I still remember that night like it was yesterday. Most of my memories from back then are gone now, or full of holes, at best, but damned if the scratches from that hedge we crawled through don’t still hurt to where I look down sometimes expecting to see blood. I remember seeing the cop lights flashing from where we hid, unable to keep a nervous giggle down – I’d never done anything like that before, and I swear, I still don’t think I’ve been so afraid and so excited at the same time. You shot me a glance that said “you better shut that thing,” but your eyes were kind of sparkling and you had a little grin that I’ll never forget.
I could never figure out why you asked me if I wanted to do something in the first place. You were about the scariest girl at school – maybe “scary” isn’t the right word, I guess, but I didn’t talk to too many girls anyway, much less someone like you, who was always cutting class when you weren’t suspended and smoking in between classes and that kind of thing. It didn’t help that you had some kind of strange beauty about you, too – you just always seemed a little different than everyone else. I don’t suppose that even half the stories they told about you were true, but I’d heard them anyway, so yeah, I was more than a little scared when you sat down.
You asked me what I was doing, and I told you about some project I was working on for something, and you said you sometimes liked to hang out in the library when you didn’t want to go to class, and that Ms. Jensen never said anything to anybody about it. I don’t know how we got around to it, but I remember you asked if I wanted to go do something later, and for some reason, I said yes. Maybe I was scared not to. I don’t know.
I never told anyone about what we did that night, and I guess you didn’t either. Nobody ever asked me about it, at least, and nobody ever asked me about you, even after what happened a few weeks later. There were all kinds of stories about why a girl would go and do that … shoot her father and then herself … and the police never said anything about what really happened, so people just kept talking and making shit up for a while until they got tired of it. I never did pay much attention to what they were saying. And I didn’t go to your funeral, but I did go talk to your mom a few months later. I told her that I hadn’t known you very well, but that you had been very nice to me once, and that I wished I could have known you better. She just stared for a moment with her hollow eyes, gave me a sad little smile, and went back inside.
4 weeks ago