[Many pages have been skipped over until the entry begins.]
I'm starting in the middle of the journal now, because I don't want to accidentally reread any of my old entries. Some of them I don't even remember writing, and the ones I do...I don't sound the same anymore. I don't want the reminder of how much I've changed. And I don't want the reminder of whatever dreams have been haunting me. My mind replays them enough as is. I don't need to read them out.
My parents keep looking for Jon, and I know they won't give up until they find him, but I know as well as they do that it's been a month. He could be anywhere by now.
No one will talk to me aside from my parents. My friends have all deserted me, and I have no idea why. I don't know why they chose now to do this. I'm an emotional wreck and I need them. Even my teachers aren't talking to me, though I just think they want to avoid alienating me in front of the class by making me answer questions. Dad said that maybe I should see a counselor. I won't. I don't need another person to think I'm going crazy. I do that well enough on my own, thanks.
My English teacher is still trying to get me to do that paper. I should, I know it. But it's so stressful. But in order to not have to take this class again, I need to do it. I guess I don't really have a choice. I'll start tomorrow.
I've been thinking, what exactly makes myths so followed? Can a myth even been considered a myth if only one person believes it? And if myths have some sort of truth behind them, what about all those that no one knows? Can a myth still exist without someone there to believe in it? Those little truths must still be out there somewhere, don't they? And perhaps once rediscovered, new myths are formed about them. Maybe that's why a lot of myths overlap each other, have similar ideas. And then there's another side of myths. Maybe they are just completely wild stories that someone made up. But the idea that that someone put inside of another's mind makes it real. Their minds play tricks on them, makes them believe in things that aren't really there.
That must be terrifying, to not be able to trust your own mind.
I had a breakdown today. It was so humiliating! I mean, I've been on edge a lot, all strung up, but this is just too much. I was zoning out in class, I didn't mean to, it just happened. I can't even remember what I was thinking about at the time. But my math teacher dropped her yard stick against the white board with a loud smack and it startled me. I just started bawling. It wasn't controllable. I had to run out of the room to get away from all those searing gazes burning into my skull. I left my backpack, though. So I waited until the bell for school to let out and went back in after all the kids had left. My face still hadn't gone back to its normal color, but at least I wasn't crying anymore. My teacher gave me that look, asked me if I wanted to talk about it. I didn't.
I found myself out there again. I don't know how I got there, or how I got back. But I was there, in the forest with Jon and the others. The branches are the same shade of red as the stuff covering them. It was quiet there. I kept talking to them, tried to get them to talk back with me. They wouldn't. I don't know what I would do if they did. I'm not entirely sure how I feel about this. It's nice to see them all again, but they're not the same. Then again, I'm not the same. I think there's more people here than I remember. Next time I'm there, I'll count.
My parents are thinking about pulling me out of school for a while. Apparently my math teacher ratted me out about my breakdown in class. There was a whole interrogation about that one. I'm doing better than they think I am. I don't know why we can't just chock that one up to me having a bad day. I don't want to leave school. It's the only place I don't see him. But that doesn't mean he's not there. It's just, I feel that if I'm in a large group of people, I'm protected. I haven't seen him, and neither have they. I'm not alone. It's harder to think that when it's just two other people. Impossible when there's no one.
What happens if they see him, too?
What happens when I do, and they don't?
I'm not crazy.
I went to the counselor today. She's really odd. It's like she wants to be nice but doesn't quite know how to do it. Like the new kid who doesn't have any friends and doesn't know the right way of going about making them. She asked me how I was feeling, how school was going, how things at home were going. I just gave her generic answers. I don't want to share my life with her. She has no right knowing. She asked me about Jon, and I didn't know what to say. Just sat there in silence. After about five minutes of that she stopped asking and I left. I don't want to go back there tomorrow.
I know my parents will freak out when I get back, but I just needed to go for a walk today. It's raining again. I brought my camera with me. It's been a while since I've used it. And this memory card is almost full. I'll need to get the photos off onto my computer tonight. I've been bringing my journal with me more and more frequently. Is it strange that a book brings me comfort? I'll write more when I get back home.
I met a lady at the park today.
She was really nice. And mellow. I sat next to her for about an hour. She hummed something for most of the time while I just stared forward. I'm glad she didn't seem to mind. I left before she did. I wonder if I'll see her again. I probably should have gotten her name.
I am with Jon. Right now. I'm leaning against his tree as I write this, well, not just his tree. It's someone else's too. But I don't know who he is. It's not important. I didn't really think about it until I looked up, but the red stuff on the tree isn't dry. The dry stuff turns a gross brown color. This is bright and warm. And it's all over my sleeve. Great. The mail lady's gone. I wonder where she went without her scarf, though. That's still caught in the tree. There's something else tangled in it, too. I can't make it out. Something red and blobby.
There's eleven people total. I think that's about the same as it was last time. I don't see any new faces.
oh god their faces red and leaking
eyes unmoving not blinking
staring and staring
I've been going through some of my pictures on this memory card. I think I must have grabbed one of Mom's old ones from the desk. There are some pictures all the way from January on here. Not important. I found this picture of Jon at the park with Jeremy, me standing off to the side. Mom took this picture a very long time ago. But it's only just now that I see the figure in the background.
How long has he been following us?
I was at the store today with my parents. I saw Niki and her little sister going down the candy isle. They looked happy. I wonder why it made me so angry to see. Am I really so spiteful of their happiness? What a horrible feeling. I wanted to go over there and just do something. I didn't. I followed Dad into the frozen foods isle. At the checkout line, I know she saw me. I tried to smile at her but it probably came out more like a grimace. She might have tried to smile back, but I was already stalking away. I was just so angry. I hate her for leaving me to suffer alone. I hate her for ever being my friend in the first place.
Mom caught up with me at the car. I couldn't stop the tears.
I found the shirt with the blood on the sleeve. It wasn't a dream. It was never a dream. I'm gonna be sick.
[This entry has been inked out.]
I burnt the shirt. While my parents were at work I started a fire in our fireplace and burnt it. I don't know if that completely gets rid of it, but I wasn't just going to throw it away. Nor was I going to just hide it. I could smell it. Would burying it have been a better idea? I don't know. I just don't know how I'd explain that. I can't even remember where I was to get it. All I can think about is that I was there. I was right in the center of them all, all those dead people. How could I not have been more aware? How could I not remember how I got there? Every time I close my eyes I see them. And this time I know it's real.
I can't play it off as a fantasy. I know it's true.
I can't escape it any more than him.
I like nighttime more than day. In the day, everything is too bright. It's too easy to see. I can't pretend I'm not seeing him. He's too close. In the front yard, head titled up at my window, gangly limbs ramrod straight. Something black snaking up from his back and twining slowly, patient. How can no one else notice him? I'm afraid to ask my parents. They're acting completely normal. Sad, but normal. I can't be the only one who sees him. I can't. He's real.
It's nighttime now. Thank goodness. I'm watching TV with my parents. I don't know if they're actually watching or not. Their eyes just stare forward, unseeing.
eyes unmoving not blinking
How did Jon put up with it? I can see why he was so afraid to go outside now. I wonder how long Jon saw him before I did. Maybe it wasn't for very long. I can only hope so. As much as I hate to think it, Jon was lucky he didn't have to go through this. He got off easy.
He's in the house. I don't know why I didn't think he could, but he's there. He's in the house. I'm not safe.
I'm not safe.
Niki came by the house today. I wish it was for a social visit. I'd opened the door and she attacked me. I still have a gash on my left arm from where she'd bit me. She was screaming it's all your fault she's gone she's gone you killed her your fault. I wish I knew what she was talking about. I didn't kill anyone. But at the time I wasn't exactly thinking rationally. So I fought back. I knocked her out. Dad came home just as she was waking up. I wanted to explain everything to him the second I saw his eyes go wide, but she was already crying. I was pushed aside as he helped her to her feet. She kept apologizing between each sob, but I didn't care. It didn't matter then. I wiped my hand over my bleeding arm and wiped it on his sleeve. Then ran.
I don't know why I did that. It was stupid. I wrapped some gauze around it but it hurts really badly. I'll have to ask him for help soon. Or he'll come up here all his own. I have no way to explain myself. But I don't want to. He should have gone to me first. Not her. He shouldn't have left me alone. But I can't get that look out of my head, the disbelief in his eyes.
I'm not crazy.