“Okay. I got something for you Clairy.”
“Clairy, I dare you to take a dip in Moury Creek.”
It was in that exact moment that every negative outcome had swarmed through Clairy like a wave. Her thoughts fought her like weapons, it was like battling lightning in her head or holding back hell fire. Clairy had been diagnosed with anxiety in the seventh grade, and her life had been chaotic ever since.
“Don't listen to her, Clairy, you don't have to do anything you don't want to. You know Nessas just trying to get a rise out of you.”
Nessa was your stereotypical town mean girl. She reeked of Chanel, power, and prestige. Nessa envied Clairy since second grade, and though they had once managed to get along, letting go of their differences, Nessa could not get past the fact that Clairy had everything that she didn't. Nessa grew up with two brothers, one younger, and one older and yet both were equally miserable. Her parents worked on the higher end of the business spectrum, or in other words … they were never home. They made enough money to pay off their house, send all their kids to college, and even pay off for their house and cars but it wasn't enough. To Nessa, it wasn't enough because they weren't there for what actually mattered, the birthday parties, the school talent shows, the soccer games, or even the spelling bees.
“Listen to me Clairy, you could die. You don't need to prove anything to her.” said Eric.
“I know I don't have to prove anything to her, but how would it look if once again I let Nessa walk all over me.” She said.
“Look highschool is over, and in a year when you're successful and thriving in college NONE of this is going to matter Clairy. But if you set foot in that Creek you might not live to see next year, you know what happens to people that set food in that Creek.”
Ridgewood was a small town, not many people came in, and nobody really attempted to leave. Something about the town had always been a little peculiar but no one could ever quite place their finger on what it was. There were never any murders, or mass incidents but somehow things always found a way of covering themselves up. People went missing, and stories went unanswered. Particularly, with Moury Creek, time and legend went to prove that those seeking a dip never found their way out.
"What's the matter Clairy? Afraid of a little water hun? I mean we all know you shower once a week, maybe this will be good for you." The entire junior class snickered. Clairy felt her cheeks burning up, her palms began to sweat. It was happening. "No, no, no. Not here, not again." Suddenly the snickering became faint, and it wasn't because she was moving in the distance, it was because she was losing contact with her surroundings. She could faintly hear Eric reaching out to her, and though he was only a foot away from where she was standing her thoughts made him feel a million miles away. Everyone and everything around her became blurred. It was a movie, a horrible, tragic, overwhelming movie. Come on Clairy, just relax. Deep breath in, deep breath out. The hardest thing for Clairy about her panic attacks was that, although she was suffering and screaming for help in her head, on the outside she looked fine. "What the hell is wrong with her? Uh Eric I think your girlfriend broke." Nessa outburst. "Of course, right when I was coming back, she had to go and make it worse. I can't take it, I can't." Her chest started to close up, her tightened lace crop top and her cashmere sweater convinced her that she couldn't breathe. I can- I cant. Eric. I think i'm gonna-
“Oh for Christ sake, as if she doesn't get enough attention.”
“You know what Nessa you’re a real-”
“Really what Eric? Go ahead, say it, show everyone how brave you are.”
“You know what nothing, it's not even worth it with you, and if it was maybe your parents would stick around a bit longer than 3 days.”
“Damn that's cold” Somebody said. Nessa stomped off the camp ground into her crowd of sympathizers, looking for someone to pity her.
“Someone help me get her up” Eric screamed out to the juniors surrounding the bonfire.
“Oh my god what happened. Eric Im so sorry.” Alongside her savior complex, Clairy did feel sorry, she didn't like being the center of attention. She didn't want people to pity her and feel bad for her because of her condition and that precise trait is what made her so different from Nessa.
“Don't apologize Clairy, it doesn't make you any less strong or brave to be who you are.” And just as Clairy was about to respond in hopes of things winding down, Nessa stirred the pot again.
“Alright, alright. It's not that big a deal, I'll do what the big fainting baby couldn't do.” Nessa provoked.
‘You know she doesn't impact me very much and I haven't taken a liking to her in the past 5 years but this… is going to end terribly.” Eric said
“I dont know why this stupid town continues to have these annual bonfires if students just go “ missing” every year. Clairy responded.
The crowd watched Nessa undress. Of course she took off anything that glittered like gold and left it on the pier. She slipped out of her bedazzled open toed shoes and shoved them towards one of her drones. “You all better get your phones out and record this one, because I'm going down in the history books baby.” Nessa obnoxiously alerted. She had a yearning to be better than Nessa and atlas her yearning would ultimately be her downfall. Nessa looked down into the dirty darkened creek water and it was at that exact moment that she had regretted her decision, but it was too late and she wouldn't let Clairy win. The crowd stared in anticipation, burning a hole in her back with their gazes. Standing at the end of the cold course brittled pier with nothing beneath her feet other than her heart, Nessa jumped into the Creek.