Look I’m an expert on terrible days at this point and this one was exceptionally bad.
It all started in the girls bathroom at school which shouldn’t surprise anyone because nothing good ever happens in a high school girl’s bathroom.
I was hiding in a stall for my daily cry because I overheard Sarah Holder telling Maisie Jorna that Madelyn’s girlfriend Georgia was spotted making out with Lucy Stumpton outside the movie theater yesterday, which is news for a number of reasons. The first of which is Lucy hasn’t ever indicated that she likes kissing girls and the second of which is Georgia and Maddie are Black Lake High School’s most epic power couple, but that’s sorta fucking ruined if Maddie is missing and Georgia is making out with straight girls in front of the movie theater.
So anyways, I’m crying in a stall when the bathroom door busts open and someone comes in and like throws her backpack at the wall, kicks a stall door, and then screams wordlessly in this super familiar, desperate way before sinking onto the floor and starting to cry. I can only see parts of her under the door of my stall, but by the baggy jeans and chuck taylor high tops I pretty much can tell it’s Georgia.
But like I haven’t talked to Georgia in three weeks, and I hadn’t really realized how fucking weird that is until right there in the bathroom. Like probably we should have been allies in this hellscape since we’re sorta dealing with the same betrayal from the same girl so it seems like one of us should have reached out, right?
Well, that’s what I was thinking in the bathroom stall. But Georgia and I aren’t particularly close so I wasn’t sure how to act. Georgia was fucking sobbing on the floor though so eventually I did the only thing I could think to do and flushed the toilet.
Silence in the bathroom. I creaked the stall door open cautiously to find Georgia standing with her back to me at the bathroom sink, splashing water at her face.
Georgia: *indistinguishable mumbling*
Me, tentatively: I um… I heard that rumor about you and Lucy
WRONG THING TO SAY FRIENDS.
Georgia whirled around with all this glorious chaotic lesbian energy and was like, “what the fuck do you care?”
Me, PANICKING: I don’t care cool get yours girl hahahahaha lucy’s p cool I guess hahahaha
Georgia gave me a disgusted look and turned back to the sink.
So I tried again. “Look,” I said. “I’ve been having a really hard time with… with everything, and I kind of forgot until just now that you’re probably the only person who really understands what this is like —”
I stopped abruptly when Georgia’s shoulders began to heave. At first I thought she was crying again, but it turned out she was laughing, a really horrible mirthless laugh.
“You think we’re in the same boat here?” she said. “You think we’re dealing with the same shit because she left us both?” More horrible mirthless, slightly manic laughter. “I bet this was a surprise for you wasn’t it? I bet this came out of the fucking blue.”
I stared at her, blind sided.
She screamed at me. “DIDN’T IT?”
I mumbled that it did.
Georgia scoffed. “Well then we’re not really dealing with the same thing are we?”
And then the rage kinda caught up to me. I said something like, “oh so you knew she was gonna run away?” I sneered while I said it. It wasn’t pretty.
Georgia started shouting again. “I knew she was gonna do something! I knew there was something wrong! I knew she was seeing a psychiatrist and that she wasn’t sleeping or eating! And I tried to do something about it!”
The last she really screamed at me, and I just stood there, flabbergasted. “What did you try to do, Shiloh? She thought you were going to die — I mean she was absolutely tortured by the thought of it and you lay around eating Funyuns for an entire summer!”
And then, when I just stood there blinking stupidly she screamed, “where the fuck did she go at the end of last year??? She was gone for nine fucking days and she never told anyone where she went! Was that not enough of a clue to you?” There were tears streaking down her face and she honest to god looked like she could have killed me.
So then I did what any complete fucking idiot would do and I ran for it. I mean I didn’t just leave the bathroom, I left the whole damn campus.
Cuz here’s the thing — she’s totally right. Madelyn did disappear at the end of last year. She missed the last couple days of school and I didn’t see her for like over a week. I even called her parents to ask where she was but they said she was on a school trip. Georgia hadn’t heard about any school trip when I mentioned it to her, but her parents weren’t worried so we weren’t worried — or I wasn’t worried. Apparently Georgia was.
As for this bullshit about me dying — I mean Jesus how was that my fault??? She never even fucking told me about her nightmares I literally had to ask her fucking priest. But she could tell Georgia, Georgia was allowed to know she was scared, and confused and facing down terrifying delusions or whatever. Georgia she could confide in. Georgia knew enough to be worried last June when Madelyn disappeared.
Meanwhile there’s me, totally oblivious. Georgia’s right: I ate Funyuns and didn’t notice a damn thing.
Anyways, I wish that was the last of the day, but it wasn’t. I could have just gone home and cried a lot and watched TV but instead I stormed my dumb ass to the police station.
Black Lake has a tiny little police station so everyone in town more or less recognizes all the cops, but still, when I blew in there and everyone looked up from their computers and phones to stare at me all the determination went right out of me.
“Can I help you?” asked Suzie Townsend from behind the receptionist desk.
I stood there dumb.
“Well hi there Shiloh!” Sheriff Marlow came out from the back office. “This is the Sexton girl’s best friend,” he added to Suzie. “You have something you want to talk to me about?”
I nodded, mute.
“Alright, come on back,” he said. He had something of a belly which must have been recent because his uniform was struggling to cover it. I followed him back into his office. His desk was strewn with paper and his phone was ringing, but he didn’t pick it up.
“People are feeling a bit paranoid,” he explained. “It’s to be expected. What with…”
He stopped. Instead of finishing that sentence he asked what he could help me with.
So I said, “I remembered something else. She’s gone missing before. Last June.”
Sheriff Marlow fixed me with a long look. “You just remembered that, huh?” he said.
I started spluttering. Like obviously it’s weird and suspicious that I wouldn’t have remembered if my best friend had gone missing before.
Sheriff Marlow held up his hands to stop me. “It’s okay, it’s okay, Georgia already told us that.” He started shuffling papers around. The phones were still ringing and he probably wished he was answering them, not listening to my useless evidence. He said, “It just goes to show that Madelyn has a pattern for this kind of behavior. She’s come back before. She’ll come back again.”
“No!” I said. “No, that’s not what I meant!”
He frowned. “What did you mean?”
“That… that there was something wrong. There was something going on.” I sounded desperate.
“Yeah,” he said patiently. “We know that.”
“But —” I spluttered. “But her car was on that back road! Why was it there?”
He gave me a sad look. “We have a letter from her that says she took a ride share to California. I don’t know what more solid evidence we can ask for.”
And that’s when I sorta lost it. I’m not super sure what I did, but there were definitely papers all over the room by the time I was shouting, “SHE’S NOT IN CALIFORNIA. SHE’S HERE AND SHE’S IN TROUBLE.”
And then I stormed out and everyone in the precinct was staring at me and I just ran home. And that’s where the horrible fucking day ends.
On the bright side, with all the running home I’ve been doing I’m going to be in great shape.
I’m going to spend the rest of this stupid bullshit day listening to sad pathetic music.
inktober, but make it rats