica, and Becky was in the back but also in front of Monica.
“Monica, let’s go! C’mon!” Farrah said a bit louder. Monica and mainly Taylor continued to argue.
“Is this trick deaf?” Farrah turned to Kylie and then back at Monica.
The loaded time bomb, had been set off.
As soon as Farrah turned around, Chelsea began to punch and pound Monica – who had just been jumped. Repeatedly she hit Monica in the head (who now stood up and started swinging at Chelsea.) Next, Taylor joined in. Monica looked like an ant standing next to a bird. This was no fair fight! Chelsea’s about as tall as the Eiffel Tower! You can’t put the Eiffel Tower against the Holiday Inn! In this case, Monica was the Holiday OUT.
“Oh my gosh…” Farrah said. Her facial expression froze, and Cody’s the same. The boys on the bikes held their phones out to record and so did Julieanne. Where was Becky? The fight had now moved to the side of the building and Monica had to stand on her tippy toes just to swing at Chelsea.
“Oh, crap. Farrah, your mom’s here,” Kylie said.
“Shoot, I’m out!” The boy that did the talking said, and rode off.
“Her mom ain’t gonna do anything!” Taylor shouted, and then continued to hit Monica. Two against half of one…
“C’mon, Farrah!” her mom called from inside the car once she had pulled up.
“I’m not leaving her!” Farrah’s mom looked around, and opened her door to get out. When she stood up, they all flew faster than an eagle after it’s spotted prey. Monica walked over to the bench. She was soaked in tears from eyes to chin.
“That was so stupid…Are you okay?” Kylie asked.
“It really was…Here,” Farrah handed Monica her phone that had been dropped on the ground when Chelsea started hitting her. “The battery came out but otherwise it looks fine.” Monica couldn’t stop crying.
“That was so dumb! Over some crap that’s not even true!” she said. Farrah’s mom closed her car door and came to the passenger side as Farrah and Kylie walked over while hugging Monica.
“Did they really just come to fight you?” Her mom asked.
“Yes!” Tears shot down he cheeks at this outburst. “It was over something Deshawn made up!”
“Deshawn, Chelsea’s ex boy-boy-fr-friend.”
“Over a boy!” Farrah’s mom was disgusted. “Fighting is pointless, but over a boy is just…stupid! It’s the dumbest thing a girl can ever do! You’re not friends with any of them are you?”
“No, not anymore.”
“Farrah, was that Taylor?”
Kylie looked at Farrah in surprise.
“Your mom knows Taylor?” Kylie asked.
“Yeah…we used to be best friends in elementary school.”
“She’s headed down the wrong path. She really is,” Farrah’s mom said. “Is your mom or dad coming to get you?”
“I think my dad,” Monica replied.
“Okay, we’ll wait here for him with you.”
Everyone had fled the scene. Nothing left to remember of this day but the proof of where lies can take you, or the consequences of covering up the truth…
Word about the fight spread through the freshman atmosphere as if someone took a megaphone and announced it aloud. There were so many versions of what happened, you’d need a folder file to keep track. Some said Chelsea stomped on Monica’s face. Some said Chelsea pulled a gun on Monica and Kylie pulled it away. Others even said Deshawn himself was there. Out of all the versions, none of them involved Monica winning. Because of this, every freshman looked at Monica through an entirely new perspective: a boyfriend stealing, relationship ruining, drama starting…whore.
First block, Honors English: the subject and teacher Farrah most enjoyed. The teacher, Mrs. Everett, was so lively and full of surprises.
“Class, we have a few things to take care of today. Does anyone know about diagramming sentences?” Farrah and a few others raised their hand.
“That’s good. I want us to try--” The ringing of the classroom phone interrupted Mrs. Everett’s instructions. “To try and get two pages of practice done and also- Hello, this is Mrs. Everett, 216,” she said answering the call. It’s for me, Farrah thought.
“Yes I do. I will. Thank you. Mhm, bye-bye.” She hung the phone up and walked from the back of the class back up to the front.
“Try page thirteen in your workbook.” Mrs. Everett walked over to Farrah’s desk at the end of the front row. “Farrah, sign your planner to the main office. You’re not in trouble, are you?”
“Okay, good. Do you know why they’re calling you down?”
“Yeah, I have a pretty good idea.” Mrs. Everett looked at Farrah as if to say, “I’m waiting to know why.”
“I was a witness to a fight Saturday.”
“Oh, okay. Go ahead.”
“Um, Mrs. Everett?”
“Where’s the main office?”
The teacher looked at Farrah.
“You really don’t know?”
“I haven’t the slightest clue.” She got directions and closed the door, headed down the quiet halls, and towards the office.
Cody felt somewhat left out since she hadn’t been there to see the fight everyone was talking about. She was in Spanish II, and the freshmen in her class continued to talk.
“Hey, Cody,” Ronnie said coming up behind her.
“Why are you over here by yourself?” Ronnie smiled at Cody. He was a junior this year. The first day of school, he came in Spanish and told Cody she was cute, addressing her as the “girl in the purple.” Cody found him somewhat attractive.
“Because…everyone’s talking about the fight and I barely know anything. So why join in?”
“True. Do you want me to stay over here with you?”
“Sure!” Ronnie took a seat, looked at Cody’s paper, watched her as she majestically wrote the Spanish vocabulary (including all accents and squigglies,) and he reached up and kissed her on her forehead. Cody’s pen froze, and she felt her heart start to twirl in circles inside of her. It jumped up and down, through her lungs and in and out of her rib cage, over and over into continuous circles.
“Uh, Cody…” Ronnie said waving his hand in front of her still eyes. Cody had no movement, until Ronnie began to shake her by her shoulders. Her heart went back to where it belonged and she came back to reality.
“Huh?” she said.
“Are you okay?”
“Oh. Yeah, I’m fine!” They smiled at each other.
“Maybe I shouldn’t do that anymore.”
“No, maybe you should do it more often.” Ronnie looked surprised, and smiled.
“Maybe I will.”
“¿Dónde está el reloj, la clase?” Señorita Martinez asked, scoping the class for a victim to answer.
“Ugh. What is she talking about?” Ronnie whispered.
“Ah, Ronnie. ¿Preguntas?”
“¿Qué pasa, chico?” Everyone turned to look at Ronnie and Cody. She looked down to remember Ronnie’s hand was on her thigh.
“Achoo!” Cody faked a sneeze so she would have a valid excuse to remove his hand.
Cody sighed in irritation. “Gracias…”
“De nada!” The teacher always had such an outgoing personality. She was about 24 years old, had long brown hair with black at the ends, had some sort of greenish eyes and had never been married.
“Es Ronnie tu novio, Kylie?”
“Oh! I bet!” The “Spanish fanatic” of the class blurted out.
“What did she say? I heard my name!” Ronnie whispered.
“She asked are you my boyfriend.”
“¡Sí! Es novio y novia! Bueno!”
“No!” The class laughed wildly at the sudden chaos.
“No?” Ronnie was taken by surprise, and seemed to be dumbfounded.
“Wait, no. Yeah!” Was there something Ronnie forgot to tell Cody?
“Cody le gusta Ronnie? O Ronnie le gusta Cody?”
“What did she ask?” Ronnie leaned to the side to ask the only Asian kid in the class.
“She asked if you like Cody,” he responded.
“Aye! Yes!” Ronnie shot his hand to the sky.
“¡Sí!” The class shouted together in unity.
“Ah, muy bien. Cody, ¿le gusta Ronnie?”
Cody looked at Ronnie and suddenly felt something that was similar to that feeling she had gotten one Christmas morning and she woke up to see a puppy at the foot of her bed. That was nearly ten years ago, so this had to be something special. Did she like him? Was she more attracted to his looks?
“…Si. Me gusta Ronnie.” She looked up and smiled at Ronnie while the class chanted “Aw!” “Yay!” “How cute!”
Everyone but Jade.
“Did you push Chelsea out the way?” A boy asked Kylie in her marketing class.
“Oh my goodness. Can you guys just let it go? I don’t even wanna talk about this crap!”
“But you won’t answer, which means you did push her!”
“Kylie, you’re wanted in the office. Sign your planner,” Mr. Lee said. She got up and signed her planner for the office.
“Did you get caught with the greens?” Another boy who had “greened up” with her before, asked suspiciously. Kylie rolled her eyes and told him she had quit.
“Yeah, right. The day you quit will be the day they find a cure for cancer…Never.” Kylie bulleted her eyes through his face, kept her mouth shut (unusual,) and headed down the hall. It was quiet, so quiet you could hear the sound of the faintest footstep. Well, apparently not. Kylie suddenly saw pitch darkness before her eyes and smelled the scent of Dove lotion on the hands that covered her eyes.
“Guess who, bae?” the voice said. Too easy.
“Jesse?” she smiled and removed the hands to turn around. It was Jesse, the somewhat boyfriend. How much more good looking could this one boy be? Light skinned, pretty eyes, tall, can dance, pretty, curly, hair and that one little mole right above his lip. They hugged for a moment, and the moment seemed to last forever.
“I gotta go to the office,” she said, looking over his warm shoulder. They looked each other in the eye, leaned closer, closer…
“Kylie Robinson, the principal will see you now,” an office receptionist said as she tapped Kylie’s chair.
“How long have I been here?”
“Your service sucks!”
“I love your sweater.”
“Oh, thank you, peaches! My husband brought it back from Iraq.”
“That’s great, Mrs. Round.”
“Coming, Mr. Montelado!” Kylie grabbed her books, bag and darted to the principal’s office. This would be another unfinished dream added to her collection.
The girls had been waiting to go on some kind of adventure like they used to when they were younger. School had been in session since September, and they had only really gone to football games, basketball games and the mall. Walking on the sidewalk headed for the back woods, Cody’s phone went off.
“Who is it?” Kylie asked.
“I don’t know! This unknown number called 10 times last night. It’s the ringer for when I get a call but no name shows up, only this white screen.”
“Hey it’s E. Field!” Kylie pointed across the street.
“I wanna meet him!” Farrah said.
“Cody, you said you did back at the library.”
“Do you remember my situation and also the reason we can’t go back to that library?” Cody raised an eyebrow.
“Kylie, go meet up with E. Field. We’re gonna get some chips,” Farrah said taking her five dollar bill out of her pocket.
Kylie crossed the street and went up to E. Field.
“Shucks, close ‘nuff. Who them girls you was with?”
“Oh. Those are my best friends Cody and Farrah.”
“Why’d they leave like they had a train to run after?”
“They were hungry.”
“Why do ya seem so down today?”
“Well…it’s kind of a long story.” She looked at the ground trying to fight back the oncoming tears.
“I’m here. I like long things. I love stories.”
“Well…today makes six months since our best friend disappeared.”
“But you was just with some!”
“No, we had another one. It’s been four of us for five years.”
“I counted three!”
“E. Field, please!”
“Sorry. What happen to her?” (Oh, E. Field and his country language.)
“No one even knows. Like, she went on a family vacation to Bristol and her family came back without her…” E. Field shifted in his Timberland boots a little, staring at Kylie as if she had said something horrific.
“I miss her so much. We all went downhill when we found out she didn’t come back. Her family held a big TV broadcast to help find her. Emmalynn loved that pink flower locket. It had a saying engraved on it that her grandma used to always tell her. Emma loved her nana…Nana Nicole is what she’d call her. That saying is clear as day – ‘I always said I’d love you and my love never lies but only lies—‘”
“Within the walls of your heart…” E. Field blurted out. Kylie stood, shocked. How did he know what the locket said? Nana Nicole made that up herself! She promised! Nana Nicole never broke promises or lied! Kylie’s heart and mind soared with a billion unanswered, suspicious questions. She looked up at E. Field, who had the look of “what the h-e-double hockey stick did I just do?”
“E. Field…” The man stood lifeless and suddenly pale. Kylie got a text from Cody saying they were about to cross the street. E. Field heard the ring and jumped.
“Don’t!” He said.
“…Nothing. I’ve gotta go. My um, niece is waiting for me. Take care, Kristen.” E. Field walked off and Kylie corrected him again. How was his speaking almost perfect when it never had been before?
“Where’s E. Field?” Farrah asked disappointingly.
“He had to uh, leave.”
“He’s homeless. He has nowhere to go,” Cody said chewing the honey barbeque chips. Kylie turned towards the street and stared into the direction in which E. Field staggered off in.
“The guy in the gas station remembered today was six months since Em’s disappearance,” Farrah said.
“I know. He’s so kind. Didn’t he used to date Em’s mama?” Cody asked.
“Yeah, that’s Em’s mom.”
“That’s what my mom told me,” Kylie added.
“Does he even have a name?”
“Of course. Everyone has a name.”
“Not that turtle Cody had!” Kylie laughed.
“That’s the whole concept. His name was No Name.” The girls laughed. Memories seemed to always shine a light on their friendship. Cody’s phone rang again as they walked towards the back woods.
“I’m gonna destroy this phone if it rings one more time!” Farrah and Kylie walked into the woods as Cody stood just outside the tree arch.
“Just answer. Maybe they’ll stop calling.”
Answering the call, the caller hung up.
“They hung up.”
“Look!” Kylie said, bending down and picking up a piece of paper.
“What is it?” Farrah asked disposing of her chip bag on the ground.
“It’s a MapQuest page.”
“Cody!” Farrah hit her arm.
“Shut up! But really, MapQuest?”
“Where to?” Farrah tried to read what the paper said.
“Bristol…” Kylie, Farrah and Cody all stared at the destination on the paper, when Farrah finally said, “Anyone could have gone to Bristol.”
“Have you noticed how all this stuff about Emmalynn came up on the day that makes six months?”
“This is the first, Kylie. What else is there?”
“Oh yeah. Nothing.”
“We should go see Ms. Courtney today. It’s been a while,” Cody suggested. “We can go now.”
Leaving the woods, Kylie spent the entire walk to Ms. Courtney’s house trying to convince her conscience into believing the fact that E. Field knew the words from Emma’s locket was just pure luck. Maybe E. Field was Emma’s cousin…No, all of Em’s family was close. They never had any distanced relatives. Luck – yes, just a lucky guess. But was there any way that – “E. Field knows something,” Kylie accidentally mumbled out loud. Farrah and Cody had just rang Ms. Courtney’s doorbell, but they turned around as soon as they heard Kylie’s words slip from her mouth.
“What did you just say?” Cody asked.
“Kylie, what does who know?”
“Oh hello, girls! I’ve missed you!” Ms. Courtney said holding her arms out for a group hug. The girls stopped looking at each other to keep Ms. Courtney out of suspicion.
“Hi, Ms. Courtney!” They said and smiled together.
“Come on in.” Front door closed, problems left outside. As usual, Farrah went to the purple chair by the fireplace and reclined backwards, Cody plopped in the beanbag chair, and Ms. Courtney reported to the kitchen to get the tea and oatmeal cookies.
“Girls, I actually have some orange soda today.” She held up the glasses. Ms. Courtney had the sweetest Tennessean accent you could ever want to enter your ears. Her reddish brown hair and light brown freckles made her appear as young as twenty-one. She wasn’t very far from that though – only twenty-nine. She had Emmalynn at a young age. Ms. Courtney was the type of person that you could look at her and think she’s got the perfect life. But every time she went to laugh, you could see the pain in her eyes. For almost three decades, Ms. Courtney had experienced some of the most tragic events one could ever imagine. It all started when she was seven. Her Uncle Roger raped her and then committed suicide in front of her before her parents came home. Not only was she scarred from being raped, but also from watching a man she once loved, kill himself. How much did he really love her if he took advantage of her? Uncle Roger was huge: about 200 pounds, 6’3. And little seven year old Courtney Jo, 4’3, 78 pounds? Not even in her pediatrician’s ideal range? Then when she finally did get a little more emotionally stable, at thirteen, her first real boyfriend said he was going to kill himself if she broke up with him. Courtney Jo didn’t want another person she cared about killing themselves. So for three miserable years she stayed with him. He’d cheat on her with every last cheerleader on the squad, all and every volleyball player on the team, each swimmer on the dive team, and both sets of twins in the forensics club. Everyone knew this, too. Courtney knew. She just ignored it until the day the boy never came back to school. It happened to be the day after he and Courtney had just “made up” from a fight. One of the sets of twins confronted Courtney that morning and they both stood with big stomachs. Courtney felt as if she had been played, but how could she?