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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34. Entry fifteen:

I got a box like Michael’s too. Except it was less of a box, and more of tin. It arrived on that day Michael described; with the snow falling, and the town more like the town than I could remember it. I know he liked to tell you that he was the only one withdrawn, that he was overwhelmed by the support and encouragement stuffing his many virtual mail boxes. The truth was, the dozens were really just a single message. Rose was the toughest; despite the damage inflicted on her, she healed far quicker than the rest of us. And Ky? He never let us know how bad it hurts. Can I say I can’t wait until I can read his entries, just to catch a glimpse of who he really is.

Anyway, the tin arrived at my door. It was a battered looking tin, with tacky flowers and earth smudged around the lid, like it had been used to chuck some random gardening equipment in. The note said this:

And you, Eleanor Green, you’re not the start or end of anything. You are the wholesome middle. Before I crashed and burned, and before I started to bloom. You’re the accomplished piece. You’re not white noise; you’re the silence of a smile. I’m sad no one has had a chance to show you, or even tell you that you matter. You don’t need to tell someone everything they want to hear to be their friends. I would have liked to be your friend forever.

But I ripped those seeds out before they had a chance. I would have really liked to be your friend forever.

P.S – This old tin was my dad’s. It’s worthless right now, but you’ll see soon.

You know what happens next. That I stumble across the instructions, feel around the base of the tin to find something. Inside I found a few tea-lights, falling across the bottom surface like an air-hockey table. Then how I ran through the house of the living dead, with a flat-out mother and a reclusive father and me, the worst and most unproductive of them all. For the first time in weeks, I had a reason to get changed. A reason to get up. It was about time, too, because my parents were threatening to send me away to intensive therapy to discuss the trauma.

I can’t imagine anything worse than letting someone probe around your brain and hopes and fears while you can’t even feel it.

The note, eventually bringing me to a shock worse than tears, led me to the graveyard. By all the quiet, it was the perfect place to sit and cry for a long time. I didn’t know then, that we as a four had all been led to our respective places where June had let us close and near. In the daylight, I could make out the initials of the graves outside the church. Before, they had been blackened stubs. But you could make out the portraits in little ovals of the cement, or marble hands permanently fixed as a prayer. There were poems, prayers, quotes and for some nothing but a little stub sticking out of the ground. The anonymous person’s life had accounted to that in his full life. The route of the rocky path looked strangely unnatural without the dark, twisting branches or with the subtle hand of June’s to guide me through. There were three gravestones in the graveyard with assorted flowers, fresh, bright and an unnatural blue. Aubrie Sommer’s grave, and then the couple beside her. Mr and Mrs Bishop. I wondered where in the dark we had laid down, and she’d told me secrets I couldn’t comprehend. If I had been able to, she would’ve kept her mouth shut.

I suppose that’s why Rose was always weary. Because Rose always knew. June and Rose were too alike where it didn’t matter, and too apart where it did as like to like go. It kept Rose desperate to trip June up on her endeavours. People always thought it was because Rose loved Michael – but I don’t think she did. Because from what I’ve seen of love, I didn’t see it until I saw Michael being saved from drowning. Even then, it was sibling-like and desperate. I suppose it wasn’t about the presence of June, but more the absence it made of her that aggravated Rose so much.

I found myself, right in the midst of Michael’s unknowingly shared misery, lying down on that same grass beside the flowered graves. It wasn’t hard the exact spot, because I could make out the sky as though I could be gazing at the same night stars instead of snow-white clouds. When I flicked my eyes to my left; the shadows of a bright and yellow sun seemed to create a human shadow, reflecting from mine. I wondered how long it took grass to outgrow itself, and how long the scent of snow, aging flowers and ruin could linger. All that seemed to remain was a stench of wet dirt. I remembered the other task written beside the location, and took out my lighter; one by one making the tea-candle line up in a circle of micro fire. It wasn’t for warmth, or damage, or heat. Or hardly to be seen in the bright sky, but with each new flame I found myself reflecting on a new issue. First it was June, then my parents… then Rose, Ky and Michael. Between each I took a long and hard pause.

Oddly, I was calmer than I’d been since the weeks of being outcasted in my room with no one to talk to but my parents and their sugar-coated news of the world. I was no longer scared that zombie flesh could appear from the ground at any moment, or of ghosts that haunted the cement sticks. It was the living that feared me now. I could feel the little heats of the candles in the tin as holy prayers from an unholy girl. My state of mind wasn’t too far from meditation, but it wasn’t exactly prayer. I didn’t know how I felt about religion anymore. Where did I begin? And who was I supposed to be praying for? I knew it should be June, but it didn’t feel right to ask on the grounds of my own contentment. Firstly, I’d have to pray for myself.

I forced myself to get up, remembering that it was a Sunday, and that soon a crowd of a hundred or so would pile out the doors of the chapel and see me sprawled across their lost loved ones if I didn’t get going. When the hymns started blaring, a single chant with shrill enthusiasm – I didn’t let myself look back. Only forward. What would they start to say about me if I just lay here? How long would it take for me to become the mad Green girl? Who plays among the graveyard? I was sick to death of it. I was sick to death of how I couldn’t do anything without the fear I might get turned into the next big joke or dirty rumour. I was sick of how I couldn’t run away into the night with my friend without being corned by television waiting to confirm our love affair.

The journalists had scattered for now, but it was a juicy story. As far as I was concerned, they were just reloading their ammo. They’d be; Johnson’s Creek memorial features, her classmates ten years on, Eleanor Green and June Bloomer; masterminds, criminals and lover’s. I knew I would never be free even if I stayed in my room for the rest of my life. It was June’s fault, but I couldn’t find it in my heart to blame her.

It’s funny how just at this moment, Michael was ferociously peddling across town on his bike, and Rose was intertwined in it all, too. But I hadn’t spoken to Rose for weeks. I couldn’t bring myself to do it; everything felt as though it was all my fault.

If you would have told me last year that I could choose between living without best friends or living with the consequences of a monster, I would have had to hesitate. But we were never really given that choice. I blew out all the candles then, and a little fume of smoke appeared from each, smelling like birthday cake through the nature and despair. Depression, as I now knew, was more than just a feeling. It blocked all your senses with a thick black matter. That, mixed in with vanilla and eggs, made me want to both gag and lick my lips. I brought out the note again from my pocket and re-read the precious thing. The police took the yellow scrap of paper away for evidence, so if you ever want to see the real thing, I’d recommend searching the stations bins for sandwich bags crammed with recycled paper. Sel it on Ebay, frame it, I don’t mind. I’ve seen it enough for a lifetime.

And you, Eleanor Green, you’re not the start or end of anything.

You’re wrong. I’m the start and end of my whole damn life. As quixotic as that idea sounds. You didn’t just appear from nowhere from Johnson’s Creek to please us, and show us friendship. You did anyway, but then you did everything else in your power to remind us there has been something eating at your soul far longer than we’ve known you.

You are the wholesome middle. Before I crashed and burned, and before I started to bloom. You’re the accomplished piece.

Again, you are wrong. But thank you. If you think I was ever wholesome, you never knew past level one of old Eleanor. I’m a walking mess of impurities, insecurities and insufficiency. I never really gave you credit for being what you are, which is a young girl. I got too swept away in a girl with snow-white hair and a look like she knew from north to south what on earth people where doing here. Not just in the Creek, but in this life.It sounds ridiculous, but I am ridiculous. And at seventeen years old, I didn’t even realise I could be accomplished.

You’re not white noise; you’re the silence of a smile. I’m sad no one has had a chance to show you, or even tell you that you matter.

I don’t know how much I can trust you anymore, but just for this; I’m going to pretend you’re fully sane and intact. Because I like these two sentences a lot, I really do.

You don’t need to tell someone everything they want to hear to be their friends.

This is why I wrote this. I didn’t write this to defend you. I wrote this to tell the truth. I don’t know what your note should mean, but it seemed to me like a challenge to prove to you I’m everything you expected, and so much more.

As I stood up to leave, I caught eyes with Eve Sommer in church through a long, mosaic window. Her skin glowed through the yellow class, and it was the first time I’d ever seen her wear black from head to toe; and her hair was now a dark, dark blonde; comfortably different from Aubrie’s. She suited black. I smiled, and she smiled back.

I would have liked to be your friend forever.

Oh, June; if old Eleanor Green and new Eleanor Green can promise you one thing is that you are. No discussion needed. I’ll be your friend forever, and that can be something wholesome and accomplished we made together. I’ll think of you, always. I just hope it doesn’t always hurt like this, this much.

Rose’s edit: It’s nice to see both you and Michael got complimentary notes to inspire you throughout the rest of your lives.

Eleanor’s edit on Rose’s edit: If it helps, I don’t think Ky got one either.

Rose’s edit on Eleanor’s edit on Rose’s edit: Not that I’m missing out, as you’re soon to read. I got a ton of one-off goodies. Anyway, don’t lose faith in your writings no, Eleanor, you’re doing great. More than great. Stellar.

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A/N: hi everyone, as your email notifications might have been bugging you, and you're well aware of: I've been posting at least one a day for a while now, and I would love to get some feedback (as little or much as you can spare) letting me know what you think so far. I've gone on such a journey with this book and I'd really like to know if it's paying off. (Do you like Michael better than Eleanor? Are you bored? Excited? Cautious?) let me know! x

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