by Julia Zygiel ’19
She was a party girl and no one knew why. She was just an anxious, quiet kind of person, someone who would shoulder all of your burdens for an hour-long drunken conversation and then shrug off into the next room, desperate to be invisible again. She wasn’t the anxious-but-calms-with-drugs-and-alcohol type either. In fact, substances made it worse, they made her paranoid about getting caught, nearly tearful over the thought of her Pa finding out. Yet she attended every party, every hang out that ended up consisting of the entire junior class, she was the one constantly in a high school world of never ending drama and ever ending relationships. Graciously, her peers let her maintain the comfortable position of “fly on the wall” and, graciously, she never spread the secrets they so enjoyed leaving with her.
She liked to watch, she told me once. Liked to see everyone interact, as if we were exhibits in a zoo. “It’s entertaining. Beats being home with my family all the time.” I’d only asked why she never actually partied if she was such a ‘party person.’ Wasn’t quite sure how the conversation had reached this point. I nodded and drifted away, not wanting to feel like I was being studied. After that, she pulled me aside at two different parties to tell me that someone had slipped something in my drink. I’d never seen her willingly engage with anyone else before. I guess no one else had ever made an attempt to get to know her.
The legendary party, she couldn’t handle. It wasn’t a surprise. Compared to this, she was a babe in the woods, a complete goody-two shoes. Though, in retrospect, most of us high schoolers were too. She attended, of course, dressed in her finest t-shirt and shorts, hair in a neat ponytail. It was ok. She got worried something might happen a couple times, but it turned out to be nothing. Her fears were stupid, as usual.
Then there was the fight. No one knew (no one knows even now) what it was about, just that someone pulled a gun (a real live bullet shooting gun holyshitwereallgoingtodie die die). A tense moment of staring, nothing but staring and true fear, passed. Until someone on the outskirts of the ring that had formed laughed out of pure terror. And suddenly everyone was laughing, laughing away the tension and worry that had built up so quickly. Everything was so wonderful and funny and great. She laughed too, but something was nagging
(Gun still cocked bullet ready we’re still going to die everyone of us all of us)
All troubles were forgotten but she was shaking with fear, she wanted to curl up like an armadillo just to stay
(We’re all dead screwed so scared so scared)
When time slowed down, the gun fell from a hand and clattered to the ground. She moved at a fraction of the speed of the bullet and she really had no hope. She never did. It went crashing through her skull, blood and brains littering the pavement below her body. Scream after scream rang out, but none from her.
When the cops came around to take statements, none of us could remember her name.