Monday, March 16
I often wished Joanna Dereks would get hit by a car until the day it actually happened. She came to me in my dreams night after night over the weekend, only I didn’t know it was her until this morning when Principal Matthews came into class with the announcement. Hit and run, he said. Joanna had been walking home from a friend’s house late Friday night when she was hit by a car and left for dead on the side of the road. A paperboy found her early Saturday on his morning route. Joanna was a bitch but that doesn’t justify her death. She had friends, mostly out of fear and intimidation. I’d known her since kindergarten but fortunately, I wasn’t cool enough to be selected as her friend. She’d ignore and bump into me, as if I was a piece of furniture in her way. I was just grateful she didn’t consider me prey, more for her sake than mine. Principal Matthews assured us Joanna died instantly and didn’t feel pain, which I knew to be false. As he continued to relay details of the investigation, while passing out hotline flyers telling us who to call if we know anything, flashbacks from my dreams began playing out.
The wind nipping at her ears, hands buried in her armpits for warmth. It was black, pure solid darkness, causing her to increase her stride down the street. She hears a roar in the distance but sees nothing when she looks back. The roar becomes a vibration and without notice, she’s shoved in the back by a thick layer of metal, pushing her to the ground. Before she can lift her head up, it’s smacked back down as her body is flattened to the ground. An intense line of pain sparks up her spine and immediately turns numb. Her chest hurts, she can’t breathe. Her eyes are blurred from the hit but she hears a car door and footsteps heading towards her. She tries to call out but no sound comes out. She begs God for life and questions him when she no longer hears footsteps but rather a car driving away. She lies there for what seems an eternity, scared and alone. She’s tired and gives in to sleep only to never awake again.
The premonition stirred queasiness in the pit of my stomach. I barely made it out of the classroom before lunging towards a trashcan and vomiting over empty milk cartons and soda bottles. I hate this “gift”, as my mum would have called it.
Tuesday, March 17
Joanna’s still being a pain in my subconscious, refusing to let me relax during sleep. I want to tell her there’s nothing I can do or say that will help catch her killer. I’m not a psychic genie with unlimited abilities. I see things, feel emotions and warnings but not at my control.
I’d go crazy if weren’t for the juicy eye candy I’ve been partnered up with in Chemistry. Tyler Jacks, oh hot and sweet Tyler. Considering the fact my knowledge of Chemistry is shorter than my index finger, it helps that this beauty has brains and can walk me through our mundane and repetitive experiments. Science failed to cure the cancer from my mother’s body and since then I’ve failed to find any significance in periodic tables, hybrids and equations. Before today, I never said more than two words to him. Her voice is smooth like jazz and intoxicating. I had to remind myself to answer him when he asked a question instead of daydreaming about what our future babies would look like. He touched my arm but instead of feeling giddy with butterflies as I normally do, I felt sick and weak. A hot guy gives me attention and I want to throw up.
Wednesday, March 18
First night Joanna didn’t grace me with her presence; however, her killer did and now I’d do anything to have her back in my dreams.
He’s driving fast and erratically without his lights on. His breath, reeking of alcohol and cigarettes, leaves a taste of disgust in the air. He’s angry and repeatedly slams his hand on the steeling wheel, causing the truck to swerve. He notices it’s unusually dark but doesn’t think to turn his lights on. Leaning back into his seat, he relaxes his hand on the wheel and briefly shuts his eye. The gravel smacking against his tires warns him but it’s not till he feels a bump and then another that he’s startled and awake. He leaves the engine on and opens the driver’s side door. It’s a ways to the ground and he stumbles, barely catching himself. Holding onto the truck, he makes his way to the back and hears a moan. There’s a girl on the ground bleeding. She’s not moving and her bones are sticking out. He doesn’t know what happened but knows he caused it. He scurries back into his truck and drives off. What the hell has he done?
The vision, so powerful and strong disturbed me to new extremes. I don’t know who killed Joanna but I know he’s a heartless, coward. I woke up in tears, mourning Joanna and the cruelty life hit her with.
Thursday, March 19
I know the pathetic scum who took a life away and secured his own. High school boys are a lot of things but ‘killer’ isn’t one I’d use to describe them, unless he’s the topic of discussion.
I was in Chemistry, aka ‘Heaven’, sitting next to the love of my life. He got up from his desk and his sweater fell on the ground. I picked up the sweater and went to hand it to him when my palm touched his. The smell of alcohol choked me. I looked in his eyes and saw what he was capable of.
He’s always been the good child who scored excellent grades, chiseled looks and athletic talents. Girls came and went but on his time and the last time he asked his parents for something and was denied remains unknown. Yes, he’s Mr. Perfect until now. Now, there’s a girl dead and it’s his fault. He’s remorseful but not enough to come clean with his sins. This accident will blow over and one day he’ll be able to wake up and not think about Joanna.
His thoughts froze me in place, so much he asked me if I was okay five times before I could respond. I released my grip on his sweater and backed up. I ran out of the classroom, confused as what to do. Tyler killed Joanna and I refuse to let him get away with it.
Friday, March 20
I called the hotline at two o’clock this the morning. My disgust with Tyler and sense of responsibility for Joanna made it impossible to sleep. I grabbed the flyer Principal Matthews had passed around. Being early morning, the hotline went straight to voicemail. Using a husky voice for disguise, I spoke into the phone and recorded how Tyler was seen out drinking and driving the night Joanna was killed. I told the voicemail how Tyler had mentioned he was in an accident, which impacted his front bumper and passenger-side tires. His truck is all the evidence they needed to tie him to Joanna. By noon today, the news broadcasted that a prime suspect in Joanna’s death had been identified and was currently in custody.
It doesn’t feel as good as I’ve imagined it to be. My first time catching a killer and all I can think about is how Joanna’s still dead. The little control I have is far less than life’s tight hold on us. Tyler’s parents will most likely buy his freedom and in no time, he’ll be out, trying to forget it ever happened. I will never forget and as long as he’s alive, he can rest assured Rory Mae will be watching him. Yes, I’ll be watching him because Joanna no longer has to. We all have our secrets but when they become deadly, they’re no longer given the right to be kept hidden.