Laura will say at the end, I suffered seizures on and off as if she had any idea what was happening in that well. She will say she wouldn’t let anyone help her and with pity, a frown. She will adjust the straps of her dress and scowl and say so beautiful.. She will say tragic as if there was a stopping. She will talk about my looks for an unknown amount of time. She will claim a bond we never had.
I arose swiftly despite the convulsion, almost like the shake produced some kind of electricity and I charged to the room ripping the sheet down, knocking my painting of two flowers off the wall and the first thing I did was spit. Well, I tried to spit but nothing came out. My mouth was sand dry again. The second thing I did was bang my fist against it and the third thing I did was charm. Incantantion.
“Your name is Katarina.”
Laura will say when I said it in my sleep she thought it was proper English.
But then sometimes she would say things like “coat, hand me my coat” and it would sound Australian.
Maybe European English, you know when someone is learning English they have that undetectable accent.
Or New Zealand.
It was still kind of British.
She kept saying she was going to cause a wreck but with flair. Dramatically. Like in an English accent. Cauussee a wreck. And slowly.
And the mirror sung back, drool sliding down where I had licked it to mark it like it’s mine to own.
“Sweet, Katarina. I found you.”
Weak, my fingers slid off the top of the lake following the other hand as my body became a cannonball.No one offered me a hand up. Why would I think they would? Weak, my fingers pressed firmly into the snow. Weak, my body being suspended in air like that. Weak, now from hours of walking and waiting and terror.
“Feeble,” Lilian had called me. “You are never prepared.”
That was hours ago. That was when we were friends. That was when we quarreled with giggles; pettish yet with a foxes smile. Laughing. This now; where we are now; this is gritted teeth and chapped hands and insurmountable tasks. You were never friends.
“We were never friends,” I stand shaking, facing her.
She backs up instinctively. Despite her air of prescience still afraid of me. After all this.
“Of course we were.”
“Of course we were,” I mock her in her British accent.
“Of course we were,” I murmur to the mirror in a British accent.
This is betrayal.
She mentioned betrayal. And she had already slapped Camille claiming Camille slapped her. Called her Lilian. She called herself Catarina.
“Walk, Katarina. You do remember how to walk don’t you?”
She pushed me. As if this wasn’t enough, she pushed me as I hobbled past. And they all stood by her: petulant and horse-faced and neighing like that, nodding.
“Bitches,” I let my cheek rest against the mirror. “Petulant witches.”
“What’s that, Cat?”
“I said I will do it.”
And I slid to the carpet arms spread out for crufixion, eyes wide to the sparkles on my ceiling: yellow and green strewn about from some previous tenant’s happiness. Like constellations. She came in the room all black and imperious, towering.
“You will do what?”
Her left foot near my air and her right foot sliding slowly heavy towards it
“I will walk across the fucking lake.”