Dying Comes With Lying
A/N: And alas, more secrets and lies for lovely readers to eat up. I assure you, the aftermath of finding a corpse in Rikki Chadwick's title might be uglier than actually finding it. …
I'm crying. Bella is screaming. And Cleo just fainted. There's no way to possibly comprehend finding a best friend; a sister's dead corpse in the middle of lies and insanity.
But, somehow, without the processes of shock, pain, anger, depression, and all loss of hope shattering all of us, I managed to shriek, "There's no reception. We'll have to bring her back to the docks and call…call for help…" I sputter. I can hardly breathe, let alone think.
All of Rikki's memories coming at me at once. Meeting her, that day, on the boat with Cleo. Rikki, trying to save Charlotte for me, and then taking the blame. Her look of betrayal when she started to believe I knew our mum chose me instead of her. Then her telling me to leave, or else she'd have to destroy me. It all came back, and suddenly, Cleo is up again…and all we can do, as the lying mermaids we are, as we stare at Rikki's corpse, and R's last message, is cry.
"She can't be dead! She can't!" Cleo says, as she's awakened.
"R must have done this! Ohmygod…" Bella says, and starts to hold Cleo, and they rock back and forth…trying to dissolve this image away. Like it never happened.
Meanwhile, I stare at my half-sister, because that's what she really was, right into her lifeless eyes, still open. For, she was too young to die. This wasn't supposed to happen. I try to tell myself, that she's just gotten stabbed, that we can save her. But, with a touch, I can tell, she's far too cold.
Her life, her soul, her heart, and her secrets are completely gone. Nothing will ever be the same. Rikki Chadwick is dead.
We rock each other, crying, until we pick ourselves up for a moment, and start dragging Rikki's cold deflated body, back into the moon pool. We carry her; me right in front of her head, Cleo and Bella taking her legs, torn of fishnet leggings, and a ripped dress. We swim the fastest we ever have. Yet still… as the blood from Rikki's chest ripples as waves into the water, I can't help but fear there are so many more tears than blood that will forever haunt this water. Rikki will be the haunting of my heart. All of ours.
As we reach the surface of the ocean along the docks, it hits me that Rikki hasn't changed back to a mermaid. So, she really is dead. There's no other way of putting it. Cleo, Bella, and I boost Rikki up, and then reach the docks ourselves, trying to breathe. Out of the corner of my tearing eyes, I see Cleo use her power in a new way; control the water to lift off of her and Bella's mermaid forms-the form I miss with all my heart, and be human again.
Once all human, with emotions wrecking in our souls, I am the first to get my phone and call the police. The call is filled with insanity laced with tears;
"My friend…My friend, Rikki… We found her body at Mako, and brought it to the docks. I think she's dead." As Bella checks Rikki's pulse, she tearfully nods. "We need help because, because… I can't lose her. She's my sister." I whisper, and I hear the annoyingly calm voices telling me it's okay, and that they're on their way. It reminds me so eerily, of how Charlotte was burned and blinded.
It takes seven minutes. Seven minutes of screeching and crying, as we wait for the ambulances to let people out to tell us the dreaded news we already know. Seven minutes, seven minutes of pure agony as I will Rikki to jump up and scream, "Surprise! Miss me, didn't you? I told you that night would be epic!" but she doesn't. She stays still, already gone.
Seven minutes, and when the ambulance people rush with a stretcher, feel her pulse, and start trying to revive her… It takes two seconds for them to turn towards us and announce, "It appears that Rikki Chadwick has been dead for a while. There's nothing we can do." They lift her body on the stretcher, and ask us if we want to ride with her and call her family; her dad, the person that didn't abandon her. All of us shake our heads, because we know the police are going to interrogate us again.
We watch them leave, her corpse on the stretcher that will take her to a cold room, where they study her like a newly discovered animal, and then send her to a funeral home, where they'll put her in a dress, make her look pretty, and bury her in the ground. All the things she didn't want.
The police come after, and as expected, they question us on if we saw anyone at Mako, why we were at Mako, and telling us that they're very sorry we had to find Rikki in that state. Most of their questions, we lied about. We couldn't speak of R. We all knew that, well almost. It almost seemed Cleo was about to speak the truth, when Bella elbowed her. R knew secrets that could destroy us. They couldn't get out, and, alas, we lied to the police.
Once they leave, we are stuck with ourselves; our breaths, our fears, our lies. I gulp, and let out, "I don't think I can go back to my dorm… If Charlotte's there…or even if I'm alone. I can't be alone tonight." I whisper into the night. And, I realize, it's deathly cold. I'm shivering.
"Me neither." Bella whispers back. "I need Will…. I need this friendship back." There's a silence as we all stare in the direction the ambulances were and left, and then she says, "Would you like to stay at the little house Will, I, and a few other friends used to share?" I wonder why she says used, Cleo does too, and looks at Bella for a moment.
"I can't handle another agonizing moment in that sorority house of confusion, so…yeah." Cleo says, a tear sliding down her cheek. "I really missed you both." Warmness fills me. Cleo's not really mad or suspicious of me. And, she misses me.
It occurs to me, so strangely, I'm afraid. Rikki brought us together. In life, and in death. "I missed you too." I reply.
"Emma?" Bella asks, and at first I'm confused. What is she asking? And, then I realize. She wants me to stay in the house that was originally for Bella, Cleo, Will, Lewis, and Rikki.
"It'll be like a sleepover." Bella comments. "Like old times." She stares at Cleo, who nods, a broken smile. We've lost Rikki, and yet found each other.
"I'd love to." I answer. The tears, the hurt, the loss; it's all still there. And yet, it's true. I do want to belong to something again. I want to have best friends to experience the ups, the downs, the evil, the good, and to share secrets. Beautifully dark secrets. And, it's almost as if Bella and Cleo have reunited, and offered me that. And, I'm delightful in saying yes, even in the absence of Rikki.
Cleo slowly lets out a broken smile. In the night of the deepest darkness, with friends…perhaps, we can find the light even if a crazy stalker-texter wants us to pay. "Us mermaids need to stick together." Cleo points out, and Bella and I nod. And somehow, this night has left me tingling.
Until I note I'm not a mermaid anymore. It won't ever be the same. "Yeah. But, I'm no mermaid anymore…" I add to their hope of reunited mermaid friendship.
Bella shakes her head. "So what? We all don't want to be alone tonight. We all miss each other in a way. And, we all just found our dead best friend, and are being harassed by some crazy inane R person. Therefore, I have reason to believe we should stick together…" Bella concludes. But, I can't help but notice how she glances back at her phone each second, with fear.
Well, why shouldn't we be scared? R is out to make us pay for our secrets.
So, with hands connected, we all clamber in Bella's car, leaving our present lives behind, as well as their new lies. We drive back to the surrounding area of Redleaf's campus, and arrive at a lovely little cottage where, astoundingly enough, Bella, Will, and some friends live at.
When we sneak into the darkly-lit hallways ongoing from the front door, Bella assures Cleo and I of the silence. "I'm pretty sure my friend, Sammy is staying at some guy's place. And Rob and Lucas are probably asleep. Um, there's something I have to tell you two about Will."
We travel deeper into the house, and Bella is about to go on about this Will I've yet to meet, and then offer us her and Will's room. But, something stops us, distracts us, with an eerie noise. Water. Water's running. Coming from the bathroom. All three of us stare at each other, suddenly frightened we've arrived in a horror movie for the second time this night.
Bella leads the way, then Cleo, and then an outsider of myself. What we find causes Bella to screech. Cleo gasps. Tears both wrench them to pieces. All I see, with my blurry eyesight of tragedy, is a vaguely familiar butterscotch-haired boy set in the tub, with a blue face, drowning.
"Will! Ohmygod." Bella screeches, and Cleo looks as if hysteria has hit her. They both quickly carry him from the water, but his eyes are closed. Without any care of her or Cleo's mermaid transformation, Bella nears her fingers to his neck, willing a pulse to be there. She's starting to cry, screeching at Will, "Please don't leave me! I love you…"
That's when a miracle happens. This Will starts coughing up water, as he tries to sit up, and suddenly, he's here. There's one less tragedy on this Earth for the moment. Bella sighs of so much relief, and in her tear-laced eyes, wheezes, "You're here! I have no idea what I would of done if I lost you." And then, they hug, they kiss, and they whisper to each other as they both cry.
It's in the remaining moments of their soppiness, that I look down at my legs, and realize this is a new for me in the last year and three months. There lies an orange tale of lies, and a orange bikini top, laced in scales of secrecy. Here I am, once again a mermaid.
Cleo rejoices. "Ohmygosh! Em! Look at your tail!" A smile takes over me, even if today has been one of the hardest darkest days of my life. Tonight, I got some sort of closure over my best friend of a half-sister. Tonight, I was reunited with one of my best friends, and found another. Tonight, I belonged. All three tails, I waddle closer, finally feeling invited.
Will looks at me with confusion, but then nods. He's Bella's boyfriend, and he definitely knows a few of our secrets, I realize as he looks down at our tails. Then he sits up, Bella already a grateful girl putty in his hands.
"Girls, Will… R told me that she, he, they, or it… R said that they had Will, and that they would kill him if I didn't do exactly as R said." Then Bella turns to Will. "I'm so sorry my secrets hurt you. There's this R person, who's intent on getting all of us. Em, Cleo, and me. And tonight, tonight, I was desperate looking for you, and we ended up finding Rikki dead! And Ohmygod… Will… I love you so much, I knew life without you would be terrible… I was so scared." Bella explains, and Will's face is full of horror.
"Rikki? Rikki's… Rikki's dead…?" He closes his eyes, and tries to tell those tears he's trying to hide to go away. "She… She was so strong. I thought that… I thought that she could survive anything." Will tries to find some reason, but there's none left. "How'd she die? Where did you find her?" He's hungry for answers, in a complete mess.
"There was a knife stabbed in her…in her heart." Cleo responds, as another tear drops upon the universe.
"We found her at Mako. This R told us to go there and find her." I answer, and Will goes through a process, of shock, anger, and hatred.
"R? Who the fuck is R?" Will lets his emotions wreak. Then he stares at me, "You're Emma. The other mermaid, I see. The girl who supposedly can't remember what happened to Rikki! This is your-"
Bella stops Will. "No, Will. Emma's being just as harassed as Cleo and I. She's just as scared. What…Who did this to you? Who tried to drown you?" Bella whispers, and Will's eyes crack. He holds his head, as if trying to remember.
"I had to pee. I was… I was at Campus. You just went to your songwriting class…" Bella nods. Cleo takes a deep breath. I just bite my lip. "And when I got out of the bathroom, something hit me. Something knocked me out. When….When I woke up, I was here. Somebody was holding me down, in all black. I couldn't tell who. I guess…I guess they left after I passed out again." Will says, appearing incomplete in not knowing who the person was.
"It's okay. You'll just tell the police all of this." Bella soothes him. "They can help." She adds. Cleo looks at me, her eyes look scared, still. Is it just me or is she sending me a vibe of don't-trust-everyone-you-meet?
"No, it's not okay! The police don't fucking help! They don't do anything. They didn't find Rikki. They didn't save her! And now… I can't just watch the police take control, and watch all you girls end up dead because some stalker who knew your secrets killed you! I can't." Will freaks out, and there are slow tears from his eyes.
"Will's right. We can't… I can't tell the police about R. R knows some things…about Charlotte, about secrets that could ruin me, and my family. We can't tell them." I whisper into the darkness of mermaid tails, cold water, and secrets that sizzle.
Bella gulps. "Maybe…Maybe you two are right. The secrets R knows…" She closes her eyes and shudders.
Cleo nods. "They're right. R will ruin us whether the police know or not…. If we anger R, especially by telling the police… Who knows what R could do? R already almost drowned Will…and what about Rikki? What if R did that?" Cleo frets.
Then, Bella shakes her head. "What if R did? We can't risk that happening again. And if the police know, they'll help." Bella tries to rationalize. But, I can't tell…
"No, Bella. I'll protect you all. The police won't. Let me trace back where this R's messages came from-" Will is stopped.
"No, Will!" Bella screeches, then tries to breathe. "I mean… Let's just ignore R. If we don't let R get to us, then we'll be fine. We could even block unknown numbers."
"Yeah." Cleo and I both agree. And it occurs to me, they both must have secrets just as dark as I do… And that means, they've lied to me. And, I actually probably don't know as much as I thought about them. Or, I don't know anything at all…that isn't lies.
"Okay." Bella sighs of relief. "Now that this is settled, we should go to the police station and file yet another report." Bella says, and I bite my lip at their intertwined fingers.
"Yeah, definitely. I want whoever this R punk is to get found and put in jail for harassing you girls...but not by endangering you girls by telling the police. I'll just tell what happened to me. Hey, Bells, can I see these R messages? Maybe we can find some hints from who it's from." Will offers.
"No, Will!" We all scream, and the obviousness of how we're all lying hits me yet again. Then Bella goes on, "Really, we've already looked at them. R doesn't talk about who she or he is. Just harasses us." Will looks hurt, as if he wants to steal our phones, and hunt down R and kill him or her.
"Fine." Will says. I can't help but notice his pissed off expression. "Bells, you've had enough trouble for one night. Stay here with the girls. I'll drive myself to the police and tell them what happened. Kay, Bella?" Will coaxes her into staying here where she won't find anymore drama for the night.
"Okay, Will." They kiss each other again and again. Cleo looks at me with a smirk. I don't try to hide my smile. I decide I do like Will. I've seen him before somewhere… Probably in a photograph or something. "Be safe." Bella whispers, and then he leaves the cottage.
We all sigh. "Tough night." Cleo comments. And then, suddenly, we're all giggling in tears because tonight has been the perfect ride of craziness, that brought us together…finally. And, I doubt we'll ever abandon each other again. I hope. If our lies don't get in the way…
. . .
Later, in the wee hours of the dark night, as we all hold hands, trying to daze off in Will and Bella's former bed, Bella alerts us that after Will gave the police a statement, they sent Will to the hospital to make sure he really was okay in the health department. This wakens us up for a bit, so much that we start to fret enough to reveal our fears, and our secrets.
"Guys… Who do you think R is? Now that we know…we know Rikki's gone, but…But all the things R taunts me about are things only Rikki knew…" I say into the darkness and will Cleo or Bella to come up with a reasonable explanation to this R madness.
"It has to be someone Rikki told everything to, right? But…I don't know who that could be. And I don't know who would want to torture us like this." Bella whispers back, trying to theorize.
"I do. Our mermaid enemies include the demon doctor, Denman, …Charlotte, and… Zane must have known stuff about Rikki and us. And, this seems like the thing he would do, right? Wasn't he closest to her other than us? Who knows what she told him?" Cleo starts drilling out the possibilities. I gulp. It's an insane possibility, but not completely impossible.
"Maybe." I say, but I can't full grasp it. "But, I've known Zane all my life. Sure, he's troubled, but after he got with Rikki, he didn't hate us."
"And then Rikki broke up with him and disappeared. Maybe, in some weird way, he blames us for her disappearance…I mean, death…now, I guess." Cleo gulps at the switch of words. Then her eyes darken. "Maybe Zane even…even killed her."
This stuns all of us to a silence. "He did go away right after she disappeared." Bella concludes with suspicion.
"Yeah, but… But, I'm pretty sure I heard Charlotte and Kim talking about scaring Cleo and I." I add to the suspicion.
"What do you mean by pretty sure?" Cleo says, after a momentary gasp at wondering if her sister could be this cruel.
"I mean, I heard their voices, but when Charlotte let me in… Kim was out of sight." I say.
Cleo bites her lip, quizzically raveling in the theories. Then she lets out, "No. Even with a blind Charlotte, my sister isn't that smart, and she doesn't have enough time to stalk us. Neither of them do or can. I have this weird feeling it's Zane. I mean…he was there when something happened…you know, one of my secrets."
Bella nods. "And Charlotte doesn't even know me that much and has no reason to want to harass me, well, as far as I know. Guys… We honestly didn't know much about Rikki. Other than this one secret, the only one she shared with us… I bet Rikki hid a lot. Maybe she even hid who she told our secrets to. What if we don't actually know R, but R is watching us?"
All of us bask in the silence, all unsure on theories and what to believe. Then Bella's quiet voice retorts, "Guys…If we do actually want to stick together… Maybe," I hate her for saying this. "Maybe we should tell each other…the secrets R has on us. Other than being mermaids." A shiver is exchanged through all of us.
I gulp. "I'm not so sure. I…can't." I say in defeat. I've longed to tell someone-anyone who wouldn't judge me all the horrific secrets that were held inside of me. But I couldn't.
Bella bites her lip. "We'll promise not to judge each other, no matter what…?" Bella questions us.
Cleo and I exchange a look. We're both drop-dead…. We're both frightened. And a look to Bella tells me she's in that same dread and fear. "Yeah." Cleo and I both say, bitterly, as all of us stare at the walls.
"You first." I look to Bella, realizing I don't really know much about her. Sure, she's a mermaid with a talent for singing…or so I heard. What lied in her deepest darkest desires, or worse her secrets?
Bella closes her eyes for a moment, and gulps. Her hand starts hesitating by her arm, going through mild panic and then… "Rikki knew I had these." She rolls her shirt sleeves up, and in the darkness, I struggle to see what she's talking about. When I look carefully, I see eerily etched scars marking down her wrist and other parts of her arm.
It's hard for Cleo to refrain her gasp. "This is the big secret R has on you?" Cleo says. And I recognize something in her voice. Disbelief. It's true…I thought R knew all our mortal sins… Then, another thought creeps in. Maybe, Bella's just a better person, and doesn't have any mortal sins. Meh, unlikely, I decide, looking at her face in full panic. Suddenly she gulps, and forces a smile.
"Yeah. I was, um, depressed, needing attention, scared…" Bella almost loses herself in a daydream. "But, that's it." I take close note of the way her eyes dilate, and then look at the space between Cleo and I. That's a lying quirk.
"Cleo's turn." I whisper, and both girl's eyes fill with slight annoyance. Cleo's is also filled with fear that we won't accept her secret.
"I'm…" Cleo glances at both of us. "I think I…" She twitches her lip and looks for another thing to say, "I mean, Rikki teased…" Suddenly, anger throbs within her eyes. "Lewis didn't want to have sex with me. He won't. Rikki always teased me about that. Now, Emma tell your secret. This is so stupid." She mumbles under her breath.
I recognize yet another thing inside of her, well two; a liar's charm of rushing, as well as a fire I didn't know my old friend, Cleo had. It newly developed. She was hiding things she didn't wish to hide, and it made her angry. Just like me.
What was I going to lie about now? It's my turn. "Uh, Rikki forced me to leave after Junior Year. She blamed me, I guess, for what happened…with Charlotte." I say. Silence defines the room.
Cleo is talking now. "Bella, you shouldn't have hurt yourself. You're amazing, and I know it's an attention thing but… I was always jealous of you. I was always jealous of everyone. I wanted Rikki's wit, Bella's voice, Emma's confidence… I couldn't find anything good about myself. Probably why Lewis rejected me."
Bella and I are stunned. "Don't say that, Cleo! Maybe he just wasn't ready…" I offer. Then I add, "I mean, I've never had sex."
And suddenly, Bella and Cleo are giggling at me. "Well, of course you haven't! You're Miss Responsible Emma!" Then Cleo's eyes slide at Bella. "What about the girl with the beautiful voice? Has she lured Will to do the dirty as the siren she is? And don't lie. You live together." Cleo and I are both smitten.
Bella's eyes darken, then she smiles…until she frowns. "Um, yeah, Will and I… It's…lovely, I guess." She sighs, and seems exhausted by this topic.
"How was your first time?" I wonder. Secretly, I'm hungry for sex knowledge. There's more than self-respect as my reasoning for rejecting Ash.
Bella's eyes flicker to horror, and for a moment, tears sparkle in her eyes. "Crap. Like most times are. Look, I don't think we should be talking about first times when we just found Rikki dead and some insane R person is out to get us!" Bella is annoyed, severely.
"Yeah." Cleo realizes and quiets. "I wish I could say I know a lot about sisterhood," I grimace at Cleo's words, "but, honestly, the only sisterhood I cherish is the one I had with both of you…and Rikki. I think we should make a mermaid oath. To always stay friends, and look out for each other…"
And Bella and I both smile at each other for the first time, and with our nods, "The mermaid secrecy oath! To protect, keep secrets, and always stay friends!" And it was with these last words being said, we fell into a careless sleep where we actually believed things would be better in the morning.
. . .
The next morning, we got a beep of reality, when we found R's latest messages taunting us in all of our rooms.
I know what you all were doing last night. Stop guessing. I'm so many steps ahead of you lying little mermaids. And even worse, I'm right under your secret-stuffed-up noses, and you don't even see it. –R
Another jolt of the hysteria of sadness hit us, when right after the look shared by all of us-fear, dread, hatred, anger, we received a call from Terry Chadwick, inviting us to come along and help plan Rikki's…funeral.
The conversation was horrid.
"Hi Emma. It's Terry Chadwick, Rikki's, you know, dad. The one who took care of her." I was shocked into silence, "I'm so sorry to hear you, Cleo, and Bella were the ones to find Rikki…like that. Um, I know it's a bit early but I'd like to talk about Rikki." Dread fills me.
"Oh, no, Mr. Chadwick, it's fine. I think we all couldn't sleep. And, it was…It was really not easy to find her like that, so what…What do you want to talk about?" I tried to sound nice. The best friend that Rikki had loved…before she set out to destroy me.
"Well, Emma, are you by any chance in contact with the other girls-Rikki's friends right now?" He asked. I wondered how many stages of grieving he'd gone through yet.
"Yeah. Cleo and Bella are actually right here beside me." I say, trying to be cheerful, but I can sense it both annoys me and Mr. Chadwick.
"That's good. Today, at two, could you girls by any chance meet me up at the Creekside Church? We're planning Rikki's funeral…and well, I guess I know you girls know more about what she'd like then me. She loved you all, and I know she would want you to, uh, cherish her until the absolute end." Mr. Chadwick grunts, with an edge in his voice.
I gasp. They're planning Rikki's funeral already? And then it hits me that Rikki's been gone for over a year…and finally, she has been found, and slight truth has been revealed…if only we knew what really happened.
"Uh, yeah, of course, Mr. Chadwick. Thanks so much for letting us be there." I reply, after explaining the situation to Cleo and Bella. Then I gulp. "Have the police told you anything… About, about how Rikki died?"
"The paramedics say she was murdered. Stabbed…" I can hear the tension through the phone that Mr. Chadwick might be in the middle of a breakdown. "Stabbed 13 times, they say." I can hear his sob, and suddenly I'm crying. "There's no trace of who did it. Not on the knife…not anywhere."
"Just get the girls and yourself to meet at the church, okay? Rikki needs you." Mr. Chadwick says at last. And then the phone goes dead. Just like Rikki did.
. . .
We arrive at the church like the funeral has already taken place. But, really, we know Rikki liked black…and she would laugh at girly-girl, Cleo, and practical-loving me, as well as Bella…for some reason.
Will came home from the hospital in the morning. He had wanted to come with us-stating that he was just as much a friend to Rikki as we were. And a slight disturbing thoughts creeps us. Rikki would have much rather preferred him there than me. She hated me in the moments before…her death.
When we go inside the chapel, we see two priests sitting by Rikki's…adoptive dad, consoling him, telling him the legendary words of 'Sorry for your loss' and 'God has a greater plan for her in heaven'. Ha. Who knew Rikki was supposedly Catholic? Then, I feel remorse for thinking such a thing.
"Cleo! Bella! Emma! Please gather here." Mr. Chadwick exclaims, causing us to rush forward to where they sit, holding hands as best friends do. Then Mr. Chadwick whispers something to the priests. They smile sadly at us, and take out their hands. "Father Henry" and "Father Ty" are among the things they say to us.
"Now, I know Rikki would like all of you to say something …here. So, I believe we should have you all give a speech-" Mr. Chadwick starts but is cut off by Cleo.
"A speech?" Cleo asks timidly, suddenly terrified.
"Yes, just talking about how Rikki affected your life, and how much you love her and miss her." Father Ty explains, the same sad smile shaping his appearance.
I bite my lip. I had always loved writing speeches. They were apart of my highest achievements-other than swimming. Shit. Swimming. I couldn't swim anymore yet again, because of this second mermaid metamorphosis. Right, back to the problem at hand. I really didn't like writing speeches about dead ex-best-friends/half sisters who hated me.
"Of course." Bella answers, and ideas fill her head. "Uh, Mr. Chadwick, could I, please, possibly sing a song for Rikki's…funeral?" She charms the idea. "I think Rikki would have loved that." She adds.
Mr. Chadwick smiles, slowly at first. "Of course, Bella."
Bella gains a little ounce of hope in this whole situation, that is weakened by Father Henry's, "Just make sure you run it by us and Mr. Chadwick first. We want something respectable and appropriate for the occasion." He lectures.
Ha. Like Rikki was respectable and appropriate. …Sadness possesses me.
Bella nods, her mind seemingly in the midst of ideas. Meanwhile, I start throbbing in the turmoil of thinking of what I'm supposed to say about Rikki… It's too hard to ignore the horrific image of how we found her, and how mysterious and unexplainable this tragedy is, and focus on the good times…while there were so little.
The rest of the meeting is a blur. Bella speaks of songs she would like to sing such as Slipped Away by Avril Lavigne, and Hide and Seek by Imogen Heap. The priests and Mr. Chadwick frown upon Hide and Seek. It wasn't as if Rikki was hiding…right? She was murdered… I realize how unbelievable this really is. Three years past, if you were to tell me these chaos unfold, I never would have thought it possible…. And yet here we are, in the middle of grief.
This can't be happening.
Somehow, Mr. Chadwick, the priests, and us former best friends finished the meeting with sadness and promises to come to the wake which would be in three days. Three days until I have to say goodbye…? What possibly could I ever say?
Would mum be coming to the funeral-her daughter's funeral? Would Zane, the most obvious suspect of being R? Would the media have news cameras, trying to turn a tragedy into an obsession? Was Rikki happy-wherever she was, or was she angry, seeking vengeance on the ones she left behind…? The one who killed her, and the one who might have watched her murder…? The one and only me?
For some strange reason, both Cleo and Bella deemed themselves incapable of life until they relieved themselves by peeing. So, I just waited. I wondered if Rikki actually could watch us, if she was laughing like she enjoyed doing, or if she was crying… So many times had tears fell from my eyes in that funeral planning.
I whisper out into the church's aura, "I loved you, Rikki. Even if you hated me. Even if you still do." I closed my eyes, and let the sobs take over. "I had always wanted a sister." I snort in irony of the whole wretched thing.
Next comes the beep that has repeatedly signaled a mermaid's doom. But, multiple ones now. And when I look at the caller ID, it's from Mum. I flip my phone and listen to the terror.
"Emma, I know we're not speaking a lot now, and I heard about Rikki…. My poor girl…" Mum sobs, until hopping back on the topic of new terror. "Elliot and his girlfriend, Lucy, you know, the one with the baby, they've been hit by a car." Mum sputters, "Please come to the hospital. We need you."
I gasp. Soon enough Cleo and Bella come out to my crumbling; complete defeat. Rikki, my half sister, my best friend, is dead. And now Elliot might be too? And a mini-person of our bloodline? No. No! Why did this happen! Rikki was a complete bitch sometimes, but she shouldn't have died! Why can't I remember what happened that night! And why is R so intent of destroying us all inside?
I spit out the recalling of my Mum's calls in tears, and all about how Elliot has grown up, and got a girl, Lucy, pregnant. Bella picks me up, holds my hand, and says she's coming with me. Cleo agrees. For a moment, my heart starts to calm and stop the reckless panicking that was going on inside of my trauma-induced mind. Until my phone beeped again.
The text was from a devil named R.
Can Miss Emma Gilbert take on two sibling's funerals? I'm happy to say I don't believe you'll be having a little niece or nephew...alive, at least. ;) –R
A/N: Thank you all for reading. :D Be sure to review and go to your heart's extent of obsession, anticipation, perhaps even hatred (but I like this one least of all). Share your theories, share your questioning. Share your awesomeness, because, in fact, that is what reviewers do. xD
And what will happen to poor little Emma and her poor little brother? Only time can tell. But I know I'm anticipating going to all of the funerals to happen with faux sadness on my face while I plot, plot, and plot more distress for these little lying mermaids. They need to start telling the truth or else my fun will go on and on. -R