Veronica Sawyer is the only person who knows where Jason Dean's grave is, because Veronica Sawyer is the only one who knows he died. She was all ready to leave the pieces of him scattered across the football field where they lay, given that he had held no qualms about doing the same to the entire school himself: but it turns out that seeing someone explode in front of you hangs in your memory for longer than you'd expect. Particularly when they've just declared their undying love to you.
Particularly at 3AM, when she tends to wake up in a cold sweat and lie shivering for a couple of hours.
So, she had to build something. It's in the woods, just outside the fence which borders the field, because she knows that JD wouldn't have wanted to be buried on school grounds, and she doesn't like the thought of giving him more reason to haunt her. It's a mediocre affair, with an annotated copy of Moby Dick (he can have it back, the asshole) and a 7-Eleven straw, because why not, and a pistol. It's not so much she thinks he'll appreciate the gun, it's that her leg seizes up every time she looks at it: and disposing of unlicensed weapons is illegal at worst and difficult at best.
Anyway, she took the bullets out. Even if he comes back, he'll have to find a way to load it first. That should give her some warning time, at least.
Shit. Enough of the crazy talk.
More of the praying. Fuck knows he'll need it, wherever he is right now. She clears her throat, brings her hands together in a conciliatory manner. "Dear JD."
She pauses. Closes her eyes, to focus. Say something profound. "How you doing."
She continues, before his snarky reply has time to bite. "I'm doing great, thanks for asking. No help to you.
"I mean, I'm doing better than you. I assume. Probably. Actually, who knows, maybe you had a golden heart down in there somewhere. Okay, no, you were an asshole, actually. So yeah, hope you're having fun in hell."
This isn't coming across quite how she intended it. "Seriously, enjoy it. Uh, work's going great, actually! First year at Harvard done. The others would say hi, if they knew your name, I guess –"
She breaks off, suddenly aware of herself, how stupid she sounds.
Why is she holding a vigil for this guy, anyway?
Unbidden, the reply comes back to bite her – because she's the only one who knows he's dead.
You would have thought that the disappearance of one of the school's students would have created more of an uproar. But given the spate of tragic suicides recently – not to mention the bombing – no one was going to care about the weird guy in the trenchcoat who used to date whatever her name was – that fourth Heather. JD's own plan had worked against him. And with his dad moving to another state without so much as a leaving notice, he's disappeared without a trace.
He deserved it, sure. But that leaves her in some twisted state of purgatory. Like, wishing that someone hadn't died is normal, right? It isn't some symptom of Stockholm Syndrome, right?
From her wrist hangs a clear shopping bag. She lifts it up. "I got you some smokes." She waits a moment from him to respond. "Fine, just me then." She reaches in, rips the packet open, lets one dangle from her mouth. It droops from her lips as she speaks, fumbling in her pockets. "So I'm starting an internship in two weeks. Pretty cool, huh? Veronica the working woman. Self-sufficient. It's like the young person's dream. You ever think of that?"
She raises the lighter up and clicks it, once. She watches the flame dance in her hand –
– we can smile and cuddle while the –
– and snaps the lid shut.
"You ever think about the future, JD?" She asks, cigarette still unlit in her mouth. Strange, that as she's standing here, vaguely confessional, like a penitent at church, it begins to just pour out of her. Pieces that she'd never put together. "I never did. While I was around you, anyway. And I did before and now it's just all I can think about. But what if they found out, JD? I killed people, like, that was a thing I did, sure I didn't mean it, but like –"
She stops, because she can feel him staring, accusing – laughing, at her. "Don't be like that," she moans. "You know what it's like to be the only one alive?"
Shit. She didn't realise quite how true that was until she said it.
"Anyway." She throws the pack on his grave, plastic bag and all. "Happy anniversary, or whatever."
She pauses. "Yeah."
Again. "See you around."
Twenty minutes later, she finally leaves.
Someday, somehow, she'll stop coming back.