- Author: Sarah Gailey
Book online «When We Were Magic Sarah Gailey (each kindness read aloud .TXT) 📖». Author Sarah Gailey
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For everyone who isn’t sure yet
I DIDN’T MEAN TO KILL Josh Harper.
Really, I didn’t. It’s just that I was nervous, and condoms are more complicated than I was expecting, and one thing led to another and—well.
Now there’s blood everywhere and he’s dead.
I wipe my hands on the rumpled sheets until they’re clean enough that I can pull my underwear on. I put on my bra, but I can’t get the hooks done. My hands won’t stop shaking. In the end, I leave it unhooked. I pull my dress on over it, and struggle to grip the zipper on the side. By the time I get the dress zipped up, blood has stopped pumping out of Josh Harper and naked feels like a hundred years ago.
I’m not sure where my shoes are. I know that I kicked them off, but I can’t remember when or where. I’m turning around in a slow circle, staring at the floor, watching for the flash of my gold heels. I catch a glimpse of myself in the full-length mirror on the back of Josh’s door. I’m a blur of bright blue, and I realize that my vision is fuzzy because my eyes are brimming with tears.
“Okay,” I whisper to myself. “Okay, okay, just think. Think. Think think think.” I wipe at my eyes and try to look at anything that isn’t my reflection or the bed. The room is dark save for the light of a desk lamp, which casts a soft yellow glow on the desk and the bed.
Josh is on the bed.
There’s so much blood on the bed.
I smooth my skirt. My palm catches on a patch of glitter, which immediately sheds, raining sparkles onto the carpet. I wipe my hand on a non-glittery section of skirt, leaving behind a bright smear of silver. I frown. I hate glitter. Why did I pick a dress with glitter on it? Probably because Roya said it looked good on me. Even as I stare at my skirt, frowning, I know that I’m not thinking straight. You’re in shock, I think, but I can’t stop glaring at that stupid patch of glitter. I want to scream. I can’t believe I didn’t already scream.
My phone buzzes in my purse and I nearly have a heart attack. My purse is at the foot of the bed. My phone is buzzing and I have to get it and it’s on the bed. On the bed where Josh is. On the bed with all the blood.
Okay. I can do this. I just won’t look.
I reach over and accidentally grab Josh’s foot.
It’s still warm. And he’s still wearing his socks. Ten minutes ago, he was telling me that they weren’t his socks. He had borrowed them from his dad. He’d laughed nervously while I’d pushed him backward onto the bed, stopping him from taking them off.
What’s your hurry? he’d asked me, and I’d shoved my mouth onto his instead of answering, and then.
I let go of his foot and grab my purse. It’s a little tiny sparkly thing that’s totally impractical and only fits my student ID and my cell phone. I fumble with the clasp, which is slippery with blood. My phone buzzes inside again, twice in a row.
The group text is going crazy.
It takes me a long time to reply—autocorrect can’t even interpret the fumbling input of my shaking hands. Josh bedroom 911.
Five minutes later, five girls pour into the bedroom. My best friends. Four one-night-in-a-lifetime dresses plus Paulie’s powder-blue tux. They’re all in here and nobody is missing them because we all went to prom alone-together in solidarity with Iris after her boyfriend cheated on her. Well, everyone except Roya, and she ditched Tall Matt halfway through the night anyway. The point is that we’re all single, but none of us is alone, and that’s how we want it. At least until the end of the year. Why am I thinking about this? There’s something else I should be thinking about.
I look at the girls. They’re all gorgeous, all perfectly themselves and shining with party-sweat, and they’re all looking at me. They’re all looking at me, at me, at me. I can’t look back at them. I can’t look away. There’s nowhere safe for my eyes to land. They’re too bright—the colors are too saturated. It’s too much. Roya is wearing a deep red gown and I can’t look at her. My mouth is dry. My hands are too big. I feel short.
Iris looks at me like I’m a monster. Like I’ve got an eyeball hanging out. I know what I look like: I look like a girl you’d forget, if she didn’t have that just-killed-a-boy aesthetic going on. I look like a girl on a prom night gone horribly, horribly wrong. Wide-set brown eyes that are probably glassy with nauseated fear. Curly brown hair that just passes my shoulders, stiff with hairspray and I-almost-had-sex-mussed. Eyeliner runoff halfway down my cheeks. Blood. Blood everywhere.
I don’t need to look in a mirror to know that I’m a mess.
Iris is the one staring at me, and Iris is the first one to speak. “Well,” she says. “What the fuck did you do?”
Here is what I did.
I tried to have sex with Josh Harper.
I didn’t really want to have sex with Josh Harper. But I wanted to have sex with someone, and Josh Harper was around, and relatively sober, and I’d felt his boner against