Chapter 13 Sophie
Sophie pulled up dead on twelve o’clock. I heard her car crunching the drive and quickly stuffed lip balm, my phone and purse into a small leather bag. Nanny was hoovering when I landed on the hall floor.
“Bye Nanny” I called over the noise.
“Have fun Honey” she raised her hand and then went back to pushing the ancient looking hoover around. I felt a twinge of sadness; she would be alone all day until I came back.
“Nanny...would you like me to get you anything? Do we need milk? Or bread or anything?”
There was silence as she turned the hoover off. “No honey, I got Jeff coming at two with all that. We’re going to plant petunias. ” she waved her hand to dismiss me “Go have fun and stop worrying about your Nanny”
I pressed my lips together, and knew worrying would only annoy her more. I waved again and ducked out of the front door to Sophie’s car.
Sophie’s car was bright pink. It looked like something out of Thunderbirds; the convertible roof was pressed into the backseat, the rear-view mirrors sticking out absurdly. How could I not remember this car?
She honked as I jumped the porch steps and climbed in. “Hey” I said. I was slightly embarrassed to be in this car I ducked as low as the seat would let me as she turned around and headed down and out of Bellerose.
“Howdy cowgirl” she winked. She was adorned in white skinny jeans and a pink tightly fitted top, her hair was teased up in thin curls. I felt very plain sitting next to her.
“So tell me about Bear” I said, eagerly. I was craving unimportant trivia to distract me from my own problems.
“Well, we danced – thanks to you!” she hit my arm playfully. I felt the car lurch to the right as she did this, and reminded myself not to tease her if I wanted to live. “But then he ran outside...something happened just as you guys left what happened?”
So much for the distraction
For once, my mothers and my own thoughts were the same. “Emily...she kind of – well she was talking about my mother and I hit her. That’s the jist of it.”
“So the rumours were true! Well anyway, afterwards he came back and asked me if I’d go out with him sometime and of course I agreed!” she shrieked and jumped up and down in her seat. I was glad that I had helped in this small way...considering I only, to my memories knowledge, met her yesterday. I smiled encouragingly as she continued to tell me how “pretty” Bear’s eyes are.
“...they’re a bright green, like really bright almost blindingly bright...” she was saying. I was glad that I only had to contribute a few words and that would set her off with more things to say. It wasn’t very distracting, talking of Bear’s eyes was the last thing I expected to talk about over and over. But I now know what she meant at the party, being in love with Bear. I wondered if before the accident, I talked about Ryan this way. I shuddered at the thought.
Wow she is so dull my mother’s voice echoed dryly. She seemed bored but I was glad that she had begun to whisper. It was easier to pretend I couldn’t hear her.
Hush, she’s the only girl friend I’ve got
There are more important things for you to be doing right now that sternness must be hereditary. She almost sounded like Nanny.
Like what? Even in my thoughts my voice sounded as ignorant as a teenager should. Killing Emily? How can you ask that of me? To take a life?
She took ours. Her voice was so faint I hardly heard her and then she was gone. Sophie pulled into an underground car park and got out to pay for a ticket. My fingers rubbed at my eyes to stop tears falling, I sniffed and got out of the car.
Did that make it justice? I still didn’t understand why my mother would ask such a thing? To protect me? Emily had threatened to “get” me again. I could not take a life. Even if that life had taken my own parents, it was just wrong. I needed to talk to my mother again, I needed answers. But right now, I was shopping.
“Ready?” Sophie’s chirpy voice called. Her car made a whistling sound as she locked it and we walked, arms linked together through the doors and into the mall.
“So what do you think of this one?” Sophie was now wearing a pink version of the white linen dress I had worn to the party although her figure was curvier than mine and she filled more of the dress than I had.
“Oh that looks good too” I said. I had been sitting opposite a cubicle changing room for half an hour, tapping my foot impatiently as I waited for Sophie to change from one dress to another. I kept thinking about what my mother said, and all I wanted to do was leave the mall and go home, to get her to explain herself. Sophie stroked the dress with her manicured fingers and I could see her debating it in her head.
“Ok!” she jumped around to face me. “I’ll get this one...are you sure George will like it?” her eyes watched me for signs of doubt, I pretended to think through my answer but if I were honest, I had no idea what George would like.
“Yes, of course”
“Ok...” she turned around to the mirror “now we need shoes, handbag and accessories! Oh isn’t this fun? It’s like you never died!” she whispered the last part, and winked. I wanted to laugh at her, but I felt my mother squirm in my head, I forced a smile and Sophie went to change.
Can you leave me be until I get home? I begged internally and my head was clear again. Sophie popped out of the cubicle, looking proud of herself. I could feel her excitement radiating from her; it was nice to be around such a happy person. My memories about our friendship were still slow. I was glad she had given me pictures of us together.
“So, I think we should go to Macy’s next...I think I’ll be able to get a nice handbag from there to match this dress and some nice shoes too...gosh, I hope we don’t run into George, walking around here...wouldn’t that be embarrassing! Plus it would totally ruin the surprise of my outfit.”
We made our way through the large hall towards Macy’s. I recognized a few people from the party, but none who I would say were my “forgotten friends” as Jack had amusingly called himself and the others. The people who recognized me however, stared in horror and shock. The large ceiling was made of gigantic windows that allowed the brightness of the sun and the lovely colour of the sky to seep in, and reflect off the blue tile floor. From my awakening, I have found that my eyes miss the colours, the sights and my ears miss the sounds of everything. I see the same bright sun every day yet it shines more beautifully still. I was pulled away from this when Sophie linked her arm with mine; her long nails gripped the skin of my arm.
“Ouch, Sophie what?”
“Uh oh” she said, interrupting me. Her eager eyes swivelled to the shaded area of the mall. I recognized the same group of girls from the party, surrounding Emily who glared at me from the darkness.
My bones locked themselves and my mother’s voice repeated her plea kill her.
“Now, if we go around this way...” Sophie steered us backwards attempting to avoid walking close to Emily.
“Did I ever do anything to her?” I whispered to Sophie as we made our way towards the Macy’s entrance. The bright florescent lights looked inviting and the rows of clothes looked easy to hide behind in case Emily decided to shop.
“No but...she’s always had it in for you. At school, she used to stare at you all time...that was before she got kicked out of course.” Sophie liked to gossip, her voice had gotten all serious and she had taken an all knowing expression.
“Why did she get kicked out?” I asked we were only metres from the entrance now but I could feel my heart racing as if it could sense that Emily was near. Sophie looked at me her eyes wide.
“The teachers inspected her locker” Sophie had stopped walking, and was talking quietly now. It seemed that she was focusing on being as dramatic as possible, her eyes full of terror and intrigue. “They found dolls with pins in...Like voodoo dolls and bottles of what looked like blood and photographs of things that should just not be seen” Sophie shook her head. She looked as disgusted as I felt.
I watched Sophie’s face, wondering if she had anything else to tell me but her eyes locked on something behind me, and I knew even before the fear could manipulate her face that Emily had arrived. I turned on my heel, not really knowing what to say or do.
Emily stood with her arms down by her sides, her hands in fists. Her long dark hair was down and covered half of her face. She wore black trousers and a dark blue top; it seemed colour wasn’t her style.
“We can walk away Olivia...There are securities everywhere, she’ll get into a lot of trouble if she touches you” Sophie whispered in my ear as Emily’s evil grin operated her jaw.
“Shut your mouth you stupid brat!” Emily hissed. Her hair blew back from her face and I saw the marks I had left on her pale skin. Deep nail marks were scabbed over and crimson with dried blood. Sophie looked like she had just been slapped in the face.
“Don’t talk to her like that what has she ever done to you?” I said, before I could stop myself. My body was shaking, from my mother’s anger and my own fear. I found my feet edging me forward, towards her. Emily was mimicking me, drawing closer with each word she snarled.
“Who are you to tell me what to do? You may think you are all brave and strong because death did not rip itself into you quite enough but I promise you that I will make it as though you are still in hell.” Emily was so close; I could see her trembling in fury. Her black eyes burned into mine. Then the anger was gone, her expression changed so rapidly it was as if she had switched personalities. Her eyes were soft and amused, her mouth curving into almost a pretty smile and she whispered calmly into my ear “The daisies were a nice touch this morning weren’t they? Isn’t Ryan the sweetest?”
She took a look at my face, smiled in satisfaction and left. I didn’t watch her go, the moment her words left her lips I was frozen, in a choking, state of disbelief.
I will not let her get to me. I refuse to let her words frighten me. Ryan is perfectly safe, he is at work. It is only one o’clock, he’s leaving at two. Everything is fine.
My body, and overactive imagination contradicted every thought I forced myself upon. My heart was pounding in my ears, my palms sweating and all I could think about was Ryan in some sort of pain inflicted by that witch Emily. I was so mad I wanted to hit something, but the closest thing to me was Sophie, who sucked on her strawberry milkshake opposite me, watching my horror struck face. She hadn’t heard Emily’s last witty line.
“I can’t believe Emily said that to me!” Sophie pouted stirring her milkshake “I always thought we were OK. She was never horrible before...”
After a moment of recovering Sophie had dragged me into Macy’s, where I remained in my disbelieving state, refusing to entertain Emily with worrying about what she had said. I forced myself to tell Sophie that the silver handbag was nicer than the gold, and that the pink pumps were better than the white. And now we sit in Garfunkel’s, Sophie waiting for me to speak.
“Is it true that you were the last person to see me? Before the attack?” I asked, stirring my ice in my soda, chanting forget what Emily said, forget what Emily said.
“Y-yeah...I live just out of Bellerose on Manners Creek and I saw you walking out of Bellerose about half past twelve” Sophie seemed so certain, she nodded to herself, her curls bouncing.
“But why would I walk out of Bellerose? Nanny’s house is at the end of it.” I tried to sound merely curious, but I knew there was desperation in my tone. Sophie frowned and leaned back in her chair, her nails tapping the table between us. “I'm only asking...because I can’t remember” my laugh was forced and unnecessary; I rolled my eyes at my poor attempt.
“No, I know what you mean...I did wonder the same thing, or at least I was worried about you...when I saw you out that late.” Sophie looked guilty and apologetic. I really didn’t want the apology.
“So...what are you and George going to do Saturday?” I changed the subject and Sophie launched into her plans for the night. I pretended to listen, all the time trying to calm my heart beats and dry my sweaty hands. I ached to be at home, to confirm that nothing had happened to Ryan.