"WHAT?!" Florence yelled.
"You told Henry what?" She asks me.
I laugh nervously. "I just really needed to tell someone plus I trust him! Don't you?" I ask.
"It's not that I don't trust him, it's that it's personal! Now every time he looks at me I'm just the sad girl who's best friend died." She pouts.
"Also, hello!?" Never rule out anyone as a suspect!" Florence scolds me.
She was right but I don't regret telling Henry.
"I know your mad but he gave me some useful information." I say.
"And what's that?" She asks. "He told me that one of the cooks in the cafeteria, Brandon, has a huge crush on Ashely! If he was the one that gave her the bracelet we literally solved the entire case. Easy peasy." I say
Florence doesn't say anything.
"Like spiiieesss." I say.
She finally gives in and gives me a little grin. "Okay, fine. But don't tell anyone else okay!" She says.
"Okay!" I do the camp salute to show her I promise.
"I'm never gonna learn that." She says.
"But it's easy." I coax.
We arrive at Ashley's station.
Florence goes back into her funk.
"Good morning! I can't wait to see all the wonderful art you make!" Ashley gleams. Even though we know Ashley isn't the killer now, I still can't help but feel unnerved being around her. Being around the bracelet. Jaiden used to wear that.
Florence's eyes was glued to Ashley's wrist. She walked quickly past the jewelry making station and started grabbing her painting materials. I followed.
I stare at my canvas for a while, I didn't really know what I wanted to paint. Florence apparently didn't have the same problem. I watch her cover the entire canvas with red paint. She starts adding skinny white lines and flecks.
It starts looking like meat.
I turn back to my canvas and draw a bird.
"Amazing! We have such talented artists here!" Ashely praises Elise's painting. Madeline is busy making a necklace. Ashley walks over to check on Florence. She doesn't bat an eye.
"Such detail Florence! I love the Shadows all along here." Ashley starts to point out details in the painting. Her arm waves around in the air in front of Florence's face. She's practically shoving the bracelet down her throat.
I notice Florence's jaw lock up.
She takes a step back.
It doesn't seem to help.
Ashley's taking a long time just to admire a meat painting.
This looks bad.
Florence decides she's had enough.
She slaps Ashley's arm out from in front of her face.
Ashley's face looks shocked. We all just kind of stop and stare.
Florence storms off.
I go after her.
"Florence! FLORENCE!" I cry trying to get her attention.
She whips around.
"What!?" Tears are running down her face.
"Want to scold me about my behavior?!!" Florence screams.
"I wanted to see if you're okay." I say softly.
We stand there looking at each other for a moment.
"No." She sniffles.
I step closer to her and pull her into a hug. I can hear footsteps behind us. It's Railey.
"Florence." Railey says strictly. It was scary.
"Office. Now." Railey turns around and walks at a constant pace. Florence gives me dejected look. She squeezes my hand and goes to catch up with the head camp counselor.
"Now can you please explain why you slapped away the hand of one of your camp counselors?"
Railey's gaze makes me feel lightheaded. Unfortunately, I don't pass out.
Is this what judgement day feels like?
I can't tell her. I'd have to tell about the bracelet. About....her.
I stay quiet.
"Staying silent isn't doing you any favors O'Connor." Railey says stiffly.
I hear the door behind me open. I see Henry walk over to Railey.
"May I speak to you for a second?" He says. This is the most serious I've seen him.
"I'm kind of busy." Railey responds.
"It's relating to the situation." He says.
What does he mean by that? They both enter a room behind Railey's desk. I don't like that I don't know what they're talking about but it must be something positive...right? I try to let my nerves not get to me. It's hard.
The ticking of the clock slowly gets drowned out by the loud pounding in my head. They're taking kind of long. My breath staggers. I'm probably getting sent home. I'm so stupid sometimes! Did I really have to hit Ashley.
I pretend I can go back into the past. It would be so much easier. And it wouldn't take so long either.
They finally exit the room. Henry flashes me a smile and leaves me and Railey alone again. She sits down and waits a few seconds before she starts talking.
"So I've just been told about your unpleasant situation. Pardon me, I wasn't aware."
I suddenly am thankful that Corinne told Henry about her. Wait? What did he tell her about the bracelet?
Railey keeps talking. "So, what I have been told is one of the bracelets on Ashley's arm reminded you of the one your friend used to wear, correct?" She asks.
I nod my head.
"Then why didn't you tell me that in the first place?"
"....I didn't want to....talk about my.. friend." I say quietly. I feel tears start to glaze my eyes. I avoid eye contact with Railey.
"Alright, I will let this one pass since you had a good reason. I'll ask Ashley to not wear the bracelet anymore. After this you are not allowed to slap anymore counselors, okay?" Railey waits.
"Yes, ma'am." I mutter.
"And..I'm sorry...You are dismissed."
I stood up and shuffled out of the office. I start to walk down the hallway when Henry comes up behind me.
"Surprise!" He beams. He does jazz hands. I let out a breathy chuckle.
"Thanks." I say.
"No problem boblem." He says.
Henry purposefully told Railey that Ashley's bracelet just reminded me of a bracelet my friend used to wear. He knew it would raise some questions if he told her the truth, Railey would want to know why Ashley had my friend's bracelet.
I mentally thanked him. I would not want to deal with that. The Police.
When she died...there were so many police men, asking me questions I didn't know the answers to.
Questions I wanted answered too.
I start wondering. What exactly was it that Corinne told him?
"Um..Henry." I say.
"Yes?" He responds.
"What did Corinne tell you about me earlier?" I asked.
I immediately regret asking the question. I sound so...ew.
"Oh just about y'know...About...y'know." He says.
"That's it?" I ask.
"And that you found your friend's bracelet and you saw her other bracelet on Ashley's wrist that she received as a gift for Valentine's Day." He says casually.
"What?" I say kind of harsh.
Henry looks confused. "Um...you found a bracelet-"
"Where!" I exclaim.
"I-I don't know Corinne just told me she found Jaiden's bracelet!" I see the regretful look on his face after saying her name.
I shake my head. "I don't care. I have to go."
I start walking fast, I walk towards the next station with Dennis. I spot Corinne carving out a potato to make a flute type instrument it looks like.
I try to put on a calm demeanor, I don't want to cause another scene.
I walk a bit slower and try to join the others without drawing too much attention which is impossible but whatever.
I sit next to Corinne.
"Glad your here to join us." Dennis says sweetly. He smiles with big red cheeks and dimples.
"Hey." Corinne says focusing on her potato. She puts her stuff down. "Did you get kicked out?" She looks concerned with big eyes and curved eyebrows.
"Nope." I say blandly.
She could tell by my tone I was upset but she left it alone.
Dennis holds up his potato flute and play a cute tune. I watch as a few birds stop to listen to the soothing melody.
I momentarily forget about the bracelet.
He looks down at his watch. "Time's up!" He says in a soft voice. "Time for lunch."
We go inside to the cafeteria. I add an apple to my tray and notice the cooks working in the kitchen.
I wonder which one is Brandon.
" You've been quiet." Corinne says with a grin. "Is everything okay?"
I've been thinking how to tell you that I know you hid Jaiden's bracelet from me.
Sometimes I wonder how I can say her name in my thoughts but never out loud.
"I need to ask you something." I start.
She looks at me with a confused smile.
We sit at a table and I let out a deep sigh.
"So...I asked Henry what was it exactly that you said to him because I wanted to know."
She starts to look nervous.
"Uh huh." She hums.
"And I found out that there was another bracelet from her." I wait for her to respond.
"Yes...It was your best friend bracelet."
She says regretfully.
I'm not sad. I'm not mad. I'm happy.
A big smile spreads on my face.
"You found it! I-I want it, where is it?!"
My cheeks start to hurt I'm smiling so big.
Just to see her friendship bracelet again would mean the world to me! We made a promise me and her. If one of us dies early to wear the other's bracelet, a reminder that we're still best friends. I never thought I'd have to keep that promise so early but I don't regret making it. I want to wear it. I need to wear it.
Corinne sits there silent.
"Where is it?" My smile falters.
"I-I'm sorry, I didn't know Ashley had her other bracelet at this time! I would have never gotten rid of it if I knew you were gonna see it anyway!" Corinne says frantically.
"What do you mean got rid of it? In the trash? Which one!?"
"I thought if you saw her bracelet it would just make you depressed or something...I.....I burned it." She finally says. She looks down.
I feel dead.
The bracelet's gone.
The promise is gone.
Our friendship is gone.
I start crying uncontrollably. I put my head down on the table and cry.
I can't anymore. I stand up and walk to our cabin.
I lay on my bunk motionless. I can't move. I can't speak. I'm too tired to stay awake and too tired to fall asleep.
I hear the cabin door creek open. I assume it's Corinne.
"I told Corinne you should've went to a different summer camp."
A British accent floats through the air.
I don't respond.
"I don't mean to be rude but I knew this place would be too much for you. I hope you don't plan on doing anymore outbursts."
I say nothing.
" lunch is almost over. The next activity is coming up, I recommend you don't be late." She left.
I rub my eyes and sit up. I don't want to look at Corinne.
I don't need her. Clearly, she's just so adamant about erasing Jaiden.
Somehow, it's easier to think about her name now.
I'll finish the investigation myself.
I'll find out who killed her, swear to hate them forever. Then kill them.