My family had an extremely strong gene for thinness. Mom, Dad, Grandpa, Grandma, Uncle, Aunt, everyone with the last name Thompson was skinny as a branch, including me. I didn't know why, nor did my family. We ate regularly, and even threw in some junk food days, but we were still very lean. That's why I was a 100 lb seventeen year old, and I was about 5'4.
My mother always loved to dance. Her life goal was to be a professional ballerina, but sadly, all the teachers that taught her throughout the years said the same thing: "You have the body, but you don't have the spirit." She was quite disappointed, but got over it after she realized her dream wasn't possible. So she decided to put me in a pink tutu at age five and get me in a ballet class.
I didn't hate it, but also didn't love it. As a young kid, my real interest was drawing. I used to spend hours looking at her Disney books and drawing the characters as I thought they were. Heather Thompson, my sister who was a couple years older than me, owned these books... My mom tried to talk her into ballet as well, but she didn't buy it. She hated any kind of little princess girl or dresses or sandals and even Disney princesses. Maybe that explains why I only learned to draw Peter Pan and Captain Hook kind of characters.
My teacher, Mrs. Beaufort, was born and raised in France itself, and she knew a lot about ballet. She was very strict, and always made sure we had our shoulders straight up high and we were standing on our tiptoes. I always looked at her as a role model. Her thin, cheekbone-y face, her dark hair in a tight bun on the top of her head, her pale skin, her glistening almond eyes, and her figure. Mrs. Beaufort was very, very thin. I think that if her and I were the same age, she'd be skinnier than me. She was also very tall. Reaching about 5'9, she stood (not on her tiptoes) up as far as I could see her. In my mind, Mrs. Beaufort was a giant. Although the other girls in my class didn't like her very much, I did. I saw something on her personality that drew me into her. She didn't pay much attention to me, though. We were all children, and I think that in her mind, we were all the same.
She taught at a special class in my school before it started, so I had to get up an hour earlier three days a week. I lived in Cincinnati, Ohio, and the winters were the worst. I'd wake up in a 40 F weather and dress myself in countless clothing items, and I'd still shiver. Then, Mom and I had to walk to school because Dad had to take the car to work. He was a doctor, and he had to go to work for emergencies often, so car rides weren't very common in the Thompson family.
I went to this school that ranged from kindergarten to high school veteran classes, so I basically spent my student life there. I didn't mind. The building had this soft, warm feeling of home in it. Maybe it was because I spent about twelve years there. For that reason, I'd made lots of friends whom I'd known for a while. But my best friend of all, hands down, was Stewart Morton. I'd first seen him eating some silly putty back in kindergarten and I liked him immediately. He, as a four year old, had this really bright blonde, almost white patch of hair on the top of his head. His eyes were this stone cold blue that never ceased to fascinate me. He was in the Skinny Club as well. As he grew older, he got glasses and grew some sideburns. By then, his hair had darkened a little, but he was still very blonde. When he was sixteen years old, he disappointed a big number of girls at the school by revealing that he was, in fact, gay. His parents were super cool about it, and so was I. After he came out, I sensed that he was happier. He talked more. We went out much more than before. He went to parties. Everyone at Newlands School loved Stew Morton.
This may sound crazy, but it's true: Mrs. Beaufort taught me during all these years, from kindergarten to high school. I watched as she grew older, noticing how young she still looked. She was the same. Strict, elegant, slim and beautiful.
I was starting to feel sad when the end of my last high school year started to approach. How could I face just leaving everything and everyone behind? At least Stew promised my we'd take the same Arts University. But what about my past teachers? My friends? That sweet little place I could call my second home?
"Class" Mrs. Beaufort started as the last students began to arrive. "Like all of you know, Prom is coming. It is a magical day where we get to dance with our sweethearts, or just friends. That means that our performance is also coming."
"Oh yeah" said Marie.
"The dances are easy" said Jordan.
"I've memorized last week's pattern!" bragged Amy.
"Quiet now!" said Mrs. Beaufort, loudly. "We will begin a new set of moves today. It is a very easy pattern and I need you to memorize it by tomorrow. Now let's do the first set of warm ups."
We proceeded to climb up and down our tiptoes and do the spins and plies the warm up read. I stood up tall and looked forward, as Mrs. Beaufort (and my mom) had taught me. When we were done, she didn't even bother getting to warm up two. We'd start the practicing then.
The first movement was a combination of assemblés and chaînés. Fairly easy, although Dana Porter was having trouble.
Dana Porter was the definition of loner. She wouldn't talk, raise her hand, eat with the others, etc. I tried to talk to her a couple of times, inviting her to lunch a few times, but she wouldn't budge. All she did was shake her head in disapproval and hide behind her dirty blonde curtain of hair. She wasn't ugly at all. Mrs. Beaufort had her tie her hair in a bun and we all saw her face for once. She was baby faced and cute, and her eyes were the perfect color of green. She was very pale, but didn't have freckles at all. But for some reason, she hid herself from everything and all.
"Miss Porter" Mrs. Beaufort called out. "Stand tall. You look like a hunchback."
A few minutes went by.
"Watch your feet, Miss Porter, or you'll get a cramp."
No longer than five minutes passed.
"Raise that leg, Miss Porter, don't bend it! Are you even listening?"
We repeated the pattern many times, until we all got it. Except for Dana. She had to "work on it at home."
Mrs. Beaufort dismissed us and we went to the locker room to change. The walk from the ballet class to the changing room was like walking through a refrigerator in a little ballerina outfit. It was a pain, but we learned to live with it. I quickly slipped into my jeans and striped shirt and jumper and walked outside to wait for the bell. Then, I saw someone I didn't expect to see: Stew.
He saw me and slowly began to walk towards where I was. That wasn't normal. He usually ran up to people, constantly smiling and always with something new to tell. But not that day.
"Hey Stew. Hangover?" I joked.
"I wish" he said, sitting glumly at the bench I was on.
"Then what's the matter?"
"Charlie can't go to the prom with me."
Charlie was Stew's boyfriend. They were extremely cute together, and the whole school knew it. They weren't ashamed. All the teachers supported them, except for weird, scary Mr. Stematios. But that's a whole another story. Stew and Charlie even made a petition to legalize gay marriage in Ohio, and about 90% of the school signed it. They've mailed it to the governor, yet to get a response.
"That sucks!" I said. "Why not?"
"He won't be here. He said he's going to spend his final days here in Ohio with his family."
"Charlie's LEAVING?!" I was flabbergasted.
"Yes." Stew was close to tears. "He's moving to California to study there."
"God, I'm sorry..."
"Don't... It's okay."
"No it's not."
He went silent. I was silent.
"He's leaving Sunday" he said, after a while. "He's out of school to help his family pack."
"Stewie, I..." I began. "Can I do anything for you?"
"Nothing you can do" he looked up to me and smiled a very fake smile. "Thanks, dear."
I went silent again.
"We could go together." I suggested.
He darted up. "Aren't you going with Aaron?"
"Asshole broke up with me yesterday" I said, rolling my eyes. "By freaking text."
"What?!" he exclaimed. "What a jerk. I hope he goes to the prom alone. Forever."
"There's only one prom, dumbbell" I snickered at his silliness.
"Are you serious about going with me?"
"Why wouldn't I be?"
His eyes were glistening again. "Thank you."
"Thank you. I don't want to go alone."
"Yeah, I don't want you to go alone either." he said. "What if you get chocolate on your dress? I gotta be there to make sure your clumsy self doesn't get you in trouble."
I hit him in the shoulder. He laughed. I hit him again.
"Here's the bell. See you at lunch, prom queen?" he joked.
"See you at lunch, prom loser." I smiled, biting my lip.
I could hear his laughter from the hall as we went separate ways.
Before lunch, I had Social Studies, Spanish and then Math, my three weakest subjects. I was extremely nervous for the first class, because that was the day we were getting our final grades back, and if I didn't pass the final exam, there was a chance I could fail Social Studies. I'd never failed before, so as I walked along the path to Mrs. Bet's class, I felt my hands shake.
I walked in silently and sat down next to my friend, Jenna Morgans. She was the kind of person who loved to party, was always doing insane things and was a fan of heavy metal. Her hair had been cut into a long, brownish wave over her head, and part of her bang covered her left eye. She was pale, and ashamed of it. I loved it. I myself have a very, very white skin color and, modesty apart, I liked it. She wanted to be tanner, but refused to go into these weird tanning machines. I'd have to say I agree with her.
"Ready?" she said as I sat. I turned.
She threw an eraser in the air and hit it with her ruler, basically making a home run and hitting Alvin Gingle on the head. She looked at me and held in her laughter.
"Score!" I told her. She snorted, trying her best not to burst into laughter.
"So, are you alright about the Aaron subject?" I'd phoned her shortly after we broke up.
"I'm okay. I was feeling like it wasn't going anywhere anyway."
"He doesn't deserve you!" Jenna messed with my hair.
"Oh no, I got strands of ginger hair on my hand!" She exclaimed, joking.
"You're one of us now..." I made my best creepy face.
"I CAN FEEL THE FRECKLES GROWING ON MY FACE!" Jenna apparently forgot we were in a classroom and screamed at the top of her lungs. Luckily, Mrs. Bet wasn't there.
"Whoops." she said as she sat back down.
The class was still laughing when Mrs. Bet arrived.
"Alright, students." she began. "I have your grades with me."
I squeezed my hands. So many "what if"s were flowing through my head.
"Please tell me I passed" I whispered. "Please don't say I have to be in Summer school. Please."
"Some of you did really great, and some of you... Well, I can honestly say I see no point in trying."
That was Mrs. Bet. Cruel, harsh and mean Mrs. Bet.
She started to hand them out without saying a word. I watched as the people received them, and their reactions. Teddy McCole smiled. Chad Smith frowned his nose and put his arms around his three girlfriends. Jenna got hers.
"Seventy-five!" she looked at me in amuse. "Debora Thompson, I passed!"
"You passed!" I put my hand under the table, signaling a swift low-five. She took it gladly, all smiles and giggles.
Linda Ramsey got hers. Bruno Lauren did too. Then I did.
I had gotten a 95.
Words couldn't explain how much I wanted to get on that table and dance to "Para Bailar La Bamba". But I didn't. I had the same reaction as Jenna. I couldn't believe it. It was the very last grade I needed, and I had gotten an A+. Win.
After that, the Summaritis began to spread. Mrs. Bet didn't want to teach us anything, so we were allowed to talk "in a moderate voice." me and Jenna had a fifty minute long talk about Macy's new lipstick, which was a slightly darker version of the previous one. It was amazing and we just had to go buy it after school.
After the bell ring and I had to part ways with my friend, the other two classes were the same. We watched a movie in Math. Bill Murray was in it, so I liked it.
I walked to lunch almost in a hurry. I had to meet Stew, tell him I'd passed. I was so excited I didn't notice I went from fast-walk into fast-sprint. I think I might have had too much coffee that morning.
I barged into the cafeteria and looked for my friend. I saw him sitting besides my empty seat, and he saw me as well. I turned my head to him and waved, making my way to the table. But I should have kept my head to the front, because a Dana holding a lunch tray full of mac and cheese was right in front of me.
At first, it felt like I had fallen into a bed of straw, but then I realized her hair was in my face. The next thing I see is Dana on the ground, her jumper and pants covered in cheese and orange juice. It had gotten all over her hair, too. She was looking up at me, still covered by hair.
"I... I'm... I am so sorry..." I extended my hand at her.
She slapped it so hard it hurt.
"Thank you so much!" she got up. Her face was red, her eyes were cold and scary. "Get out of my way!" she pushed me aside.
The whole cafeteria was laughing. At both of us.
It took a while for me to realize I was covered in cheese and macaroni too. Stew ran in and helped me up.
"Are you okay? Did you get hurt?" he asked, already busying himself in wiping away the cheese from my sweater."
"It was all my fault, I didn't mean to..." I stuttered.
"I know you didn't." he said. His voice was so calming. "She should have watched where she was going, I tell ya!"
It wasn't true. But he was just making that up to make me feel better, so I took it.
"Thanks, Stewie." I said. He smiled. "I think she dropped a book."
He looked at where I was pointing, walked up to it and grabbed it.
"Keep it, and give it to some teacher. They'll probably return it." he said. "Now let's go get you a new lunch."
We went back to the line to get more mac. In the meantime, Stew tried to get the cheese out of my hair and pants as we talked about my prom dress. I'd shown it to him before and he loved it. In no time, we'd gotten out of the line and were heading to the table.
"What do you think that book is?" I asked.
"I didn't even look at the cover." Stew said. He looked at it, and with a face of surprise, he whispered "it's her diary."
"Her diary?" I was surprised as well. "Why would she even bring it to school? Stuff like this happens all the time, and before you know it, BAM! Everyone read it."
"Hmm-hmm." he replied.
"I mean, come on. I have one too, but I keep it inside a box, locked with a key. You know how stuff is. No one respects anyone's privacy these days."
"Stew, are you even listening to a word I'm saying?"
Before he could reply with his series of "hmm"s, I looked at him and was in shock; Stewart Morton, the sweet, caring person whom I'd always consider honest and fair, had his nose buried deep into Dana's secret diary.
"Dude!" I closed the book.
"Hey! Come on, I was reading!"
He let a small grin sketch itself on his face.
"You can't just do that! How would you feel if-"
"Hey, look at this" he said, now smiling, "April 21st - Dear diary, my butt rash wouldn't stop itching. I tried that new cream but it didn't work. Butt rashes suck docks."
I, without even noticing, let out a laugh. He did too. It was funny, I admit it. I quickly snapped back into reality.
"Okay, we have to stop this. It's private." I said.
"Debora... Debora, come look at this." he said. His facial expression had changed completely. He looked worried, the blood had drained from his face.
"If it is anything related to a butt rash, I'm not even going to look."
"This is serious" he looked at me. "There's something really wrong about this."
I gave in and looked. He showed me this paragraph:
Loren and her gang made fun of me again today. They threw my stuff on the ground and completely destroyed my project. Then they got the remaining pages and threw them out in the rain. They pushed me and beat me. I can't show Mom, because I know she wouldn't care. She's too damn busy at her "job". I know better. Also, I failed Math. That means Summer school. I can't take this anymore. It's just too much for me. So I came up with a plan. I'm going to go to that stupid ass prom alone and kill each and every single one of these idiots. I still have to figure out how, though. But it won't be in a normal, regular-stuff-you-see-in-the-news way. I'll make it count, because I'm going to die doing it.
I was speechless. A mass murder. At the prom night. I looked at Stew, who was just as scared as I was. I was starting to feel sick. I felt my body quake with fear, my head spin. I had the evidence of a future serial killing in my hands. We didn't have to say anything. Book in hand, me and my friend went to the nearest teacher and told him all about it.
In less than an hour, school had been suspended and me, my folks and Stew and his folks were sitting in an interrogatory room, across from Dana and her folks. Everyone was scared. Everyone but Dana.
"Miss Porter, does this book belong to you?" the officer asked, diary in hand.
"No, sir." she answered. I looked at Stew, incredulous.
"Then whom does it belong to?" he asked.
"I do not know, sir."
"How can you prove it's not yours?"
"You can look inside of it and see if my name shows up."
The officer flipped through the pages, frantically looking for the name "Dana" or "Portman".
"Whoever wrote this claims to be a 'Craig'." he finally said.
"I knew it!" Dana snapped. "Craig Russell, from Math? I knew he was weird."
The officer turned to me.
"Which one of you found the diary."
"I did, sir." I said.
"Why did you think it was hers?"
"Well, I accidentally bumped into her and saw it on the ground after she went away. It didn't look like it was there before." I explained.
"Thank you. We'll investigate it tonight and you'll be phoned next week with our results. Until then, no school for anyone.
We were sent to our homes with worry on our minds. We were informed that they called Craig in and did some tests with his handwriting and Dana's. Oddly, their handwritings are very similar to one another, so the experiment went to no avail. They even tried fingerprints, which didn't work also. In the end, after the never ending week passed, I got a call saying that they figured out that it was, in fact, Craig's diary, and it somehow had gotten inside Dana's backpack. They said they figured out it was his by some weird method he explained. There was no evidence that it was Dana's, so she was set free. Craig was sent to countless psychologists and psychiatrists and got his prom tickets taken away. His parents were a mess, of course. In despite of Craig's pleads that the diary wasn't his, his parents made sure that there were no more guns, knifes, ropes or anything that could cause Craig to harm himself and others in the house. Poor thing even missed the last days of school. But I still wasn't convinced.
On Monday, right after my ballet lesson (in which, by the way, we had completed the whole dance piece, and all we had to do was run through it.), I frantically searched for Stew. I found him sitting on a tree branch next to Jenna. I climbed up there so fast I almost lost balance and fell.
"Hi, Deb!" said Jenna, in her usual happy-go-lucky voice. "Can you believe the journal was Craig's?"
"No" I told her. "Not at all. And that's why I'm here."
"You think it's Dana's?" asked Stew.
"I know it is." I replied. "I've known Dana for years now. She's the kind of girl the bullies target. I've seen her getting pushed around since kindergarten. Craig was always the kind, funny and down-to-earth kind of dude. See my point?"
"But the police confirmed it was Craig's" pointed out Jenna.
"I'm just not sure" I sighed. "I don't want to die on my prom."
"What do you plan to do?" asked Stew.
"I want to prove it was Dana's" I answered. "Can you guys help me?"
Jenna and Stew looked at each other. After sharing worried looks and a sigh, they muttered a faint "Fine."
"Great!" I smiled. "I'm going to see if I can have any clues about where the diary is. Talk to you at lunch, Stew?"
"See you then." he waved.
I jumped out of the tree and darted towards the student help room. There, in her little table, sat Mrs. Blair, a very, very nice school director. She was around her late 70's, and she was always smiling and being nice to everyone. I opened the door slowly.
"Hi, Mrs. Blair" I said, uneasy.
"Hello, my dear!" she said. "What can I help you with?"
"Remember that whole 'prom killing' thing that was going on a week ago?" I asked.
"Oh, how could I forget" she placed both of her hands on her lap. "Poor young man. Some people are really pushed to the limit, you know."
"I know" I said, aware of her innocence. "But do you happen to know where the evidence is now?"
"You mean the diary, dear?""
"The last time I checked, it was at the police station."
"Thank you so much, Mrs. Blair."
"You're very welcome, dear."
I walked out of the room with only one thing in mind: I had to escape swiftly, quietly, and I had to make it look like I was just absent.
Peering at the street from the cage-like wall that stood in front of our school, I wondered if I was running the risk of dying. Maybe. But it's better if just one person dies than a whole classroom. Taking a deep breath, I glanced one more time behind me. Seeing that there was no one there, I grabbed the wall and jumped.
I fell flat on my face. I got up, looking around to check for anyone that might be spying on me. Nobody was there. I felt my nose bleed. "Just great." I thought.
The local police station wasn't very far from my school. I walked about a mile or so, and in no time I was inside the building, talking to the secretary.
"Hello. I'm a student from that school with the attempted prom murders." I said, loud and clearly.
"Oh yes. Do you have anything to add to the case?"
"I thought it was already solved!" I was surprised.
"Oh no," she shook her head. "far from it, actually. We can't just assume it was Mr. Craig Russell with such little evidence. Do you have a suspect in mind?"
"Yes, I still believe it was Miss Dana Porter."
"And what makes you think that?"
"Well, I'm a hundred percent sure that the diary wasn't just laying on the ground when I bumped into her, and I don't believe in the possibility that Craig could have put his diary in her bag by accident. I've seen their backpacks, and they are very, very different."
She stopped to think for a while.
"The diary was thoroughly read, and there is no evidence that it was Miss Porter's. The author identifies himself as Craig."
"Also, we checked your school files, and there's no other Craig there. Very uncommon, actually, having just one child in such a big school with a name that was no one else's."
Before I could speak, it hit me. I felt my brain cells just running about, getting around the possibilities I was thinking. My face lit up, I could feel it. I looked at the secretary and snapped:
"Yes! It is very, very uncommon! That's why he was framed!"
"I'm afraid I don't follow."
"Whoever wrote this didn't want to get caught, right? Their first desire is to get out of the situation as fast as they could! So the real author looked for the only person in the whole school with a name that was his only, so that the investigation didn't go on for long and they didn't run a big risk of getting caught!"
She stopped one more time. After she did, she clicked some buttons and buzzed Officer Timothy and told me to go to the interrogation room, first door on the left.
I admit, I was a little scared. What if they thought I was the one who did it? I couldn't run that risk, so I watched my mouth.
"Hello, Miss Thompson." he said as I sat down.
"Hello, Officer Timothy." I said.
"So you think Miss Porter is a suspect?"
"Very much so."
"I see. I quite understand why you would think that, but try to understand," he started. "if it was really Miss Porter, wouldn't it be wiser and easier to just leave the diary at home and write her own name?"
"But what if she's got a messed-up mind? What if she didn't have a very happy past with Craig? What if..."
"No more 'what ifs', dear. The case has been closed. You can go have fun at your prom safely." he ended the conversation, opening the door for me.
I got out of the police station filled with anger. How could that stupid cop just close the subject on me? And what was that "the case is closed" talk? I think he and the secretary had to have a talk themselves in the interrogation room.
The part where I had to go back to school and pretend I was late was easy. My teacher fell for it and we kept going like nothing was going on. But I was not satisfied. It had been Dana's diary, I was sure. But how could I prove it, since I didn't even had the chance to have it in my hands?
The lunch bell rung, and I walked to the cafeteria, very calmly this time. I didn't want to be the victim of a mass murder. I didn't want to watch my friends die. But nobody listened to me.
I saw Stew sitting at the table. I had brought lunch that day, so I wasn't worrying about facing an incredibly long line. I sat next to him silently. He noticed something was wrong.
"They didn't believe you?" he asked.
"No..." I said, my voice weak.
"You know what?"
"I got a plan." he smirked.
"What kind of plan?" I asked.
"The good kind." he assured me. "I was thinking, why don't we take turns to keep an eye on Dana, to make sure she doesn't do anything weird? That way we can relax."
"Do you think it's going to work?" I was almost convinced.
"I know it is."
"You're quite smart for a Stew."
"And you're quite dumb for a Debora."
I hit him. He laughed.
The rest of the day went by calmly. I was more relaxed, and all we did was watch movies anyway. When I got home, I decided to go straight to my room to practice the whole dance number. I was doing pretty well when I started to think about counting on Jenna and Stew to watch Dana while I was dancing. I hoped they wouldn't get their eyes off of her.
The week passed by extremely quickly, and as soon as I knew it, I was laying on my bed, awake, at the night before the prom. I couldn't sleep. Thoughts were keeping me awake.
Nothing interesting happened before lunch, at all. Jenna was absent because she wanted to make sure she was absolutely ready to be the one her prom date wanted to spend his life with. Stew and I talked like any day. But it wasn't just any day. We were scared, and we knew it. But none of us wanted to scare the other more.
The bell for class rang. He surprised me with a hug and a kiss on my cheek.
"Don't worry, okay? I just want to see you happy." he said, holding onto my arms.
"I wanna see you happy too." I said. "But you're my best friend. And I don't want to see you harmed."
And with that, we parted ways.
One hour until prom. I was wearing my ballerina suit for the presentation, and then I'd put on my prom dress. I could see my hands shake. Taking a deep breath, I guaranteed myself everything was going to be okay. I didn't know that, though. I was just making me feel better.
"Are you ready, prom queen?" my mom asked, after knocking on my door.
"Ready." I smiled at her.
My dad showed up.
"You look stunning." he said.
"Thanks, daddy." I smiled at him.
Simple as that, I made my way to my doom.
There were quite a lot of people there when I arrived. My parents got out of the car and asked me if I wanted them to take me inside. I said that wasn't necessary, thanks.
I surprised them both with a hug and a kiss on their cheeks.
Upon entering the big prom room, I thought about how hard it was going to be to find my friends, and mostly Dana. I swam through the crowd, frantically looking for my two friends.
"All the ballerinas that are presenting, please come up to the stage." a voice was heard from a microphone. Scared, but also happy I'd know where Dana was, I walked up there.
"I'm sure we'll all do great!" Mrs. Beaufort was happier than usual. "I want all of you to do all we've learned and have fun with it. You all know when to come in, right? Let's go, backstage."
I was directed to be one of the first people to come in, so when the music started, me, Juliette and Morgan went towards the stage and began our number.
Everything was good, and I wasn't forgetting anything. I decided that, despite the big, bright light against my face, I'd try to find my friends. As I did my series of spins and plies, I recognized two familiar faces not very far from the stage. They were smiling.
I sighed in relief. I kept going with my number, sensing the other ballerinas come from backstage to join in. It was going great, and I could see Stew and Jenna perfectly. I remembered Bob Marley's wise words, "everything is gonna be alright." "I hope so, Bob. I hope so."
We eventually finished the number, and walked backstage. It was good to listen to the clapping. We were congratulated by Mrs. Beaufort and instructed to change in the bathroom. I followed Dana quietly, hoping she wouldn't notice I'd spy on her that night. She didn't. I put on my prom dress - and I gotta admit it: I looked damn good in it.
I made sure I was ready before Dana was. When she put on her dress and walked out, so did I. I saw Stew and Jenna, but she went straight past them. I signaled them to follow me. We followed Dana to a table of sweets and soda, where she stuffed herself. Just to make sure we weren't caught, we started to have a little party of our own there. We danced in a circle, alone, and did goofy things. I was having a good time and Dana was just standing there. I felt like she was spying us.
A little later, she moved. We quietly tried to follow her without her noticing. For some reason, she was going fast, almost running. She went into the bathroom. More relaxed, we allowed ourselves to giggle.
"She probably went to treat her butt rash" mocked Stew, making me and Jenna go into a fit of laughter.
"I heard butt rashes suck docks!" Jenna completed, and we cracked up even more.
Then, a song the three of us loved started to play, and we couldn't resist. We held hands and danced, and danced, and danced. If Dana were to do something, she'd already done it, right? So why not have a little fun? For crying out loud, it was our prom! The only one in our lives.
There we were, dancing, laughing and fooling around, like five year olds. It was fun. We were loving it. Until I started to feel something on my feet.
"Is that water?" asked Jenna.
"I think so" I replied. "Where's it coming from?"
"Probably someone spilled their drink here somewhere" suggested Stew.
It wasn't just there. A boy from the other side of the room slipped and fell. Soon enough, a girl did. In a few seconds, everyone was slipping, falling and confused.
"What the hell is going on?" asked Jenna.
The blood drained from my face.
"Where. The crap. Is Dana." I said, eyes wide open.
We didn't even think about it. We all ran towards the bathroom and me and Jenna checked if she was there, while Stew checked the surroundings. She wasn't in any of the stalls. Jenna and I busted out of the bathroom, looking for Stew. We saw him try to run, almost as to follow something, fall and scream in pain.
The whole room looked. Stew was on the ground, rocking back and forth, hands on his leg. We went up to him fast and tried to see what the problem was.
"I think he broke his leg!" said Jenna, who had taken a medical course.
"Oh God, no..." I whimpered. "Jenna, help me lift him up."
We held him by his shoulders and tried to walk with him to the nearest adult. By his face, we saw that he was in deep pain, but he was trying to hold it in.
"Hang in there, Stewie. You'll be okay." I whispered.
We walked outside, scared of what Dana might do. We found Mrs. Blair walking around the campus, and when she noticed Stew, she ran up to us.
"What happened?!" she sounded scared.
"He fell and broke his leg" I told her.
"Oh no, that is terrible! We have to call an ambulance now!" she said.
"We'll take him" Jenna said.
"No, no, my dears. You go and enjoy the party. I'll get help from someone." she said.
"Are you sure?" I was incredulous.
"Very sure." she smiled, turning away. "You're going to be alright, Stewie. Don't worry."
"Save... Us." Stewie muttered as he was taken to the nurse.
Jenna and I ran back to the party to find Dana. Lucky for us, she was next to the door, messing with the wires of the soundbox.
"Hey! What the hell are you doing?" I asked. It didn't sound like me at all.
"None of your business." she shot us a cold look.
"Get outta there, it's dangerous!" Jenna screamed.
"Piss off!" Dana yelled back.
I felt dumb for not telling anything to Mrs. Blair.
"Do you know anything about this water?!" I asked.
"No freaking clue. Piss off now!" she rudely screamed.
"We know you're the goddamn psycho here!" Jenna blurted out.
"Good." was all that she said. Followed by the teethy, insane-like smile.
"What the hell do you mean by 'good'?" I screamed.
"I mean that I'm going to end all of you." she said.
And right in front of our eyes, she yanked the wires from the box, making the music stop, and threw them on the water.
We were horrified to watch a number of students suffer a high voltage electric shock. We weren't stepping on the water, and neither was Dana.
"If I can't have a decent life, why do you worthless people can?!" she yelled, throwing in more wires.
More students got shocked. I grabbed my phone and called the police immediately. But right when they picked up, she knocked it from my hand into the water. I looked at her, wide mouthed. The grin was still plastered on her face. Jenna told me she'd try to find an adult outside. As she ran away, I just stared at Dana, and she stared at me.
"Look," I said, amid the screams of the students. "I'm really sorry you are teased and bullied everyday, I really am! But you can't just take everyone's life away because of that!"
"No." she said. "No matter wherever I go, I'll always be pushed around. By everyone. But I'm not that selfish."
"Good bye, Debora Thompson," she said, still smiling creepily. "The girl with the perfect life."
And with that, she jumped into a puddle of water, electrocuting herself and dying instantly, the smirk frozen on her face. Trying to prevent myself from fainting, I walked outside to look for Jenna, but I was barred by at least ten policemen.
"Who are you?" one of them asked.
"Debora Thompson" I replied. "I just witnessed the killer commit suicide!"
I told them to not step on the water and opened the door. I was told to go to the front of the school and call the people on the ambulance and go to the student help room immediately.
After I called them, I ran to the student help room, only to meet Jenna and Stew. Stew was sitting on a table with an emergency cast wrapped around his leg. They both smiled with relief when they saw me and we huddled together.
"God, Deb, are you okay?" Jenna asked.
I wasn't. I started to cry.
"What's the matter? Did you get hurt?" Stew asked, worriedly.
"She's dead" I said. "She killed herself."
"Oh no..." Jenna replied, quietly. "You saw it?"
"Stew, I didn't even ask you, are you going to be okay?" I sniffed.
"Just fine" he said, calmly. "It wasn't a big fracture. They will take me to the hospital soon."
We huddled up closer. And there we stood until the ambulance took all of us to the hospital for a health check.
Twenty students dead. One hundred and four injured. Five hundred and thirty eight scarred for life.
But no matter how screwed up your life is, killing the people you loathe won't make it better.
No one has the perfect life.