Chapter 5 (Revised)

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Chapter 5: Jason

"Still no word from Andy? He's going to be mad that he's missing American Pie." David said as he took a bite of the pepperoni pizza slice. The seven of us were almost done watching the first movie of the night, but you can tell everyone wasn't into it. Nobody has heard from Andy and he was sort of like the glue that held us together. All of us knew each other from last year. Well except for Kevin and Shantel. Kevin was a freshman who worked and befriend Crystal this year. Shantel was friends with David and Rita last year. We all knew about David's crush on Shantel and usually Andy would spearhead the jokes about it.

"No," I said checking my phone. "Maybe he went home for the weekend and something came up?" I offered.

"I feel like he would've said something by now though, but maybe you're right." David replied.

"Maybe you should call him again." Shantel said. I could see why David had a crush on her. I've only known her for a few weeks since we started having movie nights here. She was taller than Rita, but shorter than Crystal. I have never seen her frown, she was one of those people who was always happy. Even now she had a smile that lit up the room like how David described. She was too spiritual for me though, Rita, too. Religion didn't make sense to me. There is no logic to it and it's one of the reasons why I was fighting with my parents now. They raised my sister and I to be Catholics, but last year I denounced my faith. Andy was there for me during that time as my parents saw me as a disappointment now, despite my achievements as a chemistry student. I didn't have too many friends here on campus, in fact I did depend on everyone in this room. This year, they were my family now, I didn't have anyone else.

"He's fine, guys. I'm sure he'll turn up when he's ready." Manny said, with that smirk on his face. I don't know who was worse Shantel or him. At least her's was pretty.

"Manny's right. There is no use worrying about it. He knows where we are and already picked the movies last week. I think he's avoiding Dorothy." Crystal said. She was sitting by Manny and I never noticed, but they were the same height. Just a little taller than me, which made me think about how my own height has been changing.

"She hasn't heard from him either?" I asked taking another bite from my own slice which was still hot that it burned my tongue. Shantel had made the pizzas for the movie night tonight. "Are they fighting or something?"

"Who knows?" Kevin said with his mouth full and you could see him chewing it. One of the things I've learned about him was that he didn't care about what people thought. I could hear mi madre scolding him in my head. "She thinks he's cheating on her with some girl named..."

"Bianca." Crystal finished his sentence as he swallowed. "I told her Andy wouldn't do that to her and that she doesn't know him."

"I hate her." I said. Dorothy was suitemates with Crystal last year when we started having movie nights on Fridays. She was annoying with her elitist attitude and didn't look cute to me. I didn't see what Andy saw in her.

"Well, hate is a strong word." Rita said. "I know she's annoying, but at least we know she cares about him being missing."

"Well, I mean it. I never liked her and I only tolerate her for Andy's sake." I said.

"And I appreciate it." Andy's voice just appeared out of nowhere from behind all of us. Everyone turned to see him as he stood behind the couch that David, Shantel, and Rita were sitting on. He looked liked he was still wearing his dracula costume from the party. His face looked tired and his eyes were saddened. His hands were clasped behind his head and it looked as if he had been crying.

"Where did you come from?" Manny asked. "I didn't hear you come in."

Andy looked at Manny and then scanned the room. His face changing from sadness to pure shock. "You, you can see me?"

"Of course we can see you!" Crystal said

"Where the hell have you been?"I asked.

Andy backed up and looked around. "Oh, no, no, no. I didn't know. You can all see me?" Everyone nodded in their own way. I couldn't help but feel happy, but there was a sudden coldness in the room.

"Why do you keep asking that?" I asked. My phone started buzzing and soon after that, one by one, everybody's phone started buzzing. Nobody checked to see why. There wasn't any weather or amber alerts so everyone went to hug Andy. I shook his hand and gave him a half hug. He was cold to the touch, the same cold I felt in the room earlier. He felt, different. He didn't even feel solid more like a brush of wind like if you could touch the air being blown from a fan.

"I've been trying to find help, but at first I thought people were just ignoring me. I went to the police, my home, everywhere to get help. This was the only other place I could think of was coming here and none of you noticed until you started talking about me."

"The police? What's going on? What do you mean nobody would help you?" Manny asked taking lead.

"Something happened to me and Bianca on Halloween." He said looking down. "I think we were both raped."

The room went silent and I could hear the girls say "oh my god." Crystal hugged him first.

"And the police didn't take your response?" Crystal asked. "We can get one of the rape centers to help, get those fuckers to help." Crystal was probably the quickest to get angry. Especially when it came to social injustice and rape. I didn't know what to say to myself. All this time we all knew something was out of the ordinary. I don't think any of us were expecting this. I didn't know how to help, but I wanted to. He was one of my best friends and I feel it's my responsibility to help him. Crystal suggestion sounded reasonable, if the police didn't believe him then get the centers.

"Crystal's right, but you said they ignored you? And your family?" Manny asked.

"There may be a reason for that." We all turned to Kevin. He didn't have that smug look on his face that he usually did. In fact he looked almost pale. He held out his phone towards us and he was staring at Andy like he's never seen him before. If I didn't know better I would think he was afraid.

"A reason other than the police are a bunch of assholes?" Crystal asked. Crossing her arms and leered at Kevin.

I went to look at what Kevin had on his phone. My heart almost stopped as I continued to read the email from our dean.

"On Thursday November 2nd, 20--, I formally regret to inform our community that the body of Andy Bacon was found in the Bates Motel. This is the fifth victim of a series of suicides. The police are investigating if there is foul play involved. Our thoughts are with the Bacon family and if there are any students who were closed to Andy, we urged them to seek counseling which will be offered by our own Health services." 

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