Kylee was a woman on a mission. This meant she didn’t stay long at Adam's apartment to play catch up. No, that could happen after everything was said and done. While there was still daylight, and while it hadn’t rained yet, they would make the most of their time finding the girl behind the letter. Who was David O’Hara’s lover? She was sure Clay was knee deep in his own investigation, and hopefully they would both end up at the same destination.
In the elevator of Mei’s apartment complex, Kylee glanced at her phone for a text or a call. Still nothing. Swallowing her annoyance, she pocketed her phone and looked at the boy standing next to her, getting dragged along for the ride. “So any cool kids in Pinehurst?” Her big eyes lit up in intrigue. “I’m sure there was someone that kept you entertained just like me, chasing ghosts — for the love of story,” She mused, putting her dark, long hair over her right shoulder, running her fingers through it.
Adam had his head pointed downward as his old friend spoke to him. He was invested in trying to change the goddamn batteries in his camera and he would not lose this war, no sir. After finally slotting the energy pack in place, the skater boy (not the Avril Lavigne one though) flicked his head back to look at the dark haired beauty to his left. “No, no cool kids. Just reminded me too often what I like about rich kids, absolutely nothing…present company excluded of course.”
If anything, the five years he had spent away from Eden had only exasperated what Adam believed to be the Callahan curse; loneliness. Like Kylee and Roddy, Adam was a proponent of the supernatural and the belief that Edenridge was home to some ancient and powerful magic that caused suffering to her inhabitants. Adam’s theory was that each family suffered recurring tragedies, history repeating in some form. For his family, the Callahans, it seemed like isolation was their part in the whole thing. Roddy was always bullied. Always. Francis was alone in dealing with his sexuality. Clay and Lamb were twins who had no connection other than blood and parents wrapped up in their own worlds. Loneliness. Adam, well he was torn away from everything he ever knew, kept apart from the world and was locked away in fucking Pinehurst of all places.
Eden loved to play dirty.
“The only thing I really got to do there was work for the school paper. I videoed the rich kids as they talked politics and kayaking. Nobody really cared about ghosts and goblins. If anything? Coming from the most haunted town in America was a detriment to my street cred with the preppy Monarchs.”
Listening to Adam talk about his highschool experience, Kylee realized how uneventful things were outside of Edenridge. Then again, was that such a bad thing? “Honestly? That sounds way better than here. I really don’t know why you came back,” Kylee lamented, as she watched Mei’s floor come closer and closer by the second. “Less death and tragedy. Where can I sign up?” She jokingly laughed. Edenridge was a place where something big happened once a year and in between, there was plenty of pain and suffering to keep you going. It’s what the town thrived on. It’s what the town needed to survive.
“I had unfinished business here, family, friends. It’s home believe it or not. No matter what that asshole I call a father says,” Having Thomas Callahan out of his life, no matter how fleeting that moment would be, and he knew it would be, Adam was going to savour it. He switched on the camera and took a slight step back away from the Grimm heir and raised his free hand to count her in.
5, 4, 3, 2, 1….
“So, why are we here Miss Grimm?”
On cue, the elevator door opened and Kylee smiled at the camera, as if this was natural to her to be instantly prepared for her friend to press the record button. Adam, camera ready, and her, ready to put on a show - Kylee looked at the lens as if she was looking at a person and took her audience for a ride, “To question Jillian O’Brien about her sophomore year. She either knows David more than any of us will ever know him, or she can point us in the right direction. Follow me.” Did Kylee feel weird for interrogating her friend? Absolutely. But if it led to solving this case sooner so that Clay could be at peace, there was no way in hell she’d give up on this opportunity. With Adam trailing behind her, Kylee made it to Mei’s apartment door and knocked thrice with the back of her knuckles. Would this go without a hitch? Only time could tell.
The door opened up swiftly and the duo were greeted by the dark witch of Westwood herself, Mei Midnight. As usual, the young woman stood out and drew attention with her ensemble of the day: skin tight leather shorts, a long sleeve off the shoulder sheer crop top with a red bralet to match her painted lips and her hair was hanging loose. She had managed to not only shower after her appearance on Dawn Patrol earlier that day but also get a quick power nap to recharge. She had been on the go for at least thirty four hours yet still found time to swing by Five Tool and get her workout in. Mei was either a machine or really was magic.
“Twice in one day? Fuck my throat with a pitchfork, Grimmy, people are gonna start talking….” The Wiccan’s hazelnut eyes fell upon the stranger pointing a camera in her face and she cocked an eyebrow. “…And who is this piece of meat? Daddy finally buying you slaves now? You keep him in the wine cellar next to the Sauvignon?”
If there was one thing that would entertain the viewers, it was Mei’s comments. Not safe for children. “You and I both know I wouldn’t be caught dead in my dad’s cellar. Who knows what scary things are down there. Pretty sure my house is haunted. No thankies.” For a girl who loved hauntings, ghosts, and stories, she was adamant to not explore some areas in her own home. It hit different when you actually lived in the place. If she knew more, she’d fear for her own life. The less she knew about that manor, the better. Kylee beamed at her friend as she gestured toward the camera guy, “This is an old friend. He used to live here and was in our class, actually. That was years ago, though. His hair was a lot shaggier. Remember Adam?”
Mei surveyed the young man that stood next to her former lover up and down. She was struggling to place him. “Adam.Adam.Adam,” She repeated aloud as if saying his name would jog some kind of reboot in her mind so that she could remember him. Eventually, the daughter of Hecate placed the boy in a black and gold Gi in her mind palace and the light switched on. “Oh, Callahan! You were on my father’s Karate team!”
Adam nodded his head and placed a thumbs up towards the girl, still holding the camera at her gorgeous pale face. “Yeah, I was! Actually thinking about joining back up now I’m back in town.”
“Great, now that that’s out of the way and I’m done daydreaming about getting railed by Mayor Teddy in his sex dungeon, what brings you to my door Ky? You got some info on the new letter?”
“Please, Mei, don’t ever say that again,” Kylee already had to deal with her dad being married to someone that was a little older than Clay. A sixteen year age difference. That’s not accounting for her supposed mother’s real age. She’ll never tell her dad that she remembers Prudence early on in her life and her actual age. That was a can of worms she refused to open, ever. It made her uncomfortable that her dad found pleasure in the young and beautiful and she could only imagine, if he didn’t have Babydoll, would he pursue someone her age? Gross.
That was one thing Kylee took pride in, her memory. Most kids don’t remember the years under the age seven, but Kylee did. For better or for worse, Kylee knew too much. “I was wondering if you, and Jill, if she’s here, would mind me asking you questions? I have a theory that David’s secret lover was a cheerleader and in our year. I’m not pointing fingers, I just want to know what you two remember. Any information would benefit this case.”
The witch cocked her eyebrow as she ran the numbers in her head. Kylee’s theory actually held a decent amount of merit. She knew that neither her nor Jill were David’s secret teen mom wannabe but she also knew that perhaps there was something in their collective memories that they had yet to stumble upon that could help them break open this chest of mystery and save people another wave of heartache. “Ok, I can get on board with that. Come on in, help yourself to a drink. I know I will,” Mei opened the door wider and turned to walk into her apartment. “JILLYBEAN!” She called out. “WE’VE GOT GUESTS THAT WANT TO DEEP DIVE INTO DIDDLER TALK!”
“BE OUT IN A COUPLE MINUTES!” came the shouted reply.
“It’s a bit too early for that, for me,” Kylee politely declined the booze, not one to drink on the job. She looked back at Adam who was hyper focused on his own job and she smiled into the camera. Not too long ago she was mad that he suddenly appeared out of nowhere, but now that he is back and with her, she feels less lonely. This was almost like the good old days. Almost.
Without Roddy, the good old days would never return, she knew that, but at least she and Adam can continue where she and Rods left off. The prospects of all the adventures they could go on put butterflies in her stomach. She was excited… her friend was back home.
Trailing behind Mei, Kylee took her seat on the sofa, waiting patiently for Jill to reveal herself. Having visited this place at least once a week, she didn’t need to appreciate much, she’s already seen it all, but she was sure Adam would film some b-roll, capturing Mei and Jill’s joint personality.
Film was a beautiful thing that could catch moments that would otherwise get lost in time. As people, we love films, we love storytelling. It gives us a form of escapism but it also shows something honest. Something true. To be a filmmaker, like Adam, you have to be a little mad. You lead and push until you intertwine visuals, sounds, lighting, angles, subjects, and so much more, until you create a tale that makes you feel things like a song does. All at the impulse or desire to do something. Be something. Create something. Film was a progression of moods and feelings, and if it can be written or thought, it could be filmed. She appreciated his art. She appreciated him.
Finally, after a last check to make sure she looked like she rolled out of bed at a proper time today, Jillian O’Brien made her entrance to the living room. She was having more success participating in the land of the living without the alcoholic crutch now that things had settled following the move, and the re-integration of Danilo Belmonte into her life after a lengthy exile was slow but taking shape. Still, her world revolved around her best friend and paramour, and it showed in her appearance.
Jill’s flaming red hair was still most visible, tied back in a high ponytail with a black scrunchie holding it in place. No dye could tame those locks yet, not that she seriously gave thought to life as a raven-haired fox. That role was more expertly filled by Mei. However, the lipstick was a far deeper shade than she was known for, edging to the shadow of black but settling in at a deep blood red. Mascara was heavy, and while her shadow was a similar deep red, the eyeliner that shaped it was pitch black. A trio of black orbs cascaded from each of her earlobes, a thrift store find that was too good to pass up.
But it was the clothing that made the starkest contrast. Gone were the slacker tank tops and pajama pants that had replaced the latest offerings American Eagle had on the rack during Jill’s mental breakdown. Instead, she embraced Mei’s ideas for how they could project how much they ruled Eden as the baddest bitches on the block. Curses be damned. A jet black corset top pinched her waist in a little bit to hide what remained from her slub days, but against her pale skin, it was a stark contrast. A sizable midriff separated the shirt from a pair of denim festival shorts, but it was the necklace that caught the eye, the blood-red butterfly holding on with more black spheres lining the gold chain that kept it tethered to the O’Brien girl’s neck. She was coming back to society bit by bit, but it was definitely not in her old image.
“Did you have to be so early, KyHigh?” she offered to the solid third in their friend group. “Barely had time to finish up my…” Jill’s voice trailed off as she recognized the cameraman who she knew was coming but was unaware of the specifics. She probably could have ventured a guess given what she knew of Kylee’s attachments to the Callahan family, but still, it was rare to see someone who had made it out of Eden come back for a second bite at the apple. It made sense that with Roddy gone to Goddess-forsaken Texas with that bitch of an ex-friend of Jill's, Kylee would reach for the other member of the family she trusted. “Well, shit. Adam Callahan. Been a while, lug. Not looking like the Shaggy to Velma over there anymore, but a Callahan face does still stick on you. Welcome back to the Garden.” She took a seat on the sofa, given the lone male would likely be going back and forth between host Kylee and subjects Mei and Jill. She could hear her girlfriend in the kitchen. “Grab me one while you’re up, love!” She looked over at Kylee. “If we’re doing diddler discussions, I’ll need it.”
Adam was flabbergasted by the apartment he now stood in. Not only was it so interestingly decorated but it also belonged to Mei Ramsey and Jill fucking O’Brien. He would be a liar if he hadn’t said that he had a thing for Jill all those years ago. Not in the same way that he did Kylee, that was intense and filled with emotion. Jill was just crazy hot and being a fellow Foundling, there were many Founder’s parties where he’d hoped that his spin of the bottle landed on her. “We Callahans have a distinct feature of long hair and goofy teeth, unfortunately I can’t do anything about that. It’s good to see you, Jill.”
Jill nods and smiles, an easier notion these days. “It’s better you’re seeing me now, that’s for sure, but I can say likewise, lug.”
Mei opened up their fridge and to say it was an eclectic mixture of things would be an understatement. Two shelves of beers and pre-made cocktails, a third shelf of Will Ramsey’s home made cooking in tupperwares and in the drawer, a random mixture of shit they had bought from the store for snacks. The dark priestess grabbed two canned beers from the top before making her way over to her girlfriend and sitting on the arm of the couch next to her. She handed her O’Brien love the adult beverage before cracking open the tab of her own and taking a long mouthful. Mei rested her free hand on the base of Jill’s neck and eyed the two newcomers intensely. “So hit us with your best shots, Pat Benatar.”
Jill cracked open the can of Sam Adams Tropical Wheat Ale and joined her girlfriend in tilting back for a lengthy sip. “Fire away.”
“Okay, I want to start from the beginning. But first, like I told Mei,” Kylee’s eyes went from one vixen, the dark priestess, to the other, the cherry bomb, “With today’s letter I have a handful of theories. One, this has nothing to do with Charlie and someone is using this gimmick to spread chaos. Two, the supposed underage girl was either in our class or the class above us, but honestly, based on the pretty handwriting I think she’s in our class. And theory number three, she was a cheerleader. She had to be if she was involved with David’s inner circle. A.K.A. The Elite.”
Taking out her small notebook, Kylee flipped to her notes with quick ease, her expression was serious and her eyes were focused in on her friends. Kylee Grimm was in her element. “Let’s rewind the clock a bit, shall we? And I apologize if this forces you to revisit bad memories. The date on this letter is December 05, 2016. The day after the shining star competition, the game, the party, Allison’s death,” She paused, letting that last part sit in the air, knowing how much weight that must hold, especially after the fiasco with R2. “In the letter, it says that David left early, with this girl. Do you remember anything from that party, especially in regards to the Elite?”
Mei glanced towards Jill with soft eyes, a rarity for the midnight girl before she moved them back to rest on Kylee. “So professional!” she remarked. It was funny because not too long ago Kylee Grimm was the third in their three musketeers. She tightened her grip on her Jillybean ever so slightly as she thought back to the day Allison died. Despite the closure she had received after the night on Carlisle, Mei still had feelings for that evening and revisiting them was not something she really wanted to do. It seemed like the Fates had decided that December 4th, 2016 was a day that was destined to haunt them for the rest of their lives.
“I remember David floating around, talking to pretty much everyone like he always did. Spent a good chunk of it with Francis and Russell. Don’t think he really saw Ally cos she was off….” For the longest time Mei didn’t know what Allison was doing but now she did and she hated it. “Don’t remember Costigan being there.” The goth girl took another sip from her beer. “Which means without Clay to hog all the action, David was probably knee deep in pussy but I don’t recall seeing it.”
Kylee could apologize all she wanted, it was still going to be self-inflicted torture for Jillian to try and remember back to that cursed day. She still blamed herself for not doing more in regards to Allison's last hours, for being just a scared little girl in a forest of giants. For letting herself get swept up in the drink and the debauchery and not being able to see the plain facts in front of her eyes, but it seemed like that dark night was going to keep chasing her until every skeleton was dragged up from under the stoop and laid bare for all of Massachusetts to see.
The redhead squeezed her girlfriend’s hand back, happy that now she had that direct tether to happiness as opposed to that last trip back to Carlisle when she watched powerless as Adam’s cousin dragged Mei away to avoid R2 reacting back against the punch. Kylee was looking at her, intent on finding something on Dirty David O’Hara, the shame of the Elite. It had been a while since Jill had spent time in those circles.. An alpha cheerleader with a storied name had no problem gaining access to those parties and all the secrets that came with them, especially with the three other founding families represented on the team. But December 4, 2016? That was filled with so much haze.
“Let me think…” Jill finally started after Mei had filled in some initial gaps. “It’s tough to remember all the names and faces back then, since we were so focused on celebrating the win. But the basketball team was there and looking bulletproof. With Francis and Russell dancing around, and Garrett preparing for his future role in serving underage kids like me a bunch of booze, David was able to drift around and be his usual self. I don’t remember anything specific, aside from being ticked at Francis for ignoring Ally again. But I was off doing… a lot of things I regret now. I even lost track of Liv and Kat during that party, that's how wild it was. Wish I could ask them about it. Olivia would have had something on it for sure. So I was there pretty late, and I don’t remember David leaving early, but I wouldn’t put it past him if he found a honey pot to his liking.”
“Thank you,” Kylee genuinely smiled at her two friends who were cooperating wonderfully. Questions like these could bring out the worst in people and she knew the life of a self-proclaimed journalist could get her thrown out immediately. She was lucky, though. They cared about her. Kylee didn’t have many friends but the ones she did, they saw her for what she was and adored her for it. The good, the bad, the ugly, Kylee was grateful she was loved.
“Alright, I’ll move on from that day. Clay’s meeting up with his friends, asking them questions too so I’m sure they can paint a better picture since they were directly impacted by David and his actions. Now, sophomore year, just so I can have it on record, who were you both romantically or sexually involved with? Or both, of course.”
“You and Clay are getting pretty close, huh?” Mei’s hand drifted beneath Jill’s hair as she spoke, rubbing her black fingernails through the fiery red mane in a loving way. It was a deflection of course, the comment. Sophomore year was not a pleasant one for her. It was that year she really started throwing herself into the Wiccan culture in which she was now permanently beautifully submerged. It was also when she went through what was really beside Allison, her first heartbreak. “I slept with a few people, mostly girls because that’s when I started exploring myself but then, then I started with Q at the beginning of second semester.”
Quinton Woods was always too smart for his own good. He had always been the kid at the back of the class, equations and formulas in his eyes at the same time that his mouth called the jocks' meatheads; a mouth that would then he proceeded to be punched. Mei was never really sure what she saw in Q. He was a good sort of person most of the time but that superiority complex of his would always be his downfall. He definitely challenged Miss Midnight’s mental faculty which she enjoyed. For someone so bright, Quinton also came with a lot of baggage. “We broke up by the end of the year.”
Jill demurred a little at the question, especially hearing Mei be able to matter-of-factly sum up her love life in high school. The redhead treasured her ability to flit around relationships, and after Allison’s death, she upped that process a fair bit. “It’s so hard to remember,” she admits. “That sophomore year was kind of a blur. I let Mei know exactly what I thought of Q, but I went through a good chunk of boys. I think I went on dates with anyone from the drama club to the football team, and was open to a lot of things, but I never really stuck on one guy for very long. If only I knew back then what I know now, I wouldn’t be getting a crash course.”
The O’Brien girl rubbed her hand on Mei’s thigh as if to subtly thank her for putting up with her as she learned how to better explore the unearthed side of her sexuality that their relationship held. “However, I had my rules back then. I mean, I wouldn’t touch anyone from Pinehurst, absolutely not. Plus, I stayed away from the basketball team. I couldn’t risk Danny getting put in harm’s way by something I did with one of his teammates, so JV and varsity were out. I found out how much that meant to Danny after the fact, but I held up my end of the bargain and I did not touch a Celtic, even after sophomore year."
The mention of Pinehurst caused Kylee’s professional mask to drop ever so briefly. Only hours ago her father had dropped a bomb on her about her boyfriend. Wesley Silo had lied to her. All for what? Because he thought she would dig deeper if she knew where he was from? As Jill talked, Kylee tilted her head at her own thoughts. That actually wasn’t a bad idea. If Wes wasn’t going to tell her anything, she could simply find out herself. She had the lead: Pinehurst. Why shouldn’t she find out what he was ashamed of? He was her boyfriend! She had the right to know.
Her pen tapped on her notebook when she re-focused her attention on her girlfriends. Rules. Morals. Kylee didn’t get close to Jill until after sophomore year, when she was dating Mike habitually. She heard the rumors but hearing it from Jill’s mouth herself was eye opening. The Jill sitting before her and the Jill of the past were two different creatures. While Jill was adding another guy to her ‘I fucked’ list, Kylee was using social media and words to hurt people that slighted her. Kylee was grabbing the next juicy gossip, of course first making sure it was actually true or not (she drew the line with fake news) and blew it out of proportion. Kylee also had to deal with Roddy being disappointed in her actions constantly, and her almost losing her best friend. He tried his best by doing scooby doo shenanigans with her but after… Adam left, well, a piece of her left with him too.
For once, the chaos that ensued before and after David O’Hara died was not something she spread. People would like to think she took part in that fire, but David was Danny’s friend. Danny Belmonte was her friend. Maybe not a best friend like Roddy, but she cared about the guy. She would never do that to the idiot, that was his goddamn idol (one of them at least). Part of her had a hard time believing that David was indeed what Mei called a diddler. He was exposed and it ruined his life. For what? Because he was a foundling?
Letting the silence in the room fill the room, deep in thought, Kylee leaned back in her seat and looked down at her notes. She was so focused on the mystery girl… that wasn’t the story at all, was it? She turned to glance at the boy with the camera, a foundling, and she looked at Jill, who sought comfort from the Dark Priestess herself, another foundling. Kylee was the mayor’s daughter, like Niles was the doctor’s son, but that did not hold the same weight as a foundling. Closing her notebook, leaving her pen in it, Kylee placed it on the coffee table and thought to herself, ‘Fuck the girl. She’s irrelevant… what good comes from proving that David did fuck someone underage? Aside from the town hating him more than they already do.’
Subconsciously, Kylee cracked her knuckles and began talking to the air, still deep in thought, “To be honest, I don’t really care about the girl in the story. It’s clearly not you two. But what do we gain from all this?” Kylee placed her hands on her thighs and looked at her two friends. “We repeat a vicious cycle that could lead to the girl OD’ing like Allison did, or getting so bloody drunk like David did, which led to his inevitable drowning. You know the day before he died, my sister told me, he was just at the bar. Drinking a shit ton. I mean, it was proven in the news with his blood alcohol levels.” Now that the past was coming back to light, Kylee realized how sad it all was for David. How lonely he must’ve felt.
“The rumors started spreading a little under a month before New Years. Allison Davies was so scared of her future, she turned to drugs. David’s image was ruined so quickly that he legitimately had no future anymore. But, like, he was still living in Edenridge at the time, so he probably was already depressed he had nothing going for him. Not like Clay, who wanted to be a cop. Not like Rhett, who had his whole life planned out for him, with the Hole. Francis, Russ… all his friends had a plan.” Kylee was standing up at this point. Finally ready to ask her a question. “Jill, you’re part of one of the founding families. Are you where you want to be? How’s that pressure feel?”
It was a long way to go to ask such an absolutely loaded question, especially given the connotations that Kylee had raised. Jill knew how close she was to having the best of both tragic deaths her friend had brought up. She had all the pressure and social stature of Allison and all the drinking of David rolled into one redheaded mess until recently. She knew she had played her part back then, spreading the rumors of the O'Hara boy's shame. Being an Elite didn't save you if you made such an egregious societal faux pas. However, hearing Kylee talk about the loneliness Coach must have felt made it even worse that the dark thoughts of her depressive spiral almost proved potent enough to lead her to be the latest in the line of tragic Edenridge cases. Charlie Decker and Mike Barrie just happened to be much more violent means to put her self-destuction on-track. Some would say Jill deserved such a fate as the latest sacrifice.
But she wasn’t dead. Nor appeared on the path to be anymore. Even as she sat on that beaten up couch, clutching a cold Sam Adams in her hand, it wasn’t the path down to despair that was well traversed the past year. It would be foolish to think a tropical-inspired beverage could lead to such pains until Jillian remembered how many times she switched up to Malibu in an attempt to “lighten her mood” and failed. This beer, like most recent drinks, tasted different. Things had felt different since she moved in with her girlfriend.
But was she where she wanted to be? Did she care about being a member of the founding families? Clearly it wasn’t as important as it once was in high school, when she felt she had to live up to her mother and sisters. She certainly didn’t have the career path that Shannon had already lived and Heather seemed to be well on the road to obtaining. Of course, trying to match Grace in a contest of sexual partners was like trying to match the night sky with merely twinkles in an eye, but Jill gave it more of a run than she would like to admit. Either way, she still fell short. She didn’t have the best of departure discussions with Grace, and Shannon just seemed happy to see her up and about, even if she was moving out the door.
Did the pressure get to her? Does it matter if the pressure didn’t matter anymore? It had already won in a lot of ways, but at least now, Jillian had her path to some kind of happiness. She could feel the torchlight in the grip of her hand. No, the career path still wasn’t set in stone, but she could focus on it now. She had the support in the endeavor.
“The pressure sucks, Ky,” Jill finally answered. “I feel like I tried to live up to so many things just because I’m an O’Brien. I tried to be a leader. I tried to be a lover. I tried to be a mom. Nothing ended up working out right and when you combine that with all the tragedy and the need to uphold the family name… maybe that’s what made it so easy to just give up the way I did. I know I was just a few bottles away from being another name on your list of lost souls.”
She looks at Mei. “But I’m definitely where I want to be at the moment.” Jill turns her attention back to the intrepid reporter. “As for where I’m going, I don’t know, but I have more faith that I’m going to figure it out now than I did before. That's more than I had when these letters started coming out.”
Turning the interview into a conversation between friends, Kylee nodded and admitted through her own melancholy feelings, “I get that,” She didn’t allow all of her deep-rooted sadness to take surface but an inkling was enough to show that she felt safe in the presence of Jill, Mei, and Adam. “I might not be a foundling, but I’m the most precious thing to my father. The goddamn mayor of this town. It sucks not knowing the answers and maybe that’s why these letters have helped keep me busy, you know? I feel like I could really help this town… it’s stupid, really, but I appreciate you guys letting me question you.”
Kylee crossed her arms in a way to hold herself together. Her face might’ve been inquisitive, curious, and sharp, but the reality was it was all a mask. A mask to hide her emotions. What gave it all away? Her eyes. Kylee Grimm was not doing good and while some people drowned themselves in vices like alcohol and drugs, she chose to immerse herself in an investigation. She was worried. She was worried about Clay because these letters really did a number on him. She was worried about Roddy because she no longer could check up on him like she used to. And she was worried about Wes. He still hadn’t texted her. Did she do something wrong?
“Same question for you, Adam,” She turned her attention to the camera boy. Uncrossing her arms, she gestured for him to give her the camera so she could record him. She needed to get out of the dark place before she started crying in front of her friends. “I know you haven’t been back in awhile but maybe you can speak from the Callahan perspective?”
“Oh shit, okay,” Adam wasn’t expecting to be on camera during this but Kylee’s line of questioning was forcing his hand. He handed her his camera, gently so as to not damage the beautiful machine and awkwardly waved once her lense was aimed at him. “Well, erm…” He paused for a moment. He was so used to adding all his commentary in post. Adam never really felt comfortable on screen, a bad sign for someone who wanted to make documentaries for a living. He rang his hands together a bit as his gaze fell between the three beauties starting at him. Holy fuck were these Goddesses intimidating.
“I mean, Jill knows this but walking around a town where streets and buildings are named after your ancestors is quite daunting. The fact that even now, to this day, being a Foundling is considered a high honor, it’s downright baffling really.” He ran both hands through his thick shaggy hair and leaned back against the chair he was sitting on. “Most of us, will try and just get on with it, you know? But then there are those of us who for what it’s worth had a talent, a talent that can’t be ignored. Franny or Clay for example. The pressure to use that talent to keep the name out there, it’s like gravity being turned up to eleven. It’s impossible to move. That’s what the curse really is. It’s being unable to move on from what came before. It’s safe to say, it’s rare for a Foundling to get out of this town alive.”
Wow. Damn. That went dark. “Thank you, Adam,” Kylee softly responded as she gingerly gestured for him to take his camera back. When he grabbed it from her hands, as if they were passing a baby to one another, Kylee had a pensive look on her face. This actually was more interesting than who David fucked. This could also lead to clues to any living Carlisle members still out there. The last known member being Nikolas Carlisle, the founder of Edenridge National Laboratory. He died in 1984.
Kylee had always been curious about what happened to the family that once lived in her house. She never did tell her dad about this but she found a secret stash in a hole on the wall, hidden behind this old grandfather clock. A stash of pictures mostly, and some heirlooms. But that was an ongoing investigation and not the point right now. As she thought deeper on what her two friends said, speaking into existence,
Kylee breathed out and smiled, “Roddy got out,” and as much as her heart missed him, she knew he would do great things in Texas versus here. “Talent, no talent, purpose, no purpose, that’s all pretty subjective don’t you think? We can’t really change the past,” Kylee thought to herself, the wheels constantly turning in her head, “What we do have control over is how we handle the present. I wasn’t raised here. I moved here, what? Like when I was eleven? But, if I didn’t move here I wouldn’t have you three, or Roddy, or Clay. I don’t think the problem is Edenridge, herself. It’s like living in Detroit, or Chicago. There's dark shit everywhere. It’s all in a matter of perspective. If you’re stuck here, might as well try to take care of her. Be a pebble in the pond that creates a ripple of change. That’s just me, though. I don’t like seeing my home as a trap town. She’s all I’ve ever had.”
Mei cocked her eyebrow as she listened to the trio talk about their respective paths through this garden of Eden. Her Jillybean, an O’Brien, often considered the greatest and most delicate beauties in Edenridge history. Adam, the Callahan, they were the good guys, the honourable men living in dishonourable times. Then there was Kylee, a transplant herself but with roots to the town’s very foundation. Three different people, so entrenched in what this place was, is and could be. It was truly fascinating.
“For what it’s worth, I am sorry, truly, that you and all the other Foundlings have suffered so.” The Wiccan pressed a soft gentle kiss to the top of the fiery haired head of her girlfriend. “What you go through, makes you more prone to mistakes, more prone to succumbing to things that we all try not to. This place, our town, it is home but it’s also a fucking Hellmouth,” Mei tightened her grip on the back of Jil’s neck lovingly. “And it’s about time that changed. Our class, our friends, our family have suffered way too much and it’s about time someone stopped all that pain. This is going to end, I’m going to end this. Even if it fucking kills me.”
Jill subtly matched Mei’s grip with her own on Miss Midnight’s thigh. “You don’t get to die before I do. That’s the rule. You fucking promised me.” She moved her hand away and rested it back on her lap. “If this is to end in fire, then we shall both burn together.” Even if she was a day late to the goth scene, cherry picked Ed Sheeran lyrics helped Jill fit right in to the vibe.
Getting to her feet, the goth girl polished off her beer and tossed it into the recycle bin. “Now, unless this turns into a foursome, which I’m absolutely here for, then I think you’ve asked all your questions and it's time to wrap this orgy up.”
Glancing at her watch, Kylee noticed the time. Oh shit. She had a lunch date with Marco at the park. “I lost track of time,” Grabbing her small notebook off the table, Kylee stood up and went to the girl that Mei introduced, years ago, who was growing to be one of her closest friends. Kneeling down, Kylee brought Jill into a warm embrace and whispered, “Thank you. I know I might be in over my head but thank you. This means a lot.”
The redhead happily returned the embrace. She was a hugger. Anyone who ran into one of her drunken spells at the Hole knew that. It was nice to be able to enjoy the enveloping feeling without the fog in the way though. It was funny that Kylee didn’t have the full on pedigree that herself and Adam and Coach and Caitlin had, but maybe that was Jill's role as a Foundling. To bridge the gap to those on the outside and try and make Eden a less closed-off place. Even if that meant putting herself at risk.
“You’re welcome, KyHigh,” Jillian confirmed. “And if you need any help tracking Cece down, give me a heads up. I know I wasn’t able to fill in many blanks for you, but she should have the best memory out of the remaining cheerleaders, so hopefully she has some better answers for you.”
“Kay, unless we’re getting naked, time to make a manoeuvre,” Mei smiled, a rare sight as always. She winked towards Kylee and then made her way to Adam as he fiddled with his camera. She leaned down, placing her painted fingers on his deceptively strong looking shoulder and whispered in his ear. “Take care of her, she’s special. If you don’t, I’m having your balls for breakfast.” She stood back up to her full height and turned to face her best friend and girlfriend once again.
“Jilly, the Afterlife awaits.”
“But it’s 2:30… you know what, nevermind,” Kylee kissed Jill’s cheek before releasing her and making her way to Adam.
The youngest O’Brien, barring any kids that Kieran might have had that she didn’t know about, smiled back at her intrepid friend. “Don’t worry, we have walked among the dead in the Afterlife for quite some time. We’re well versed in traversing the vampires at all times of day.” Jillian stood up and moved over to Mei, linking her hands with the Ramsey girl’s own. “Let me grab a couple things, finish my beer and then I’ll be ready to cross the River Styx.” She glanced over at Kylee and to confirm the positive feelings were still there for a change, she smiled again.
Looking back at her two friends, her best girlfriends, Ky gave her signature Tigger wave and goodbye, “Ta ta for now. Until next time, ladies.” Exiting the apartment, she led the charge, her friend in tow, “Craving Chinese? Because I promised a friend I’d treat him.”
Adam hurrying, grabbed his camera and offered a brief wave to Fire and Darkness before following Ky out of the door. “I’m down for some Chinese, I haven’t eaten in a minute.” He looked back at the door of the apartment as he and the good lady Grimm stepped into the elevator. Another world ago, Jill and Mei were two of the most popular girls in school (although Mei hated that) and now there they were, locked together in love but so utterly broken by the years of heartache that this town caused. It did make him wonder, in spite of what she had said, why Kylee was so desperate to save it?
Was it really worth it?