"Fuck you for lying to me. Fuck you, fuck you, fuck you."
Cathryn finally allowed her face to betray a bit of that fury, her breathing quickening and her lips turning slightly downwards. Her voice never rose. It shook a bit, yes, but she never shouted or changed her tone. Part of her was still trying desperately to hold on to the calm, to the rationality despite it being against her wills, her desires because it still needed answers. But it was failing, its fingers slowly slipping from the edge.
"Stop putting up this act of being scared or vulnerable because you killed two
people, two. She wasn't one to rush people just like that-"
Damion. Leah had killed Damion. Before Leah's death itself, this was the fact that haunted her every minute, because the two ideas were near impossible to reconcile. When you think of a person, someone who's close, beloved to you, you think of their good traits first and foremost. And this was how it went with Cathryn regarding Leah. She liked the earnestness, the sincerity, and simply the sheer niceness that she exuded. That was what always came to mind when someone mentioned Leah. But she had a dark side, one that hadn't occurred to Cathryn until right then.
Leah was paranoid, and her trust was incredibly hard to gain. They both had had similarly bad experiences in middle school, with all the bullies and snickering and all, because Whittree was simply a toxic place. Always was, always would be. Cathryn had responded to this by fighting back. Leah had responded to this by never quite learning to trust again. They only managed to get close to one another through circumstance. They were both in choir, and were placed right next to each other. Single-word exchanges between them grew into casual conversations, which grew into actual, interesting discussions. And even when they talked about stuff, it was always about topics like whatever creepypasta Leah had decided to scare herself with, or even the weather if there was nothing else to talk about. Talking about themselves
was taboo. The only reason she knew about this was because they'd mention it in offhand comments. Nothing they should've dwelled on.
So, now Cathryn stood there, interrupted mid-conversation, as she added the pieces together.
Leah was fragile. Paranoid. And she'd been placed in SOTF-TV. And this meant,
"She's not a killer, she's not a killer, she's not a killer, she's not a killer..."
And Cathryn couldn't stop repeating that one phrase because maybe, just maybe, if she said it enough, she could convince herself and everyone else that it was true, Because Leah wasn't a killer, she wasn't supposed to be one. There was no way, no way that her only friend had snapped, become another one of those psychos, no way, no way, no way.
But, this insidious belief, this toxic belief, it seeped into Cathryn's mind and slowly took root, and soon it became more plausible. It clashed with her rage, her anger, because she still wanted Lucia dead. Someone needed to pay for the fact that everything had been taken from Cathryn, and who else should pay but Lucia? But what if she was within her rights? What if she wasn't lying? What if Leah really had charged her? What if?
And the seconds passed, and while this storm went on inside her head, Cathryn still stood frozen, gone to the world. And finally, after so long, she acted.
"Hope you don't find me again."
She ran outside, and found herself in the midst of the snow-covered forests, hidden to everyone but the millions of eyes probing her every move. She'd regret this. She'd regret this for the rest of her days, and what she did next would always haunt her, always bring her shame. Instead of screaming, or shouting at the nearest camera, she simply sunk down to the ground, and allowed herself to be engulfed by that one forbidden emotion, the one she'd hoped she'd never experience again. Two days, and it'd come to this already.
She sunk down to the ground, hid her face in her knees. And then, her body started convulsing as she sobbed.
((Cathryn Bailey continues in Makeup