August 7, 2014

Elizabeth's Story

by Jessica Knoll

Peter was a casualty of Bridget's death too. I didn't set out to hurt him. He just got tangled up in the whole, gnarly mess.

I never would have met Peter if it weren't for Biz.

One night, about a year after we graduated, Biz got my doorman to let her into my apartment. I heard her thank him, sugary-sweet, and the second he shut the door she turned into an aggressive little bitch, throwing a glass of water in my face and, over my expletive-ridden protestations, dragging me out of bed and forcing me into the shower in my nice Cosabella nightie! My father had left my mother earlier that year, and a month later she landed in the hospital, the EKG determining it was a stress-related heart attack. It was minor enough, but the doctor warned more would come if she didn't start to take it easy. My mother had laughed wryly and said, "Talk to my daughter about that."

Both the dissolution of my parents marriage and my mother's health scare were my fault, and I punished myself by becoming a shut-in, by never allowing myself to have any fun.

Plus, what was the point of having fun without Campbell?

"We've got to brush the dust off your vagina," Biz said over the hiss of the shower, ignoring my furious face in the foggy glass door. "We're going out."

I glared at her as she squirted shampoo into my hair. She had to stand on her tip toes to reach my head.

"Seriously," she said. "I know Detective Diggler messed with your head hardcore, but it's time to move on. And have I got the guy for you to move on to or what?" She emitted a low whistle and I grumbled, "Don't bring up Campbell ever again." When Biz saw me start to work the shampoo into my hair, she let me be with a self-satisfied harrumph. I slammed the shower door and finished getting ready on my own, the sound of Biz laughing at a Sex and the City episode in the background almost bringing a smile to my face.

I felt everyone's eyes on me as I entered the bar. Over the last year, my hair had grown into a blunt, icy bob that came to a severe stop right at my chin. I could wear anything, and that night, I decided, I would. I wanted it to hurt for people to look at me. I wanted women to scowl at my naked, whippet limbs and for men to ogle the perfect silhouette of my breasts, on brazen display in my sheer top. I hardly ever wore a bra. I didn't need to.

If Biz was going to make me go out, then the least I could do was look so intimidating that it would be inconceivable to think that anyone could have ever hurt me.

Two guys, both in banker blue suits, stood as Biz and I approached their table. "Hey, baby!" Biz squealed at one of them, leaping into his arms. I rolled my eyes at her but secretly, I was stung. Hey, baby? Did Biz have a boyfriend? Was I really that cut off from the world that this was the first I was hearing of it? All the while, I could feel the other guy watching me, curiously.

Biz gave her guy one last loud, disgusting kiss before turning her attention to his friend. "Peter," she said, "This is Elizabeth."

Peter gave me a smile that would have devastated an ordinary girl and stuck out his hand. "I can't believe I finally get to meet the elusive Elizabeth Van der Deer."

I stared at his hand, unsure. Yeah, he was gorgeous, but so what? Give me Campbell's broody eyes, give me Campbell's skin, shockingly pale, like he had no patience for the summer, for anything frivolous or fun. Give me his bad cop clothes and how morally conflicted I made him, the animal connection between us so intense that he was willing to disregard his rimy set of ethics for once in his life. The way he fucked me, angrily, accusingly—because I had made him do it. Go against everything he stood for. God, give me that any day over this nothing-burger banker in a beautiful suit.

But I just smiled and said it was nice to meet him too. It was time to rejoin the land of the living, I decided, and Peter wasn't the worst person in the world to welcome me to its shores.

- -

"What happened?" Biz demanded. Detective Campbell and Detective Roth had left four hours ago, and I'd been holed up in my room ever since, waiting for Biz to get back from class.

I shushed her and shut my door behind me. "Keep your voice down."

Biz squirmed on my bed. "Why did you call me up here? You're making me so nervous!"

I held my ear against the door, just to make sure no one was there. Then I turned to Biz. "Two detectives were here earlier!" I hissed, frantic. "They asked me all these questions about Bridget. Apparently, someone saw me enter Grey House that day I went to talk to her!"

"Oh, Jesus," Biz gasped. All the color had drained from her face. "Fuck. What did you say?"

I chewed on a fingernail. "I said I hung out with her for a bit but then I went home. I wasn't going to deny it if someone saw me. I did the right thing....right?"

"Of course!" she assured me. "We go over to Grey House all the time. We're all friends! Did you tell the detectives that?"

I nodded my head rapidly, a little lying bobblehead. Yes, yes, yes, yes. I was starting to feel better, calmer, but then I remembered the other thing Campbell had brought up and my heart started to race again. "But Biz, he was really weird about my hair. He kept asking me when I got it cut, and what made me do that and yadayadayada."

Biz made a face, trying to sort out the implications. She wasn't getting there on her own, so I said, "What if they like, find my hair in the basement? Or in Bridget's car? Or wherever she cut it off?"

Biz sighed and buried her head in her lap. "This is why I wanted to go to the police, E!" Her voice was muffled against her thighs.

I bit my lower lip, wondering, for a moment, if I'd made a mistake insisting that we leave Bridget's body in the basement, that we drive her car into the lake. We didn't have much choice in the matter of the body—the two of us tried, but we couldn't get her stiff, heavy corpse off the floor, let alone carry her up the stairs. Biz had tried to convince me to call 911, but I became hysterical at the suggestion. I was terrified they would be able to determine that I had not just stepped out of her way, but that I had pushed her—and hard. I was terrified what would happen to my mother when she found out, if this would fray her already deteriorating health.

"No," I concluded, as much for Biz as for myself. "We did the right thing. That house is condemned. No one will ever go inside it. Even if they find her car, they don't have a body. There's no way for them to connect her car to the house."

Biz looked up at me, her enormous brown eyes glazed with tears. "How did this happen?" she sniffed. "I can't believe this is my life."

I plunked down next to her on the bed. "I know. I feel the same way. But we have to keep it together, okay? We have to just find a way to move on and live our lives." It makes me laugh to think I said this once. That I could have been so stupidly optimistic.

Biz nodded, unsure. I thought of the one thing that would cheer her up and stood, making my way over to my closet. I extracted a black quilted bag from the array of designer options haunting its depths and dangled it in front of Biz, tauntingly. "Let's go out. I'll let you borrow Chanel..."

Biz didn't smile. "I dream about her, you know?" she pressed her fists into her eyes and this somehow made her cry harder. "In my dreams, she's always so mad at me."

I returned the Chanel to the closet and sank down next to Biz again, wrapping my arms around her shoulders and telling her it would be okay, even though the next few months would make a mockery out of this promise.



26 comments:

  1. I can't wait to hear more! I love how Elizabeth's story is so twisted..

    sheerluckandpixiedust.blogspot.com

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    Replies
    1. What is refreshing about this blog is that it's a story. Like an actual novel would read. It's not really about love life and going from guy to guy, right now it's really a novel in blog form.

      www.poetsandheartbreakers.com

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    2. I agree with you Sandy. The style makes the story feel like a serialized novel rather than a blog, which is really refreshing.

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  2. I'm dying to know what happened with Campbell.

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  3. Excellent writting Jessica!

    Everytime I see a new post, I get a knot in the pit of my stomach from nerves! I can't what to see what happens next. So excited for your book next year!

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  4. While this post made Elizabeth much more understandable, I still feel so much for peter! Poor guy never had a chance :-/

    Cranberryvodka9.blogspot.com

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  5. Small thing, *Bridget (when E is talking to Biz about the detectives)

    But awesome post! Thank you for posting as always :)

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  6. She doesn't need you to correct her.

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    Replies
    1. I thought I was being polite. I'd want to know if I made a typo

      Some people, I swear

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    2. You *were* being polite; no sweat.

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  7. Every post just gets me more and more excited for your book! Can it be 2015 already?!

    http://tragedytwentysomething.blogspot.com/

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  8. This might be a stretch but I literally just remembered how Elizabeth cheated on Peter with his best friend (according to Josie's understanding at least!)...and Biz's boyfriend here is introducing Peter as his friend...

    Call me crazy, but I'm kind of wondering if this is a hint that the eventual outcome will not just be a betrayal of Peter but also of her best friend, if Biz is still with this guy?

    (Admittedly, it could be a different friend, but it seems like quite the coincidence if so...)

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    1. Peter cheated on Elizabeth first (he never said why) and she in turn cheated on him with his friend. I wouldn't be surprised if somehow this whole Bridget fiasco and Elizabeth's daddy issues is what caused him to cheat. It's not an excuse, but at the same time one has a choice whether or not to treat people a certain way. We all have a choice to go left, right or straight ahead in life. Elizabeth can choose whether or not be a judgmental ice queen. Her being drugged is awful, but she chose to treat people a certain way. So far, I don''t see her feeling like she should have ANY accountability for her actions and how they affect others.

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    2. Yeah, thats fair, I just thought it was interesting that we may have just met the guy she got introduced to. I wasn't really making a comment on whether or not it was right, just that its interesting if it was not only his best friend but also HER best friend's boyfriend, that's all.

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    3. Oops I'm tired, when I wrote "we may have just met the guy she got introduced to" I meant "we may have just met the guy she cheated on him with"

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  9. I really want to know why Bridget did what she did to Elizabeth. Was she just crazy?

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    1. Yeah; anyone who'd drug, kidnap, and imprison someone for days (and this is what we *know* she did; Elizabeth may have had other things done to her that she hasn't related to us yet, besides the chopping off of her hair) - over a grudge involving a cheating boyfriend, no less - that person definitely has a screw loose. Rational thinking people may *daydream* about gruesome retributions like that, but sane people don't follow through and actually commit the crime.

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    2. I wonder that too, I want to know more about Bridget's intentions and who else was behind this, was it something orchestrated? One person doing all this for the heck of it sounds a little extravagant.

      www.poetsandheartbreakers.com

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    3. Can't say this for sure yet, but if Elizabeth does end up cheating with Biz's boyfriend, it could be that she eventually finds out that Biz set her up to go over there, knowing they were going to teach her some kind of lesson. She may have not known what was going to happen, but it wouldn't surprise me if it was a set up/prank by Biz gone horribly wrong.

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  10. Oh my god PLEASE I can't stand the anticipation! This is so good, you keep outdoing yourself, love it!

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  11. This is a really good story, I want to know what happened with that detective. I'm like biting my nails here Jessica. Great post as always!

    http://playingwithwildfire.blogspot.com/

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  12. Ok, I have to say that I loved the use of "nothing-burger". Hilarious!

    Great post, I love this story!

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    Replies
    1. I am insanely hooked to this blog!


      newadventureswithbrenda.blogspot.com
      Stella

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