I guess we didn’t really know each other well at all. We were not exactly all best friends to begin with. We were all connected. We all knew and respected each other. Let me explain as I go along. I have no time to waste.
The only way the six of us who made the trip to Justin’s cabin were really all connected was through the deaths of three of our peers a year ago, and at a party the year before that. At that party, all nine of us were together. It was never to happen again.
It hadn’t been all that interesting, really. Todd and Jake Fayla, twins we went to school with, were having a joint party to celebrate their sixteenth birthdays.
Jake’s girlfriend, Brenda McGrath, was there. She was strange. She believed herself to be a witch and a clairvoyant. She was obsessed with the occult. She had numerous collections of tarot cards, crystal balls, books of spells, magic potions, magnets, Ouija boards, magic dusts, etc. You name it; she owned it. She told tales of possession, channeling, and séances. She was a firm believer in all things supernatural.
Brenda was also lonely. She always tagged along with me and my two closest friends, Eve and Jill, trying to fit in with us. It was rather hard because she was so into esoteric ideas, while none of us were. Sure, we had used a Ouija board or two in our lives, but it was not the main focus of our existences.
Even at sixteen, when one would expect she would have matured, she still followed the three of us around like a puppy. She begged us to go places with her. She invited us anywhere she went. She called each of us incessantly. She desperately wanted to be part of our group.
But things like that cannot be forced. Even if we did “let her in” it would be extremely awkward. Brenda tried too hard, called too much, and would never let us have a moment of peace if she could help it. And the three of us had been good friends for such a long time that it would be hard for anyone to break in.
I really don’t even know why she wanted to. It’s not as though we were overly popular or anything like that; we were just sort of, there. Brenda, though, could have been quite a popular one herself, if she hadn’t wasted so much time trying to impress people, trying to get people to like her. She was too needy, and that made people ignore her, get sick or her, and basically think poorly of her.
She had really been a pretty and intelligent girl. She had reddish-brown hair, curly and full, that reached to her shoulders, intense blue eyes, and skin that never looked too tanned or too pale. She was of average height and weight. Her clothes were impeccable, always top-notch and fashionable. She was a real trend-follower.
But people stayed away from her, even the other trendies. She was a loner. Until she met Jake.
Jake was tall, dark and handsome as the cliché goes. He was extremely so. He was at least 6 and a half feet tall. He was very tan with silky, straight, fine black hair. His eyes seemed to be pools of blackness, though I expect they were, in reality, a very dark brown. He did not look at people, rather, he looked through them. He had a mysterious air about him, an aura of adventure and danger. Most girls at school chased after him, but he wanted Brenda.
After they started going together, Brenda pretty much left us alone. She got more and more involved in the occult and esoteric thought as their relationship progressed. However, Jake did not seem to care one way or the other—as long as he had Brenda.
I never really liked Jake. I always thought he was too cold and without emotion. He never cared about anything. I doubt if he even had emotions at all. He just saw. He just did. He never appeared to feel anything. He went through life seeing, hearing, touching, tasting, but not once feeling any emotion. That scared me, chilled me to the bone.
Todd was a totally different story. He cared about everyone. He was one of the warmest, nicest guys I’d ever had the good graces of meeting. He looked exactly like Jake. The only difference was that Todd’s eyes had feeling. They had completely different personalities, as is often the case with twins.
I probably would have fallen in love with Todd, if it weren’t for his best friend, Justin Ryan. Nothing in the universe compared to Justin. His straight, luminous, brown hair traced with red, he wore around his shoulders. His warm, beautiful pale blue eyes were so filled with emotion, so deep, that I felt if I looked directly into his eyes, I would be swallowed in their tender nature. I saw so much in his eyes, so much complex thought, that even I could not comprehend it all. His skin was pale, but not extremely so. He had full, soft, lips that I often dreamt of kissing. He was two inches taller than I. He was slender, but did not appear emaciated or anything sickening like that.
But it wasn’t just his looks that attracted me so. He, like Jake, had a mysterious aura all around him. But the two were not the same. Justin didn’t talk much, to anyone. He was shy. When he did speak, his voice was soft and melodious, as though he were singing a song deeply embedded in my soul. I also felt that he, like Todd, was incapable of hurting anyone, even if his life depended on it.
His taste in clothes was similar to mine. Large T-shirts and jeans that were somewhat baggy was an everyday occurrence with him. He appeared strong, in the sense that I could easily daydream about being in his arms, feeling protected from the world around me. Yet he wasn’t bulging with muscles.
He was intelligent, something to be admired. By being in his English class, I had frequently read things he had written. The ideas and concepts he expressed were often above my understanding. I noticed he enjoyed to write about the medieval period. It was a continuing theme in all he wrote. Well, all that I saw of it, anyway. It intrigued me.
It was weird. Justin seemed to have it all, but I had the distinct feeling he felt differently on the subject. I was always staring at him, never letting him know, of course. Sometimes he appeared off in another world. I oftentimes noticed an expression of sadness, of pain, cross his face. Once or twice I even thought I saw a tear come to his eyes. I could have been imagining it; the thought of a guy crying, over anything, has always moved me. But I felt it was very real. I wished I knew what troubled him.
I was crazy. I was too young to be so devoted to just one guy, I was told. I should be enjoying a life of dating and all that, they told me. But, honestly, the thought of ever being with anyone other than Justin never crossed my mind. I thought only of him. It was probably unhealthy, but it felt fine to me. I longed to hold him, be held by him, anything to be near him. I felt as though if I couldn’t be near him soon, I would die. I must really be crazy.
Jill Oberlin was my best friend in the entire world. She was the one who would listen to all my troubles and not get annoyed. She had been good friends with Todd, but only because they were partners on the school paper freshman year. They never hung out aside from that.
Jill was tall, really tall. She was close to being six feet. She had curly, unruly, brown hair and hazel eyes that seemed to change with her mood. She threw discus for track in the spring and played basketball in the winter. She was incredibly athletic. She was asked out a lot, but she seemed to have her sights set on Karl Muffen.
Most of Jill’s admirers were jocks, but such was not the case with Karl. He was, though, one of the most popular guys in the school. He flirted with Jill perpetually, and she, naturally enjoying his attention, flirted right back. They were seen as an item, but neither had officially asked the other out, and they had never gone on any dates. That did not seem to matter; it was quite apparent that they had deep feelings for each other.
Karl’s looks were classic: blonde hair, blue eyes, a dark tan, tall and slim. He had been our class president all through high school. His ego was a bit swollen, but what else could one expect from someone who so clearly had it all?
Eve Clemens was my other best friend, but somehow, she wasn’t as close to me as Jill was. Three is an awkward number for a group of friends. Lately, especially, we had grown further apart. Oh, we still hung out on weekends, went to movies, talked on the phone and all that, it just seemed that distance was growing between us. Eve had very strong views about many things. She was an activist. She didn’t approve of my obsession with Justin. She often told me it was wrong to be so in love with someone. She said I should spend more time on having fun, instead of spending all my time thinking about Justin.
Eve was slight, being short and underweight for her age. She had straight dirty-blond hair and green eyes. For a small person, she had a big mouth. She was always talking, especially about her views. Sometimes, lately, it seemed as though she was preaching. It could really get on my nerves from time to time.
Her boyfriend, Donald Krenshaw, was quite different from her. He had the most cynical outlook on life out of all the people I knew. He was a man made of depression; he actually enjoyed being sad. He was hilarious. His brown eyes were a mixture of laughter and sadness. Everything else about him was average. He had nice brown hair and was of medium height and weight. I did not know him well. He and Eve did not spend that much time together for a steady couple. When they did, they often spent it alone, without Jill, Karl or me.
Me? Well, I’m Andrea Jennings. All my friends call me Andi. I have wavy dark brown hair that is incredibly long. My eyes are brown. I like to think I have a nice smile (I better, after three years of braces!). I’ve already spoken a lot of who I am—the worshiper of darkness, with a passion for an untouchable man. I must add that I am quite shy. I am not shy within my circle of friends, but outside of them I barely speak. I had only talked to Justin on one or two occasions before our trip into the woods. I found it very hard to talk to him. If things didn’t work out I knew I’d die, so I preferred not to try.
Another installment of Affinity for Darkness, a novel I wrote in the winter of my junior year of high school. To read from the beginning:
- The Perfect Couple
- The Colors – Dark As Roses
- Dusky Waters, Orcas Island
- Driving Blind Under a Desert Moon
- What is the occult?
- How to Conduct a Séance
- Ultimate List of Paranormal Links
- Luna the psychopath