Apparently the air's better in Maine, or something stupid like that. My uncle, Daniel Reed, kept trying to sell me that line during our drive from the Belfast airport to Rockland. He was really annoying about it too. He'd wrinkle his pockmarked nose, dig his bottom teeth into the thin splash of hair on his upper lip, then exhale loudly and reach over to pat my knee before saying the exact same damn words.
"The air, it's gon do ya good. Clear your head up and all. Your momma and daddy woulda wanted you out here, Willow. Ya hear?"
Then I'd sigh, tell him that I heard him, and ten minutes later he'd repeat the entire process again. The worst parts about the three hour long drive were the conversations we'd have in-between him telling me about the air.
I've sort of been failing lately. "It's alright."
"You miss your friends?"
Friends? "Don't have any."
"All I need is Randy."
Then I'd stretch my hand out to the backseat and pat Randy's big head. He'd woof, and I'd feel better until Daniel brought up my dead parents again.
"Now, Willow, I know you're upset but you gotta remember that this ain't your fault."
That was a lie. It was my fault. All of it. I'm not just saying that because I feel guilty. I'm saying that because it's the truth.
My name is Willow Reed, I'm seventeen years old, and I killed my parents. I can't put it any simpler than that.