Not much to say here. Not necessarily a fanfic, but trying to channel William Faulkner's rambling stream-of-consciousness style. Also this won't be finished here, just a few chapters or so, because someday I hope to publish it.
Nobody sits by Annie when she’s wearing red.
Annie is a wonderful friend. She is always available to give you a ride if you need one or help you complete any number of tasks and she can even tell you when the teacher is looking in your direction so you won’t get caught cheating from her work, and she doesn’t ask for anything in return, at least not directly, and even then only when she’s wearing red. On any other day she’s the center of attention, or at least never alone, because everyone wants to talk to her, and who can blame them? She’s beautiful, Annie, kind of short with black wavy hair, and the kind of smile that could light a room in a power outage if you really needed it to, between two full soft lips all under two deep brown eyes that you could just sit and exist in. She’s a wonderful friend to have. She always knows what advice to give and she can come up to a solution to any problem you could throw at her and she doesn’t ask anything from anyone and she never takes anything unless she’s wearing red. She doesn’t wear red too often. I used to count the days in between, eight, nine, ten, it was usually ten, though once it was twenty and another time it was only two days after the last time she wore red and we didn’t know exactly why so we were all a little more cautious, on account of what happened to Duchamp, the day she hooked up with him in the bathroom at lunch with her red scarf and all and he came out grinning and she looked all casual and as far as we can tell that was the last time any of us saw him, though with Annie there’s no real way to be sure except to trust her, which most of us do, because she’s been there for at least one major event for all of us, and many more than that for most of us. Duchamp hasn’t shown his face around this town since, which I suppose makes sense, since the official last person he had contact with was Annie and she was wearing her red scarf that day, which he didn’t consider because how would he know anyway, he wasn’t really one of her closer friends, he was mostly just a guy who thought Annie was attractive and thought he’d take a swing at her, and we’ve all had those thoughts before, we’ve all just known better than to act upon them with such a sweet friend as Annie, and especially when she’s wearing red. Charles Duchamp was officially reported missing around a week afterwards on account of his mom was a drunk and no one knew his father and you would be lucky to see him around school more than once a week if that and it would be alarmingly easy for him to disappear for a while, which people had assumed he’d done for even a few weeks after he was reported missing, except for me and my friends and Annie and her friends, who had all seen the red scarf and knew that it meant that today was a dangerous day to be a friend of Annie’s, and we would be a lot safer if we would limit our contact with her for just that day, and tomorrow things would continue on as they normally would and we could forget all about it until the next day we saw her wearing red. It’s easy to forget about it sometimes, because she’s such a wonderful girl, so beautiful and kind and smart and funny too—but it’s always at the back of your head, and you can force it away but it will come back and remind you that it’s there and we can’t get rid of it at all. It usually comes when she wears red. She doesn’t wear red very often, but when she does what she’s really doing is sending a message, which is really more like a warning that tells us that she needs something, and she knows that as her friends and especially considering all that she’s done for us that we would do anything to help her but the something that she needs is a something that we aren’t sure we can afford to give to her.
And that’s why nobody sits by Annie when she’s wearing red.
Nobody’s gone missing in a while, but we’re all aware of the possibility. Any contact with her when she’s wearing red is dangerous, because if she’s wearing enough red, that is to say metaphorically, if she needs it too badly, it’s dangerous to even look her in the eye sometimes, because you never really know what she could be doing at any given time even if you think you do, like when you’re talking to her you could actually be following her somewhere and you wouldn’t realize it until it’s too late, or at least we assume it’s too late, we’re not really sure what happens then. But we’re sure of one thing, and that’s that we could probably go our whole lives without finding out and that would be just fine with us. Some days she has someone take her phone because she’s afraid of texting us. It’s usually me; actually it’s always me, and that’s weird to me because I’m not one of the absolute closest people to her. Maybe that’s why it’s me, because maybe she knows that I won’t just give the phone back to her if she asks me nicely, or maybe it’s because I only have the two or three classes with her per quarter as opposed to her closer friends who have almost every class with her, but either way it doesn’t make sense to me because what can you do in a text besides talk? But there’s a lot about Annie I don’t understand, and that’s just fine with me, because after what happened to Schmoozy Suzi a year or so ago I won’t be taking any unnecessary chances.
Annie tells us her name is actually Aeone, and we have no trouble believing that. She won’t tell us where she’s from, though it doesn’t seem to come up in conversation much, but the name Aeone sounds Greek to me and she’s pretty pale so I don’t know maybe she’s from Greece. She also tells us she’s seventeen but given what we know about her and who she is that doesn’t seem likely to us, or at least to me, but I trust her, Annie, because she’s never been anything but nice to me and she’s never done anything but good for me, except for if she had what she might have had to do with Suzi a year or so ago but even then it’s not as if me or anyone else hasn’t realized what could happen or wondered if it already has and they just don’t know about it yet, even if we did forget about all of the times she’s reminded us to keep people we know away from her when she’s wearing red.
Her personal life isn’t really something we discuss very much, and that always seemed weird to me so I keep trying to remind myself to as her about herself but I always seem to forget by the time I talk to her next. Just the other day I wrote myself a to do list in my planner for the day and just for no reason at all I wrote down, ask Annie about herself, and I looked at it before and after every class that day and every day besides and I got to lunch and sat down with the intention of following through but by the time I had the opportunity to say anything I had completely forgotten. I remember her looking at me like she was surprised that day too, but I can’t remember why. Actually that whole conversation is mostly blank to me, though I think we talked about the school’s football team and cheerleaders and things and I remember Lissie asking me if I had a date to Homecoming and I said no, not yet, but I’m looking and open-minded. I don’t remember if anyone said anything back and sometimes I wonder if I even said it at all. Having Annie as a friend is weird like that because you can never be sure of anything when she’s involved but at the same time you can’t help but trust her because she’s such a wonderful friend, Annie is, and no matter where you go it’s hard to find as good a friend as she is. But it’s weird.
A lot of times I wonder if it’s weird for everyone else in the group. Most of us except for me and like only a handful of others are girls, so maybe it’s a girl thing—well obviously it’s mostly an Annie thing because I’m absolutely certain that she’s the only one like her around but either way maybe it’s easier for girls to relate. I sure as hell can’t relate but I’m not a girl so maybe that means something.