Her mum simply didn’t seem able to understand what she’d done wrong by arranging the date with River. Imogen shut herself away in her room, and hoped she would get the teaching job just so that she could afford to move out and get away from her mum’s meddling. She knew that no one understood how to help her, and that was fair enough. She also knew that it would make other people’s lives easier if she started seeing someone else. She saw the looks her friends gave her, these awful, pitying looks that were filled with fear. She knew they were all hoping like hell that what had happened to Imogen would never happen to them. Her grief and loss was offensive to them. They’d never say it, but she knew it. She reminded them of their worst nightmares, and they resented her for it.
Imogen took out the suicide note and thought about how her life should have been. She’d never even slept with anyone else except Jonny. She’d thought he would be her first and her last, that he would be the only man to ever know her and she the only woman to know him. Aside from her ongoing love for Jonny holding her back, the thought of the intimacy that would be expected of her if she started dating was terrifying. In her head none of her new prospective suitors were like Jonny. She imagined herself being pressured, being laughed at for only having slept with one man. In her darkest moments, she wondered if she was actually any good at sex. She only knew what she and Jonny liked, and neither she nor he had anything to compare that to. They’d always had a lot of fun together, but for all she knew, other men might want things completely different. She might not have a clue what she was doing and end up feeling ridiculous. In a rush of anger she screwed the note up in her hand. ‘Why did you do this to me Jonny?’ she said, ‘why did you leave me on my own, you… you selfish fucking bastard.’
She dropped the screwed up picture and clapped her hand over her mouth, but quickly released it again to say, ‘I didn’t mean it, I didn’t mean it, I didn’t mean it. I’m sorry Jonny, I’m sorry.’ She picked up the picture and tried to straighten it out, but she was distracted when her laptop, which had been asleep or on standby or something, suddenly lit up. She frowned at it, confused, and then the screen went black again. But it wasn’t empty. There was a message, written in white.
Imogen almost cried out. The words hadn’t disappeared again, like the ones about her being a great teacher. They were still there, plain as day, white on black and with the cursor flashing just underneath.
Jonny? She typed.