So after writing Hotblack I've kind of been in a major writer's block and haven't been able to write anything very well until now. Anyways, I came up with this idea last night after thinking about how much I missed my TH1RTEEN R3ASONS WHY book, which I've seemed to have misplaced. This story is inspired by that book and I highly recommend you read it. Anyways onward with Eleven!
The clock reads 4:17. The numbers are so bright that they seem to leer at me; the aquamarine color is too false and cheery. I'm seventeen minutes late but I don't care. I'm scared and I don't know why. Actually, I do know why. The reason behind my fear is the piece of plain white printing paper folded up in my pocket. My trembling hands reach into my blazer and yank out the paper. For the billionth time it seems, I read the typed out words once again. It's a stupid thing to do since the words are imprinted in my memory by now. MEET AT MY GRAVE 4:00 PM ON OCTOBER 6TH.
I close my eyes and my fingers trace the crease in the paper I've made. Why does she want me at her grave? Who does she want me to meet? What is all of this about? My stomach clenches and I open my eyes to see my hand is throttling the paper tightly. I release my hold and try to take calm breaths but I'm too rattled. I need to get this over with.
I yank open Morty's door and head up the grassy hill where her grave is. The grass flutters around my ankles in the wind. I look up at the sky; it's gray and foreboding, it matches my mood perfectly. I continue walking, making my way around numerous tombstones that jet out of the earth like jagged teeth. I'm still making my way through the cemetery when I hear a voice behind me.
I whirl around to see...Clare? She looks at me, her face twisted up in confusion. I feel my face mask hers; I'm equally as puzzled.
"What are you doing here?" Clare asks. Her voice is sharp but I notice the edge of anxiety beneath. "I thought you had detention."
I swallow softly, remembering the lie I had told Clare so she wouldn't ask me to hang out today. "I...it got...wait what are you doing here?" That's when I notice what's clutched in her hand: a piece of plain white printing paper.
My eyes go back to hers and my body fills with the same tension as before.
"You got a note too?" I ask, my mouth dry and cottony. Clare's eyes widen in surprise and she glances down at the note in her hand before looking back up at me.
"You got one also?"
I nod and pull out the crumbled paper from my pocket. I hand it to her and she hands over her own. Her's has the same message on it as mine.
I look up at her and she's staring at me, biting her bottom lip. The wind kicks up and blows around us and her golden brown curls whip around her face.
"What do you think it means? Why does she want us to meet here?" Her voice is filled with worry and I want nothing more than to hold her to me, to keep her safe but I can't. Not until I know what this whole thing is about, this mess we seemed to be thrown into the middle of.
"Won't know until we get there," I say gruffly and we both continue our trek towards her grave.
I stop when we're about a couple yards away from her final resting spot. Eighteen eyes look up at Clare and my approach. Some are narrowed in distrust, others widened with surprise. A couple are filled with bewilderment. I know mine must be mirroring my shock at seeing them all there. Clare seems just as taken aback as me.
Adam, Alli, Bianca, Drew, Fiona, Jenna, K.C., Fitz, and Wesley. They are all surrounding her grave, all holding on to white sheets of paper that flutter in their hands.
"You two get notes?" Drew calls out to us. Everyone continues to watch us wearily as Clare and I both nod and hold up our sheets of paper. The wind is howling now and as I glance again at the sky I can feel that a storm is about to hit. The clouds look like they are bursting at the seams, ready to drench us in a downpour.
Clare and I make our way to the circle and join it. We surround her tombstone and my heart picks up pace when I think of her slowly decaying body only mere feet beneath us. I grab Clare's hand and although she squeezes back she lets go shortly after.
"So what does all of this mean? Why are we all here?" Alli's voice comes out as a stressful whine and I notice that her hands are trembling slightly. No one answers because none of us has the answer.
I'm staring at the tombstone, trying to think, trying to make sense of this whole thing. There's a huge bouquet of colorful flowers that are propped up against the gray marker. The flower's bright, cheerful colors seem garish and wrong on this sad place. I'm staring at them so intently when I see it: a corner of manila paper behind the petals.
"Hey!" My voice comes out loud; too loud for the distress we're all in. Everyone flinches at my voice but I ignore them as I dart forward and pull the paper from behind the bouquet. It's a plain manila envelope with the words: 4:00 PM-OCTOBER 6THscrawled in thick black marker on top.
We're silent, everyone's eyes trained on the envelope in my hand.
"Open it." Bianca's voice barks at me and I pause as my finger edges along the opening.
I don't want to appear afraid though so I quickly tear off the top and dig my hand inside. I pull out a dozen more plain white envelopes, each one with one of our names scribbled on top.
I start passing them along and soon I'm left with two envelopes. One with my name on it, the other with the word "everybody" on it.
"Someone else open it," I say and toss the envelope to Drew. He catches it but rapidly shoves it to K.C. I can see that K.C. doesn't want to open it either and so does Bianca because she reaches out and snatches the envelope from him.
"Such wimps," she scoffs and proceeds in slitting it open. She yanks out a sheet of paper and in a voice that booms across the cemetery reads:
"Hello everyone. I'm sure you've all come. All eleven of you. You're probably all wondering what this is about. You'll find out soon enough.
I hope you all miss me. It's been two weeks right? Two weeks since I've joined the deceased. I didn't ask you here to mourn me though, I'm not that conceited. I know you're all trying to put me in your past but I'm not going to let you forget yet. You each need to know something first.
In this envelope are eleven letters, one for each of you. Ten of these letters tell a story about a time you and I shared and how you so wonderfully impacted my life. But one of these letters is not like the rest, for it places all the blame of my death upon your shoulders. What one of you did was obviously terrible enough for me to put ten other people's kindness aside and take my own life. Which one of you is it though? You'll find out soon. I hope most of you are doing well and I miss you, from wherever I'm going to be in the afterlife...if there's an afterlife. Sincerely, Sophia."
No one says a word. I look down at the envelope in my hand and feel a new trill of fear ripple in me. This letter could blame me for Sophia's death...what this envelope held could put me in a world of guilt for the rest of my life. Like I wasn't already feeling completely to blame for Julia. For a second, I hated Sophia for doing this, for putting me in this horrible position once again. Then I hear a yell.
I look up to see Alli pointing an accusatory finger at Bianca's face.
"This is all your fault! It's so obvious you're the one she blames, you bitch! You have to screw up everyone's life!" Alli howls and Bianca starts forward, her hand already curled into a fist. Drew and Fitz both step forward and drag the girls apart.
"I didn't do anything to Sophia! Not a single damn thing!" Bianca yells, her face turning scarlet in rage. I'm shocked to see actual tears glimmering in her eyes. Bianca, the girl made of ice, reduced to a puddle.
"If you didn't do anything then you read first!" Alli snaps, and quiet settles around our circle once again. We're all looking at Bianca and she squirms out of Fitz's arms. She turns and looks at all of us.
"You all think I did it, don't you?" Bianca's voice comes out quivering. "Well fine, fuck all you then. I'll prove you wrong, I'll read first, but know this, not a single one of you is as innocent as you pretend to be." Her voice grows stronger and with that she opens her envelope and pulls out a piece of paper. She begins to read...
Please, review, review, review! Place guesses on who you think is to blame, tell me what you think each one of them did, tell me how I can improve! Thank you for reading Chapter 1 though! :)