The Collected Accounts of June Bloomer

Across newspapers and television, seventeen year old June Bloomer is being shredded across the country for the cataclysmic events she caused in the quiet town of Johnston's creek. However months after the horror, in that forgettable village, June's only four friends are determined to tell the truth of June from the causalities they received first hand and nothing less.

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27. Entry eight:

Entry Eight:

We all saw the show on T.V when it premiered just three days before the events of June Bloomer. We didn’t watch it in summer, so it’s technically not part of my chronicle. But still, you should know what it showed, if you didn’t see it yourself. You should have heard the crackle of Delia’s snigger through an audio tape. You should have seen my face distort itself as it flooded to my ears like poison, dripping sluggishly into my mind. You should have seen the montage of the start, of photos of Aubrie growing up. Apparently, there weren’t many to find. Being the third child from four, she was overlooked in development. They already had two other sets of girls in bathtubs and with food smeared all over their face. Aubrie was camera-shy, too. But they still managed to find the heart-wrenching ones;

Aubrie with her sisters joined in a line with her hair standing out from the rest, and a nervous gap-toothed smile. Aubrie as an infant, rolling on a mat used by the elders years before. Aubrie on her first day at school, knocking her knees together and with a full fringe level with her arched eyebrows. A close up of her eyes, amber and precious… and finally, her gravestone. In between, they’d only wedged in one of Aubrie as a teenager. She was in her bedroom, clutching Jane Eyre to her chest and with a smile of irritation. Her hair was all messy and sweet, her thin frame clothed in multiple sweaters. How many had Tim watched in his life, where the Sommer’s camera couldn’t find him? Who had given these photos into the press? And how could Holly once again see her sister on the covers and channels, while biting into her lip to keep her secret?

Now when you watch the documentary, it makes no sense. It’s so easy to see all the plot holes and mixed motives, but at the time we took for the gospel truth. They showed our interview for a tenth of a minute, but even then it was too long for me to watch myself. Swiftly after, they started to describe the O’Clock family. Mrs O’Clock had abandoned them as Tim was growing up, father spiralled into depression… They interviewed the townspeople with the biggest mouths and hearts on their sleeves.

Michael sat on the left of the couch, with June close to his side. Then Ky was a respectful distance from them and me, who followed after. Rose sat on the floor, resting her back on the furnishing and pulling her knees up to her chest. I caught her look at Michael and June once or twice, and her expression was furious and silent. I reached over to play with her hair – soft brushed-out ringlets – but she pushed me away, and concentrated on the details of the programme. She wrote an angry review of the problems of portraying the Creek to the New York Times, but they never printed it. Then she printed the reviews and handed them out on the streets… but those were just shoved into pockets and forgotten about. I guess you must be happy now, Rose, that finally someone will start listening to what you have to say.

It lasted a painful hour and a half, not including the breaks. When the show finished, I dismissed myself. We had all watched it together, not eating or chatting or even making a noise louder than a breath. In the silence, they could hear my heavy steps up to my bedroom, and the swift slam of my door. I need to lock myself away and face the mirror. I had questions I needed to ask it.

I tried to imagine the red of Aubrie’s hair or the white of June’s, where mine was dull brown and one dimensional. I tried to slot Aubrie’s eyes where mine had a green epicentre, and a dark navy rim. June’s eyes were a perfect even blue. The longer I stared, the more I cried. And soon there was nothing green about my eyes at all, just the blotchy red.

Don’t get me started on the slim, ballerina-delicate build of Aubrie. Or the subtle curves of June. Attribute after attribute began to weigh my own down, until I could no longer even look into the mirror, because there was nothing I wanted to see. My lips were too thin and small. My eyes were too spaced apart and my face had no structure.

In spite of Aubrie dying, I was jealous of her. In spite of June’s lack of family, I was jealous of her too. It had consumed me while I’d watched the show, until I could no longer think about Tim. I was thinking of almonds and cool sea-eyes, winter and autumn hair. I was thinking how I had played tennis with the Sommer family and why their magic couldn’t have infected me, or the time I’d spent with June. I was thinking mostly about how being near someone so luminous and interesting didn’t make me feel that way at all. In fact, it made me feel as complex as a flat sheet of cardboard. And during the breaks, I’d dart my eyes to June and see how her skin was glowing and perfect by the television. I looked into the mirror then, and saw the odd orange freckles across my face.

I asked myself how it was possible to envy people so tragic and pained. I asked myself how I could be so superficial, yet I knew it was a jealousy that welled far past my heart and somewhere closer to my soul. Nice Eleanor wouldn’t have thought that. I had lost the Nice Eleanor I was so comfortable with. Now I couldn’t see her when I looked into the mirror. All I could see was my jealously, laminating my skin in a glow that reflected anything I wanted to see. I wanted to smash the mirror then, but I knew they would all rush upstairs at the scream of shards of glass smashing on the wood of my floor.

Disgusted with myself, I headed back down stairs. They pretended, out of both respect for me the awkwardness of going about asking, they didn’t hear me cry.

Rose’s edit: Honestly, Eleanor. It wasn’t like that. I promise you. We just, we thought it was about Aubrie’s death… I’m sorry.

Eleanor’s edit on Rose’s edit: You can’t apologise for something that isn’t your fault. I’m over it, I was just being stupid. I mean, this entry hardly counts. You can take it out if you want.

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