Jennie and I were an item for a little less than two months. I knew that we probably wouldn’t last. I mean, come on, she was Jennie Matthews, who every guy wanted and every girl wanted to be. The new girl but already the queen of the school, with her looks and her uncanny way of knowing everyone’s secrets before they knew them themselves. And I was Nathaniel Twining, straight-A student, nearly fifteen and the guy that everybody wanted to partner in classes just because I got the grades.
I couldn’t believe it when she came breezing up to me that grim Tuesday. Her smoky blue eyes locked on mine and she smiled, devastatingly sweetly. “Nathaniel!” she called across the playing field, and even before she started for me I knew I was a goner. She reached me, breathless from her dash across the field, and touched my shoulder lightly. “Nathaniel,” she said, “I was wondering if…”
I was wondering if this was all a hoax. Coffee with Jennie Matthews after school? A nobody’s dream! “Um, if I’ve got nothing on after school, then, um, yeah, sure…” It was a big mistake trying to impress her with my ‘full’ social calendar. “Oh, I know you’ve got nothing on. I’ve seen your locker contents, everyone has, remember?”
I remembered. Calvin Banks, the school thug, had emptied my locker out last week and displayed its contents in all of the school trophy cabinets for all to see. His gang had a field day. Calvin was always making a play for Jennie, everyone was. I was still sore about it.
“Yeah,” I smiled weakly. “Coffee sounds great.”
A month later I and Jennie were sitting on a bench at the park. We had reached the stage where she was officially my girlfriend and my life was all the better for it. I was COOL! It was the coveted prize. Calvin had stopped being a jerk to me and I even had a less dorky new name: Nathan. At the time me and Jennie were laughing over some prank I’d played on Mr Windrening – a thing that Nathaniel would never have dared to do but one that Nathan was familiar with – and I was thinking things were the best they could be. Until Jennie told me the news.
“I have something I’ve been meaning to tell you for about a week,” she said. “Nathan… I’m moving.”
It was a blow I had never expected would come. Losing my rep and my girl? I was totally unprepared for it. Jennie’s smile was sweet and sad. “I know, awful, right? I’ll have to charm the next lot of students into making me their queen – but I’ll never find another guy like you, Nathan.” I think my heart crumbled as she said this and squeezed my hand.
“Don’t forget me, ok?” She said then. “Promise me you won’t forget me, Nathan…” my heart stuck in my throat. I promised. She was gazing off into the distance, as if pondering my nickname.
And then Jennie was streaking across the park, through the twisted shadows of the trees, caught up for one last time in the glorious glow of sunset.
I never saw her again.
Four years later and I’d forgotten all about Jennie. I was now in a new relationship, engaged to the woman who carried my unborn child. I was thrilled. Carol was everything I’d ever wanted – beautiful, smart, funny, and artistic, she was more than just my fiancée – she was my best friend. We’d been together for two years, known each other three, and my brief relationship with Jennie seemed nothing compared to Carol’s companionship. And the child, well, that was a huge joy I could not fully comprehend. I knew the baby was a girl; we were going to call her Lilley. Lilley-Ann Magda Twining.
It was not until one evening, when me and Carol were going to bed, that I got a dark sense of foreboding. I knew then that somewhere, somehow, there was an evil too great to imagine. I thought it was amply a hallucination. And soon after, I was sleeping soundly, whilst Carol dreamed by my side.
When I woke I did not open my eyes. I stretched out one arm, seeking Carol’s warmth. But all I found was the wet, sticky sheet. Opening my eyes, I stared in horror at my fingers: soaked in the pool of blood soiling the bed sheet. Lifting my eyes from my hand, I was horrified to see what had become of my fiancée.
The bedroom looked like the Mary Jane Kelly crime scene we saw when studying Jack the Ripper in school. Flesh and limbs and organs were everywhere; it looked like someone had left my beloved Carol in there with a pack of cannibals. She was well and truly torn apart; there was no hope that her heart was still beating. The room was spattered with then remains of my fiancée and my unborn child.
But the most terrifying thing at that time was the writing on the wall. I just glimpsed it before passing out. Big, bold letters daubed in Carol’s blood.
YOU FORGOT ME.