It’s been the most horrible fucked up weekend.
The police were totally certain that she’d run off all the way up until they found her car on an old logging road Saturday evening. The keys were in the ignition, the front door was open and the battery was dead.
Only then did they admit that maybe there was something really wrong. There have been search parties out combing the woods since.
I went down to the station to be questioned yesterday. They wanted to know everything about the night before she disappeared, but there wasn’t much for me to tell them. Like, she was totally normal.
I told them that she’d woken up in the woods Thursday night, but they shrugged that off.
“No,” I tried to insist. “She said she just woke up out there by herself. She didn’t remember how she got there.”
“Yes, that is what she would tell you though, isn’t it,” Officer Marlow said gently.
“No,” I insisted again. “You don’t understand. She told me —”
And Officer Marlow looked at me very kindly and said, “I’m afraid that she lied to you, dear.”
I wanted to scratch out his eyes.
Then today, some cops appeared in the doorway of Mr. Herman’s classroom to ask if they could steal me for a moment.
It was like the whole room was holding it’s breath as I got up and followed them into the hall.
They sat me down in an empty classroom and Officer Marlow asked me all these insane questions.
He wanted to know if she’d been talking to any strangers lately (no, of course not)
Any strange men?
No, and anyways Maddie’s a lesbian.
Did her family disapprove of that?
Did the church?
I laughed at that. Father Keeler loves Maddie, he’s like practically her grandfather.
But then he started asking other questions, more uncomfortable questions: how long had Maddie been using cocaine? Do I know why she was missing classes, student council and club meetings? Do I know why her GPA had slipped so suddenly and steeply? Was she acting erratically lately?
I tried to insist that she wasn’t using any drugs — Maddie doesn’t even smoke pot. But they said they found cocaine and shrooms and pills in her bedroom when they searched it. Maddie has only been high like twice in her life as far as I know, but the police were confident.
Also I didn’t know she was missing classes. I had no idea. It’s like totally the antithesis of who Madelyn is as a person to miss class.
They wanted to know where she was going, but like I can’t imagine a world where Maddie was skipping class at all, much less using that time to go off somewhere nefarious. And her grades slipping? Last I checked Maddie was still totally dedicated to going to Yale, but she needed a scholarship, so she needed perfect grades. That was her goal since like fourth grade. She was obsessed.
Worst of all though — she has been acting erratically lately. I mean certainly all last week, but like looking back, she’s been weird for months now. She’s been distracted and tired and absent-minded.
Maybe it’s just hind-sight bias, but w/e. I’ve been re-examining every conversation we’ve had in the last months searching for clues. Every text message she’s sent me, every Snapchat, every stupid meme has me searching for some dark hidden meaning.
She was in trouble. She was in trouble and I missed it and I hate myself for that.