Mixed

***For the Solitaire competition*** You stare at your phone, at the picture of Stacey. You can't even delete it. How could you have lied like that? All of the lies, the smiles like a stretched out mask, to come down to this? You don't know. All that you know is you may not even be truthful. You are a lie.

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4. Laptops and Links

You’ve been living without Stacey for three years now. Her bedroom door is closed but the hand-written signs she’d made when she was five are still pinned up. They warned you to stay out of her room and that she liked unicorns. You were surprised she had never taken them down, after all she was nineteen but maybe she kept them up to remember her childhood. Or she still wanted you to stay out of her room and her adoring love for unicorns may have never changed.

Every morning, you wake up, slip on your worn-out green frog slippers she got you for your birthday four years ago, and walk down to the bathroom. You pass her room, check to make sure its shut, then go and have a shower. After that you go into the kitchen, make yourself some dry toast and spread a thin layer of butter over it. Sitting there with a mug of tea, you get out your laptop and check everything is alright.

Sometimes you’ll accidentally click on the wrong link and her blog will shoot up. Just like that, one wrong click and all the memories come back. You can’t even go on YouTube anymore without wincing. She always used to upload every Tuesday, her videos filled with make-up help or girly advice. You always wondered if boys ever watched her videos.

Somehow, today is different. You decide you don’t want toast so you go without. When you get your laptop out, it seems heavier. Why? You do not know. Starting it up, you think about today. What will you do? Nothing. You’ve done nothing since the day Stacey died, apart from working at home.

When your laptop finally loads, you open up a new tab. Right next to your email link is usually her blog. Instead, there is a link to a chat room. What? When had you ever been on a chat room? Had Stacey been on a chat room?

Click the link, says a voice. No. You won’t click the link. What if it’s a bug? It must be a glitch. This laptop is old, maybe it got confused with different links.

Just click it, nothing will happen. No. No, no, no, no, no, no, no, NO. You will not click the link. Moving your mouse to the email link, you click. But the page that comes up is not your email.

Your email consists of dull, blues and greys and whites, with emails full of complaints and orders. But this was filled with greens and yellows and purples. What was this? As the text starts to appear, the title the biggest of all, you gasp. No. No, you didn’t want this to happen. You stare at the title again.

                                                                 CHATROOM.

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