Chapter 43. Head Over Heels

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None of this would've happened if I hadn't been so bored. The way I see it now, I could've gone in one of two paths, the first being the obvious one: wait for something major to happen and sink into a murder mystery I wouldn't live to see the end of. The second? I could've gotten help.

Life wasn't supposed to be as dark as it came off to me. I know that now. My hatred for mall trips and teen parties didn't have to be as bad as it was. Not everything was meant to leave a lasting impression, and not everything was meant to change my life.

I could've changed my life, or my attitude. I chose the former. And as I lay drenched in a pit of formerly warm blood turned freezing by the icy winds, I understood that may not have been the best idea.

Then again, my attitude never changed, and though I was scared, the prospects of leaving a life I never held too dear wasn't outright terrible.


I'll take it from the beginning, again.

October 2nd, I dub it my first conscious choice to stray from everything good. It didn't seem like it at the time, Mount St. Helens could put us knee-deep in lava, and I'd just be happy something "new" happened.

At noon, there was nothing new about October 2nd. Tavi and Fay wanted to sit and watch the snowfall, so we ate our lunch in my car. I sat in the backseat with Fay, who was viciously slurping her water in a bottle brought from home. Tavi sat in the front, looking through my glove compartment while I anxiously watched.

"Hey, Marsh. What's this?" Tavi wondered, having picked up my carefully hidden notebook, now flipping through it, "are you writing a book on Tankman?"

A mean little laugh had already escaped Fay's mouth before I could give an explanation.

"I just wrote down everything I found out about it," I said, "it was sort of a... hobby, you know, back in the summer."


I shrugged.

"I guess I needed something to do."

I hadn't thought of Tankman in weeks. Now that it crossed my mind, I longed for the days Tankman was the word on everyone's lips, and my heart beat faster each time someone said it.

"That's cute, Marcia," Fay commented, she knew belittlement would shut me up long enough for her to change the subject, "hey, you guys. Remember that guy with the Trotsky hair? He's having a party at his dorm tonight."

"Shit!" Tavi squealed, "are you gonna go?"

"Duh, I'm like the only high schooler invited."

I was barely paying attention, but something about Fay's plans didn't sound right. Then I remembered:

"Hey! You're coming over to my house tonight!" I reminded Fay, looking up at her wiping her hands on the seat, "we were gonna have that sleepover we've been talking about."

"Can't we do it next weekend?"

"No, my parents are gone this weekend, remember? I already paid Isaac to stay at a friend's tonight."

Obviously, Fay hadn't forgotten but was probably hoping I had. And, obviously, she was utterly unwilling to change her plans now.

"You can come with if you want," Fay bargained, "jungle juice and college guys, it'll be fun!"

"How can you think these things are fun?" I retorted, "all parties are the same, all we ever do is exactly the same."

Fay and Tavi's mouths closed in unison, both were hesitant, both kept themselves from saying something they knew better than to say.

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