October 2, 2014

Elizabeth's Story

by Jessica Knoll

Two of my roommates were watching TV when I walked into the house. "Where's Biz?" I demanded.

"Napping," Anna replied without looking away from the TV. The 5 o'clock news was on, the top story—of course—Bridget Mason. The reporter was standing at the edge of Geneva Lake, reporting live from the spot where her car had been dredged from the water.

I punched the power button with my fist and the screen blinked black. "What the hell?" Anna cried. I stomped up the stairs, ignoring her. I was so sick of hearing about Bridget Mason.

Biz's door was shut, the strip at the bottom dark. I barged in and flicked on the lights. The lump in the bed moved, Biz dragging the back of her hand across her eyes. Her hair was matted to the side of her face. "Turn it off," Biz groaned, flopping back down in bed and pulling her duvet—a Lilly Pulitzer acid trip of pink and green and orange—over her eyes. I tried to coach Biz into a more urban, subdued style when she first moved to New York—the finance dude bros Biz had her eye on weren't going to fuck her in khakis and a salmon colored polo—but it never quite took. Biz had country club wife embedded in her DNA.

I slammed her door behind me so hard I heard Anna let out a startled yelp downstairs. "I know why you and Bridget hated each other," I said through my teeth.

Biz was sitting up now, her eyes wide and alert. "What are you talking about?" she asked, quietly. I knew what she was thinking—play dumb, she might not know the whole story. But I did, and then some.

"Apparently Bridget has some hoarding tendencies," I said, "because she kept that note from you from freshman year. The one where you told her you couldn't do it."

I could practically hear Biz's heart racing in her chest. "How do you know about that?"

"I'm asking the questions here," I said. "What the hell went on freshman year—and who else knows about this?"

Biz drew her knees to her chest and wrapped her arms around her shins, compacting herself into a little ball. "I only agreed because I didn't know you."

"Agreed to what?" I stamped my foot, impatiently. "Fucking start talking, Biz."

"Alright!" Biz snapped, kicking her legs out in front of her like an angry toddler. "Stop ordering me around!" She took a deep breath and then basically followed my orders: She started talking.

"Bridget was on my floor freshman year. She was a bitch, but she liked me and she was funny," Biz shrugged. "I guess I have a best friend type."

"Everyone knew who you were," she continued. "But of course you didn't know any of us. You didn't deign to speak to any other first years," she rolled her eyes. Smithson insists on calling freshmen first years, because freshmen is "exclusionary" to women. "Oh for chrissake," my father barked when a professor corrected him at one point during his first and last parent's weekend visit.

"So you decided to set me up to get raped because the older girls liked me and you were jealous?" I snorted.

Biz actually laughed at that. "See, there's where you're wrong. Those girls did not like you."

"No one actually likes me, Biz," I sighed, frustrated that she would think I was that naive. "They liked a lot of things about me—my car, my money, my parent's apartment where I could throw them their stupid birthday parties with all the Dom they could drink. But the reason they welcomed me into their fold is because they were afraid of me. That's better than liking me."

Biz shook her head. "It wasn't you they were afraid of."

I folded my arms across my chest. "Then who was it they were afraid of?"

Biz had an apologetic look on her face, like she felt really bad about telling me the next part. "Abby," she whispered.

I stuck out my chin. "Abby?" I repeated, incredulously. "What does she have to do with anything?"

"She was friends with a few of the older girls that you were friends with—or, well, thought you were friends with. Girls from Rye, who she went to high school with before, you know...she ended up in jail."

That was a punch to the gut. I hated the idea that all this time I was hanging out with these people—Biz, Bridget, these older birds, that they all knew about Abby and my brother. It was a grossly intimate piece of my past, and I should have been the one to control the conversation about it. Not Bridget or anyone else.

That said, I still didn't understand why anyone would be afraid of Abby. Biz read the look on my face and continued, "Remember the whole Seneca Sorority Sisters thing? That one girl died and the other was paralyzed from that hazing incident? The reason they shut down all the sororities?"

I pinched my eyebrows together in that way that always makes my mother threaten to drag me to her dermatologist for Botox injections. I had no idea where this was going. "Yeah? So? What about it?"

"That happened right before we got here. And some of the girls who were responsible for it were friends with Abby. One of them told her about it—like thinking she was just confiding to a friend. But you know what Abby did?"

I shrugged. "What?"

"She went to her lawyers. And she said she had key information in the Seneca Sorority Sister case, and asked if she could share it in exchange for a reduced sentence."

That certainly didn't sound like the Abby I remembered. Abby was loyal and loving, but I guess when you're a prissy girl in a big scary jail, probably giving head to the biggest butch in your unit just to survive, you'll do about anything to get out. Even turn on your friends.

"But, clearly," I said, "she didn't." No one had ever been prosecuted for what happened to those two girls. Both freshmen. Excuse me—first years. It had been a horrible thing. Kappa Kappa Gamma was the sister sorority to Phi Kappa, the fraternity favored by Smithson's ice hockey players. Every year, the pledges were ordered to borrow a hockey bag from their brothers and meet on the pier at the edge of the lake. There, they were zipped in—the bags the perfect fit for ice hockey sticks and anorexic sorority hopefuls—before being rolled into the lake. Like fucking Houdini, they were somehow supposed to work themselves free of the bag and swim to the surface. This had been tradition for a quarter of a century, and I'm honestly shocked it took that long for someone to drown and for the other to hit a rock, sharp as an ice pick, on her way down, severing her spine.

"Personally, I think she was bluffing," Biz said. "I don't think she ever had any intention of ratting her friends out. Not because she was a good person or anything," Biz shook her head, like that couldn't be possible, "but because she knew it wouldn't get her what she wanted. But she dangled it over them, for sure. Made them do her bidding."

I suddenly felt exhausted. I sat down on the edge of Biz's bed. "And I was her bidding?"

Biz bit her lower lip and nodded. "She kept tabs on you, you know. She knew you were coming to Smithson for college, I'm not sure how"—

"My father always talked about me going here," I said, wryly. "Said he wasn't going to go broke trying to get me into an Ivy League."

"Your dad's a dick," Biz said.

"It's his most endearing quality," I agreed.

"Anyway," Biz smoothed out her offensively bright duvet, "that's why Bridget came here. And it was serendipitous in a way—Abby already had her little minions here, you were accepted, and they sought you out from day one."

"But you pulled out," I said.

Biz wouldn't look at me. "I got a little drunk on the attention from Bridget and those girls. And you were easy to hate when I didn't know you. I thought it was all old fashioned mean girl shenanigans. But then when I heard what they wanted to do, and when I got to know you, I just couldn't do it."

"So you're not a sociopath," I said, "that solves the first problem I had. The second is that"—I was just about to tell her that the police now think she is somehow involved, when Anna started calling from downstairs that there was someone at the door for me.

"Hold on," I said to Biz. I got up and opened the door. "I'm busy!" I shouted back at her.

"I really think you should come down here!" she called back.

I rolled my eyes and made my way to the stairs. With each descending step, my bitch attitude dissipated. Campbell was standing in the frame of the door.

"I have some more questions for you," he said as I stopped at the bottom of the stairs.

I held out my arms. "I'm an open book."

He didn't smile. "Not here," he turned on his heel. "Down at the station."

"Again?" I groaned. I quickly grabbed the coat I had flung on the couch when I first walked in, shrugging it on as I stepped outside.

The first indication that Campbell was lying was that he was behind the wheel of his spiffy little Saab, not the squad car. The second was when I climbed into the passenger seat and Campbell began to drive, in the opposite direction of the station.

31 comments:

  1. Ah! I like Campbell but what is he up to?

    http://tragedytwentysomething.blogspot.com/

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  2. I am actually a little confused about the Abby and Bridget scenario that happened in this post. Can anyone who gets it please explain it to me? Thanks!

    And thanks Jessica for the post :)

    www.poetsandheartbreakers.com

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    1. Also a bit confused. I thought she mixed the names up at first but I'm not sure

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    2. Agreed. I think it was just a mix-up. Abby was the one that threatened to rat out her friends, not Bridget.

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    3. Glad I'm not the only one I think she messed the names up I am really confused now, kinda ruined the post

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    4. I just reread it and it looks like she fixed the names....

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    5. Chris - @nylonlover69 on TwitterOctober 2, 2014 at 2:57 PM

      Lol, Keep up, ya'll!

      From the last post: "Bridget was Abby's younger sister, that my brother had dated Abby and gotten into a terrible car accident with her that had killed him and landed Abby in jail. That Bridget obviously hated me for the witch hunt my parents had orchestrated..."

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    6. Chris, that would have been extremely helpful, had the names not been confused in the original posting.

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    7. Chris yeah I got that from a couple posts back, but there was some confusion in this post apart from that, which I also thought was in the names, or what I was understanding in the story.

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  3. So good!!!!!! Campbell is so hawt!!!

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  4. this Abby/Bridget thing is giving me a headache. why did Bridget go to the lawyers to try to get a lighter sentence? she was never in jail?

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    1. Chris - @nylonlover69 on TwitterOctober 2, 2014 at 2:58 PM

      Did the names get changed to protect the innocent? It was Abby that went to the police.

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  5. I'm so lost and confused by this post. What the heck was this about Bridget, Abbey and Biz?

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    1. She mixed up the names at first, saying that Bridget went to the police, but it was Abby. :)

      Abby was keeping tabs on Elizabeth, via Bridget and her "minions" (the older girls that Elizabeth was hanging out with freshman year). They all orchestrated getting Elizabeth drunk and roofied, then were going to leave her at a party to get raped in revenge for Abby getting put in jail. But Biz had a change of heart and got her home safely instead. Abby was able to get them to do what she wanted because they were involved in the death of a girl during hazing, and she threatened to sell them out if they didn't, in return for a lighter sentencing.

      I feel like I didn't do a great job at explaining it, hopefully it helps though! :)

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    2. Actually that helps a lot! Thanks! All these people need to see a psychologist, lol, they have issues haha. I guess that's what makes it an amazing story line!

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    3. Phoenix, THANK YOU! I was lost, but your explanation helped a ton!

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    4. original poster here. thank you phoenix for clarifying! you're explanation was awesome and so helpful:)

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  6. Okay can I just take a minute to express that Campbell is definitely a favorite here, there's just something about him.

    http://lifeistooshorttakeitwithagrainofsalt.blogspot.com/
    http://playingwithwildfire.blogspot.com/

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    1. Yes! Was waiting thru the whole post just for the mention of his name. It was a long post, but ended too quickly! lol

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  7. Love this whole storyline!

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  8. Excellent writing! This story is much darker than what I usually read, but you are brilliant. Just when I think I know what's coming, the next post throws me!


    http://cooking2worlds.blogspot.com/

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  9. Loving the back story - cannot wait to see what happens with Campbell now....

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  10. I'm loving Campbell :) can't wait to hear what happens between the two of them!

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  11. Great post! can't wait for the hot and heavy stuff with these two.....

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  12. Wow! I can't wait to learn more!!

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