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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25. Entry six:

Entry Six:

We were on the swings. And when I say we I mean, oddly, that it was Michael and I. For some reason it was only the two of us. I tried to remember the last thing we’d ever hung out alone, before I realized; never. There was always Rose or Ky. It was almost as though June was with us too, because he was clutching his phone with the other stabilising himself on the swing, waiting for a message. The cold was starting to chill through my coat, and I was starting to worry if we might run out of things to say.

Do you remember those jokes Mr Bishop used to say? Michael asked out of the blue, when we were staring at the view of a sunset, fading to night. There wasn’t much of a view exactly, just a sandbox and a slide, built just as unstable and dull as it had been when we played on it as children ourselves.

Mr Bishop? I asked. I couldn’t remember the name.

The biology teacher. Welsh. Left a few years ago. Anyway, I just thinking of one. A joke. What is the fastest way to determine the sex of a chromosome? He looked over at me, with his eyes expanding with the punchline. Oh, here we go. I smiled.

Pull down its genes. He was a good teacher. Michael’s chuckle fell slightly, and his eyebrows were aligning.

It’s weird, he said then. June just told me the same joke last night. I mean, isn’t that strange? How many resources could you find biology jokes? I could tell he’d been thinking about it a lot, and the purple under his eyes was brighter in the far away street lights. We’d come when the sky was still blue, but now the light only glinted off the basic frames of the equipment, and our eyes.

 Maybe he taught her too. He moved, didn’t he? I suggested. He shook his head.

No, I’ve already asked that. She said she didn’t know anyone with the last name Bishop…He replied.

Maybe she found it in a textbook or something. Don’t read too much into it. Now, can we move before icicles attach the swing to me? I stood up.

It looks like we’re getting an early winter, I said folding my hands into the opposing sleeves to create a little tube of comfort.

He smiled, but his expression was still concerned.

I know for the onlooker, half way through a story, you don’t decide where the red herrings are. But with June, it didn’t feel like there was any. And now as we look back, it doesn’t seem like anything she said lacked a purpose.

Michael didn’t move, so awkwardly, I joined him again on the swings. The sky was darkening, but it was still starless. He was so still, it was only the little cloud of cold breath that reminded me he was still alive.

It’s not the joke, Michael said suddenly.

Then what is it? I asked. He shrugged just to fill the silence.

June. Ahh.

You know, you still don’t know her like you think you do. The minute I said that, I bit my lips to seal them. Where was my filter? I could feel myself losing the niceness, the sweetness, and being replaced with a rawer version of Eleanor. It didn’t feel fresher though, it just felt like I’d lost a layer of skin. What was once scented and pink was now red and gory.

That’s not what I meant, I quickly tried to heal the wound. What I mean is, is that it’s hard to know someone that’s not giving anything away. She’s conservative.

That’s what you all think, Michael stood up. But it’s not true. She’s told me things.

Like what, Michael?

About her life. She’s scared. She thinks about death all the time. I mean, more than most people do. I’m scared for her too. She just talks about hell and dying and-

You can’t fix her Michael. I tried to catch his eyes. Screw nice, screw filters. I thought to myself; you have to save Michael from June, and June from Michael and Rose from June and you from them all and you’re going to get nowhere if you just act nice.

Why not? It’s my job-

No, it’s not. New Eleanor felt right for this. It’s not your job because she doesn’t need to be fixed, and if she did; it’s her responsibility. We’re teenagers. Don’t we all think about death? Don’t we all block out the world with The Smiths and question what we’re even doing here? June just voices that. I took a harsh breath, and watched Michael’s eyes widen. Great, now I just sounded as bad as June.

You should be more honest more often, Eleanor. Michael said. And we both burst out laughing. And just by magic, a feeble star fought its way through the sky and flickered like a faraway torch on its last shed of battery .

The little blip of a hot white star was a light in the universe somewhere where it would be brighter and better than any night here. Good for you, little buddy. I remember thinking. Good for you.

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