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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13. Entry eleven:

I can hardly remember May. Okay, that’s not technically true. I remember the majority of it, but more in the way you try to grasp the last fragments of your favourite dreams. In one word, that month was pure. Those weeks were like a half a minute happy montage. Like when the couples go cycling and the sun filters through the trees and every five seconds you see a glimpse of them as they lean in to the kiss that may lead to more. I bought her flowers sometimes, and she bought me dinner sometimes. Officially, we went on eleven different dates. Kite-flying, cinema outings, and even when the weather peeked to an ultimate high, we headed to the outdoor swimming pool that opens sacredly and disappoints every time but were quickly invaded by Eleanor, Ky and Rose, so not sure if that counts.

I would like to think it does though, because it was one of the fondest memories I had of June. She had a polka-dot blue two piece and refused to leave when the sun was starting to set and the guards just as mesmerising by the way she just thrived in the water were losing the magic and kindly, but firmly, began to ease her out. Her hair was soaked and sticking to her back, and I could help watching as she acted like a siren luring the guards like sailors to death. It was flirtatious, it was just her. Her eyes were blue like the fading in colour water, and her smile was water-dripping and wide. I was ready to go home then, when she pulled along my damp hand and said I wasn’t going anywhere. In that moment, I may have been a little blind to how not flirtatious it was and in truth, I was growing tired of what we were or weren’t.

I may have not found out anything about June’s past then, but I tried. I really did. June would just shut up at the mention of even my parents, or take a long hard sip of her drink or start to hum something or just anything that would lead me off the subject. It wasn’t just her parents though, she wouldn’t open up about anything. She was more than happy to let me speak my mind as a mirror, and kept me occupied with my complaints about Rose and how stubborn she was being. In fact, the swimming was a rare occurrence because it got to a stage where Rose disappeared every second lunchtime, and the table held four again.

Nevertheless, I followed June past the pool on our bikes – her’s was white and framed with little painted daises and a blue picnic basket, while mine was black and straightforward. She took the lead and I followed at a steady pace behind occasionally bumping wheels down hills where she didn’t grumble and only starting laughing, and the birds almost seemed to come out from their trees to catch a look at her, as though she was as delicate and sweet as their own kind.

“I’ve never been here before!” I didn’t mean to exclaim but with the light breeze, I felt my voice strain to be heard. How June had managed to map her way around so quickly, I had no idea.

“You’ve resided here all your life, Michael. But I don’t know if you’ve ever lived.” She joked and began to trek up the little green hills I remembered from afar as the mutant lumps of Culver. They stuck out like a camel’s back full of water, and if you sat at the job, you could see the clearest view of the forest, without the nearby buildings and failing economy. It was pretty nice, actually, but it was more where mothers came to calm their overstimulated children and not teens.

We reached the peeks and June inhaled a sharp breath and looked at me funny when I let my bike drop. “We’re not here yet.” She ran forward over the tops and tumbled down to the ground, one by one collecting little daisies that almost budded as she walked by. I followed behind, unsure of where she was going, until five minutes later where she reached another little section of hills, smaller this time, and the little grey entrance into that I remembered sneaking into as a child, hiding from my mother’s calls with maybe Ky, or just a one-day friend I could no longer recall. She began to crawl into the little cave, only around about two and something metres by the same, with a ceiling as tall as a six year standing with half extended arms. She nestled herself into the corner and waited expectantly for me to come in after her.

“This is a kid’s play area, June.” I cautioned.

“We are kids, come on.” Eventually she stared me down until I followed her in. I relaxed my spine into the cement, wondering why the little hole had been made in the first place. The walls were scribbled with doodles and exploited secrets and crushes, and June was pulling out a little blanket to lie on the ground. In her bagpack, which I only assumed was full of damp swimming gear, she produce posters of her favourite films, house-warming hand made cake, candles, a lighter, and a an area of a curtain she had pins for a tent she planned to create a fabric door from.

“What’s all this?” I asked, as she crawled out to attached the rustic patterned clothes over the entrance, so that the light still glowing from outside became orange and warm in that little space and soon she’d transformed it to the micro version of her miniscule room. I helped her light candles and on her phone she played a collaboration of happy songs and sad songs, both instrumental and full of lyrics we thought we understood.

“I thought it was time we moved in together.” She teased, and pulled out a bottle of cheap white wine she sipped out looking as though alcohol disappointed her. “Here,” I pulled out a letter crinkled from its trip and handed it, with an official seal and blue envelope and my heart on the line. I don’t want to read you all of the letter, so you can have a tidbit:

You make my heart flutter and vomit and cry and scream and shout and everything idiotic and stupid. Words don’t word around you like they do for everyone else. Even choppy, robust, regular words. They all seem to sloop and stumble past my lips so I’d rather be kept in silence. You make me want to recite love yous in every language with the skill of a mother tongue. I want my syllables to bend and twist, I want thunder to crackle along my teeth and sizzle on my mouth like a live wire. I want my kisses to burn and engrave my love on your neck, like a tattoo.

It’s fair to say the rest of the letter was just if not more touching on a personal nerve, and although I know the whole story needs to be said; there are even some parts of a story that aren’t worth telling at the expense of where the heart is. When she finished, she held the paper to her chest and took a few deep breaths. And I could even swear there was the beginning of a tear in her left eye as she let out a great sigh. Successfully, I lounged pack and took a few pieces of candy.

“Who else have you loved before?” I asked later on, casually and looking up at the brick so I wouldn’t meet her eyes.

“Everyone on that top I made, excluding celebrities. I mean, I didn’t consider myself to be the worshipping type, but they’re like a religion now. But in real life, just a few. A guy back home.”

“Where’s home?” I asked hoping she’d be so full of her memories she’d forget home was a strictly untalkable subject.

“No, Michael. We’re not doing this.” I’d spoiled the moment, I knew, but it was worth another try.

 “What do I need to do in order to convince you my love isn’t paperthin?” I demanded, angered again. What was the point of all this, if she couldn’t at least tell me the location? “What do I need to do to show you can trust me?”

“Don’t pressure me Michael Eaton, I don’t need you.” She retorted coldly.

“You want me though, don’t you June? Or are my some thing you can make fall in love with you before you grow tired and leave Johnson’s Creek for good?”

“How dare you suggest I’d do that!” Her temple throbbed at her aggression. “Of course I know your love isn’t paper thin, of course I know I can trust you. But just because I can doesn’t mean I have to. I just don’t want to, I told you at the start and I’ll tell you again. I don’t want to trust you completely, and if that stops what this is then so be it.” Her temper had flared but by the end of her speech, she seemed just mousy and small, like she’d lost herself somewhere along speaking.

“Please Michael. Don’t love me because I’ll listen. Don’t love me because you have this idea that I’m different and somehow better than the other girls here, like Rose or Eleanor or Holly or the Parkinson Twins, even. Don’t love my flaws; hate them. Hate them because that’s what real.”

And in that moment, I was as completely in love with June Bloomer as much as she’d let me. From then on, she wasn’t the illusion she festered in my mind as. She was June Bloomer, poetic and grumpy, secretive and star-like, and the most ingenious combinations of a person I could ever imagine.

“You’re a terrible boyfriend.” A grin spread across my face as she said the sentence, and she glanced at me wildly, with the candlelight and my own affections reflecting in her eyes.

“Are you serious?” I bent my head down to look her straight in her gaze. She never flinched.

“You bet. Who else is going to write me so painfully intimate love letters?” She giggled but something hurt at that, like I was oversensitive for her but then her face leaned in for a kiss and I forgot about our every quarrel. Then her playlist ended, and we sat in silence. Two little children burst in curiously and June silenced them with gum, before they ran off and we could hear their conversation for minutes on end, about her and me, the Eaton guy and the new girl, and it soon sounded like echoes, before nothing at all.

I don't know how long we stayed, but by then the sun had long since faded, and the candles gave us light from the night sky. June said she had to go now, and I told her I wanted to wait a minute. As she excused herself she kissed my cheek once, then twice, and then on the third target headed for my lips and I could smell the mint shampoo of her pale locks and how her dainty arms melted into my skin as she ran them through my hair. She kept breaking away to smile or laugh, as she tended to do, and on her way out a note slipped from the bottom of her backpack  and dazed at what I was reading I forget to call out for her to collect it, and added it to the list of evidence I didn’t realise I was collecting.

I the darkness, will swallow June Bloomer into my abyss until at last the stars will shine brighter, and the world will be a better place.

 

Rose's edit: You never told anyone about the note, Michael.

Michael's edit on Rose's edit: I didn't tell anyone a lot of things.

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