Petals of the Rose
The Lost Girl
Porsche approached a telephone booth. It took her several tries to remember the phone number she wanted, a fact that frustrated her greatly. Finally dialing the right number, she settled back against the back of the booth and sighed, listening to it ring.
She was a seventeen year old girl with sleek brunette hair and skin as white as snow. Quite literally, her skin carried the white sheen of a layer of ice, with bright glacial blue eyes and, in stark contrast, ruby red lips. When she spoke, tiny puffs of frigid air emerged with her syllables. She carried herself confidently and with the brashness that only a teen can manage so honestly. Her features were sharp and precise, with smooth, beautiful curves and angles, giving her an intangible quality of attractiveness.
After ringing several times, the line picked up. Her mother’s voice, so often a source of comfort, sounded more haggard and displeased than Porsche could ever remember it being. “Hello?”
“Hey mom, can you come get me?”
After a short pause, her mother replied, incredulously “Porsche?”
“Where are you?”
“Downtown, about a block from the Crystal Ballroom.”
Her mother sighed. “Just stay where you are, I’ll be there shortly.”
Hanging up the phone, Porsche loitered disconsolately on the sidewalk for what felt like a long time, but was probably less than ten minutes. Getting bored quickly, she contemplated going across the street to the music store, but before she could, a silver Lexus arrived.
Polly perked up, her hair going from a dull blue to a rich aquamarine as she realized that Porsche had left on foot and wouldn’t have gotten far if she had left so recently. Going outside, she stopped to talk with the ogre who guarded the Shelter. He was big and blocky, like someone had sat a vending machine down outside, and she knew him as Rory Squarejaw.
“Ummmmmmm, hi! I’m looking for a friend. Maybe you saw her go by.” She gave him a long and very fast description of Porsche, as best she remembered from the dream. “All we know is that she came by, she said no thanks, and she left on foot, and we really need to find her because she could get into trouble and—“
“Yeah, I remember her. She went that way.” He pointed.
“Thank you!” Grabbing Shade, Pollock took off down the street in the direction he indicated, hoping that Porsche would still be on foot. Several blocks up, stopped by the light and just a half block from where they left the car, Polly saw something she couldn’t believe. A snow white girl was getting into a silver car up the street from them. It could be no one else.
Porsche’s mom, Andrea, looked at her with a combination of fear and disdain. It was something Porsche couldn’t remember ever seeing before. She simply said “Get in.”
Sliding into the passenger seat, Porsche slumped and said “Thanks. Having a bad day or something?”
“Oh, don’t take that tone with me. As if you care.” Porsche folder her arms and stared out the window. “With the way your behavior has been lately, young lady, I’m surprised we haven’t had to call the police on you. This summer, I don’t remember seeing you more than once a week, and don’t even get me started on what it felt like having to pick you up at a police station. If word of that ever gets out, it could seriously damage my reputation with people I care about.” The tirade continued, leaving Porsche feeling very bewildered. Eventually, her mom finished, coming to a stony silence and obviously still fuming.
When they arrived at the family home in the west hills of Portland, Andrea got out of the car without another word and went straight into the house. Porsche was still mulling over the confusing and impossible events her mother had described. She convinced herself that this was all part of the same bad dream she had been having for as long as she could remember.
Going into the house, things were much as she remembered them. Her unease over the tirade from her mother warred with the sense of peace and comfort she felt just at returning to her home. And although she didn’t remember the couch being on that side of the room, or that plant being as big as it was, she found it easy to dismiss these small discrepancies.
Upstairs, she found another oddity. The door to her room bore a “Porsche’s Room KEEP OUT!” sign, something she would never do. Ripping the sign down, she wadded it up and tossed it into the trash bin. Taking in the rest of the room, it all seemed wrong. Posters for popular bands she would never listen to hung everywhere. The sheets were in colors she hated. Everything stunk of pop music and terrible reality TV.
Porsche backed up into the corner. She stuck her head out into the hallway to verify that this was indeed her room. As she did, her mother yelled from elsewhere in the house “I can’t believe it’s this early in the year and you’re already skipping school!” Closing her door again, Porsche went over and checked the calendar. Mid-September already. She remembered it being March.
Next to the calendar, Porsche realized there was a picture of her in a terrible dress, smiling and vamping with Robbie LeClerk, the captain of the Lacrosse team. She hated Robbie LeClerk; he was the kind of jock she couldn’t stand. Other pictures showed her in the same pose over and over, hip cocked out and posing with girls she had hated for as long as she could remember.
Something was still terribly wrong here.