It was with weary pleasure that I crawled under the covers at stupid-o’clock that night. The blog had been weighing on my mind all evening, throughout dinner, and it was not until my mother had lectured me about the scandals of detention that I was finally free.
I opened my laptop beneath the duvet, and found my way to the now familiar blog sight. I read through past entries until my pulse was racing, and the bottom of my laptop uncomfortably hot against my lap. Suddenly, it became stiflingly under the covers, and I fought my way free of the blankets, frantically seeking air.
I breathed in deeply, feeling the sweat of my forehead cool. I debated telling my parents, an instinctive reaction to anything scary. They would know what to do, right?
I thought of the anger on my mother’s face when she heard about my detention, and sighed. After tonight, they would be very unlikely to listen to anything I had to say.
I would talk to the girls tomorrow; I was meeting them in town and anyway, a large part of me still thought, or hoped, that it was one of Becca’s stupid jokes.
Yes, it could wait until tomorrow. If Becca was innocent, then I’d tell my parents.
Snuggling back under the covers, I slowly moved the cursor to the refresh button. No harm in checking.
The page reloaded instantly, and at first, I saw nothing wrong. Exactly the same. Then I read the ‘recent blog posts’ tab, and froze. There was a new entry; 9th July. Tomorrow. I glanced at the clock – 00:07. Today.
Someone, or something, had written a blog entry in the last seven minutes.
I clicked onto it; it was entitled ‘Great day shopping with the girls’. Underneath was a picture of me, laughing in the New Look changing rooms, with Becca and Kay pouting at the camera. I skimmed through – ‘Love my new Vans!’ ‘I’m totally broke now’ ‘Shame about Jadey – get better soon hun’.
The blog had somehow....predicted my day?
It must be a prank – only my friends knew we were going shopping today. But still; why write a blog post before it had happened. That just made it even more unrealistic.
I squinted closer at the picture; I was wearing a green jumper. Well, that was wrong. I’d already decided what I was wearing tomorrow; my favourite Peter Pan collared blouse. And ‘shame about Jadey’? She was coming with us!
It was definitely a prank. I rolled my eyes, and slammed the laptop closed without bothering to shut it down.
I’d get them back. Probably.
I rolled out of bed late enough to exasperate my mother, but not so late that all the hot water gone. I crawled out of the shower and into my clothes without really registering anything beyond that sunlight was most definitely too bright.
I was draped across the kitchen table, building a miniature card tower out of slice of toast when Bethy – 2 years old and 2 foot tall - came charging in, waving her pudgy arms at table height.
“Bethy!” I shrieked, bolting upright as my white blouse was attractively stained with orange juice.
“Sooooooooowwy”, Bethy grinned, before scrambling onto my chair and rolling the upturned glass across the table.
Muttering, I glanced at the clock, said a word I sincerely hoped Bethy didn’t hear, and sprinted up the stairs two at a time. I didn’t have time to change, so I merely grabbed the nearest available top and pulled it over my head, successfully hiding the orange mark.
It was only after I had skidded down the stairs, out the door, and half way to the shopping centre that I realized what I was wearing.
My green jumper.
I met up with Becca, Kay and Lily-Mae outside Costa. I looked around for Jadey before Kay said,
“She just rang; she thinks she’s got the flu, or something. Either way, she’s ill.”
‘Shame about Jadey – get better soon hun’.
With me trailing behind, we began the usual circuit; quick coffee at Costa, then traipse around an organised route of clothing, shoe and accessory stores. I had soon learned that Becca shopped like she dated; systematically. Rooting through everything until she found something she liked.
Normally I enjoyed it, but today, the constant presence of watching eyes weighed down on me. Gradually, I forced myself to relax into it. Buying lip gloss, nail varnish and socks that I didn’t even need.
A majority of my money, however, was spent in a dodgy little shoe shop tucked away in between two large cafes, as though it didn’t want to be noticed. In all honesty, it probably didn’t, as Kay was convinced that most of the shoes it sold were stolen. Still, it sold designer shoes, mainly Vans, at distinctly un-designer prices.
‘Love my new Vans!’
Mid afternoon, the girls wanted to catch the new Zac Efron film, but I wasn’t really feeling like it, and anyway, my purse was distinctly lighter than it should have been.
‘I’m totally broke now’
I left them by the cinema, and snailed my way home, feeling slightly nauseated. The thought of the blog, which I had been trying to ignore all day, was catching up with me, draining all my energy as I flopped into my bed. Mum wasn’t home yet, and Bethy was at nursery, so I had the house to myself.
The blog wasn’t a prank. I hadn’t asked the girls about it – I hadn’t really needed to – but I’d known. Known from the green jumper I was wearing, known from Jadey’s absence and my new Vans and empty purse.
Or, should I say, the blog had known.
The blog had predicted my day. Perhaps, it had even controlled it.
As I lay there, burritoed in my duvet, I contemplated, with surprising calmness, the situation. If, 24 hours ago, you had told me that my day would be controlled by a blog, I would have looked at you with that combination of sarcasm and amusement that only teenagers can pull off. But now...now I found it easy to believe.
I rolled onto my side, and pulled my laptop towards me. The blog loaded quickly this time, but not quickly enough; I was impatient to see whether another blog entry had been posted.
As it turned out, there was no new entry. In all honesty, I hadn’t really been expecting one – it seemed the blog only posted on the actual day. I reread through today’s blog, more thoroughly than I had before. It was a perfect account of the day, right down to what everyone was wearing in the photo (although I knew no photo had been taken today) to the mention of the annoying pigeons in the street.
I spent that evening obsessively refreshing the page until, at exactly one minute past midnight, a new post appeared.
This one had no title. No text. Just a picture; me, snuggled in pj’s and my duvet, head propped up on my arm, hand outstretched toward the camera....or laptop. I gasped, recognising the scene as the one I was currently living.
Me, now, this second.
I refreshed again, confusion rapidly morphing into fear, desperately searching for the now expected account of what was to come in my day.
Nothing. Nothing but the same, slightly stunned picture of me, my face lit by the glow of the laptop. It was like staring into a mirror, except that my image on the screen didn’t move. Just stared back at me, blank faced and glassy eyed.
It took me a long time to fall asleep that night.