We Were Liars - Page 39

Where to go? I cannot face the Liars at Cuddledown. Red Gate might have Will or Aunt Carrie. The island is so fucking small, actually, there’s nowhere to go. I am trapped on this island, where I killed those poor, poor dogs.

All my bravado from this morning,

the power,

the perfect crime,

taking down the patriarchy,

the way we Liars saved the summer idyll and made it better,

the way we kept our family together by destroying some part of it—

all that is delusional.

The dogs are dead,

the stupid, lovely dogs,

the dogs I could have saved,

innocent dogs whose faces lit when you snuck them a bit of hamburger

or even said their names;

dogs who loved to go on boats,

who ran free all day on muddy paws.

What kind of person takes action without thinking about who might be locked in an upstairs room, trusting the people who have always kept them safe and loved them?

I am sobbing these strange, silent sobs, standing on the walkway between Windemere and Red Gate. My face is soaked, my chest is contracting. I stumble back home.

Gat is on the steps.


HE JUMPS UP when he seems me and wraps his arms around me. I sob into his shoulder and tuck my arms under his jacket and around his waist.

He doesn’t ask what’s wrong until I tell him.

“The dogs,” I say finally. “We killed the dogs.”

He is quiet for a moment. Then, “Yeah.”

I don’t speak again until my body stops shaking.

“Let’s sit down,” Gat says.

We settle on the porch steps. Gat rests his head against mine. “I loved those dogs,” I say.

“We all did.”

“I—” I choke on my words. “I don’t think I should talk about it anymore or I’ll start crying again.”

“All right.”

We sit for a while longer. “Is that everything?” Gat asks.


“Everything you were crying about?”

“God forbid there’s more.”

He is silent.

And still silent.

“Oh hell, there is more,” I say, and my chest feels hollow and iced.

“Yeah,” says Gat. “There is more.”

“More that people aren’t telling me. More that Mummy would rather I didn’t remember.”

He takes a moment to think. “I think we’re telling you, but you can’t hear it. You’ve been sick, Cadence.”

“You’re not telling me directly,” I say.


“Why the hell not?”

“Penny said it was best. And—well, with all of us being here, I had faith that you’d remember.” He takes his arm off my shoulder and wraps his hands around his knees.

Gat, my Gat.

He is contemplation and enthusiasm. Ambition and strong coffee. I love the lids of his brown eyes, his smooth dark skin, his lower lip that pushes out. His mind. His mind.

I kiss his cheek. “I remember more about us than I used to,” I tell him. “I remember you and me kissing at the door of the mudroom before it all went so wrong. You and me on the tennis court talking about Ed proposing to Carrie. On the perimeter at the flat rock, where no one could see us. And down on the tiny beach, talking about setting the fire.”

He nods.

“But I still don’t remember what went wrong,” I say. “Why we weren’t together when I got hurt. Did we have an argument? Did I do something? Did you go back to Raquel?” I cannot look him in the eyes. “I think I deserve an honest answer, even if whatever’s between us now isn’t going to last.”

Gat’s face crumples and he hides it in his hands. “I don’t know what to do,” he says. “I don’t know what I’m supposed to do.”

“Just tell me,” I say.

“I can’t stay here with you,” he says. “I have to go back to Cuddledown.”


“I have to,” he says, standing up and walking. Then he stops and turns. “I messed everything up. I’m so sorry, Cady. I am so, so sorry.” He is crying again. “I shouldn’t have kissed you, or made you a tire swing, or given you roses. I shouldn’t have told you how beautiful you are.”

“I wanted you to.”

“I know, but I should have stayed away. It’s fucked up that I did all that. I’m sorry.”

“Come back here,” I say, but when he doesn’t move, I go to him. Put my hands on his neck and my cheek against his. I kiss him hard so he knows I mean it. His mouth is so soft and he’s just the best person I know, the best person I’ve ever known, no matter what bad things have happened between us and no matter what happens after this. “I love you,” I whisper.

He pulls back. “This is what I’m talking about. I’m sorry. I just wanted to see you.”

He turns around and is lost in the dark.


THE HOSPITAL ON Martha’s Vineyard. Summer fifteen, after my accident.

I was lying in a bed under blue sheets. You would think hospital sheets would be white, but these were blue. The room was hot. I had an IV in one arm.

Mummy and Granddad were staring down at me. Granddad was holding a box of Edgartown fudge he’d brought as a gift.

It was touching that he remembered I like the Edgartown fudge.

I was listening to music with ear buds in my ears, so I couldn’t hear what the adults were saying. Mummy was crying.

Granddad opened the fudge, broke off a piece, and offered it to me.

The song:

Our youth is wasted

We will not waste it

Remember my name

’Cause we made history

Na na na na, na na na

I LIFTED MY hand to take out the ear buds. The hand I saw was bandaged.

Both my hands were bandaged.

And my feet. I could feel the tape on them, beneath the blue sheets.

My hands and feet were bandaged, because they were burned.


ONCE UPON A time there was a king who had three beautiful daughters.

No, no, wait.

Once upon a time there were three bears who lived in a wee house in the woods.

Once upon a time there were three billy goats who lived near a bridge.

Once upon a time there were three soldiers, tramping together down the roads after the war.

Once upon a time there were three little pigs.

Once upon a time there were three brothers.

No, this is it. This is the variation I want.

Once upon a time there were three beautiful children, two boys and a girl. When each baby was born, the parents rejoiced, the heavens rejoiced, even the fairies rejoiced. The fairies came to christening parties and gave the babies magical gifts.

Tags: E. Lockhart Suspense
Source: www.readsnovelonline.com
readsnovelonline.com Copyright 2016 - 2022