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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16. Final Entry: Part one.

It was February 4th. As I peeked through the window there were the twirling little specks of white, falling for the first time in a barren winter. The snow fell across every rooftop and corner of the Creek, coating the streets with a new layer to base ourselves on. It had been the only snow since the arrival of her, and even seeing a snowflake made a sick nostalgia nearly empty my already vacant stomach. I found it hard to eat and harder to sleep.

My parents watched from the edge of my bedroom door with tears and sweet nothings of comfort that swept past me as I stared into the blank canvas of my roof, searching for the meaning I no longer felt I could find in life. They fussed at my thinning, poorly maintained frame and dark eyes that hadn’t seen outside the house for weeks on end. I don’t know what I was so scared of seeing outside. The majority of the journalists had flocked as the story became saturated, and my parents chirped tales of a completely normal outside world. As though nothing had changed at all.

Perhaps my fear came from finding myself in a world that carried on at the same pace, simply with the absence of one girl. What if was as though I’d made June up in my loneliness for a girlfriend, and who had spiralled out of my imagination?

I needed proof that she existed but all the same I needed to oblivate her from my mind. This half state of her existence, not tangible but not forgettable, left me constantly seeking a reboot in faith to get me to live the house. It hardly seemed worth leaving the warm confines of my bed to even eat let alone find a life. Or whatever was left of my stolen social standings.

In the corner of my room a phone had died of battery possibly from the exhaustion of carrying so many unanswered text messages and phone calls. There were a few relatives and concerned neighbours dotted through, but the majority were from Rose, Ky and Eleanor. They could call out to me all they wanted, or run up to my bedroom and pull me off my bed as I clung to the handlebars. There was nothing left for me. How come it was me who felt like a ghost between June and I?

As I flicked my head upwards to sit straight in my bed I grumbled at the sight of myself through a sliver of a mirror. My room was a homage to the gods of mess; scattered books I’d tried and failed to rid where thrown to the floor and suffocated by mountains of untidy laundry and comfort clothes. My hair looked greasy and out of control, as though it needed a haircut three months ago, and I’d become immune to whatever stenches this room held.

My parent’s car kick-started groan of old age told me they’d left and knowing I was alone I edged my toes from my bed sheets to the climb to the toilets. When I’d done I jumped at the rap on the door; a signal of three quick bursts knocking against the wood; and in small, soundless steps I made my way to back door and peeped through the coloured glass to see a distorted image of a box. From the outside, it could have been any old scrap of cardboard. The corners were worn with use and a thick cream ribbon was stained and speckled beige as it wrapped around and sealed the box shut.

It could have been any box; but it wasn’t. The automatic clock hanging on the wall down the stairs, speeding my heartbeat to a panic, had told me on my way here that it was Sunday. Mail, and in particular unexpected little parcels, did not tend to grace our letter box as this delivery did. I racked my mind, worrying that I’d missed a family birthday before reassuring myself they were all still months away. With that came a new threat, as now I was clueless to both its contents and any remote hint from its sender.

Only the distance between it and me was my only small comfort. The house was deserted, and aside from my heated breath, there was nothing but the loud silence to remind me just how alone I was. If in my sleepy consciousness I’d missed the pattering of footsteps creep around the side of my house, what else could I have missed?

Stealing another look until my nose pressed flat against the window I spotted a stonewashed-gold cut of card hanging off the edge by a thin string. Engraved in the note there was a teacher’s wet dream of penmanship. The swirls didn’t flourish, the “I’s weren’t embellished with superfluous dots or love hearts and the spacing was even and generous. My heart froze.

I knew the owner of that heavenly script.

“June…” I croaked her name aloud for the first time in weeks. It tasted bitter on my tongue like a toxic concoction that nipped on my teeth and sagged in the air. June. June. June. The impact didn’t lessen with the repetition. How could four letters scorch my throat and bruise my heart instantaneously?

She was like that little blue box, a sweet exterior with specks of brilliance. Her personality, I now discovered, suited the interior to perfection. Unknown and primed to unleash the secrets we’d never know she had kept. It took a great muster of strength to even reach for the doorknob, but with that came a fear that locked my hand in place. What good could possibly come from possibly opening the box? The more I considered it the more bad possibilities engulfed the positives.

 No matter what, I would have to open it.

No matter what, June could always find ways to force me to corners even if she wasn’t there.

I paced back in forth before making the decision I’d smarten up before I’d even touch it. An hour of frantic cleaning, showering, shaving and grooming both the room and myself entailed until I’d even found my charger hidden under a decaying pizza box. The texts and calls were still too much to deal with, but I handled my milestones in little steps and made a mental note to check them soon. Whether I liked it or not soon I was left idle with only one remaining task. The box was waiting, unharmed and untouched.

My breaths and hands were shaky as I pulled the door open, and even around the weight of the thing there was a chill that nearly sent me spiralling in shock. I almost expected a cartoon dynamite and a clock ticking inside, but as I made contact I found it to be averagely heavy; certainly heavy enough for both hands as I laid it on the living room table and shut the door.

Suddenly, I felt nervous being in a room alone with it. It was inanimate, sure. But it didn’t mean it wasn’t dangerous. I planted myself on the white couch, in a room I hadn’t been in for a while, and moved back and forth until the temptation gnawed me to a point where I had to open it.

“Grow up, Michael.” I muttered, but taking to myself didn’t seem much comfort. My fingers slowly undid the ribbon, delicately so it fell to the sides and sprawled on the wooden table like petals to a flower. The gold card only read “To be delivered to Michael Eaton” in June’s writing, leaving me just as naïve as I feared for.

“Just breathe.” I grabbed hold of both sides with an uneasy commandment, but it was easier said than done. It took a little leverage to slide it off but in an instant I’d whipped off the lid and stared at it intently with no desire to check the contents.

Finally, my vision crawled to my leg and along to the table, until at last it found the box. Inside lay a single cream envelope, again with ‘Michael’ in a swirly seal of letters. Tired of my hesitation I ripped it open, and the words unfolded into a map I would follow until I would reach the destination she’d planned for me. I ran outside to find a car but with it already out I resorted to my trusted bike and headed due north in search of the promised words June had given me through some sort of miracle I was too intrigued to care.

Rose's edit: Keep going, Michael. It's time and you know it.

Michael's edit on Rose's edit: Once this is over Rose, I don't know what I'll.

Rose's edit on Michael's edit on Rose's edit: Be Michael again.

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