I left Madelyn’s phone on my bedside table to stare at me all Saturday while I lay in bed watching Naked and Afraid on my lap top.
Sunday I finally turned it back on.
The first thing I did was read through all of mine and Madelyn’s text messages even though I’ve read through them like a thousand times in the last month.
Then I went through her pictures, which felt very scandalous and invasive even though I’ve literally seen all of them.
Then I went to her calendar.
Madelyn is a scrupulous scheduler. She plans fucking everything. Her iCal looks like an iCal advertisement. I literally shuddered when I saw all the unplanned time in October.
I scrolled all the way back to last winter when her problems supposedly started. At first everything seemed totally normal. Her schedule was carefully blocked and color coded. Her homework was explained in detail. I clicked through lists of plans for birthday parties and romantic dates to take Georgia on. Every bake sale, every fundraiser, every club meeting, every pep rally — Georgia’s dance recitals and performances. Her period was marked by little moons. There was a whole list of gift ideas for me.
But as I looked deeper I began to see signs that she was struggling. Homework assignments were highlighted instead of marked as complete. Notes for meetings with teachers at lunch or after school began appearing. Weekly appointments began appearing, set for after school and marked only by a brain emoji — I’m assuming that was therapy. One weekend from last March was dedicated to some kind of sleep study. Eventually the blocks of time set aside for clubs began to taper off.
It took hours though before I found something that was really strange.
On April 20th at 4:30 there was an hour long appointment marked only with the crystal ball emoji, an address in Bellingham and a phone number.
I stared at it a long time before finally calling the number.
It rang for a long time before going to voice mail.
This is Jasmin Markle! I’m afraid the psychic is out! To make an appointment be sure to call during office hours….
I hung up.
Then I frantically scrolled forward through April. There were seven more crystal ball appointments, each with different addresses, some as far away as Seattle. I called all the numbers just to be sure, and they’re all psychics.
The last appointment was on June 4th and when I called the number a man picked up almost immediately.
Obviously I didn’t know what to say.
“This is Edgar Fradin,” the man said. “Are you calling for a reading?”
And then, if that wasn’t enough evidence that he was a psychic, he said, “is this Shiloh?”
I just about hung up on him. I just about flushed my phone down the toilet hell fuckin no.
But then logic kicked in. He probably pays for the good caller ID just to scare the shit out of potential clients. That’s what I’d do if I was trying to convince people I was a psychic. I’m pretty sure my cell number’s registered under my own name.
So I got it together. “Yeah,” I said.
“Would you like to make an appointment?” he asked. “Free of charge, of course.”
Now that isn’t what I’d do if I was trying to make a living as a fake psychic. Or maybe he does that to hook clients in? Idk how the psychic biz works.
So I said sure, why the fuck not. He tried to schedule me for tomorrow, but I pussed out. I have an appointment for Friday after school instead. That’s right. An appointment with a psychic.
So that was the first weird thing. The next weird thing was this:
I looked up the week that Madelyn went missing the first time. You know the week Georgia reminded me about — last summer, when she went on the school trip that didn’t exist.
Well that whole week all her previously scheduled activities were still blocked in, but running through the whole period of time was just one long activity marked only with a unicorn emoji. No idea what that’s about.
So then the third weird thing:
There are two periods of time last summer marked only with phone numbers and dollar signs.
I called the numbers obviously. They were both for a hotel in Seattle. According to the calendar she stayed there between July 23rd and August 1st, and then again between August 20th and 25th.
I didn’t know she was in Seattle last summer. I remember there being a few periods of time where I was sorta annoyed cuz she kept having plans and couldn’t hang out. I remember noticing that the pictures she was snapping me were weirdly close selfies with no background. I remember thinking she wasn’t telling me something.
But I just thought she was spending all her time with Georgia but she didn’t want to tell me so I wouldn’t get jealous. I remember being irritated by that, but also kind of glad that she didn’t want to hurt my feelings. Like, I was pissed she was hiding something from me, but also sorta charmed because I totally would have been butt hurt to find out she was spending all her time with Georgia and avoiding me, so like, I was glad she didn’t want me to be sad, you know?
I wish so much that she was avoiding me to hang out with her girlfriend. This is so, so much worse.