Memories by Kelly Josephs

Carla and Jade sat together, the beautiful sounds of the forest serving as sweet background noise for their joyous reunion. 

They both had their folding camp chairs set up in the one spot that had an unnaturally high amount of flowers, compared to the rest of the small clearing they sat in. 

“I can’t believe it’s been six years since we last saw each other! I’m so glad my grandkids used their fantastic little internet to hunt you down!” Jade exclaimed, happily grabbing her oldest friend's hand.

“Oh, yes! We can’t let all those years of friendship go to waste over that little falling out back at the bakery,” Carla said, glad to be back in the presence of her best friend.

They had been friends for sixty years, living through many hardships as well as fantastic times together. During those six years of not speaking, they had both moved to opposite sides of town to be closer to their respective families. 

“Remember back when we first met? I thought you were absolutely deplorable. How could a six year old possibly have so much hate for someone? I’m glad you brought that piece offering cookie. I wouldn’t want to have anyone else as my best friend,” Jade sighed, reminiscing about the first time she had met that cute little brunette girl on the playground. 

Carla laughed, enjoying the happy smile on her friend's wrinkled face. She could not help but think back to all of her fondest memories with the only person she knew she could trust, even if they had a falling out. She knew Jade would always keep the secrets they shared. 

They both continued to reminisce for the better part of an hour, going back and forth brining up some of their most cherished memories. Both women spoke to each other so freely, as if no time at all had passed since they last saw each other.

“And don’t forget back in high school when that scumbag Roy Arnold tried to sleep with me behind your back! As if! He learned his lesson the next day when his pastor was informed about him breaking his celibacy promise. His parents were absolutely mortified,” Carla recounted, remembering the exact shade of red Roy Arnold’s father had been at church the next Sunday when everyone was whispering behind his family's back. 

Many of their memories were quite similar, involving getting into trouble with boys as well as their parents. Always being reprimanded for not acting like proper young ladies. Carla's parents had sent her to too many different finishing schools to try and get her to straighten out. 

“Hmm, we had some real good times causing trouble back in the day, didn’t we?” Jade asked, tightly squeezing her friend's hand.

“But remember what happened here? Wasn’t it… thrilling? All those years ago at this exact spot. It was so exhilarating, I wish we had done it more often when we were still young and able,” Carla spoke, looking pointedly at the colourful flowers beneath their feet. 

“You mean what we did with Brenda Gilligan? She screamed so much that night. Music to my ears.” 

Both women laughed at the memory, loud bellowing laughs that nearly mirrored the laughs that they shared that night with young Brenda Gilligan beneath them.

“You were so brutally elegant that night. The way you wielded that knife, stabbing her in all the right places, letting her slowly bleed out until she died,” Carla complimented.

“What? No, she didn’t bleed out! You hit her on the back of the head with a spanner that you found in your car boot. She didn’t stand a chance after that blow to the head,” Jade countered her friend's memory of that night. 

“I may have hit her but she was still alive and kicking afterwards, I made sure she was still breathing. It’s not like you stopped stabbing her after I hit her on the head, anyway,” the brunette woman reminded her best friend.

“I didn’t stop stabbing her because it was so much fun, it didn’t matter whether she was breathing or not. It was all about the thrill, Carla, you know that,” she huffed.

“You know what was thrilling? When you gutted her like a fish and found out she was pregnant! With twins no less, how lucky were we?” She excitedly recounted.

“Twins? I don’t remember that. Wasn’t it just one that I accidentally cut in half? Your age is finally catching up with your mind, old timer,” Jade joked. 

“Oh, what do you want me to dig them up and prove it to you? Would their bones even still be there? Don’t they still have real soft bones at that age?” Carla asked.

She was beginning to get annoyed at her friend's incorrect recollection of her memories of what was possibly the most important night of their entire friendship. 

“Why don’t you talk me through what you remember and then I can tell you what actually happened,” Jade suggested. 

Carla shot her friend a dirty look. She knew what she remembered. It was nearly impossible, at least in her opinion, to forget something like that. Especially since it was a one-time thing, there was only so much she could go over in her mind everyday. 

There were no complicated details to remember either. Just three girls out having a fun night, drinking way out in the forest. A night out, to get away from their mundane lives. 

But only Carla and Jade were privy to how the night would really play out. They had both befriended Brenda weeks earlier, carefully selecting her from a class full of girls. She was the perfect fit, insecure, abused and most importantly a previous runaway. 

All it took was a little bit of persuading with some cheap vodka and she willingly followed them into the forest at night. 

Up until that point both their memories aligned perfectly. But when it came down to the actual details of what happened once they had a knife in her, neither could agree on how exactly it went down. 

“Okay, I’m done with this argument. Let’s go to my place and grab some shovels. I’ll show you what really happened,” Jade said, pushing herself out of her chair. 

Carla stood as well, smiling and tapping her foot on the ground beneath them. 

“We'll be right back, Brenda.”