I didn’t ride the bus. My mom went to work at six in the morning and as a result I was often dropped off in front of my high school at five-thirty in the morning. I was always the first one to homeroom, but Amanda was always the second person to show up with Skye close behind her. It was the last day of our freshman year when I had worked up the nerve to ask Skye to join me after school at the Youth Center. We had been dating ever since.
It was a nice thing. I was dating one of the prettiest girls in the school and each morning I’d have the better part of an hour to spend with her until the rest of the class showed up. The only real mar on this experience was that Amanda seemed hell bent on interjecting herself into every conversation. It was as if no one was allowed to have Skye’s undivided attention. We were halfway through our sophomore year when I realized I was starting to hate Amanda.
Don’t ask me why, but I got in my head that it would be a good idea to play a prank on her. It was a simple thing. I propped a five gallon bucket filled with water on top of the door to the classroom and left the door slightly ajar. The bucket leaned against the top of the door frame and I kept the door in place with a chair. Amanda would come bursting through as she always did and the water would drench her. I don’t imagine Skye would have been incredibly happy with me, but it would have at the very least conveyed the point to Amanda that I didn’t really like her all that much.
I made sure everything was in place and to my horror Skye burst through the door. In nearly four months of waiting for them to enter she had never come in first. The whole event played out in slow motion as she pushed on the door and the bucket came down bottom first. I watched as the hard plastic edge backed by forty pounds of water slammed down on the front of her head and cut deep into her forehead. The bucket bounced off her face and poured out onto the ground as Amanda ran in right behind Skye just in time to get her feet wet as her best friend fell unconscious and bleeding at her feet.
I stood there dumbfounded as Amanda dropped her books and started shouting for someone to call an ambulance. I walked over and knelt down in the water trying to hold Skye’s hand. Amanda batted my hand away and said, “What the fuck were you thinking, Kevin?”
I stuttered, “I-I thought…”
Amanda interrupted, “You thought what, Kevin? Speak up.”
I gathered myself and said, “I thought you were going to be the one coming through the door.”
I reached down to grab Skye’s hand and Amanda stood up and kicked me saying, “Get the fuck away from her you fucking psycho!” She then poked her head into the hall and screamed, “SOMEBODY HELP US!”
I didn’t make it to my first class that morning. I didn’t even get to see my girlfriend loaded onto an ambulance. The school security officer rushed in and saw Skye bleeding on the floor as a frantic Amanda pointed at me and shouted, “He did it!” The security officer grabbed my arm and wrenched it behind my back before leading me out of the room against my will. When the ambulance and police arrived, I was cuffed and placed in police custody. The school suspended me until the end of the year and the local juvenile courts gave me a two year suspended sentence for reckless endangerment with a year of probation. On top of this, I did thirty days in Juvenile Hall during the summer. When it was all said and done, one simple prank had all but ruined my life. But my story doesn’t end there. If anything that was the first in a long series of unfortunate events that didn’t really make much sense until very recently.
I returned to school the following year as a Junior. The school had seen fit to make sure I was in a different homeroom than Amanda and Skye. Still, I paid a freshman kid five bucks to pass a note to Skye that read:
I’m so incredibly sorry. I would have reached out before now but my parent's lawyer told me not to contact you or Amanda. I just wanted to say that I am so very sorry that I messed up and hurt you. I don’t expect you to forgive me, but I just want you to know that I’m sorry.
I was sitting by myself at lunch when Amanda walked up to my table and threw the note at my tray saying, “Skye doesn’t want to talk to you. Leave her alone creep.”
I shot back, “She’s more than capable of telling me that herself, why don’t you fuck off Amanda.”
She smiled and said, “Okay, I will. It would be a shame if you were to violate your probation though.” At the time, I had no idea what she meant. In retrospect, I wish I had stood up right then and beat her to death right there on the spot.
We were a couple of months into the school year when it came time for the Fall Formal. I showed up alone and couldn’t help but stare as Skye and Amanda showed up in matching blue dresses. Skye had been wearing her hair down over her left eye ever since I had mistakenly given her a rather disfiguring scar from her brow to her hairline. Even with the scar, she looked absolutely stunning. What more, they both walked up to me. Amanda looked down at the floor and said, “I talked to Skye and well… I think she should say it herself.”
Skye looked in my eyes and said, “I don’t think we could ever really date again, but would you mind dancing with me tonight?” We danced to a few songs as Amanda wandered off on her own. It was a magical night. We danced for the better part of thirty minutes before we moved over to a table and started talking. Skye leaned over and said, “I forgot how much I enjoyed spending time with you.” It was a dream and I was so worried I was going to wake up.
I replied, “I’m just surprised this is all happening.”
Amanda came over with drinks and handed one to each of us before pulling up a chair. I looked over and said, “You’re being uncharacteristically nice, Amanda. Is this poison?”
She laughed and said, “Oh Kevin, if I were going to kill you I’d use a knife.” It didn’t really answer my question but then again I was sixteen and I wasn’t exactly thinking anything could go wrong in that moment. I had Skye back, if only for a night. Amanda was being civil like the old days. The whole thing almost seemed like a happy ending of sorts. That’s the problem with happy endings though. That’s just where the story ends. If I ended the story here, it would be a great place to fade to black and show some still image with a success story. Instead, I started feeling incredibly woozy and my body started tingling all over. No sooner than I could process what was going on, Amanda and Skye were walking away from the table.
Skye looked back if only for a moment and I saw a look in her eyes that I didn’t really understand at the time. It was almost as if she pitied me. I stumbled hazily toward them only to be met by the school security officer. Someone had called the school and told them I was selling drugs out of my locker at the Fall Formal. It didn’t help that I was somehow high as a kite. They popped open my locker and found a few grams of ketamine. Later testing would show that it had been added to the punch bowl as well. Despite my pleas that I was being set up and that Amanda had drugged me, no one was hearing it. My probation was revoked and new charges were levied.
I would be nineteen before I saw freedom again.
For almost three years, I sat in a cell reading books and working out as I tried to get through the time itself. Some nights I’d lay there daydreaming about a life with Skye until I went into dreams of freedom. Eventually, I stopped caring about what might of been and started focusing on what actually happened. It occurred to me that Skye had to have been on it. I told the story to my cellmate and he was like, “Dude it sounds like the bitch was in on it.” I don’t know why that had never occurred to me before that night laying in my bunk but from that point on I was able to clearly piece it together in my head.
Amanda and Skye had shown up to that dance with the intent of getting me arrested. While Skye kept me distracted, Amanda had to have gotten into my locker somehow and planted the drugs. Then, Skye led me over to the table and Amanda fetched us some drinks. That’s why neither her nor Skye was drugged. She dumped the extra in the punch bowl so it would look like I was pulling another prank. It had to have happened that way. Nothing else made sense. I spent my last year on the inside plotting and planning to kill Amanda, but that all faded away when I got out.
Amanda and Skye had gone off to college and I had to move in with my grandmother. I wasn’t on probation anymore and my juvenile record had been sealed, but for some reason every place I tried to apply for seemed to pick up on the fact that I had done time. No one was hiring me and no one from high school had any desire to hang out with me. I spent most of my time alone in the tool shed behind my grandmother’s house because it was the only rainproof structure on her property that was close enough to an open wifi network that I could actually get online. This was the winter of 2007.
I got onto this new thing called Facebook. I made a profile under the name Jim Stone and added most of my old friends from high school to get an idea of what happened while I was away as well as to have an excuse to check up on Skye and Amanda. I don’t think I was actually planning on hurting anyone at that point but I was still curious and obsessed. I had stopped taking my medication the day I left the prison and I had picked up a bit of a drinking habit. It wasn’t long until I figured out that Skye and Amanda were attending college at the local state university.
I walked past there a few times. It was your typical used book store on the court square: rows of books in the back, a few coffee tables and a few sofas. Both girls sat at a register toward the front and neither saw me as I walked passed on several occasions. I learned their schedules. Skye would walk out with the deposit bag each night and Amanda would lock up and leave roughly fifteen or twenty minutes later. I brought a voice recorder with me and set it up so I could catch Skye by herself. I guess I figured if I could get her to admit that she and Amanda had set me up that I could get some sort of vindication or something. I honestly don’t know what I was thinking.
Skye walked past the alley where I had posted up and I jumped out behind her saying, “Did you really think you could get away with it?” She turned around and shrieked in terror. I stepped forward and said, “Admit it!”
Skye took a step back and said, “I’m sorry Kevin, Amanda said it was the only way to make sure you’d leave me alone forever. I never even wanted to talk to you again.”
I shot back, “You could have just told me that!”
She was crying at this point and said, “I’m so sorry.”
I said, “What are you sorry for?” as I leaned in closer.
She all but whispered, “I’m sorry.”
I was shouting at that point and said, “Sorry doesn’t give me a job or money Skye! No one wants to hire the girlfriend abusing drug dealer!”
She pushed the deposit bag forward and said, “Just take it!” I was holding the deposit bag as I felt a sharp pain between my legs followed by an intense burning in my eyes.
Amanda had ran up from behind and kicked me square in the taint. As I went down she emptied a can of pepper spray into my eyes. In all the commotion she pulled Skye away from me. I rolled around on the ground for several minutes as I tried to push through the pain in my eyes and stand up. I had just made it over to the window of the bookstore when I could make out the blue and red flashing lights through searing pain that was my eyes.
I caught another charge for assault and attempted robbery. As an adult, I was sentenced to four years with the possibility of parole in two. I ended up serving three before being sent home because of overcrowding. One of the conditions of my release was that I go nowhere near Skye. Again, no sooner than I was outside the prison, I stopped taking my medication like the idiot that I am. I started to fixate again. I logged back into my old Jim Stone Facebook account and I was still friends with half the guys from high school. I went ahead and sent a friend request to Skye. It was 2011 and everyone was playing games on Facebook. I sent random game requests to Skye and after a while I started talking to her.
It was just casual conversation at first. She’d complain about her roommate being a control freak and how she wished she could just get away. I’d talk about work and how I couldn’t stand the customers that came into the gas station at night.
This continued for about a month before she sent me a message that read, “Kevin, I think we should meet up.”
I replied, “How long have you known?”
She replied, “For a while now XD.”
I balked at meeting up at first, but over the course of the next few weeks we built up a new rapport. She apologized for helping Amanda. I apologized for being so inconsiderate. I dunno, from there it almost felt like we were reconnecting and rekindling something that resembled a relationship. One day she suggested we meet up at the park. I jumped at the opportunity. I put on my best casual outfit and layered on the cologne.
I was sitting in a bench at the city park when I saw Skye and Amanda walking around the bend. Skye looked at me in horror as Amanda smiled from ear to ear. I ran up and said, “What the fuck is wrong with you? Why can’t you just leave me the fuck alone?” I shouted this at Skye as Amanda’s smile turned to a look of contempt.
She shouted, “Go away, Kevin! Stop creeping on my best friend already! SOMEBODY HELP!”
Before I could respond, I was feeling a familiar searing pain in my eyes followed by what felt like a crowd of people kicking me while I was down.
The judge didn’t give two squirts of piss that I had a chat log showing a nearly six month conversation with Skye on Facebook that invited me to the park. I was on probation and there was a no contact order. More to the point, the prosecutor had a sworn statement from Skye and Amanda that neither one of them used social media. My lawyer subpoenaed their ISP and Facebook for information, but neither seemed content with handing over the information. In the end, I was charged with a parole violation and served out the rest of my sentence.
I had a long time to think about my life and my situation during that last year of incarceration. Up until that point I had neglected treatment and medication while I was free. I saw it as more of an inconvenience than anything else. Antipsychotic medication has a tendency to leave me feeling kinda groggy at times, but the results were hard to argue with. When I was medicated, I was attentive and not really prone to stupid behavior. While medicated, I couldn’t wrap my mind around the decisions I had made.
I guess it just kinda clicked with me that in order to be a healthier person I had to stay with treatment and medication when I got out. I signed up for an online college while I was in prison and ended up transferring to their main campus when I was released. Having served out my time I was free of probation and parole for what was probably the first time in my adult life. The college had great support services and I even had a tutor to help me with some of my classes. In those next few years I ended up finishing an associates degree in electrical engineering and even snagged a decent job working for that very same college in their maintenance department.
I had my life back on track. I lived in a tiny house I had built myself with a girlfriend I had met at the college. We had a half an acre of land just on the edge of town and the makings of a decent life. Sure, I was a three time convicted felon with a psychotic disorder and a messed up past, but I had overcome that and moved on, or so I thought.
I was walking through campus checking on the relay boxes when I noticed Amanda. I walked passed her like she didn’t exist. In fact, I started seeing her in more and more places, but each time I made it a point to avoid her. It was only when I went back to my truck and noticed she was sitting in her car parked next to me that I knocked on her window and said, “Are you following me?” She started her car and drove off.
Just to be sure I scheduled an appointment with my psychiatrist and had a full mental-health check up. I wanted to make sure that my medication hadn’t suddenly stopped working. My psychiatrist told me to contact the police if I really believed Amanda was following me, so that’s what I did. I went down to the police station and filed a harassment complaint and listed Amanda as the individual I wanted to leave me alone. They took my statement but told me that there wasn’t much I could do unless she made any other action.
I told Charlotte, my girlfriend, about the whole ordeal. It was at that point that she informed me she had just accepted a friend request on Facebook from Amanda. I called the police again and gave them that information as well. For the next two weeks I started seeing Amanda in more and more places. I have to admit I was scared there for a while. I was worried that I was either hallucinating or even worse that I was misinterpreting everything and that I was just fixating again. Ultimately, I stopped seeing Amanda as much and that was when everything flipped on its ear.
Charlotte met me at the door after work with a letter from Skye. I didn’t even open it. I went back to the dining room table and opened up my laptop to play some Fallout before winding down for the night. That letter sat on my counter for a week before I finally gave into curiosity and opened it.
I don’t even know what to say to you. When I found out the extent Amanda went to to punish you, I couldn’t even recognize her anymore. I’m not innocent in all of this, but you have probably figured that out by now. Amanda convinced me that if I distracted you at the dance you’d leave me alone forever. I mean, at the time she had me convinced you were stalking me and that she was intercepting letter after letter you were sending me, but that proved to be a lie. Like most things with Amanda, everything she did was some scheme or plan to make herself seem like my knight in shining armor.
I’ve been in therapy for the better part of a year now and one of the things I’ve had to make peace with is my part in what Amanda and I did to you. You aren’t innocent either. You had drunkenly accosted us at one point. Though I think the absolute worst is when Amanda catfished you and brought me to the park just so she could reinforce her narrative that you were a crazy stalker. I don’t think I can ever forgive myself for going along with what she did. At the same time, I still resent the scar on my face. If you hadn’t put me in that situation I don’t think I would have ever felt like I needed someone like her. But I’m getting away from the point here. The thing is I’m sorry and if you can find it in your heart to forgive me. I think I might feel a little better. — Skye
I showed the letter to Charlotte and asked her if she had any opinion on the subject. She responded, “There’s a phone number on the back of the letter. I think you should tell her you’re sorry too and leave it at that.”
I nodded and pulled out my phone and dialed the number. It rang twice and then a voice on the other end of the line said, “Hello. Who’s this?”
I responded, “Is Skye there?”
The voice shouted, “Skye! It’s for you!”
A few seconds later Skye answered, “Skye speaking, who’s this?”
I replied, “It’s Kevin.”
She replied, “Kevin, how did you get my phone number?”
I was on speakerphone and Charlotte ripped the phone out of my hand and said, “Because that crazy bitch Amanda sent my fiance a letter from you with your phone number on the back of it. You two need to leave my man alone or I’ll fucking cut you bitches!”
I was taken aback and a little impressed with Charlotte. Skye started sniffling and crying on the other end of the line and said, “That fucking bitch! I didn’t send any letter and I don’t talk to Amanda anymore…”
What followed was a twenty minute conversation between Charlotte and Skye on speakerphone as I sat in the background and listened to the story from Skye’s point of view. Apparently Amanda had spent the better part of ten years telling Skye I was an obsessive stalker and luring me to various encounters so she could prove herself a valued friend. In the end, Amanda made a pass at Skye and when Skye rejected her, Amanda basically admitted to everything she had written as Skye in the letter and declared that Skye would never find another person willing to go to those lengths for her, but then Skye said something that changed everything in my mind. It was toward the end of her conversation with Charlotte when she said, “The worst part is that day the bucket hit me, Amanda told me to run in first and jump in your lap. The bitch knew about the bucket and wanted me to get soaked. Me getting injured was just icing on the cake…”
It was in that moment that I realized my entire life of hardship and bullshit was in part because some crazy chick had a crush on my girlfriend and decided to destroy me as a result. Medication or not, I couldn’t process that kind of stress. I stood up and walked outside as Charlotte finished her conversation with Skye. They would continue to talk and become friends over the course of the next few weeks as I made it a point to see my therapist twice a week there for a while to try and work out the mountain of issues that welled up inside of me because of that revelation.
Skye and Charlotte became fast friends. It wasn’t long before Skye was coming over to sit with Charlotte or that they would go out together. Skye had started dating a guy named James and we hit it off instantly. Before long it was barbecues and beer with football on Sundays. The womenfolk would do their own thing and I had something I’d never bothered to look for until that point, a friend. James was in the National Guard and during one of his weekends away, Charlotte invited Skye to stay with us. All was going well until one night I woke up to a crashing sound in the living room. I got out of bed to see Amanda holding Skye with a knife to her throat.
Charlotte filed out of bed behind me and said, “I take it this is Amanda?”
Amanda shouted, “You think you get to have a happy ending? You think you get to have the girl and a life? You’re going back to prison, Kevin. I’m going to kill everyone here and make it look like you did it. It’s not the first time I’ve set you up?”
I was going to respond but Charlotte spoke up saying, “Bitch, have you ever heard the line 'Maybe She’s Not That Into You?' You aren’t killing me and you damn sure aren’t killing Skye…”
Amanda pulled a gun with her free hand and shot Charlotte in the forehead. Brain matter and viscera sprayed out from the back of her head and splashed me. Skye struggled against the knife and Amanda stabbed her in the throat before letting her fall to the ground. Amanda then smiled and walked forward before reaching out and handed the gun toward me grip first.
The sound of the gunshot had alerted the neighbors and I could hear sirens in the distance. Amanda picked up on this and said, “Take the gun, asshole. Be the hero. Skye coughed up blood as Amanda kept shouting for me to take the gun. I took the opportunity to punch Amanda square in the jaw before turning to run out the back door. No sooner than I had cleared the doorway, I heard another gunshot and felt the splintered wood hit me in the back of the neck.
I made it out into the front yard before Amanda shouted, “STOP!” and fired another shot. The police pulled into my driveway and jumped out of their cars guns drawn. Amanda shouted, “This asshole just stabbed my girlfriend and shot his fiancee in the head. He has a gun!”
I put my hands over my head and knelt down as I shouted, “This crazy bitch just killed my fiancee and her best friend! I’m unarmed!” Amanda put down her gun at their request and the both of us were cuffed and taken down to the station as Skye was loaded into an ambulance. I sat down at the station for the better part of four hours before an officer came in to get my statement. After it was all said and done, I was released and told to go home.
As I walked out of the interrogation room, I couldn’t help but see Amanda sitting in the adjacent room smiling from ear to ear as she stared at me. I don’t know what to expect from here on out, but at least that crazy bitch is going to be in prison for the next twenty years. As for me, I have to bury my fiancee.