Zodiac


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2. Chapter Two

Violet was obsessed with pretty girls. She didn’t want to go out with them; she wasn’t gay. She liked looking at faces that she wanted to have. For years, she’d compared her own face to those of big Hollywood stars and girls milling around school. It got to the point where she bleached her own hair to match a girl, she didn’t even know the name of, she’d seen riding a bike once. That’s why when that one girl walked into the school as a new student, her heart fluttered.

“I love your bone structure!”

“Thanks, I got it off eBay.”

“Ophelia, you’ve got a good sense of humour.” As well as already being smaller in size to the girl and having to look up, Violet metaphorically aspired to be this girl.

“Thank you…Violet?”

“That’s right!”

“Who were those people staring at me earlier?” Ophelia asked, turning her head slightly again to see if she could still see them.

“Oh, you don’t want to mix with them. They’re kinda mean. They’re all part of this drama group called Zodiac, that’s the only reason they’re really friends.”

“I’m guessing they rejected you from a production…?”

“No actually.” Violet’s voice became harsh. “I wouldn’t want to be in their group. There’s loads of other clubs and groups you can join, anyway. If you like drama, there’s other groups you can get into that do great productions. I’m in one called Phantoms. You should totally join.” Violet was bouncy today, which was rare since she usually kept to herself, wondering around and staring.

“I was in the drama club at my old school.”

“Cool! Make sure to join Phantoms then.”

“Am I only restricted to that one?”

“Well, the only other active one, that actually makes regular productions is Zodiac. You don’t want-”

“Who was that girl with the orange top and pencil skirt?”

“Not sure…Cara?” The truth was, Violet knew exactly who each of them were. She’d done enough analysing and deciphering and eavesdropping to know each one inside and out. “Oh, nevermind. That was Lili.”

“Lili.”

“What are you lesbian or something?” Violet giggled, bumping hips with Ophelia. Ophelia gnawed at her lower lip, eyes squinted.

“I like the idea of Zodiac.” Icily, Ophelia murmured.

“Okaaay…” Violet slipped back to being awkward. “So you’ve already gotten your schedule before…let me see it. Ah, science. It’s just down this hall and to the left, I’ll-”

“I can get there on my own.”

 

They both had black hair but her’s was so striking and so memorable. It was a messy mix of curls and waves, that fortunately and unfortunately Lili ended up sitting right behind from.

At first she thought it was all in her imagination but when the girl began tilting her head, Lili knew she’s really turned around to her desk.

“Can I borrow a pen? Mine stopped working and I really need to copy those symbol equations down.”

“Oh yeah! Sure!” Lili scavenged, rapidly, in her pencil case, grabbing out a gel pen. “Here.”

The girl carefully took the pen from Lili, brushing past her fingers. “Lili, right?”

“That’s right…” Lili couldn’t stop searching into the girl’s grey eyes. It was like she hadn’t gotten sleep in weeks but there was something so sad and beautiful about it.

“I’m Ophelia, I’m the new girl…” The girl’s voice trailed off. “Do I have something on my…eyes?” She laughed and it drove Lili back to reality.

“Oh no…sorry! I-you…I was-”

“You have nice eyelashes.” Ophelia said before turning back around.

Lili stared at the back of her head, electricity running through her veins.

 

☂ ☁ 🌧 ☁ ☁ 🌧 ☁ ☂

 

“There was nothing going on. She was just an acquaintance. I noticed her once, thought she looked pretty and friendly but I love being with Calvin and I'm not...like that. I never even had a proper conversation with her.”  

Police were everywhere. Lili sat in the principal’s office like a mouse in a forest.

“I didn't have much to do with her.” Her voice was strong and steady. She’s known exactly what it was to be honest – she’d done it her whole life.

 “When was the last time you saw her?”

Shit.

The principal pressed his finger against his temple, his stare penetrating into Lili’s own eyes. It reminded Lili of the way Calvin always pierced his knuckled and fingers into her sides and stomach when he was nervous, angry or suspected something and wanted Lili to hide something.

“I don’t remember.”

“Lili is a very trustworthy and honest student. If she knew something, she’d have been here earlier to tell us.” The principal relaxed in his chair. “Lili, this is a very serious case. Make sure you tell us everything you know.”

“I don’t mean to be a snitch but I saw Arthur harassing her a lot. I’m sure he was just trying to get her digits but…”

“Thank you. You may go.” One policeman ordered.

“Sorry I couldn’t help much.”

 

It wasn’t that she couldn’t.

She wouldn’t.

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