Freshman orientation was today, but my car wouldn't start. I don't know anything about cars, so I'm kind of at the mercy of my dad to get it fixed, since he won't let me work. I kind of suspect he has something to do with it not starting in the first place.
I didn't feel like staying home, though. My dad was at work and I had twenty dollars in my wallet, so I decided to walk into town. We live a few miles from anywhere I could buy anything, but I had time to kill, and I really wanted cigarettes even though my throat feels like someone went at it with barbed wire. This asthma is going to kill me someday.
To get to the road into town I have to go by this collapsed garage. Well, I suppose I could avoid it if I went through the dump, but fuck that. Anyway, I hate walking by there. It got totally wrecked during the tornadoes. Even thinking about that day makes me sick to my stomach, almost as bad as graduation.
Okay, okay, I'm stalling. The walk into town was uneventful, beyond the normal paranoid feeling I have when I'm on my own lately. The important part of today was, well, her.
I almost started crying when I saw her behind the counter. I hadn't seen her since graduation, I felt like someone had totally yanked the rug out from under me. And then I saw the dark circles under her eyes, and everything just came at me at once.
I remembered watching her boyfriend die.
I remembered putting my hand on her waist while we danced. Where was he then? Still there? Or was he already gone? Already cut open? Already sewn shut?
Kissing her in her car. Brushing my fingers across her bare knee.
David's mouth pressed tight, grey pus pooling on his chin.
Her lips were so cold.
I walked in. She didn't get angry, like I expected. Just serious. I said her name. I was crying, it was all I could say. I expected her to kill me, after everything Alex told me. But she didn't. She looked at me and she started crying too. I will never forget a word she said.
"John, you didn't do it, did you?"
I just shook.
"I didn't. I didn't know, I was angry. But now that I see you, oh God I'm so sorry John."
Then she came out from around the counter and we hugged. No one even looked at us funny. One death hits hard in a small town. She cried into my chest for my awhile and I told her I'd call her when I got home, but I know I won't. Not yet.