When I was younger, I had a friend named Abby. She and I made many memories together, but one in particular had changed the way that I look at life forever. It was the day of her death.
It was an average day at Redwood Elementary. Abby and I had just finished savoring our lunches. My stomach was full from a hot bowl of homemade chicken noodle soup. I was all set for the rest of school, and so was Abby.
Almost every time Abby and I ate lunch together, we’d unintentionally keep a routine. We’d sit at the same table and talk about what’s on our minds.
But right before we’d head out to recess, Abby would have to use the restroom. And that’s what’s bugged me ever since we met.
So what if she uses the restroom? It’s not a sin to flush the toilet or wash your hands. I might seem a little crazy, which I am, but bear with me on this.
Abby goes into the restroom, and usually stays in there for about five or even ten minutes. Her longest record is around fifteen minutes. I typically only take about two or three minutes on a regular basis. I mean, come on. It doesn’t take that long to do your thing, even if you have issues. And I know for a fact Abby doesn’t have issues. Otherwise she’d tell me.
This has been going on for quite a while now, and today I decided to ask her what her deal was.
I was walking quietly through the hall, with Abby by my side. She was describing her new puppy, Casper, a Labrador mix, to me.
After she was done talking, I finally spoke up. “So, Abby, how come you use the restroom every single day before recess, and for such a ridiculous amount of time?” I asked with confidence. Hopefully she wouldn’t be offended.
Abby raised an eyebrow, and then began to giggle. “You ask such silly questions,” she said.
“But I’m being serious,” I confirmed.
“Well, it’s not something to worry about,” Abby replied. Suddenly, her eyes fell away from mine, and onto a different person: our teacher, Ms. Nicole. Her jet black hair was as recognizable as ever, as well as her deep, chocolate brown eyes.
“Abby, you wanted to speak with me?” she smiled sweetly and batted her mascara-drenched eyelashes.
Abby stammered and answered softly, “Y-yes, Ms. Nicole, but first I need to use the r-restroom.” Without looking back, Abby left the scene.
Have I mentioned Ms. Nicole’s been spending a lot of time with Abby lately? That’s been bothering me, too. Sure, they’re neighbors, but not close friends.
Since Abby was gone, that meant Ms. Nicole and I were alone together. Great, I thought. I’m missing recess, Abby never answered my question, and now I’m stuck here with Ms. Nicole.
I looked at my teacher. She looked back. I glanced away, and she glanced away. Awkward. I can’t handle awkward. So I improvised, and blurted out the first thing I could think of.
“So, Ms. Nicole,” I started, “do you have any idea why Abby’s been acting this way?”
Ms. Nicole’s makeup-plastered, blush-powdered face went pale. She hesitated for a moment, and then her signature smile stretched across her face.
“No, dear,” she shook her head. “But, now that you mention it, I’ll go in and check on the poor doll.” And just like that, Ms. Nicole had vanished.
Fifteen minutes passed. Recess was halfway over. I began to worry.
“Maybe I’d better see what’s up,” I said to myself.
I opened the restroom door. The lights were off, so I flicked the switch, and the room was lit at last.
“Hello?” I called out. No answer. I tried again, but still no luck.
As I peered further into the room, I noticed that all the stall doors were open
That’s weird, I thought. Abby couldn’t have gone anywhere else. Otherwise I’d see her.
I walked into the room, and one by one, I opened each stall door wider to get a better view.
It wasn’t until I had reached the last stall when I found Abby.
It was the most awful sight I had ever experienced. Abby was standing weakly in front of a dark, shadowy figure named Ms. Nicole. A sharp, silver knife with blood stains was pointed directly at Abby’s throat.
Before I could say anything, the knife’s blade swept across Abby’s neck. Her head rolled off her body, onto the tile floor, and bumped into my ankle.
Terrified, I screamed.
My worst nightmare had come true.
I never found out what happened to Ms. Nicole, but I knew one thing for sure.