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 You Will Be Found (Arden Voicemails) [Closed]

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Eden Ming

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PostSubject: Re: You Will Be Found (Arden Voicemails) [Closed]   Thu Nov 30, 2017 1:17 pm

18 February, 2017

Hey Art.

So uhm, I’m in trouble with Sally.

I may have forgotten to tell her I was going to Hong Kong. And I may have just… left school without reason for a week. And I may have uh, well, caused her worry…

{Sigh}

I’m so bad at this whole friendship thing, honestly. Sometimes I wish I didn’t need to make friends and I could just be with my plants alone forever, but I know that’s not right. I do need people, even if not as often as most seem to.

{Soft sigh}

Anyway, I tried apologising to her but she ignored me in class and outside of class, too, so I ended up just tending to my plants in the greenhouses. How do I apologise, Art? You’ve always been so much better at the whole social thing than me. I mean…

{Slight laugh}

I mean we wouldn’t have been friends at all if you hadn’t made the first move. I mean, who but you would see a guy holding a cactus and ask them about it? And then when I talked about it being an adromischus alstonii and how the common name was bulbees you didn’t walk away like most others do at that point…

Yeah. I mean. You know. It’s… different with Sally. I like her. She’s nice to me and cares about plants, but I don’t know, she seems to want attention from me a lot. She wants to do things with me, and I mean, I know that’s friendship, but it seems too… I don’t know, too much for me.

I think I’ll make her a crochet thing as an apology. She says she likes butterflies, so maybe… I mean I’ve already made you over thirty -- last I checked. I don’t know, now that I say it aloud it sounds like too much -- so I can make her one, certainly. It’s not hard. Butterflies seem to be easy. Hey, maybe I’ll make her a set of them. That sounds like a good idea. I don’t have anything else to do tonight and I can’t sleep, anyway; I need to watch over a plant and give it water and stuff every couple hours. If I sleep I probably won’t wake up to an alarm and that’d be disastrous for the poor plant.

Well. Take care, Art.


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PostSubject: Re: You Will Be Found (Arden Voicemails) [Closed]   Thu Nov 30, 2017 1:42 pm

25 February, 2017

Hey Art.

I gave her a set of seven butterflies last week. She seemed to forgive me after that. At least, she’s invited me to her birthday party in April. It’s a massive celebration apparently, taking place at her house. It’s on Saturday so I won’t call. I don’t know the date but she said she knows Saturdays are my ‘private day’, but she wanted me to go… I said I’d think about it.

Nobody knows I’m calling you. I mean, honestly, I don’t even know why I’m doing it.

Anyway. I think I’ll go for her party. It might do me some good to get out and mingle with something other than plants.

{Shaky laugh}

Truth is I’m nervous as hell. It sounds like there’s gonna be a lot of people and I… I don’t know. I don’t like crowds. Never have. It’s making me anxious just thinking about it… But I mean, I have to get out of my comfort zone, right? That’s what my dad always said. I don’t know. I’m nervous.

I’ve said that already. Sorry. I’m just… Yeah. Nervous.

{Sigh, 3 second pause}

Anyway, how are things your end? I wish I knew what you were up to. Maybe then I’d stop worrying. I mean, I know you don’t have to call or text or anything. You’re not under any obligation, and I think I said that before. But it’s been so many months, Art, and I’m just getting worried. What if you--

{Awkward falter}

I mean. I just want to know you’re … you’re alive. You don’t even have to be okay or good or anything. I don’t expect you to be. I just need you to be alive.


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PostSubject: Re: You Will Be Found (Arden Voicemails) [Closed]   Thu Nov 30, 2017 1:56 pm

4 March, 2017

Hey Art.

We had a surprise test for physics, literature, and French this week. It’s like teachers plan it, to give us a hard week. I think I failed them all. Dad won’t be happy. You might think it’s a stereotype that Asian parents expect their children to be lawyers and doctors, but it’s true. Dad’s been hinting at my abilities being tailored to me becoming a doctor without needing to attend med school. I guess… I mean he has a point. I’d be able to help so many.

But I think I’m really selfish, because I can only think of all the plants I’d have to kill in order to do it.

I just called to let you know this, I guess. I need to study. There are more tests next week.

Take care.


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PostSubject: Re: You Will Be Found (Arden Voicemails) [Closed]   Thu Nov 30, 2017 2:12 pm

18 March, 2017

Hey Art.

Sorry I didn’t call last week. Things were… stressful. As I said, there were tests. I was so tired after the week that I kind of just collapsed into bed over the weekend. I did okay in biology, because it had a long question on plants. I can only hope that the main exams -- finals, already, can you believe? Time flies -- also have a lot of plant-related stuff. I want to pass. I really, really do.

They’re giving us some leeway. The grief counselor -- we have to see her once a month -- gave them a list of names of people to give chances to, and I think I was on the list because I’m going to be put in a different room with a couple others for our exam.

Sally’s organising a study group next week. She says her friends sat for the exam previously and can help us prepare. I think I’ll go. It might do me good, I guess, to spend more time with people.

I’m still… Recovering. We all are. But I guess… I mean, you… You were closer to him.

God, I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have brought him up. I’m not thinking straight. I’m running on little sleep and stress and stuff. I’ll go now.


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PostSubject: Re: You Will Be Found (Arden Voicemails) [Closed]   Thu Nov 30, 2017 2:24 pm

25 March, 2017

Hey Art.

Well, Sally threw me a surprise birthday party last Sunday. I don’t even know how she found out.

It was so awkward. I hated it, but I pretended to be happy and pleased. You would’ve been so proud… I mean, you know how I hate surprises and parties and attention. But she got me another plant, so I’m not complaining. She must have told them what I liked because honestly plants were all I got.

My party was plant-themed. I had a plant-shaped caked and plant decorations and… pin-the-leaf-on-the-plant, which was… Odd? I’m not glad they did it, but I mean, it’s nice to be thought of. I don’t know pretty much everyone who attended. I only knew Sally and Riley and some of the others. Is it wrong that I still don’t know their names? They don’t really talk to me much so I don’t recall what they go by…

It was nice of her to organise it, though I’m not sure how she got so many people to attend, especially since I didn’t know them… They weren’t my friends. Who they were, I still don’t know. They didn’t really, uh, introduce themselves to me. I think they were there for the food.

And possibly the alcohol.

I know, alcohol isn’t allowed but somehow Sally smuggled it in. I didn’t drink any; they give me a headache. I think I’m allergic to it. Besides, it tastes bitter and weird. I’ll stick to juice and water.

Anyway, I have to go. We’re meeting to study more for the exams. They’re the entire week of April and I’m worried about them.

Take care, Art.


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PostSubject: Re: You Will Be Found (Arden Voicemails) [Closed]   Thu Nov 30, 2017 2:31 pm

15 April, 2017

Hey Art.

I’m so sorry I skipped the past two weeks. It’s been hectic, with the exams. There was also an epidemic with the plants. The school had brought in some new ones from… I’m not sure where. I never asked. But they had eggs of a pest on them -- I don’t know the name of the insect -- and they spread like wildfire. I spent all my free time in the greenhouses, cleaning the plants and separating them from the others once they were bug-free.

I refused to allow them to kill my beloved plants. That and the combination of exams and studying meant I was so busy I don’t think I’ve slept in a week. Sally made sure I ate, don’t worry, but I’m exhausted and teetering on insanity.

{Muttering} God. I need sleep.

{Pause. Sigh}

But that’s not why I’m calling. I need advice. I don’t know what to do. I’m overthinking it, as always, but… I just need to know what to do. I don’t know if you hear this or answer, but if you do… I’m just so torn, Art.

Sally and Riley and the others (is it wrong that I still don’t know their names? I think one is Tyler or something.) were great help. We had study groups, and since they were older years they already knew the subject and could help us.

But uhm. That’s where the something’s wrong comes in.

They gave us some sample questions we practised, which was good. I managed to answer most of them. But then when the exams itself came out the questions were the exact same. I don’t mean like, similar. I mean word for word the same. So I answered them easily and completely, because we’d already done it.

But now I feel guilty. Like, it’s cheating and I’m not a cheat, you know?

I don’t want to get them in trouble but I can’t sleep with this haunting me. Do I tell someone? Should I?

God, I wish you were here. You’d know what to do.


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PostSubject: Re: You Will Be Found (Arden Voicemails) [Closed]   Thu Nov 30, 2017 2:53 pm

22 April, 2017

Hey Art.

So uhm, I did it. I told Ms. Dunn about the whole thing, and she told me I wouldn’t get in trouble because I didn’t know. I’ll resit them in a couple weeks, during the holiday, to make up for them. She asked me to identify the older students and I did, from the yearbook. It turns out one of them has Prophetic Vision as a power and used it to predict the questions. He had been caught before, selling them, and he’s received warnings before. They thought he stopped, but apparently not. But that must mean Sally bought them? God. I told on her. I didn’t mean to.

I think I did the right thing. I don’t want to get her or them in trouble, but… I’m not a cheater. I don’t cheat, you know that. It was the right thing to do. Why do I feel so alone, then? God, I wish you were here. You would be such an encouragement in this time. I just… I don’t--

{Footsteps}

{Distant female voice} Why the hell did you do it, Eden? Don’t deny it. I know you told on us.

{Fumbling, as though the phone was put down}

{Distant Eden} Sally? God. I…

{Distant Sally} Save it. I do you a good deed and you step all over it? Who do you think you are?

{Distant Eden} N-no. I-I.. I-it wasn’t like that. I-I just… I d-d-didn’t know. You didn’t tell me. I… I just…

{Distant Sally} I’m f***ed. They’re gonna tell my parents.

{Distant Eden} I-I’m sorry. I didn’t know, I just… God, I don’t know. I wanted to do the right thing.

{Distant Sally} The right thing? You’re so f***ing stupid, Eden. The right thing would have been to shut your mouth. God. If I had known I never would've wanted to be your friend.

{Distant Eden} I… I don’t… I don’t understand.

{Distant Sally} Do you really think it was an accident I got paired with you? I asked Ms. Dunn to do it. God, you’re so f***ing blind. You were always hanging out with that Arthur and that Daniel guy. I never had a chance to talk to you. And then Dan-

{Distant Eden} Don’t. Don’t say it.

{Distant Sally} Urg, why not? Fine. And then it happened and Art left and I thought I finally -- finally -- had a chance to be with you. God do you still not get it? I like you, Eden, even with your weird obsession with these f***ing plants. I even pretended to be interested in them for you! But no, you step all over that by selling me out as a cheater.

{Distant Eden} You… You… What? No. I… I’m sorry. I-I-I didn’t know. I… I’m sorry. I, uhm. I-I-I like someone else.

{Distant Sally} So that’s it? All I’ve done for you and you like ‘someone else’? You don’t even talk to anyone else! You’re always here with your bloody plants. You know what? You tell on me and then turn me down? Well, I’m going to take something away from you. Watch out, Eden. I’m going to destroy your precious plants. Just mark my words.

{Footsteps}

{Deep breaths, a sniff, another deep breath. Fumbling, like the phone is picked up.}

{Mumbling} Oh god. It’s still on. I’m so sorry.

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PostSubject: Re: You Will Be Found (Arden Voicemails) [Closed]   Thu Nov 30, 2017 2:59 pm

6 May, 2017

Art. S-she… Oh, god.

{Soft crying}

S-she did it. The greenhouse… My plants… They’re gone, Art. They’re on the ground and smashed. There’s soil everywhere.

{More soft crying}

I… I don’t… I can’t…

{More crying}

She did it. She actually did it.

{Soft whisper} I need you.

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PostSubject: Re: You Will Be Found (Arden Voicemails) [Closed]   Thu Nov 30, 2017 3:18 pm

20 May, 2017

Hey Art.

I… I’ve been dealing.

{Deep breath}

She got suspended for what she did. Destroying school property, they said. The plants may have been theirs by purchase but they were mine by work and effort. I loved them. Love them.

I’ve spent the last two weeks trying to salvage what I can. The roots of some didn’t get uhm, crushed, or whatever the hell she did, so I could repot them. Hopefully they’ll still grow. Plants are more durable than we give them credit for, and with some love… I can only hope.

My hydrangeas are all gone. They never had a chance to begin to bloom. The school has ordered more, but I’m not sure if I can face this again.

The ferns survived. All of them. I guess that’s a plus side. The roses are all gone, as are some of the more sensitive plants. My cacti are fine. They’ve suffered worse in their natural habitat. It’s my bougainvilleas I’m most concerned for. They’re currently touch-and-go. I don’t know if they can pull through. I hope they can.

My forget-me-nots survived, too. The bluebells and sunflowers didn’t. Oh god, you would’ve loved the sunflowers. They had bloomed so very well; I was so proud of them… They were tall and bright and firm… Beautiful. They were beautiful. I’ll have to regrow them. Maybe next year they’ll be as strong. The school has put a lock on the buildings, now, and a new security measure thing. Only those with the code can access it. They gave me the code, and they said something about allocating me a space for my own plants…

I think it’s a sort of apology for what she did. They know how much I loved -- love -- these plants.

At least I’ve stopped crying over them. I have to stop myself, but I can. It won’t do them any good if I just stand and cry. Tears don’t even have the right PH level to water them… I mean. Yeah. I’m… I’m gonna go.


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PostSubject: Re: You Will Be Found (Arden Voicemails) [Closed]   Thu Nov 30, 2017 3:24 pm

10 June, 2017

I can’t do this any longer.

I’ve been hiding behind words and stuttering and talk of plants and school. The truth is…

No. I can’t. It would change too much.

{7 second pause}

Do you remember what I told you about plants? You have to treat each in a specific way or they’ll wilt. Each plant is different and requires different things. Each plant also blooms differently. You can’t expect a lily from a rose bush and you can’t plant honeysuckles and expect apples. People are like plants. Each need different things in different amounts to thrive.

I’m a hard plant to grow. I’m awkward and need less attention than most, and I need to be told that I’m doing alright constantly…

What I’m trying to say is that you are the only person I’ve ever met that I’d blossom for.

I-I Uh… I, uhm. I… That is… You… U-uh.

{Deep breath}

I-I l-like you, Art.

Damnit. I like you, okay? I guess that’s why I’ve kept calling even though you haven’t answered. I know I’m probably just annoying you, but each time I hear the dial tone I can’t help but hope I’ll hear your voice answer, and I could tell you how much you mean to me.

I’m worried, Art, because I like you. I don’t want you to be sad. I don’t want you to… to do what Daniel did. I want you to know you’re not alone in this because, god, I’m here and I like you, and you need to be okay, you understand? I know you probably won’t talk to me after this. But you had to know the truth… Had to know how I feel…

{Deep sigh}

I won’t call again. I’ll leave you alone now. I can take the hint.

Just… Just know that I really do care for you.


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