I didn't want to kill Aubrey. I can't believe that I actually did! She was the reason I cried so much, that and the hormones.
I puked in the hallway to the interrogation room, but it wasn't just nerves. Mr. Whithers motioned for the police officer guiding me by the cuffs on around my wrists to take me into the bathroom. The cuffs weren't necessary, really. Whithers and I both knew that. I wouldn't try anything. I'd had my taste of violence and heaved it right back up the way I had with a hangover the next morning after the party. The way I had every day after that, though it wasn't from the disgust at myself, though I probably would have if I hadn't been having morning sickness anyway.
I puked until it was bile while the officer held back my hair, just the way Levi had after he had took me home. It was and odd feeling of familiarity.
After the mess had been wiped from my lips, I was taken to the room, that awful taste still lingering.
Whithers settled into his seat, directly facing me over the table, and asked me to tell him the whole story. From the beginning. I took a deep breath, and when I started to speak, my mind went back to that night, as if I were reliving it...
I really didn't want to go to the party, but Levi assured me that it would be fun, and we wouldn't be the nerd outcasts like we normally were. He convinced me to go, and picked me up in his old broken down Honda. It was the first actually place we had gone together, but it couldn't exactly be considered a date by most standards. However, I --and I'm sure Levi-- almost thought it was. I'd kinda had a crush on Levi since the start of the school year, and I could tell that the feeling was mutual. We were both shy and chickenish, so we really didn't tell each other --or anyone else for that matter-- but we knew.
"I've brought something to liven up the party..." He fumbled for something in the seat. He rattled a container of pills at me.
"Levi!" I scolded him. "No way! This is a really bad idea! You're gonna get busted, you know with your luck! Something bad is going to happen!"
He shrugged, and turned back to the road. He tried to be cooler than he was. But this was definitely NOT the way to be cool, in my book. Would everyong else think so? Meh.... well, I'm not so sure about that.
"Just trust me," He said as we pulled up to the house. I didn't even know whose party this was, but I trusted that if Levi was invited, it couldn't be that bad.
I sighed frustratedly at him, and got out of the car. I looked pretty nondescript in a black graphic tee, jeans, and chucks, and definitely not like anyone Stacey would like. I could tell as we entered the front door and her scorning eyes fell on me. Ah, never liked her anyway.
I saw Aubrey in the corner, talking to a few other people including Brandon. I could see the slight disappointment she had towards Brandon, but she tried to act like it didn't bother her that he was so close --and yet so far away-- from her. Her eyes caught me as we entered.
"Hey, Gracie! I'm so glad you came!" She said as she hurried over. Her face was gaunt. Bree was so skinny now. I smiled feebly. She grabbed my shoulders in excitement. "I hear that someone's bringing some beer later! Man, this is going to be so much fun!"
"You know I'm not a drinker, not much of a partier either. I'm beginning to think this isn't going to be my cup of tea if there's going to be drinking and drugs." I really was a downer to her, I knew it, but I was a good girl. A wall flower for sure.
"Who's bringing drugs?"
"Really?" She was as surprised as I was. "Wow. Never would have thought that of him!" Bree laughed and talked about other things, but I could see the way her eyes drifted to Brandon, though I pretended not to notice.
Awhile later, some guy showed up with pizza --and beer. A cry went out over that, and I'm pretty sure it wasn't over the pizza. After a few hours, the music was blaring, and everyone was soon tipsy and dancing with crazy fervor. I stood aside from everyone, sipping from my coke, and watching Levi walking around, passing out pills and waving his hands in the air. Obviously drunk and maybe high too. He tried to give one to Brandon, but he waved him off. He was drinking coke too. I was almost proud of that. Maybe Bree's taste was better than I thought. But Stacey completely ruined that thought. I saw her, hanging all over him like a cheap whore. Ugh.
Bree beckoned to me, and I joined her on the couch. I could smell liquor on her breath as she turned to me. "WHOO! Yeah, isn't this fun, Gracie?" Burp. Giggles. "Wait, why aren't you drinking anything?"
"I am. It's pretty darn good too."
"What is it?"
"Aww, come on you! Party pooper!" She grabbed a bottle of whiskey off the end table, screwed up her face and took a swig. She handed it to me.
"No, I don't want any."
"C'mon, you know you do!"
Levi sat down next to me and seeing what Bree was trying, only encouraged her, and joined in cajoling me: "Hey, Gracie, at least have a beer, babe."
That was all it took. I gave in, against my better judgment. It didn't take much more than a bottle to get me drunk, and after the third or fourth one, I was so out of it, I barely thought I saw Brandon and Dillon heading off together. Aubrey and I started dancing with with everyone, screaming and singing badly to the lyrics of out favorite songs. Levi was close too, and dancing almost too close to me. But in my drunken state, I didn't mind. I also didn't mind when, after awhile, when my head was pounding, Levi handed me a pill. I swallowed it and laughed. Stacey had took several from Levi earlier, although I doubt that they were all for her. The way Brandon slumped in the corner with his eyes glazed over kind of suggested that she had slipped something to him. He was now drinking a beer while Stacey babbled to him. When Stacey finally left to get something to drink, (Aubrey had left me for a few minutes doing presumably the same thing.), I stumbled over to him.
It took him a minute to register what I had said. "She is so annoying..." I couldn't help but laugh.
He struggled to stand, and I helped him up, although I wasn't in much better shape than he. He asked me where the bathroom was, and I led him down the hall, to where I assumed the bathroom was, but it was occupied. We went into the master bedroom, and I pointed to a door where another was, adjacent. He stared at it, and collapsed on the King sized bed, pulled me with him. when he recovered, all thoughts of the bathroom had faded. He started kissing me. I didn't stop him. In my high and drunken state, I nearly thought he was Levi. Before long the kissing led to other things.
We both passed out.
When I woke up, it was nearly dawn. Aubrey came in, and seeing Brandon and I laying there, tangled and bare, she screamed.
"What the hell! Grace! What are you doing?!" Brandon mumbled and turned over in his sleep."How could you do this to me?" She ran from the room. I followed after her, not much more sober than before, but beginning to be.
Bree ran into the kitchen, and turned on me. "You know how I feel about him! How could you sleep with him like that?! You're suppose to be my best friend. "
I couldn't explain myself. I know I had done wrong, but in my mind, It wasn't that big of a deal. Until she brought Levi into it.
"What about Levi? Huh, Gracie? What is he going to say about this?" She did a quick scan of the living room where he had been, and then went out into the backyard where many of the guests had gone. "I'm gonna tell him!"
"No... NO!" No, Levi could never find out about what had happened. He thought I was a good girl, he liked me, possible even loved me. It would ruin everything if he found out.
I grabbed a huge knife laying on the counter, and followed her past the crowd gathered around the in-ground pool. No one saw us as she rounded a trelaced screen under the walk out deck on the second floor.
"I know exactly what he's going to say, Grace, he'll call you a whore and--"
And it was then that I attacked her from behind, tears streaming down my face. I stabbed her, and stabbed her until I couldn't anymore. I screamed, "I HATE YOU!" the whole time, my throat hoarse. She fell with a surprised yelp, and lay sprawled there when I had finished my bloody work. I panted with the effort, and slowly, it dawned upon me what I had done.
I was sober in an instant.
Levi, rounded the trelace and took in the bloody scene. Me standing over Bree with the dripping knife in my hand. His face was a mask of shocked disbelief.
"G-Grace?! What happened?"
I burst into tears. I managed: "We were arguing. And... She -- she attacked me! I --I Oh, Levi!" And I rushed to him. He held me in his arms as I wept bitterly.
"Grace, don't you think we should do something? Call the police or something?"
"No! We can't do that! They'll arrest me!" I screamed.
"Shh! Shh, Gracie! It'll be all right! No they won't--"
"Yes they will, Levi! Don't you understand? We have to -- to hide the body!"
He stepped back, abashed. "Grace, no we can't do that!"
"Levi, you have to help me!" I fell to the ground and clutched at his clothing. I pleaded, "You have to help me hide her body!"
"Levi! What else can we do? You saw what happened, and we'll both go to prison! Your partly to blame, anyway! You brought the drugs and she freaked out on them and attacked me! If you had listened to me, this wouldn't have happened!"
His face fell, guilty. He believed me. "I... don't know, Grace."
"Please, say you'll help me! I need you!"
Finally he consented.
Levi helped me haul Aubrey into his trunk, and after we'd cleaned up the mess, we drove out to a deserted part of town, dug a shallow grave and dumped her in. We buried her there, an most unfitting resting place for Bree.
After, Levi took me home and we sneaked inside.
I puked my guts out. Levi held my hair.
After I was settled and less nauseous, he left, and I slept fitfully through the night.
I hoped it was just a dream. But it wasn't. And neither was it over with.
A few days later, I missed my period.
I started puking every morning when I woke up.
I bought a pregnancy test at the drug store. It was positive.
I was pregnant. With Brandon's baby. That only upset me more. And made it harder for me to hide what I had done. I wouldn't be showing for a few months, but after he came poking around, I knew that Mr. Whithers would find out. It was only a matter of time. He was almost psychic. I left out my condition, but as expected, it was the first thing he brought up after I'd told him my story.
"Why haven't you told Brandon about the baby?"
"He didn't remember anything from that night. Why bring it up?"
"You figured that he would be blamed for Aubrey's death because of that fact, right?"
"Yes," I admitted, "But that's not what I planned --or even wanted."
"But it was convenient... yes? And you came to me, telling me that you thought that Mr. Kerr had murdered her. You tried to frame him, as well."
"Yeah, but he's a sleaze ball, rapist. He deserves to be in prison anyway!"
"I can't say that I don't agree with you. But what you did was wrong, Grace."
I sighed and put my head down on the table. "I know..."
"Was is you that drugged Brandon, either time?"
"No." I mumbled, head still down. "I know it won't help my case any--and I don't even want help-- but I am truly sorry. I loved Bree. I didn't mean to hurt her."
Whithers sighed. "I know, Grace, but that can't change anything now. You know that you're going to prison, for a very long time."
"Yes, I do. I deserve it." I started to cry; For Bree, for myself, this whole situation. But I mostly cried for the child I carried inside. She was my priority now. I wanted my baby to have the best, but now, because of something stupid I'd done, I'd never be able to raise her. She'd go to foster care unless my parents, or Brandon took her in.But neither knew about any of this at this point.
If only Bree had been here, she'd have taken my baby for me. But then, if I hadn't done what I did, there would be no need for that.
Whithers patted my shoulder and left me to weep in piece.
"I'm so sorry, Aubrey," I muttered into my arm, "I'm so sorry..."