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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Romance  |  House: Booksie Classic

Submitted: June 11, 2016

A A A | A A A

Submitted: June 11, 2016




The police can’t find her, or her body, as they’re saying now. It makes me mad. They know that she’s just missing, she’s not dead. There’s no proof.
But I guess there is no proof that she’s alive either.
The constable came around to our house today before school and asked questions about her. Mother couldn’t exactly answer all of them because she didn’t know the answers. Well, she couldn’t remember them since she had been drinking with those gross friends of hers that live around the road in a creepy house and make sandwiches that smell like moth balls and write letters to their friends in Poland even though they don’t write back. Mother say’s they keep good company, I say they keep me on my nerves.
The constable left and didn’t even bother questioning me which was quite rude since I was her brother. Correction, ‘am her brother’, she is just missing. Some days I think she’s not missing and that she has run away to join the circus like she said when we were children, where she would become an acrobat to swing around so she could feel like she was flying. Or maybe that she is flying, off in a big jet plane to New York City and follow her dreams.
If the dreams she told me were true, because she had started lying lately.

No-one in school is talking to me but I guess they never did before. Only Arnold from Art Class does, but his comments are usually crude and mean and about my sketches and they hurt my still-existent feelings. The people in the hallways don’t seem to notice I’m there, even her best friend Grace.
I saw her the day after the incident when she had left the school crying. I haven’t seen her since.
I don’t think anyone actually realizes I am her brother which is odd since we are twins. The fact that we both have different last names and that we don’t ‘hang out’ with each other probably made them think that. Or maybe they’re too caught up in their own lives to care.

Mother’s drinking hasn’t improved since Dad left, and now that she’s missing Mother has taken a turn for the worst. She spends eighty percent of her time drinking whisky and diet coke and the other twenty percent eating sandwiches that smell like moth balls. Which comes to the conclusion that she has no percentage of time left for me, but I don’t really mind because she can’t talk properly and she smells like whisky and diet coke and moth balls.
I wonder if Dad knows anything about her disappearance. If he did he probably wouldn’t care because he’s too busy off with his new perfect family in his perfect house in Minnesota who all look perfect and have perfect grades and perfect criminal records and perfect smiles and perfect sandwiches.
Sorry, sandwiches keep coming to mind because I’m writing this as I sit in the cafeteria and the sandwich (that I will never eat) smells like moth balls and glares at me from its seat on the table. It can only glare at me since I am the only one here. Maybe it thinks that I’m strange for writing in my journal because I never started writing until she went missing. She used to write them all the time, so I guess it made me feel a little bit closer to her.
The sandwich glared a little too long so I ended up throwing it in the bin.

I hate pop art as much as I hate birds, which is a lot. I hate birds because they are the most self-concerned creature next to humans because all they do is eat food off the floor and shit on your windows and occasionally your shoulder and even a sketch that you were doing in the park. I hate Pop Art because it’s loud and bouncy and colourful and has no story behind it, or meaning really. If it could talk it would probably say things like “Hey! I’m here for no reason and I’m super happy!” and I would shoot it with the gun that Dad left under the house when he went off to his perfect family.
So as my art teacher handed out ‘Pop Art’ sheets and talks about colour and happy things, I pulled out my sketch book and my pencil and add a couple of details to her hair. Hair is hard to sketch in lead pencil because you can’t tell what colour it is, and I want her hair to be as blonde as it is when I look at it and her eyes to be as blue as they are when I quickly glance at her and her smile to be as big as it was when it ever existed.
Mother once asked me who I was drawing, and why I have sketch books full of her. I didn’t want to tell her about Natalie because she’d probably blabber about it in her drunken states and make me sadder than I already am. Plus I like drawing Natalie because it keeps me occupied. She’s beautiful and she’s not ‘perfect’ like those girls in the halls with the high skirts and the push up bra’s and that decide to slap their face into a pile of mud every morning and she’s not perfect like my father’s family. I wonder if she knows she’s beautiful.  The beautiful people never know that they are.

If she ever finds out that I draw her I don’t know what I would do. Most likely I would feel ashamed and people would probably call me a stalker or a creep, but the only time I ever see her is in Art Class so their name calling would be falsely indicated. I often think of this subject before I go to bed at night and promise myself that I will never draw her again, but it never works and by the next art class I’ve already completed three.

Arnold looked over my shoulder and stared at my sketch. Even though he is the only person that really does talk to me I dislike him more than the ones who don’t. He used to blabber to his friend John about how hot my sister is when he thought I wasn’t listening. Actually I don’t think he cared if I was listening or not, since he doesn’t know she is my sister.
“Hey Finn, nice piece of shit”. Arnold had sneered from over my shoulder. “It just needs one more thing”.
Then he spat on it and it landed right in her face and made it look like she was crying which ruined the picture entirely since the whole point was to see her happy.
I closed the book and left the classroom with the teacher yelling after me, but I really didn’t care and walked home. Half way home I forgot I left my moth ball sandwich in my locker.

The police were swarming around the forest when I walked past and many parts were blocked off with police tape. It scared me. When I walked over and asked them what was going on, the said it was completely irrelevant to my sister’s case and when I asked them what it was about again, they told me to leave or they would call the police. I didn’t tell the officer that what he had said was stupid, because he could have been sarcastic and I’ve never really understood sarcasm.

When I turned up at home Mother’s gross friends were there and talking about disturbing websites on the internet and eating moth ball sandwiches so I left to the park with my sketchbook and sketched a couple of flowers. I like flowers because everyone likes them, and they don’t know if they have a mental disability or not, but if they did no-one would care because they’re so beautiful.
I’m sorry if I’m not making much sense and that my sentences are very long and I use the word ‘and’ a lot but I can’t help being this way, it’s just how I am and I can’t change it. I wish I could. I wish my brain worked like a normal person’s does.

But it doesn’t so I’m going to have to put up with it for a very, very long time also known as forever.



It’s been a week since that particular art class where stupid Arnold Johnson spat on my picture and I am still very sad. Mother hasn’t been home for at least thirty-four hours but I’m not going to bother the police. I want them to keep looking for her, and I know this may be selfish but I love her more than I’ve ever loved Mother. I don’t know why I even call her ‘Mother’ because she isn’t a very good one. But I guess if I started calling her Bethany it would remind me of the times Dad used to call her Bethany, and I don’t want to think about Dad. I hate Dad.

I know this journal is for me to write my feelings in but I can’t exactly write my feelings. My feelings are all over the place and I really don’t want to get bad again. Sometimes I just don’t want to think because I think too much and overthink existence and become very depressed and then have occasional mental breakdowns. The breakdowns didn’t last very long individually because she was always there to help me and say things would be okay.
But since she’s disappeared now I guess they’d get worse.

On the good side of things, I made a friend. His name is Zach and he’s in my phys ed. Class. We met because the teacher told us to get into groups of two (I didn’t bother telling her that groups of two aren’t called groups, they’re couples) and somehow both Zach and I were the ones left out. We ended up leaving when the teacher wasn’t watching and sat behind a tree. I asked Zach why no-one picked him and he said that it’s a long story, so I’m guessing he didn’t want to talk about it. We did talk though, we talked about our classes and the teachers and how mean the head cheerleader Emma is. Zach also told me about his girlfriend Veronica back in California and that once he finishes school he’s going back there to her. Zach is a very good looking guy and I don’t want to say it like that but that’s the only way people will interpret it. 

I was going to sit with Zach at lunch but I couldn’t find him in the cafeteria so I sat at my usual table by myself without my moth ball sandwich. Sometimes I can still hear her saying “Finn, you know there’s not real moth balls in there. You just think it smells like them. Now eat it or you’ll get hungry, and we both know Mother doesn’t like grocery shopping”.
And I would reply with “Ashleigh, where are you? Why have you disappeared? Are you coming back?”. I’m joking of course, I’m not a time-traveller, I just don’t talk at all. I don’t talk to anyone. Apart from Zach, and Mother. And maybe if Natalie spoke to me but I don’t expect her to any day soon.

The one thing I hate the most about my Dad and his perfect everything is that he tried to take my dog with him when he left. It was my dog. Not his, not Mother’s, not Ashleigh’s, he was mine. I had got him for my tenth birthday and he was mine. He was my only best friend, and for five years we would walk through the forest every afternoon because I could talk to him about anything and he would listen. His name was Sasquatch; it just suited him perfectly for a Golden Retriever. He was lovely. He would sleep on the end of my bed and wake me up every morning by licking my face, and I would tell him that I loved him. He couldn’t tell me that he loved me back, but I could tell that he did.
That was until Dad drove away with him in the back of the Ute. Sasquatch could sense something was happening, so that’s why he jumped off the back and came racing back towards me, but he never made it. He never made it because Dad decided to reverse backwards and run over my best friend.
I cried for a long time and I didn’t talk to anyone for a long time. I didn’t go to school for a long time. The worst part was what Dad yelled out the window as he drove off. “I guess that you could say that Sasquatch is squashed!”. And that’s the last thing I’ve heard from him for two years.

My sketchbook has run out of pages so I’m going to have to get a new one. I need to draw more pictures. I need something to distract myself. I need a book.


Sorry that it’s been six day’s since I’ve wrote in here but I have something important I need to get out of my mind.
Today I felt happy.
It was strange because that feeling is from another world to me, and I felt it. I could tell that it was happiness because it was the exact same feeling from when I would be with Ashleigh, when I once walked Sasquatch in the forest and when I draw a good picture.
It happened because I went to the library to find a book because I needed to be distracted, Natalie was there. I walked through sections of books like romance and action, that I thought were tacky and wouldn’t distract me that much. I decided on mystery. But not fiction mystery.
As I was scrolling through the books and articles of serial killers and long lost children, I heard a tapping noise to my right and saw Natalie buried in a book. She looked beautiful as always. Her hair was spread out hiding her face and her blue little eyes darted across the page as she read. I had to stop myself from doing something stupid and turned back to the bookshelf, just as she noticed me.
“Hello” She spoke softly.
Since I have to write my feelings in here I would like to write this: WORDS CANNOT EXPLAIN HOW HAPPY I AM. (Sorry that my writing is a little shaky, I’m still quite excited).
I had turned around to face her just as she straightened up her collar that was tucked in her sweater and then I felt like I was going to faint because it was most certainly a dream and I was so nervous that I’m still nervous.
I nodded. I couldn’t talk to her, I was way too nervous to even breathe. She didn’t really take the hint of ‘I’m not someone who talks’ so she kept talking and I kept listening because Sasquatch taught me how to be a good listener. “You’re in my art class, aren’t you?” She asked, closing the book. I nodded again. “Do you talk?” She questioned.
I nodded.
“Can you say something?”
I shook my head.
“Why not?”
I shrugged.
“What’s your name?”
I had contemplated pretending to be a fish or shark and acting out like they do in charades before I realised I was holding my library card.
“Finn Hensley? Wow I-”
Then I panicked because my Library Card hadn’t been updated and it still held my Dad’s last name. Which is also my sister’s last name.
“-didn’t know Ashleigh had a brother”.
Dropping the books and running out of the Library probably wasn’t the smartest idea but I did it anyway because I’m like that.

Mother was home when I got back from the library. I was confused because she was cleaning. And she never cleans. I’m the one that cleans, because I fidget and get very irritated when things aren’t put back correctly. Like things people own that are in the wrong place. Like people’s dogs.
When I asked her why she was cleaning she just smiled at me and I felt like vomiting. Not because of the fact that she was smiling, it’s good to see someone happy, but because of the look of her smile. Her teeth were black and her face was wrinkled and pale and her eyes were doing crazy swirls.
If her gross friends have a disease then Mother has definitely caught it and no cure could ever help her.
She also smelt like smoke and moth balls so I ran up to my room quickly to write this. And then I remembered again,
that moth ball sandwich is still in my locker.


I’ve been getting bad again.
I’ve spent long nights just staring out my window at the stars or punching my pillow in anger but on good day’s I can fall asleep before two am. I think it’s the police search that’s making me worse; they’re all looking in the wrong places. Yesterday they spent the whole day looking around an abandoned hunting shack way up the south side of the forest. Everyone knows that no-one goes to the south side of the forest. I’m not sure if it started out as a ‘scare story’ or if it’s true or not, but what they said is that one night after a party two teenage ‘lovers’ (I find that word revolting) drove off to the south side to do ‘you know what’ (I didn’t know at the time what ‘you know what’ was, but I heard a couple more uncensored version’s to realise what it meant) in the guy’s car. Three days later they still hadn’t been seen until the police found the car with two body’s in it that had been killed by a knife to the heart. Again, I’m not sure if this is true or not. I’m hoping it’s not, because if Ashleigh did end up being in the south side like that, I would get bad again. Bader than before.

I only get bad at night when I’m not distracted by sketching or school or cleaning. Or Zach.
We spoke again yesterday at Phys. Ed. I asked him why he doesn’t go to the cafeteria, and he again answered with ‘it’s a long story’.  That annoys me because it leaves me wondering, the least he could do was lie and say “I’m allergic to the food” or something, because then I wouldn’t feel so curious. Then he told me that he actually hangs out in the computer storage room on the top floor, which I thought was strange. He also said I could go up there with him on Monday and meet his friends.
I like Zach. I think he’s a really nice guy, and I wonder why people don’t pick him for groups, because he really is an awesome person.

Mother hasn’t just been cleaning lately. She’s been ultra-cleaning, meaning she hasn’t just ‘tidied up’, she’s been chucking out things we never use and giving her clothes away to her gross friends or to charity. I think she’s gone mental-er, but I’m really not the one to talk. The only thing she hasn’t touched is Ashleigh’s room. I’m glad she hasn’t.

Also I passed Natalie in the hallways recently. I went right up to her and said “Hey Natalie, I’m sorry for what happened in the library. Will you forgive me and let you me ask you one thing?”.
She smiled at me and said “Sure”.
“Why don’t you know you’re beautiful?”.

Is that a joke? Or not? Is it funny? I’ve been trying to make jokes lately but it is very hard. I never actually went up to Natalie, we only passed each other and she smiled at me. And then I really hated Arnold Johnson because he had ruined the sketch with the most resemblance to her smile, so I left school five minutes before everyone else just so I could write an ‘L’  on his motorbike’s helmet.
I knew it was his because Arnold never shuts up about it. 

Something that really struck me was that Mother brought up Dad in a conversation the other day. I had never expected for her to bring him up again, and how much she hates Dad is ten times more than I do. And that’s saying something, because I hate Dad a lot, a god damn lot.

I just realized, why am I even calling him dad? I’ve called him Dad for so long even though he’s pretty much the opposite. Not literally, he isn’t my mother.
Was that funny? Please say it is. I hope I can make funny jokes soon.
Anyways back to the topic, I’m going to start calling him George again.


I haven’t written in here in a week and I am very, very sorry. I’ve been busy with Art Class because we have a new assessment due about ‘Inspiration’ and what makes us like drawing. Arnold said something about how his favourite Art is Photography, and then he said something very bad about woman which I don’t want to repeat. I’ve been very busy drawing pictures of flowers, pictures of Natalie, and even pictures of Natalie and Flowers combined! Wow!

(If that previous paragraph made me sound somewhat happy then my Drama teacher really does teach me well).

A lot has happened since I last wrote. I hung out with Zach and his friends in the ‘computer storage room’. It’s actually a room full of junk but at the very end there is a staircase leading to the roof where they all sit and smoke cigarettes. Zach introduced me to his friends. They are very nice.
There is a girl called Steph who is the only other person that doesn’t smoke, and she is a brunette. She was very spontaneous. There is also a guy called Alex who likes to play the guitar, he has red hair and something tells me he has a thing for Steph. But maybe it’s just intuition.
Zach also told me that there is a girl called Grace that usually hangs out with them as well, but a girl from her other friend group has passed away and Grace won’t be coming to school for a while.
This had to be about Ashleigh, but I only realised until now as I’m writing this.
I also only just realised they didn’t know I’m her brother, which is good.

I couldn’t stand it if people did know she was my twin sister. Imagine all the look’s I’d get in the hallways, how many people would look at me. I’d get so nervous I’d probably turn into dust. Sorry for not being normal. I just don’t like being looked at by a lot of people, or one important one.

Steph talked to me quite a lot throughout the week. I learnt that she liked a band called Artic Monkeys because she never really shut up about them. When I asked her why she listens to monkeys from the artic, she laughed at me and shook her head.
“No, Finn, it’s just their name. They have good music, you should listen to it sometime.”
She also told me that her favourite song by them is called Only Once You Know. I told her I’d listen to it one day, which I already had. Ashleigh loves it. But I didn’t want to bring on further discussion because I’m not much of a talker.

Steph and Alex have friendly quarrels about music a lot of the time. You see, Alex likes this band called Vampire Weekend (He also had to explain it to me that it’s just their name, I thought they were vampires only on weekends) and Steph likes them too. But the thing is that Alex thinks that Vampire Weekend are “way waaaaaaay better than those Monkeys” and Steph thinks that the Artic Monkeys are “way waaaaaaay better than those Vampires”. So they argue about it quite a lot. I think it’s cute.
Zach and I just sit in the middle of them and watch them argue, only having small conversations ourselves.

Their other friend Grace joined us on Friday when she finally came to school since the incident. She wasn’t very happy. When Zach or Steph or Alex tried to talk to her she would just mumble “mmmh” and stare at the ground. Even when I would try and crack a joke, she didn’t even laugh. It’s my jokes though; I guess you can’t really find them funny. I thought she was quite pretty, and I realised why after she mentioned something about having to go home early without her sister. Her sister is Natalie. I never knew she had a sister. Now we’re even, I guess.

I have to go do some more sketches now, Mother’s friends are over and they’re talking about bad things and I really need to calm down.


Natalie hasn’t been to school this whole week and I am very worried. I miss her, even though I never talk to her, it’s like school’s not the same. Zach and Steph and Alex and I have been sitting on the roof together but they have been sad. Everyone’s been sad lately, and I don’t know why. But for once I’m not sad because I am angry and annoyed. Somehow everyone knows that Ashleigh is my sister. I just hope it wasn’t Natalie that told them.

I got sent home early on Friday because I punched Arnold Johnson in Art Class. He had been blabbering on over my shoulder through the whole week and I had had enough because he decided to ask me “Where’s that pretty girl you always draw, huh?”
I shrugged and kept drawing my willow tree.
“I guess she’s disappeared too!”
And that’s how he ended up with a broken nose. I even made him cry. The best part was that his nose bled everywhere and all over his new white expensive sports shoes but he did deserve it.

I wasn’t allowed to stay at school so they sent me home early, they tried to call up Mother but they couldn’t get a hold of her so they decided to just let me walk home. I was going to take the walk through the forest but it was blocked off by police and police tape and there was a lot of commotion. I asked the officers if this had anything to do with Ashleigh Hensley but they said it doesn’t which confused me. I was about to leave and walk back home when I saw Natalie sitting on the curb outside her house with her head in her hands.

I didn’t really know what to do so I sort of just stood there for five minutes and listened to her crying and people gave me weird looks but I wasn’t really paying attention, then I decided it would probably be a good idea to go sit down next to her or something, so I did but she didn’t notice I was there so I just sat there for five minutes and listened to her crying and people gave me weird looks but I wasn’t paying attention.

After those five minutes I decided to slowly pat her back because that’s what I do to Ashleigh when she cries. I think Natalie was surprised when she lifted up her head and saw that it was me but she didn’t seem to care who is was and she hugged me because I think she just needed a hug. I didn’t really want to ask her why she was crying because I hate it when people ask me, so I just hugged her for five minutes and listened to her crying and people gave me weird looks but I wasn’t paying attention.

This guy came over to Natalie, and started talking to her but she just cried harder. I would tell you what he said but I’m so surprised that I don’t think I even heard him properly. After the guy left Natalie looked at me and asked me if I wanted to go for a walk, and I said yes. Because I did, really, I wanted to walk home and get away from this crowd of people but Natalie walked in a different direction so I just followed her along anyway.

We didn’t really talk for the first five minutes so I just walked with her for five minutes and listened to her sniffle and no-one gave me weird looks because I was paying attention. We walked to the park and she asked me to sit with her at the bench but instead I pulled her over to the willow tree and sat down underneath it.  I think she liked it under there.
I’m sorry if this isn’t really making much sense so I think I’ll tell you what Natalie told me underneath that tree.
“Today I came home to find a note from my parents to say they were going out for dinner and that Grace and I had to make our own dinner. Grace had been staying home lately a lot because of a friend that’s past away and uh, I thought she would be home. But she wasn’t, she wasn’t in in her room or anywhere in the house so I thought that she’s probably gone for a walk in the forest. So, I took our usual walk through the forest and she wasn’t there at all, so I go back home. Just as I’m about to go back into my yard I turn around and spot her… her… body hanging for a noose”.

And that’s when she broke down crying and hugged me again and we stayed there for at least an hour.  She also told me that Grace had tried to poison herself the other week.
I’m very, very sorry about the ink smudges all over the page; it’s hard to wipe tears off a piece of paper. I’ll just wipe off my tears and listen to myself crying for five minutes and not pay attention.


It’s been two days, and I forgot to mention about something happened before. I was too busy not paying attention. After I had walked Natalie back to her house, I got home just in time to see Mother get in her gross friend’s car. She saw me through the window and stopped laughing. She had a sombre look on her face and she just stared at me and looked like death. And then she left with them, and their caravan and trailer full of her things.

But she forgot the moth ball sandwiches. I got very angry.

I didn’t really know what to think but now I think she’s really stupid. She forgot all about the hatch in the wooden floor with the $5,200 in it. I figured she’d probably remember and come back to get it sometime, so I hid it in Ashleigh’s room under her bed.

I have to go make my dinner now and I think I’m going to burn it.


A lot has happened this week. It was the last week of school so Zach, Steph, Alex and I all exchanged phone numbers. I finally got that old sandwich out of my locker. Arnold bashed me up after art class. Natalie stopped him, and then I cried when he called me the retarded kid, but I poured white paint all over his motorbike on the last day with Natalie. Natalie and I have been talking quite a lot. She still hangs out with her own friends during lunch but she has been sitting with me in art. She talks to me a lot. I don’t really talk back that much. 

Mother did come back, looking for the money. She never found it because I threw sandwiches at her until she got out of the house. She called me really bad things and I told her she’s acting just like George so she screamed at me and smashed a lamp. I told her the lamp was ugly anyway so she left. I don’t think she loves me anymore.

I’ve been crying a lot more lately. Everything is depressing. I’ve had nightmares about Grace and Ashleigh and Sasquatch, so I visited his grave and cried for I don’t know how long. All I know is that I fell asleep and Ashleigh’s voice woke me up. I swear it was her. She was singing a song she always used to sing once called “Give me back my fucking homework”. I swear I could hear her, I swear.

Anyway, on the last day of school Alex asked Steph to be his girlfriend and she said yes. I told Zach that it was very sweet but he grumbled something about stupid long-distance relationships. I think he gets jealous of other people because he misses his girlfriend. Zach is a nice guy, I like him quite a lot. I hope we become good friends.

I’ve been paying attention now recently so my sketchbooks haven’t gotten any thicker. Also I finished reading The Perks of Being a Wallflower and I think I should stop reading such depressing books. It’s messing with my messed up mind. I think I’ll read something like The Great Gatsby, I hope that’s not depressing.

I guess I better go now. I really miss Ashleigh. I hope she comes home soon.


You are not going to believe what happened this week. It’s equally embarrassing and amazing.
First of all, Zach invited me to a party. I didn’t exactly want to go because I don’t like crowds but Zach said it would be great if I could go with him because otherwise he’d be alone since Steph and Alex are probably going to keep to themselves. I asked Natalie if she was going but she said she doesn’t feel like doing much, she’s very sad. So I went alone to this party with Zach and we were having fun, I guess, we sat on the couch and talked a bit. Zach asked me if I wanted a drink and I asked him to get me a cola, and that’s what he got me, but he never mentioned what it was mixed with. I can’t remember what it was but it was alcoholic. After, many, many drinks I ended up dancing with a girl.

I think her name was Cindy or Cathy or something beginning with C and she was quite pretty and her eyes were brown and her hair was black but she had some weird stretcher earing in and it grossed me out. I’d never dance with a girl if I was sober, and this was the first time I was actually drunk.
She told me she thought I was cute so she took my hand and lifted it up to her chest and pressed it against her left boob and I’m pretty sure I didn’t even move, I was frozen. I’ve never ever touched any girl there.

Whilst she was doing this weird thing and fluttering her eyelashes thing I felt real guilty for some reason and Natalie came to mind. I told the girl I was sorry but I had to go, and she was being really clingy and kept inviting me back to a bedroom or something, so I called her a moth ball sandwich. Zach eventually saw me and told the girl that he was my boyfriend before she decided to leave.
He said “Are you okay, man?”

And then I think I said yes.

He told me to go home and get a rest, so I started walking home. I took my time because I really didn’t want to go home, there’s nothing to do. There was another party somewhere up the road, one of Natalie’s friends’ parties, and people were sitting all over the lawn. I think I asked them if anyone had seen Ashleigh, and they all said no. So then I ended up calling out for Sasquatch really loudly and everyone go annoyed until Arnold noticed it was me and told me to get lost, so I told him to get fucked and he made a really mean comment about Natalie so I tried to punch him but he bet me too it. I have a black eye and it’s really painful and black and it’s on my eye.

Some guy called Jerry ended up giving me a lift to Natalie’s house because I kept saying ‘Poor Natalie’ over and over. I knocked on her door and she answered and it looked like she was crying, sort of, I can’t really remember, so then right there at that moment with my black eye and all I told her about how I felt guilty at the party and that I think that she’s the most beautiful girl in the whole world and that I have a massive crush on her, also she makes me nervous and that I sketch her in my sketchbook but I hope she doesn’t think that’s creepy and also that I really wanted to kiss her but I probably smelt like alcohol.
She told me that I didn’t smell like alcohol so she kissed me.

And I think I took my shirt off and ran around the street yelling ‘No more moth balls!’.
That’s all I remember until this morning when I woke up on Natalie’s lawn so I walked home.


Natalie came around to my house today and asked me if I remember anything, but I was speechless, as always, and really nervous. I even started shaking. I told her I remembered everything and she smiled and said “I brought these for you” and handed me paracetamol which was very nice. She ended up coming into my house and asked me where my parents were and I sort of choked on the tablets. I just ended up saying they left, and she accepted the answer which was good. I didn’t really feel like talking.

She told me my house was really tidy and I nodded. That’s all I really do, nod. I’ve been contemplating tattooing a ‘yes’ on one hand and a ‘no’ on the other.
Am I funny yet? I hope I’m funny soon.

She left after half an hour and I think she was just trying to distract herself, like I usually do. She kept walking around and fluffing up pillows and looking at my books. I wish I could have talked more to help distract her more but it was really hard.

Zach called me up when I was lying in bed afterwards and told me that the girl called Cindy or Cathy told him that if we ever wanted children, she would happily volunteer. I told him that I’d rather make-out with my own foot, and he laughed. I think I finally made a joke that someone laughed at. I thanked him for being my boyfriend at the party and told him that his girlfriend would have been jealous.
He said that he’s going to New York in two weeks for three days to see his girlfriend and would love it if I went with him; I asked if Natalie could come too. He laughed at that too and said yes. So I’m going to go, I think, I do have money. I’ll just have to ask Natalie. I really hope she says yes.



Sorry for the excited intro to this entry. I went to Natalie’s house at midnight and threw rocks at her window because it’s what a lot of boys do in books and I want to be like a lot of boys in books. She opened the window and said “Finn? Is that you?”
And I replied with “Rapunzel! Rapunzel! Let down your hair!”. I laughed so much right there, I had to lie down on the grass and clutch my sides. It was about five minutes before I could actually stop laughing and breathe properly.
Natalie called me a doofus and asked why I was even there. Then I stuttered and asked her about New York. She said she’d have to ask her parents and she’d tell me the next day. I told her she couldn’t ask her parents, she can only ask Gothel since Gothel kidnapped Rapunzel. She told me I’m silly and to go home and sleep.
So I did, very happily.

Then today she called me on the phone and said her parents are okay with it, it’s around their anniversary so they’d probably want time together anyway. I actually nodded on the phone and she said “Finn, are you nodding?” and I coughed and blushed a lot. When we hung up I danced around my room and started singing High School Musical but I didn’t know the lyrics so I stopped. So I ran around the house for a little bit and then wrote this down. I’m very excited and I’m so glad I’ve distracted myself. I hope I have fun in the city.


This week is the week Zach, Natalie and I flew into New York. It’s really nerve-raking. I’ve never really liked crowds. Or human contact. We all sat next to each other in the three-seat isle on the plane. I’d never been on a plane and I was scared so Natalie held my hand and I turned as red as a tomato. It was actually quite a fun plane ride, a pretty lady even came around and I asked if we wanted coffee or muffins. I got a blueberry muffin but it tasted like rubber so I didn’t really continue eating it. Natalie said that Grace used to love blueberry muffins and then she looked really sad.

We’re staying at Zach’s parents’ apartment that they still own which is really-extremely-incredibly expensive looking. I don’t want to touch anything in case I break it. Zach is sleeping in his parents’ room, Natalie is sleeping in Zach’s room and I’ve got the popout-bed-couch thing that’s really comfortable.

Yesterday Zach went to visit his girlfriend so Natalie and I walked around the city and did city people things. First of all we had coffee in a coffee shop and put tiny marshmallows in our drinks and ate tiny doughnuts (not moth-ball sandwiches!) and I realised that Natalie is also very tiny. We talked about how it would suck to have a desk job and she said “You would hardly go anywhere” and I said “Like you can talk, Rapunzel” so she hit my shoulder playfully.
Then we walked in the park and pretended to be bird watchers and we hid behind trees with pretend binoculars made from our hands. I was looking at Natalie and she said “What you looking at?” I replied with “Someone beautiful” but I was very nervous and I stuttered and it didn’t sound like I said that at all. We even held hands when we walked down a pathway. My hands got really sweaty.
Then finally we went to an empty pier and threw chips at seagulls and Natalie gave me a kiss and I kind of cried because I’d never felt like someone’s actually enjoyed my company and sees me in a good way. She said I’m a great person and I cried a little bit more and told her she’s beautiful so then she hugged me.

So yesterday was a pretty good day, until we got back to Zach’s apartment and found him crying on the balcony. Natalie left because she thought Zach would want to talk to me, and he told me that he found his girlfriend was having an affair. He had given her his phone to hold on too, then he realised afterwards that he hadn’t gotten it back. So he went up to her apartment and a guy called Xavier answered the door and Zach said “Is my girlfriend Veronica here?” And Xavier said “She’s my girlfriend, who the fuck are you?” and then there was a big argument between all three. At least Zach got his phone back.

So Zach cried on my shoulder for a while and said I was a good friend and I told him how much that really means to me, so he told me that the next night we were going to go to a club and have some fun. So, that’s what we’re about to do. I better get going.


Sorry for the very excited intro to this entry, but I’m just very excited, so I’ll get to that excited bit a bit later. Natalie, Zach and I went clubbing and Natalie looked really pretty in her silvery dress. She kept saying “Does this make my butt look big” and I told her no, it makes it look lovely. She called me silly and then we linked arms and walked out the door with Zach.

Anyway, we got to the club kind of early so there wasn’t that many people, that’s what Zach said, but there was actually quite a lot. So we started getting drinks and talking and dancing a little, Zach even went off to talk to some girl he thought was cute. She wasn’t actually that cute; I think he was a little drunk. But I guess she may have been a nice person.

Natalie and I were sort of bored after Zach ran off to talk to the girl, so we danced a little. But then this slow song came on so I had to put my hand on her hip and she kissed me and it was so amazing and embarrassing and awkward and awesome and magnificent. Zach saw us and winked at me and mouthed ‘you’re in’. I didn’t really understand because we’d been inside for ages and he was only telling me now. Maybe he’s slow. I don’t know.

It started getting really crowed and heaps of people came into the club, so I told Natalie I was feeling claustrophobic and needed some air. She said she felt the same too, so we told Zach we’d be outside and that’s where we went.
We walked to the park and I gave her my jacket because that’s what the boys in books do, I want to be like a boy in a book. She told me that she’s been feeling a lot happier since we’re been hanging out and I told her I have been too. We never talked about Ashleigh or Grace. I liked that.

We sat on the swings and swung around while we talked. Then I fell off the swing, I actually hurt my knee quite a bit, and rolled onto the grass. Natalie jumped down next to me and we looked at the stars together.
It was cute. Natalie is cute. She said I’m cute.
Anyway we watched the stars for about half an hour, before we fell asleep. Zach eventually found us and woke us up and the not-so-pretty-girl had gone. I think he became sober enough to notice what she really looked like. So we went home, and all went to bed. But I couldn’t sleep so I snuck into Natalie’s room, she was putting moisturizer on her face or something, and I asked her what I’d been thinking about asking for a long time.

And she said yes. Which made me feel wonderful.

Also hungry, I felt really hungry. So I went to the kitchen and looked in Zach’s fridge, but there were only sandwiches in there. And I hate sandwiches.
I hope no-one’s car got sandwich on them, when I threw it off the balcony.


I’ve been back home for a couple days now. Mother had been home when I was gone; she’s burnt all off my sketchbooks, except for three I’d kept hidden in my cupboard. I was annoyed at first, but then I realised they were the sketchbooks full of only pictures of Natalie, when now I don’t need to look at Natalie from a distance or from my sketchbook. She’s mine now.
Does that sound creepy? I think it sounds creepy. No going back now though, I guess. I’ve written this in pen.

Everything felt great until this morning. I got a call from the local police officer while I was walking in the park, who said they’ve found a jumper in the forest, and it’s got Ashleigh’s DNA on it. Basically, they found her jumper. This made me depressed and angry so I threw my phone on the ground and jumped into the lake and sat there floating on my back. A couple of people gave me weird looks. I was there for quite a while until Steph and Alex, who were walking together, noticed me and pulled me out. I was in a daze. I can’t really remember that much.
All I know is that they kept calling my name but I wasn’t responding, so Alex swam over and pulled me out. I came to my senses when I was curled up on Steph’s couch in a blanket. Then Natalie and Zach came over, but I still wouldn’t talk.
There were lots of thoughts and conspiracies running around in my brain about what could have happened to Ashleigh, I was afraid that if I spoke they would explode out and everyone would get scared like me. That’s what I hate about knowing horrible things. If you tell someone, they will feel terrible too, so you don’t tell them. You keep them happy and oblivious.

Sometimes I wonder if there is someone out there feeling just the same, but their secret is massive. They know what happens after you die, after life, they know that once you’re gone, you will be nothing. You won’t exist. You won’t just be dead, you’ll vanish.
But they don’t want to tell anyone this, they want them to keep living life without the answer so they will think of great things to come and be completely oblivious to the horrible happening that is waiting.
I think strange things. I should stop.


The day I had been dreading finally came. The other day, when I was gone, the owner of my house came to collect the rent. Usually, I’m always there, and I tell them Mother went out to shop or to see her gross friends, and hand over the money. But yesterday, since I was gone, he went inside.
I have to live with my Uncle now, my mother’s brother. He lives halfway across town, half an hour from Natalie’s house. Ten minutes from Zach’s.

His name is Aaron and he is almost as bad as my father, but he is half of my mother. So he’s actually worse. He spends all his time with two other blokes called Wallace and Frank, and they drink beer and crowd around the television watching football or soccer or tennis. Frank and Wallace both live in the backyard in two old caravans which are really rusty. Wallace and Uncle Aaron are both single, but Frank has a girlfriend called Beatrice who is covered in tattoos and piercings and smokes all the time. I don’t think she’s actually his girlfriend, they have a strange relationship. All I know is that some nights he’ll be on the phone and say “Send over Beatrice, she’s my favourite. She rides me better than any other gal”.

I’m still a bit confused about what he was saying. Maybe I misheard him.
Anyway, I sleep in the storeroom on a mattress on the floor. I’ve only slept there once though, that was last night. All the other night’s I’ve caught the bus to Natalie’s house and slept on her couch, or walked ten minutes to Zach’s place. I don’t like it here.
Stupid mother. Stupid George. Stupid Aaron. Stupid Wallace. Stupid Frank. Stupid Beatrice.
Why can’t Ashleigh come back?


It’s about halfway through the summer holidays but I have no idea why they call them ‘summer holidays’, because where we live it is always snowing and raining and the whole place is covered in ice. They might as well get rid of seasons for us, we’re an all-time winter. It’s always cold.

Somewhere that’s not cold though, is Aaron’s house. It’s always warm. You see, Uncle Aaron used to be a bartender, or something, so he knows quite a lot of ‘pub’ people. The pub went out of business quite some time ago, so the only other place to buy alcohol is the liquor store, and you can’t exactly hang around in a liquor store. So now Aaron’s house is where pretty much all the ‘pub’ people hang out. That’s why it’s never cold, there is so much body heat and people smoking you can’t even see down the hallway.
That’s a good thing, though, Aaron doesn’t seem to know or care if I’m there or not.

I’ve been spending most mornings at the local café with Natalie. It's become more of a routine. Every morning, if I’d slept on her couch or I’d catch the early bus to her house, we’d head down and drink coffee and eat croissants and doughnuts. We’d have conversations about the small things like our favourite television show or what our favourite flower is. We’d only once bought up Ashleigh and Grace but it didn’t go down too well, so we stay clear of that topic. I showed her a couple of my drawings of her. She said they make her look prettier on the page, but I told her no drawing of her will ever be as beautiful as the real thing.
She said that was very cute.

After breakfast Natalie and I part ways and I usually go to the library and look through books. I have a habit of reading the blurb of every book I pick up, and so far I’ve almost finished the blurbs of the science-fiction section. There’s hardly anyone in the library usually, so it’s nice and quiet and warm. I like the library.
Sometime after I visit the library, I duck into the Police station and ask if the missing Ashleigh Hensley case has anything new. It’s always a no. They never do anything.

In the afternoon’s I head over to Zach’s house, and we play on his Xbox or watch movies or talk about things. Zach is very understanding. If we talk close to a subject I don’t like, I can tell him and he’ll understand and we won’t talk about it anymore. Then, when it starts getting darker, Alex and Steph will come over too and we’ll watch movies and eat pizza or we’ll go to one of Alex’s friend’s parties. If we do go to a party I usually bring Natalie. That’s what we did last night.

We got to the house at around 9pm and it was in Natalie’s side of the neighbourhood. She didn’t get too dressed up for this party, like most girls do. That’s what I like about Alex’s and Steph’s friends, they’re not judgemental. Sure, there’s a couple that are rude but no-one cares less what you look like. I think Natalie likes that about them too, she doesn’t hang out with her old friends from school anymore. She said that they don’t understand what she’s going through with Grace and everything, and it made her realise how fake they really are. So she doesn’t have to plant her face in mud just for a party, which is nice.

We hung around and sat on the couch until about 10, when more people started arriving. I wasn’t really in the mood to party like everyone else, to be honest. I was feeling really down, and really dizzy. I hadn’t drunk anything, I just felt really ill.
Natalie struck up a conversation with a punk girl who had red hair and a nose piercing while I went off to see what people were doing. I was curious. The house was really nice too, it was big and wooden and really pretty.
As I was walking down one particular hallway, I suddenly felt really dizzy and asthmatic. I felt like I’d been hit by a truck, so I opened the door to a random room to get some fresh air. I wish I hadn’t though, as I opened the door a girl started screaming, which made my headache even worse, and before I could even take any notice to the room, I was punched square in the face by someone.

Then I felt like I had really been hit by a truck. Whoever it was that punched me threw me out into the hallway. The whole room was spinning, I tell you, and as I got up I tripped down the stairs and that’s all I can remember.

It was Zach who had found me at the bottom of the stairs, and he asked if I needed an ambulance. I said no, I needed to find Natalie. The last I’d seen of her she was talking to the punk girl. We couldn’t find her anywhere, and I got extremely worried and called her mobile.
She answered and told me she walked home and that she was safe, so that’s where I’m walking to now.


That night, the night I went to Natalie’s house, had to be the worst night of my life.
When I had arrived, Natalie said that her parents had gone out and that I could sleep on her floor on a mattress instead of the couch. She told me that she left the party early because she couldn’t find me and thought I’d left, but I told her what really happened. We weren’t exactly tired as well, so we watched movies for a while and Natalie gave me a book to read called The Potato Factory. She said it’s a good book.

Once it got late and we started getting tired, Natalie went to get the spare mattress, which was under Grace’s bed. She had been taking quite a while before I decided to go see if she needed help, but I found her crying on the floor with a note in her hands. It was a sad note. It made me cry too. It was Grace’s suicide letter.

These days I see no light. I wake up not wanting to wake up. There was a time I saw my life with you, a future with you. But you’re gone. I feel dead inside. I've never given so much of myself to someone or cared so much. I’m sorry, I returned your love with cheating and lies. It didn't matter how many gifts I gave you or how beautiful I looked for you, you never accepted my apology. I was scared. I gave myself completely. The pain I have caused you every day has destroyed every bit of me, destroyed my soul. I love you, Ashleigh. I always will.
I am proud to inform you that I have finally taken initiative.


Ashleigh, Ashleigh, Ashleigh, Ashleigh, Ashleigh.
I can’t stop repeating her name. I’ve gotten bad. I’ve gotten really bad.
I still feel ill, but I also feel numb. I don’t understand anything anymore. I need my sister. I want my sister back. What have they done with my sister?

I went for a walk in the forest. It was nothing like back home, because it’s the forest surrounding Aaron’s house, it’s the south-side. Ever since Natalie found Grace’s letter she’s been very distant. We haven’t talked in a while. We’re still both recovering. At first I thought I needed that walk, I needed some air. But I was wrong.

The forest is home to a shack. A very creepy, horrible little shack. I had stood outside wondering whether or not to go inside. I guess I wanted to know what was inside, to see if it belonged to anyone. I guess I thought if no-one owned it, it could be my little shack. One where I could stay to get away from everything.
But it wasn’t. The shack most certainly wasn’t vacant.

I thought it was, at first, once I was in the front room. There was an old couch to one side, all mattered and bug-bitten, and to the other side was a fireplace. I thought it was nice.
What was in the next room though, it wasn’t. It wasn’t at all, it was;

Ashleigh, Ashleigh, Ashleigh, Ashleigh, Ashleigh.
I feel so numb that even writing this down seems alien. I can’t feel a thing in my body.
She was frozen solid, chained to the corner of the room. I don’t know whether she died of starvation or of anything else, but she just hung there, in her underwear, her mouth ajar and her eyes wide open. I really felt horrible. I wanted to die. Then I stopped breathing and passed out.


I’m sorry.

To Natalie, to Zach, to Steph, to Alex. I’m sorry.

You didn’t deserve seeing me in turmoil. You didn’t deserve to be affected by my disorder. It hurt me even more, knowing that I couldn’t change. The way you looked at me—afraid, helpless and hopeless. The way I stared back, defeated.

Don’t be angry because this was nothing personal. Know that I’m gone because I chose to do so. For once, I finished something I started. For once I was brave enough to go through with something risky and dangerous.

Don’t be disappointed. I didn’t give up, all I ever wanted was a reason to continue. All I ever wanted was to really live, but I didn’t know how.

All of you always did, and still do, such an excellent job at living, and I was happy for every one of you. Your lit up, elated smiling faces made me smile, although it broke my heart all at once. You shouldn’t have loved me; it made me feel so guilty. I’m sorry I failed. Your compassion pained me as much as it consoled me. I often wished that having you in my life, and all the other privileges I had was enough, but I could never find what I was looking for. Perhaps it didn’t even exist.

I don’t know what I believe in, but I don’t think you’d like why what I think about. I think I’m a mistake. Maybe I’m in hell right now, but none of you knew I believed in hell. The concept was created to keep us on track, and motivate us to do good. What if earth is hell?.

What if everything we wanted was actually nothing? What if all the things we think are real, are actually figments of our imagination? What if life is actually death, and when we die we are truly alive? Wouldn’t that make more sense?

For if this is life, surely some of us wouldn’t crave for death?

I didn’t die because I wanted it to stop, although towards the end I probably partially did. Please understand this. I did it because there is nothing more to discover. Nothing more to experience that could change my state of mind. Isn’t that what we’re always told? That the unknown is exciting and enthralling? Why are some of the things you stumble upon, not exciting at all?

Who said death was the end. If you’re crying, stop. What if my death is a glorious celebration? That I’m going off to actually live? Could you celebrate it for me? Could all of you dance, and sing my favourite songs around my body? It would be like a birthday party I never had.

Again, please don’t cry. Don’t mourn. Don’t grieve. I am happy now. Happy. Truly happy. Believe this.

I love you.



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