Disguise, I see thou art a wickedness
Where the pregnant enemy does much.
How easy is it for the proper false
In women’s waxen hearts to set their forms!
Alas, our frailty is the cause, not we,
For such as we are made of, such we be.
How will this fadge?
Fadge? Julie had thought tackling Twelfth Night first thing in the morning, while her mind was fresh, would help her better understand the complicated verse. But she was hard-pressed to grasp the meaning of ‘fadge,’ anymore than ‘pregnant enemies’ or ‘waxen hearts.’ It sounded like a Medieval swear word.
Chloe’s snoring wasn’t making the attempt at studying any easier. While Julie read at her desk, her roommate sawed away in bed, breaking Julie’s concentration with every loud snort.
Frustrated, she was tempted to chuck the Shakespeare paperback at Chloe’s head to shut her up. Instead, she placed the book aside and shifted her attention to The Sentinel, which lay open on her desk.
Rhonda Sparks’ theory was that Courtney knew her killer. Intrigued by the possibility, Julie scanned the article, circling with a ballpoint pen the names of the victim’s friends and acquaintances who had sung her praises. Looking down at the targets, she wondered if one of them was lying.
With ten minutes left before she had to shoot off to her first class, Shakespeare beckoned, and Julie returned to her reading.
My master loves her dearly,
And I, poor monster, fond as much on him,
And she, mistaken, seems to dote on me.
What will become of this? As I am man,
My state is desperate for my master’s love.
‘Monster … desperate … As I am man …’ Julie connected the dots. Of course! Courtney was a beautiful girl; she was sure to have attracted lots of admirers. Did she have a boyfriend? And was he the jealous type? Maybe Courtney had threatened to leave him, and he’d blown his stack, striking her down in a violent rage. Jealousy was powerful motivator; the emotion often made people do crazy things. Even her. Once, back in the eleventh grade, she let all the air out of Jenny Pile’s tires in retaliation for her having hooked up with Robbie Wiley, Julie’s boyfriend at the time. The stunt backfired. Stranded at the shopping mall, the first person Jenny called was Robbie, and he gallantly rushed over to rescue her. They’ve been a couple ever since. Ah, love. Ist thou ever fair?
“Who’s that?” croaked a scratchy voice behind her and, caught up in the past, Julie was nearly startled out of her chair.
Speaking of monsters … Eyes swollen shut, hair askew and skin pale from a lack of circulation, Chloe looked like a zombie come back from the dead. Still half-asleep, she was pointing at the newspaper Julie held in her hands.
“You mean her?” Julie asked, referring to the defaced picture of Courtney on the cover. Chloe blinked her eyes for an affirmative response, and Julie explained, “That’s the girl who was killed in the woods.”
Chloe cocked her head left then right like an art critic studying the definition of a painting. Stepping forward for a closer inspection, she asked, “Why did you draw that on her head?”
Julie considered her handiwork. Sometime during the morning, obviously inspired by the subject matter (namely, Viola disguising herself as Cesario), she had unconsciously doodled a man’s hairpiece atop Courtney Kennedy’s head, using her black pen. “I don’t know,” she replied with a shrug, politely putting off expounding the complexities of Shakespeare to someone who hadn’t yet ingested a cup of coffee.
“I know her,” Chloe proclaimed with wonderment, seemingly startled by the fact herself.
“Did you two have the same class? Were you friends?”
“No. I mean I recognize her,” Chloe clarified. “Not as a blonde, but like you’ve drawn her: with the black wig.”
“Fadge!” Julie swore under her breath.