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The Sleepover

The Sleepover

Aug 29, 2022

It was a lovely day when I woke up. The sun was shining through my curtain, and no clouds in sight. For some, this meant the beginning of a great day. For me, not particularly. 

Trent was still missing when I got to school. We would later find out he was dead. But for now, he was just absent. He could be late or sick or simply taking the day off, it didn’t matter. How could anyone die on such a beautiful day? 

Josh approaches me in the hallway. His signature varsity jacket was covering a black t-shirt tucked into a pair of blue jeans. 

“Hey, have you seen Trent?”  

“I thought he was with you," I said. 

“What? I haven’t seen him since the game.”  

“Don’t you have a party after?” 

“Yea, he said he was meeting you.” 

I shrug confused, he didn’t. We spoke Saturday morning, he was getting ready for the game, and that’s the last I’ve heard of him. I assumed he got too drunk after and fell asleep, but I thought I’d be seeing him today. 

Josh ends up telling me about the game and tries to make some small talk after, but we both know it’s weird with just the two of us. His next stop will be next to all the other varsity-wearing students, and he wishes me a good day before heading there. I watch them for a while before the bell rings. With one of them missing, it feels less proper than usual. 

The hallway slowly becomes empty, except for a girl standing in the middle of hall B. It takes me a while to understand who it is, and I don’t think I’d recognize myself if it wasn’t for the necklace I always wear. My feet are moving, but I’m not following them, like a ghost watching from the outside. When I finally get to class, I still feel like I’m not there. I’m still standing in the hall, waiting for Trent to walk through the main door. 

“This is an announcement from your principal.” 

My thoughts are interrupted by Mrs Nicholas's pre-recorded voice, unaware of what’s about to be announced. 

“It is with deep sorrow that I inform you that our dear student Trent Miller passed away this weekend. We ask you to cooperate with the police for the next few days, and the counsellor's office will be open daily for the rest of the week. May he rest in peace.” 

By the end of the announcement, all eyes were on me. I didn’t prepare a reaction, but everyone was clearly waiting for it. Should I cry, I wonder as I look around uncomfortably. It doesn’t feel real, noothing does. It’s like I haven’t woken up yet. 

A knock on the door calls me to the principal's office, and the teacher gives me an approving nod. I follow Mrs Nicholas down the hallway and tell her I’m okay when she asks. She gives me a pitiful smile. 

I’ve been to the principal’s office exactly two times, the day before my first day of school and the day my boyfriend died. The office is still the same, despite the first time being four years ago. Brown furniture surrounded by beige walls, countless books on the shelves that I doubt anyone has read. In the middle is a desk framed by two chairs and an armchair. 

“You can sit.” An officer points me to the wood chair. 

He sits on the other side of the table, in the big leather seat. Placed directly in front of me, a small notebook with some names on it. Katie, Emily, Josh, Tyler, Dylan.   

“You have nothing to worry about, I’m just trying to gather as much about Trent as possible.” he assures me, and I nod “Did he have many friends?” 

“He was quite popular, I’d say.” 

“Anyone that didn’t like him?” I shrug. 

“No one comes to mind.” 

“Where does he usually hang out?” 

“People usually go to his house. His parents travel a lot.” 

He writes something in his notebook, placing it specifically at an angle I can’t read. It could be about Trent, it could be a list of suspects where I’m number 1. Whatever it was, he made sure I wouldn’t know. 

“Where were you Saturday, between 8 and 10pm?” I frown. 

“I… thought this was to get to know Trent.” 

“Just a standard question.” 

“I was at a friend’s house, I slept there.” 

“What’s their name?” 

“Jada. Jada Williams.” 

He adds Jada to the list of names before thanking me for my time. I give him a nod and a straight smile before heading to the bathroom. My reflection isn’t worthy of the occasion, I don’t look heartbroken enough. 

I catch a glimpse of Emily as she heads to the office. Even though she and Trent broke up 2 years ago, she's the perfect example of what a widow should look like. The tears down her cheeks glued her hair to her face along with some remains of mascara smudged under her eyes. 

I make my way outside, preparing to walk home. I’ve had enough for today, and the least I want is to go back to a classroom full of questions and people trying to cheer me up. I’m sure the teachers will understand. 

My house is downtown, about a 20-minute walk. When we first moved here, she was concerned she’d get robbed on her way home, so she decided to work overtime every day. That way, she doesn’t have to walk past the sketchy buildings next to ours or see her daughter.  

Trent lived on the nice side of town. Not that it mattered, since he’d drive home anyway. He was nice enough to drive me home most of the time, even before we got together. He didn’t want anything bad happening to me, but I guess he picked the wrong person to worry about. 

I take the key out of my bag and open the door but pushing on top with your hand would do the same. The lift is still broken. Luckily for me, I only live on the third floor, so this isn’t my biggest worry now. 

I walk inside my flat and leave the shoes by the door. I head towards the kitchen and take a bite of an apple, my first meal of the day, before going to my room. The floor feels cold against my bare feet, and it’s actually relaxing. 

I pull the curtains on my bedroom before I lay down. In a way, I was jealous of Trent. He’d never have to do any of this again. 

Before I can get to sleep, my phone rings in my phone. I unlock the screen to see a call from Jada. She asks how I am and tells me how much she’s missing me during lunchtime. I lie and say I’m doing okay. She says she was planning on coming over after school, and I say I’d rather be alone. She understands, as always. 

“Listen, about Saturday. You think they’ll question me?” she asks. 

“Probably, you’re kind of my alibi.” 

“But I fell asleep so early, I barely remember you there.” 

“It’s our monthly sleepover! Where else would I be?” I hear her smile through the phone, and I know she believes me. 

Hopefully, they’ll believe her too. 

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