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Of Dead and Lovely Creatures
“You know what blows?” My best friend Andrew asked me as we sat on the swings of the old Bell Park behind the city graveyard one hazy afternoon.
“What?” I asked sluggishly, creating momentum in the creaky swing with my tip toes on the wood chips.
“She didn’t even tell me she already had a boyfriend.” He mumbled, kicking a clod of chips into the sky with a bulky skater shoe.
“Who, Dana? Since I’m a girl, let me tell you about girls.” I mumbled. “We keep secrets sometimes.”
“Stop widening your eyes like that, you’re freaking me out.” He grumbled, pulling his hoodie firm above his head.
I laughed darkly and crossed my ankles unsteadily, looking up into the swirling fog. “Well that’s the truth kiddo, what do you want me to say? That we find our prince and then pick daisies while singing about his perfect eyes? Think again.”
“I expect this from you Kendra, but Dana…well, she’s a lady.”
I punched him with a hard fist in the shoulder, and he smiled mockingly.
“Anyway, I broke up with her.”
“Not that she was yours to begin with.” I chimed sardonically. “You really need to stop looking for this lovely little lady; face it Andy, she doesn’t exist. Get with a real woman ha-ha”
“Oh you mean a girl like you” He countered grinningly, his hazel eyes softened under his long brown hair with the obstructing nonsense we were talking.
“You can’t handle all this.” I joked.
“Ha-ha, you’re ridiculous. I’m feeling morbid; let’s take a walk in the cemetery yeah?” He suggested suddenly. I nodded and we slid off the un-oiled swing-set and started for the barren bone yard with our hands in our sweater pockets.
Our feet crunched over the frosty autumn leaves as we roved about the grave, looking for nothing in particular.
Andrew roamed into the web-ridden tomb at the corner of the vast and horrible place. I stayed behind feeling cold and disturbed- as if I could hear the souls of the dead harping from wherever they were- heaven, h*ll, in some other universe. I pulled my hood over my head as well, stepping cautiously around dusty headstones. “Andrew.” I called. He continued to trudge around, but I couldn’t help feeling unnerved. The arctic gust seemed to be rocking itself on the swing-set back in Bell Park. I could vaguely listen to the things creaking.
“What if we just sleep here?” Andy laughed as he poked his head from another tomb. “I bet we’d see some real zombie action.”
“Yeah whatever.” I blubbered hesitantly. “This is lame. Let’s go back to my place. I’m kind of hungry.”
Andy grimaced and strode out casually with his hands crossed behind his head. “Oh? You scared babe?”
“No! This is just really lame okay?” I spat crossly, avoiding eye-contact with him. “I’m out, if you wanna come let’s go, or hang here like a loser.”
He shook his head masochistically and caught up with me nearly wrapping his arm around my neck before I pushed it off of me. “You’re such a loser Andy.”
“C’mon Kendra, since when is this little badass afraid of a boneyard?” He queried, never wiping that smirk from his face.
“Andy, I think I saw someone.” I finally confessed, wrapping my arms around myself, once we had left zombie territory.
“Ha-ha, okay Ken. You saw someone.”
“Really!” I retorted . “I think I saw my friend Jenna.”
“That isn’t funny Kendra. Jenna died last year, freaking hit by a double-decker. You’re honestly gonna be a big grown-up and joke about her?” He murmured slowly.
“That’s the thing. I wouldn’t joke about her. I would never. I saw her Andy; behind the Apple tree. She smiled and then vanished again- I promise I saw her face- her green eyes, brighter than ever.”
I could feel my eyes well up; which was strange because I hardly ever cried; especially not in front of Andy. He noted this quickly of course and pulled me into his chest. “I’m sorry Ken. I didn’t mean to be a jerk like that. We’ll go back to your place and you’ll be okay. Okay?”
I bit my lip, shameful of my tears, and frightened of my encounter. “Yeah. Sure.”
Back at my house, we slipped out of our sweaters and shoes and crashed on the cold leather couch. I couldn’t help feeling the reverberations of my horrible vision of Jenna. She stood for a split second with large arbitrary eyes. I couldn’t speak to her, only run as far as I could from her. Andy turned up the music dock when my favorite Hawthorn Heights song came on and he passed me a chocolate donut.
“I’m afraid Andy.” I mumbled.
He set the box of donuts down on the coffee table and turned sternly to me. “You haven’t been the same girl since her death Ken.”
I didn’t want to talk anymore- her presence would haunt me forever. I nibbled on the donut, not nearly hungry enough to swallow. “Turn it up louder.” I mumbled slowly in between chews.
The next evening we returned to Bell Park and as we did habitually called our favorite swing on the crappy old swing-set. The wind was especially cold then. I held to the cold rim of the swings and rocked myself again with my toes.
Andrew slipped out of his hoodie and looked up ominously into the hazy and wan sky. He was pensive. I heaved a great sigh and laughed darkly. “Andy?”
“Yeah?” He asked softly, still staring up into the cover of clouds.
I began peeling voraciously into my nail polish and glanced outwards into the cemetery some blocks away. “You know what blows?”
Andy laughed very quietly. “What?”
I pursed my lips slightly before I whispered, “I killed Jenna.”