"Alright guys, come 'round the fire!" the church leader yelled to the campground. I turned to him and followed him to the campfire.
It was more or less a bonfire, people gathered around talking and laughing about their fun week at the retreat.
"That was fun I murmured to myself"
"Yea it was," said Connor as he came up to me. I jumped and turned around to face him. His handsome face smiled back, "How many times have I caught you murmuring to yourself now?"
I sighed, "too many,"
"Yea," after an awkward silence he walked off to talk to some other church girls. To be honest i'm a little jealous of them at this point, because he talks about things he doesn't tell me.
Kinda pisses me off but I never told him.
"Ok guys, let's say our prayers then let's continue with the party.'' The worshippers along with myself formed a circle around the bonfire and followed the pastor in the winter prayer.
"God, thank you for today and this week. We grew and accepted ourselves, while accepting the people around us. We love what you gave us, at the cost of your son we all adore so much.
Let us be a living sacrifice for you and our neighbors around us. Thank you lord, Amen"
"Amen," we all said in unison. Our breath flew up in the cold night.
"Alright, let's have a great time now." The kids chatted and the pastor plugged his phone into the speakers and played some songs from the early 2000's that we all heard way too much.
Connor took a hand of the girl he was talking to, I think her name was Haily or something like that.
He took her close to the fire and started to dance, "yea my ass he's dating me" I grunted to myself in jealousy.
Something caught my eye behind Haily's twirl, a black shadow turned and walked deeper into the forest.
I slowly walked behind me and made sure no one saw me then turned and followed the figure into the forest. I walked into the almost pitch black, lit only by the moon reflecting off the snow.
I looked high and low till I heard a sniffle to my right. I followed the little sniffle and heard it again until the sound led me to the back of a tree.
I looked around the left of it and saw a set of legs with a pair of grey shoes connected to them. There in the middle of them, was a sitting teddy bear.
The snow crunched under my foot as I moved forward. The teddy bear fell face first into the snow and the legs shifted to encircle it.
I walked over and faced the owner of the grey shoes, I sat down and leaned up against a tree across from the figure. I tilted my head and smiled "Hi there.
" I looked at the shadowy figure up and down, he had his coat opened showing his thin shirt under it. His face was partially covered by his shaggy hair, hooding his eyes.
Warm tears slowly went down his cheeks and dropped into the snow, making holes where they landed.
There were thin wires running from his ears, the phone was resting in the snow, the screen with small droplets of melted snow on it. His opened hand laid next to him in the snow.
His other hand had a photo gripped in it, getting ripples by his grip.
He didn't notice my hello and continued sniffling. I slowly reached over to stand the teddy back up.
He swiped the bear and hugged it close, tears falling further away.
I drawed back my hand and blew into it, giving feeling back to it. "You know don't you?" he sniffled at me, "The warmth of someone close to you, talking, feeling, loving you.
" he slowly sat the bear back up and adjusted it as he looked at the picture. "Lucky you,"
Taking aback I said, "No I haven't, what do you mean?"
"Oh Connor," he looked up, his hair just barely showing his red eyes. "Everyone loves him right? Including you... aren't you guys dating or something?"
"N-no... well I-"
"I still love him at my bottom of my heart because I just fucking love the way he talks, acts, and seduces me. He is just such a great person.
" he interrupted me, I looked stunned at him as he read my mind. "You know right? Like, every girl i've seen thinks the same thing right?" He spoke sarcastically, but he knew it hit home.
"S-so what are you listening to?" I tried to change the subject.
"Waves, Crystal lake." he turned on his phone, his hand red from being numb. Tears still dripped down his face, but he could somehow speak normally.
"I can't stop listening to it, maybe because it's good... or just because I can remember an emotion that someone here can still feel." He looked at me, "And that person isn't me, lucky you.
" He weirded me out, I feel like he has been with me every second of my life, even though I just met him a few minutes ago.
"What's with the bear?" I asked him, no matter what I'm leaving after this. He's gonna stalk me later if I stay. He grimly smiled, remembering something warm in his cold mind.
"It was on her bed before she left, I grabbed it and held onto it." He flicked the photo around, "The only other person here who knows now is you, lucky you.
" The picture showed a girl in ragged clothing with blood running from her lip and her eyes rolled into her sockets. Next to her was Connor smiling with blood splashed against his face.
There was a knife in his hand, blood running from it and dripping onto the girl's clothing.
"Now, don't we all love Connor.
Such a great guy right? pity he's a serial killer, but it's Connor, so what's not to love?
" I looked up at the boy and shook my head in denial, "Oh, wait, one of his target's isn't in love with him anymore? Wow, that's a first."
"STOP IT!" I yelled.
"Oh, did I forget to mention? That this was my favorite person in the world smiling next to him. Now, do you understand my hate?"
"Stop it! Stop! Stop! Stop!!!" I started to tear up in realization
"I let her go to walk her dog, normal right? This is why I fucking hate myself! One wrong move and now I'm fucked.
I'll never see her smile again, hold me, talk to me, ever again, because of one fucking mistake! Fuck me!" he yelled at me.
"Please stop," I murmured one last time.
"I fucking hate myself because of that choice!" then he whispered into the cold night