By, Kelsey Morales | Writer
March 23rd, 2016
“I’m only going to tell you this because I need to tell somebody.”
I jolt my head to face Derek and take in his bloodshot eyes; the way he’s rubbing at the nape of his neck. His hair keeps falling into his eyes, forming a dark brown curtain which he struggles to brush away. The urgency in his tenor voice was nothing like the usual nonchalant act he conveyed.
We’re walking away from the school building and making our way to Elise’s. The little café has been our hang out since we were twelve. We prefer it’s dim lighting and the soft chatter of customers over the bustling shopping center downtown, where seemingly every other teen thrives. We oftentimes tell ourselves we are better off on our own, away from the other kids and their cliques.
Still uneasy at his outburst, I stifle my concern.
“Yeah, okay. You know you can trust me with anything. Who else do you have to whisper your confessions to, anyways?,” I teased.
His hand comes down on my shoulder and spins me toward him. With a glance at his furrowed brows and the dark circles under his eyes, I am forced to admit that something is definitely wrong.
“Cass, I’m being serious. I haven’t slept for days, I can’t eat, I can’t focus, I just… I don’t remember—”
“Derek,what happened? Whatever it is, it can’t be that bad.” How could I not notice? What kind of friend was I? This has obviously been bothering him for days, maybe even weeks.
We had stopped outside an antique shop on the street corner and stood alone on the patio. He drops his hand from my shoulder and runs it through his hair instead. Breathing deeply, he continues, “You know, two weekends ago, how I said I was out of town visiting my brother?”
“Yeah, what about it?,” I asked, shifting my weight from one foot to the other.
“Well, I wasn’t,” he said abruptly. He stared down at me expectantly.
A moment of silence passed between us.
Growing annoyed, I blurted out, “I don’t get it. Derek where were you? Why would you think you’d need to lie to me?”
I stared up at him, but he refused to meet my gaze. I open my mouth to speak, demand that he look me in the eyes and tell me what’s going on, but he interrupts me.
“Cass, I can’t remember any of what happened and all I know is that the next day he was missing and I was the only one with him that night–”
“Who? Derek, what are you saying?” I inquired warily.
“I killed him. I think I killed him,” he choked out.
And that was when my world came crashing down.