"If we could go on a trip when summer comes around...where would you like to go?". The voice was friendly and inviting, slowly reaching out to the individual across from them. "If I had to choose... I honestly wouldn't know where to go... but... I know if you are with me...I would be happy".
"Valie!...are you falling asleep?" Arela shook Valie as she was dozing off. "We were talking about the season finale, what do you think is going to happen?". Valie stretched as she lay on her stomach, smiling and giggling as the group went on, then, Lily interrupted. Everyone immediately got quiet "Hey...the serial killer on the news, why do you think they do it?", Lily speculated as she chewed on rainbow candy ropes. The group was hesitant, but they didn't feel bad or guilty to talk about the subject. It was as if the event was distant, almost like a blur, or at least part of a weird reality. Of course, it was sad to lose the young girls who did not deserve to die in such a horrific manner, but, the style in which they had died was such an anomaly that...it made them curious. "Maybe...the killer has a thing for models, young girls, or he just likes pretty girls", Arela questioned, as she laid on her back next to Valerian, who was wide awake now. Rosie braided her hair as she was deep in thought, then a question popped into her, "Are we sure that the killer is...you know...a man?".
The group was now questioning their ideas on why the suspect's motives. Alex chimed in, "You could be right, like...with what is being reported and with multiple forums online following these cases, people say that there was no trauma towards any ...orifice?", his eyes darted away,"...and, um...no traces of fluids... But, also all the victims were carried to the top of a building in their respective towns, all wore extravagant clothes with a corset, and all posing to show the dresses each wore. Honestly, I don't know what any of this means." Alex rocked back and forth on the bean bag chair, looking at the ceiling, and his foot getting close to Lily's.
Lily, quickly began to swing her feet as she sat on her bed, giving her thoughts on the manner, "Well, they could still be a man who is not interested in...uh..intercourse. Or a woman who...wait a minute, are there no surveillance cameras where the victims were dropped off?'", Lily questioned. Everyone was silent as they tried to remember, and finally, someone spoke up. "There are, but like, there is no one that seems out of place, there are no people who look alike when comparing footage, some of the footage is just a grainy mess, and some people are wearing face coverings", Valie listed as Rosie heard a ding on her phone. "Oh, speaking of face masks, the cute ones I ordered just arrived", the group stared at her as if they were suspicious," What? I know they are no longer mandatory, but like...I still like them, don't act like yall don't," Rosie pouted as the group laughed and agreed, knowing that at least once, each one had bought a specific one to go with an outfit.
The group laid in a circle on the floor, Valerian next to Rosie, then Arela, Alex, and then Lily who was next to Valerian. Rosie reached towards the purple ceiling that was covered in glow-in-the-dark stars, The group was falling asleep, but she managed to keep them up for a little more in the now dark room. "Hey, can we make up a name for the serial murderer...I know it sounds a bit morbid, but let's give them something only we know about". There was some murmuring, but Valie decided to keep quiet. Her mind did wonder as she waited. What would they do if she was found out, would they still talk to her, still call her a friend, but they were choosing a name for her? The more she pondered, the more she questioned. It's wishful thinking to have them remain the same when she had so much blood on her hands, but, she could never ask for forgiveness. That was something she refused to ever do.
The seconds turned to hours in Valerian's mind, but, Rosie decided to start, "Corset?", she whispered as Lily immediately spoke out after her," Killer". The group was quiet, then a burst of laughter erupted from each one. It sounded childish, and simple, yet, it oddly described the killer in a minimalist sort of way. The group calmed down and the last one to say anything was Valerian. "I got to say it....It's perfect".
The group began to drift into sleep, the room becoming closer and closer as each wrapped themselves tighter in their blankets or sleeping bags. But Valerian was still awake. Tears that she held, escaped her tear ducts and rolled into the crevices of her ear. She didn't know what this feeling was. It was like she was grateful to be here in this moment and to finally have a name. To be named by them was a feeling she never thought would feel this way or make her try harder at whatever she did. "I hope that if they do see me, completely...they won't reject me", Valerian thought as she finally closed her eyes.
Thursday came along, and nothing but ordinary days plagued Valerian and her friend's lives, then, as life was just passing by, something almost expected began to transpire, and Valerian had to hide her mouth.
"What do you mean... I-I-I just can't understand why?", there was a commotion in the hall when the lunchtime bell rang. Valie walked with Rosie, and Rosie began to stare at the so-called couple at the end of the hall. Her heart raced as she saw the messy exchange transpire.
"I know it's sudden, but I'd rather you hear me in person than in a text", Elis said softly, as his distraught face showed guilt but also a determination to be truthful to Giselle.
"I see you as a little sister and....a good friend. But, I don't understand why you keep trying to take me to these weird and shady places. Also...your advances, I can't accept them. I just don't feel that way towards you. Maybe we should stop talking for a while,...."
His words began to trail off in Giselle's mind as she began to crumble. No one was standing and staring, but the passing glances, the eyes around her were following her every movement, the whispering was blocking her ears, and time moved slowly as she tried to comprehend what was happening to her. It felt like nothing ever went her way as her eyes began to wander to the opposite end of the hall. Why? she thought he felt the same for her as she did for him. He was never distant, he was always nice, always interested in what she said, never even glancing at anyone else when he was with her. But, when she thought about it, there was an instance. That single instance justified her every thought. Then, Giselle saw her. She was covering her mouth, her shoulders shivering, it looked like she was appalled at what was happening, but for a second, just for a second...a smile that was containing her laughter was seen beneath that hand.
Giselle's movements were swift, as she darted towards Valerian. Everything was slow, yet instant with every step taken, but the moment just took over control of her body. She reached Valerian, and with her entire weight managed to bring her to the ground. With each hit to the face, she felt her tears finally come down, her emotions finally boiling over. "YOU BITCH! WHY CAN'T YOU JUST FUCKING DIE! JUST DIE YOU STUPID FUCKING BITCH! JUST DIE! WHY DO YOU TAKE EVERYTHING THATS MIIIINE!, GIVE THEM BACK!", Giselle kept yelling over and over enraged at Valerian. But, even though Giselle was the one on top and in control, she felt like she lost. Valerian did not fight back or even block, but, as Giselle stopped to catch her breath...she saw it again, that smile. It was as if Valerian was laughing at her and the laughing was getting louder and louder. "Shut up", Giselle thought as she proceeded to wrap her hands around Valerian's neck. She wanted to end this and make sure Valerian paid, but those thoughts were cut short as she felt multiple hands on her, and, Rosalia's face in front of hers. Then, a hard push towards the ground was delivered from her now permanent ex-friend.
It was all so fast. Giselle's head hit the floor, and every person near her held her down. It was cold on that floor as each face looking down at her was disgusted by her actions. Then, they all held Giselle up. She looked forward and saw the most beautiful sight. Gisell saw herself in the third person as Rosalia held Giselle in her arms and held her close. They were the only two in the scene, Rosalia's eyes glistened, trying not to cry at Giselle's bruised face. Then, the scene melded with reality as Giselle was replaced with Valerian saying "I'm okay" and thanking Rosie. Rosie then helped Valerian up and just glared at Giselle with so much intensity she felt she could just die then and there. Eyes were now on her as each glare and stare just intensified just like Rosie's. Giselle's eyes darted frantically to see if she at least had a friend, to see if there was any sympathy towards her, to see if someone saw if she was in the right. But, it was too late when she realized what she had done. She attacked someone who was nowhere near her, someone who was never seen talking directly to Elis, someone who had a flawless reputation, someone who was liked.
Giselle looked up once more and saw Valie walking away with Rosie, but Valerian again looked back, and there it was again....that twisted smile that no one saw but her. It was as if Valerian knew what Giselle was thinking. Giselle couldn't breathe, distress covering her every limb as she fell to the ground, no one helping her as tears continued to roll and that smile stuck in her head.
Valerian saw as Giselle fell to the ground, her face contorted with distress and anxiety. For the average onlooker, it was a very awkward and scary sight to behold, everyone was confused about how to help until a teacher came rushing. But, Valerian kept looking for as much as she could as a single word came to mind. "Beautiful".
Valerian is as normal as can be, she goes to school, does her assignments, has friends she adores, and even has a crush. However, she can also be irrational, cold, and unforgiving if you catch her eye. Whatever you do, try not to get her attention, leave her alone, and as anybody can tell you, she loves beautiful things.