As the priest said “ashes to ashes” Sandra burst into tears and she cried for him, my god she cried for him. The boy who never existed. Izabella put her arms around her and wiped her tears.
As people stood up to leave Jess and Laureen walked away, they never expected Sandra to be emotional.
“I think we should tell her the truth.” Jess said as they walked towards the food table.
“Oh come on, it’s funny.” Laureen said putting food on a plate as she watched Izabella and Fiona hold Sandra.
“Yes.” She giggled as more of Sandra’s friends hugged her.
“You guys are so mean.” Zoe said
“She started it.” Jess said, “She embarrassed me in front of everyone, remember.”
“I do not believe I attended a fake funeral. Such a waste of my time.” Lenny said sipping orange juice.
“Oh yeah, shhh here she comes.” Jess said walking towards Sandra and hugging her.
It started a two months ago. Sandra played a prank on Jess on Valentine’s day, by writing a love note to Jess.
It’s Paul. Please be my date for the Valentine Dance. I will wait at the cafeteria at 1.00 pm. Hope you love red roses.
Jess saw the note on her table and felt excited, she told Laureen about it. She could not concentrate on her classes the whole morning, she wanted to see Paul. He was attractive, tall and a class ahead of hers. She stood at the cafeteria waiting for Paul with the red roses, he sent her. He did not turn up, she heard Sandra laugh, she did not know why. She walked around looking for Paul. He was playing basketball with Hank and Mosses. She takes the flowers and throws them at Paul and walked away as students laughed.
“Hey Jess, what the hell?”
“You send me a note and you don’t come.”
“Oh, so now you don’t remember. Why waste my time.”
“What you are talking about.”
“This morning you left a note on my desk asking me to be your date.”
“Valentine dance silly.”
“Nah, didn’t leave a note on your table. If I had no date, I would have taken you.”
“Who put the note on my desk?”
Sandra, Izabella and Fiona laughed.
“Did you put the note on my table Sandra?”
Sandra nodded yes and laughed. Jess walked to the washroom. Laureen followed her.
“How could she do that?” Jess said rubbing a tear from her eyes.
“She is an idiot.” Laureen said as a few students walked in the bathroom.
“I am so gonna get her.” Jess said.
The next day Laureen, Zoe, and Jess sat under the Maple tree eating chips during recess.
“The Valentine Dance is this Saturday, we need a guy to call her.” Jess said.
“Yeah, a guy from Glenous High.” Laureen said.
“Nah, it will get us in trouble, we have to use someone who does not exist.”
“Hi girls” Lenny said sitting near Zoe and taking one of her chips.
“Laureen follow my lead. Sandra and her buddies going to the washroom.” Jess said standing up and walking towards the washroom.
Once in the washroom Jess said, “I don’t believe it, Patrick Lemont wants to take Sandra to the Valentine Dance.”
“No Kidding. Oh, remind me who’s Patrick?” Laureen answered smiling.
“You remember that guy from Glenouuse High. He is tall, lean body, brown curly hair and attractive.”
“Oh yeah, he plays basketball right.”
“Yeah, he said he will call Sandra, if she refuses then he will call me. I hope Sandra says no.”
“Are you crying? Oh, don’t cry.”
“What Am I going to do. Patrick said, he always had a crush on Sandra. He hopes he meets her before he finishes high school.”
Jess tried not to laugh.
“Hey Lenny has no date, I should ask him.”
“Yeah.” Said Laureen as they walked out of the washroom.
Sandra and Izabella opened the door when they had left.
“Oh My God, guys at Glenhouse high are so hot.” Sandra said smiling.
“Yeah, the basketball team.”
“After class we should go dress shopping.”
Izabella nodded as they walked out of the washroom.
Back at the maple tree Jess said to Lenny, “Okay here is the plan. Lenny I will get a disposable phone and a fake number and tomorrow you will call her.”
“Fine, but that is it,” Lenny answered bitting into another chip.
Friday morning Sandra’s phone rang, she picked it up.
“Hi is this Sandra.” Lenny said.
“Yes.” Sandra said. “Who is this?”
“Hi, I am Patrick Lemont, got your number from Jess. Can you please be my valentine tomorrow at the.”
“Yes” she answered interrupting him.
“Will meet you at the door tomorrow.”
“Okay” she smiled as she closed her phone and jumped around with Izabella while Jess and Laureen tried not to laugh.
Lenny came inside the classroom when Sandra and Izabella were jumping.
“Go to hell Lenny, I have a date so don’t bother asking.” Sandra said walking towards her desk.
“How is that, she will date a boy who doesn’t exist then me?” He said sitting near Jess.
“Any girl would date a Glenouse High boy.” Laureen said
It has been an hour and Patrick had not arrived. She stood near the door wearing a short red dress. Her blond hair untied. Many students passed her with their dates, she felt awkward standing alone. She entered the Tripple Dance Hall where the valentine dance was happening. Both Glenouse and St Francis. students packed the dance floor dancing to the latest hit.
“Has he come yet.” Izabella asked her when she sat on the table.
She nodded no rubbing a tear from her eyes.
Izabella gave her tissue and a drink.
Laureen and Jess were laughing as Sandra wipes her eyes.
“Hey, what’s the matter Sandra, where is Patrick.” Jess Laughed and walked towards the dance floor.
“He’s running late, don’t worry.” Izabella said. “Hey, is that him?” Pointing to a guy who entered the dance room.
“Yes, he is tall, brown hair. Yes. Let me go check.” Sandra said smiling.
“Hi Patrick.” Sandra said tapping the boy’s shoulder.
“Sorry I am not Patrick, I am Charlie.”
Sandra apologized and passed Lenny. Lenny saw tears in her eyes, felt sorry for her and walked towards Jess.
“Hey, you girls are mean.”
“She is the meanest.” Jess answered and laughed.
A month later Lenny sat near Jess, Laureen and Zoe in the library and said.
“You girls have to help me. Sandra went to Glenous to speak to Patrick. but couldn’t find him and called me, I told her I was sick.”
“What,” the girls shouted.
“Well to be honest, I called her after she left and wondered why she stood me up and she thought I stood her up. We were waiting at the wrong door. We kept in touch for a month and now she is going around Glenous to look for me. She even watched a basketball game hoping to see Patrick, I lied I was not playing on that day.”
“Lenny, why would you do that?” Laureen said.
“She cried when she left I called her and we spent the whole night talking and I thought she will never call again but she did.”
“No way.” Jess said.
“Hey, I did you a favour. Please do this for me.”
“Yeah, just to pretend you want a valentine date not to be her boyfriend. Patrick does not exist remember.”
“I toke it far but just put a stop. Please.”
“Bring your phone and you are not getting it back.”
She sent a message that said.
“To all Patrick’s friends. We are sorry to announce the sudden and untimely death of Patrick in a road accident that occurred over the weekend on the way to his prom after a match. Cremated over the weekend.”
“Patrick is dead” Lenny said. That’s mean Jess.
Sandra screamed when she got the message in the Library.
Sandra walked into the train, sadness sept over her, never met Patrick in person but they used to talk to each other. He had a crispy voice and a heavy laugh. Tears ran down her eyes, so close to meeting him when he died in a tragic car accident on the way to pick her up for his prom. A drunk driver hit his car in the rear and he died on impact. According to Jess, he had not worn his seat belt and his body flew out of the window onto the road, hitting his head on the pavement. All she knew about him was that he attended Glenouse high, loved basketball and surfing, favourite subjects was physics, his birthday June 8. A tear rolled down her eyes remembering their first conversation and how the spoke for two hours. He had seen her in her red dress leaving, she wished she had waited longer for him and now he is gone.
She got off the train and walked to Glenouse high. She saw student of Glenouse and asked them about Patrick but they did not know who Patrick Lemont was.
Glenouse High looked busy students walking to class others walking to the field or sitting on the stairs talking. She wondered why there were in school today. If a student died no classes for the day. She hated their uniform, green trousers, white shirt and black tie. Unlike her school were they wore black trousers, white shits and no tie and a black Blazer. She walked around and saw Charlie.
“Charlie, no one came for the funeral.”
“Patrick Lemont’s funeral, it was today and no one from Glenhouse was there.”
“No one named Patrick died or Mrs Preston would have announced it.”
“But he called ever night. You guys had a match before the prom didn’t you?”
“Hmmm, no we didn’t.”
“Charlie stop it,”
“Hey, we had no prom, no matches, we have Patricks in this school who are alive.”
“Then explain why Laureen said on Sunday the basketball team scattered his ashes in the ocean.”
“What, that’s not true. Why the hell would we do that. That boy never existed. Sort it out with Laureen. No idea who Patrick is. No one died in Glenouse and we did not scatter ashes anywhere.”
Her face turned red with embarrassment and walked out of Glenouse high with tears running down her face entered the train and went to St Francis. When she arrived to school, Laureen and Jess were sitting on a table. Both girls had short black hair. Jess never tucked her shirt in and Laureen wore a black sweater today. They were laughing at Lenny’s joke and walked towards them.
“Who was Patrick, did he even exist?”
“No, he didn’t.”
“I am gonna report you to Miss Douglas.” Sandra said looking at the girls.
“You are already in trouble with her.” Jess said.
“Mrs Preston called Mrs Douglas today morning. Wondered why a girl in her school is looking for a boy called Patrick Lemont and putting flyers for a funeral for a student who is not there. Mrs Douglas came to class and put the whole class for detention for a week for skiving. She found out it we attended a fake funeral because Patrick Lemont does not exist.
“You girls put me up to it. I will explain to Mrs Douglas what you did.”
“Who’s Patrick? why did you prank us Sandra”? Jess said as Mrs Douglas approached them.
“Sandra Mathews. Ms Jessica Fin and Laureen Slaw don’t you have a class to attend, students have been slacking today. Ms Mathews in my office now.” Mrs Douglas said walking towards the girls in a sky blue suit and her brown hair tied in a bun. She did not look happy.
“Mrs Douglas, they are the ones who prank me, here is Patrick’s number. One of them called me.”
Mrs Douglas called the number, it did not ring.
“Sandra, you have turned into a prankster this year. Please come to my office.”
Jess held Sandra’s hand and whispered. “Never mess with me again, understood.”
Mrs Douglas shouted, “Ms Jess Fin to class.”
“Sorry Mrs Douglass.” Jess said laughing and walking towards Laureen.
Sandra walked behind Mrs Douglas. Patrick never existed, wondered how she had ignored the signs, she never met him, Glenous never knew him and Jess is the only one who heard about Patrick.