I don’t really feel like talking about me today, but Dr. Ling says I’m supposed to write in this stupid journal three times a week, and today’s the last day of the week, so I need to write something. So, I’m going to tell you about a girl . . . a human girl.
Her name was Kimball Brighton, and she was fifteen-years-old. She lived in the human part of Belle Haven with her human family. She lived her life just like any other human girl. She had friends and homework and hated her small town. She dreamed of being a famous writer one day.
On the surface, Kimball wasn’t any different than any of the other humans who had the misfortune of making Belle Haven their home. She unknowingly lived her life alongside the supernatural and died at the Grove’s hands just like the others. But Kimball had a secret, just like me. She lied to the people she loved, just like me.
I know everything there is to know about her. I’ve spent hours in her house, in her room. Yeah, I know that makes me sound like a creep, but it’s not like that. Her life seemed so normal, so average. Average car, average house. Average everything. I’ve seen every picture, every birthday card. I’ve spent hours on her pink, ruffled comforter, reading every diary entry she’s made since she was nine years old.
She hated it, but to me, it was a dream. I grew up in a trailer in the middle of the swamps. While my family isn’t as feral or backwoods as the pack once thought, I was home schooled. I didn’t get to play sports. I didn’t have a curfew. We ran all night and slept most of the day.
Kimball’s mom baked cookies to raise money for the PTA, and her dad collected small ships in clear glass bottles. Kimball’s Nana Mary gave her a five dollar bill in every birthday card. My grandmother had me beaten almost to death to help further her own agenda.
Yeah, Kimball and I lived completely different lives . . . but we were both keeping secrets and I feel like that made us kindred somehow.
Kimball was a cheerleader at Belle Haven High School. She must have been good too because she was part of the varsity squad even though she was only a sophomore. She had a poster of Orlando Bloom on her wall, and her most recent diary was covered in little blue hearts and stars. It sat on her bedside table next to a pen with a weird fluffy blue ball on the end and a picture of a dark haired boy with a big smile, bigger ears, and deep green eyes.
His name was Grady, and he was her boyfriend. Kimball thought Grady was perfect because he played guitar and piano and could play a song after hearing it just once without sheet music. Grady talked slow and walked like he wasn’t ever in a hurry. He was the perfect counter-balance to Kimball’s non-stop chatter and constant bouncing.
He asked her out on a Thursday, which Kimball thought was a sign they were meant for each other because Thursday was Kimball’s favorite day of the week. Grady could never understand why anybody would like Thursday, but Kimball said it was the anticipation of the weekend that made it so great. Grady would just shake his head and tell her she was crazy.
She didn’t care that Grady thought she was crazy because he’d said she had hair the color of butter and eyes like sapphires and that she was the most beautiful girl he’d ever seen, and she was almost positive he meant it because Grady chewed on everything he said before he said it, like he was sampling the words before he gave them away. Kimball loved Grady. It said so all over her diary in scrawly purple script.
Maybe that’s why she was so willing to keep his secret.
See, Kimball suspected Grady was a witch; an absurd suspicion she shared only with her diary and her best friend, Mabel. Mabel thought Kimball was crazy, but Kimball had seen things, things that no human boy should be able to do. She’d seen him stroke his finger over a flower and bring it back to life. She’d swore he’d somehow made it rain just because she said she wanted to be kissed in the rain like in The Notebook.
Grady never confirmed his true origins to Kimball, she would have said so, but he’d told her that she couldn’t say words like witch in this town, not even jokingly, which was as good as a confession as far as Kimball was concerned.
She liked the intrigue of it all. She said it was like living in a real life novel. She’d called it ‘terribly romantic’. But Kimball was wrong. About everything. It wasn’t romantic, and Grady wasn’t a witch. Grady was Fae, Seelie or Unseelie I can’t say, but only pure blood Fae can do the sort of magic Kimball talked about. Fae like Neoma.
Kimball and Grady had a fight the night of her last entry, the night before the Grove came. She said she couldn’t talk about it yet but it was bad, the page was warped like it was wet from her tears. I’ve read her last entry a hundred times, looking for some clue as to what they fought about. But the answer never appears.
I think about them a lot. I wonder if Kimball was afraid when the Grove came for her and her family. I wonder whether she felt validated in those few moments before her death, knowing she’d been right about Grady. I wonder if Grady survived, if he tried to fight for her or left her behind. Had he really loved her or had he had an ulterior motive? Did he watch silently as they executed her and her family? If he was alive, was he sorry?
Every time I leave, I hide her diary just in case somebody decides to come here. I feel protective of her memories. More so since I lost my hand and everybody decided they had some right to my private thoughts and feelings.
I told Harlow about Kimball. About how I think about her a lot. Harlow says it’s because Kimball left a piece of her soul behind in that book and that my wolf senses it. Harlow says it like it’s a good thing, leaving a piece of yourself behind. I guess she would think that way considering what she’s doing . . . but really, how could losing a piece of your soul ever be a good thing? What if it binds you here? What if Kimball’s still here, trapped, looking for that one piece of her soul?
In the end, are we all going to end up like Kimball?