Bambi Browne was in Miss Blake's kindergarten class with me. I remember she always wore a bright red bow in her hair, and that she knew about cashmere sweaters. I liked to read, and my hair wasn't long enough for a bow. I didn't know what cashmere was either. My mother taught me about what she called, "substance," not "fluff." I guess she thought that Bambi's mother taught her about fluff. I didn't think so, though. Bambi seemed to know everything. She always raised her hand before everyone else in class, and she memorized her multiplication tables perfectly. She looked like Cinderella at her wedding to the prince; lemon sorbet hair and sparkly blue eyes. She sat with Christina Baker and Maude DeWitt, and at recess the boys chased them around the playground, trying to kiss them. I sometimes wished I was being chased by Leo Lundi, too, but, I usually sat quietly in the classroom during recess, reading a book. I didn't want to play with the other kids. I liked the fictional characters in books more than live people. The reality that people were just bothersome distractions was a disappointment. But not for Bambi. She didn't have to observe people and study them. People observed and studied her. My mother said that Bambi Browne had serious issues, but I didn't see any. She was beautiful.
First and second grade went pretty much the same way. Bambi was still in my class. Bambi still got the answers before everyone else, and still had that long, gorgeous hair. Bambi still got chased on the playground. Bambi was still the most popular girl. Her best friends were still Christina Baker and Maude DeWitt. Leo Lundi still had a crush on her, and not on me. Bambi had friends, and I didn't. Third grade passed, and so did fourth. I started keeping a notebook recording all of my Bambi-related thoughts. I wrote and wrote all the way through fifth and sixth grade. Then, seventh grade came.
Seventh grade is just weird. The most important thing in the universe is to be "popular," and you'll literally be torn to shreds if you're anywhere close to being, "uncool." The idea is to make friends, it doesn't particularly matter in the least if you actually like them or not, you just have to deal with it. Better to be with people who will help you climb the social ladder than people who will bring you down that ladder. At least, that's what my mom says. Once you have your little clique established, it's time for the inside jokes. In case you aren't familiar with those, you should be. They're these jokes between "friends," that make no sense, and if you try and tell someone else's inside joke. I'm serious, you'll be hung at dawn, and that isn't an exaggeration. Belinda Brutmire, who wasn't exactly cool, decided one day that she was going to be. Belinda had heard Bambi, Christina, and Maude telling a joke about some wild party they'd been at. (Note: they were twelve years old at this time) Belinda, trying to fit in with the little threesome, marched right up to Maude and repeated the joke. Maude looked horrified, Christina narrowed her eyes, and Bambi smirked a bit, but didn't look too upset.
"Bitch!" Maude had cried out, grabbing Belinda's unfortunate, preppy button-up purple shirt by the collar. She and Christina, (Bambi pulled away, she was too sweet.) picked up Belinda, who about twice both of their heights combined, and carried her to a shed on the playground. It was the "punishment area." Despite Belinda's screams and protests, they threw her in, locking her inside. The next morning, they would kill her, with a kitchen knife that Maude kept wrapped in a towel under her pillow. There was no escaping it. Four students had been killed. The school must have known about it, but they never really did anything. Too scared to interfere. The police, also unable to intervene, ruled twenty-five out of the exact one hundred deaths suicides from stress, although there was no proof of that. They ruled another twenty-five accidental, like falling and breaking the neck, etc. Twenty-five more were ruled homicides, but the killers "couldn't be found." The last twenty five were divided seemingly systematically among the three previous categories. But, although Bambi, Christina, and Maude were suspected, they were never questioned, or put in juvenile hall. Why, you ask? They came from rich, influential, powerful families that could seriously damage the reputation of anyone who accused their daughters. Besides, although they usually let off Christina and Maude with an attempt at a frightening voice, "I'll be watching you," followed by a slam of the door after, they couldn't bring themselves to do anything at all to Bambi. She was so beautiful.
Now, I'm sure you're wondering when the actual part of the story that is interesting comes into play. I know the whole shed thing sounds crazy. I don't even remember if that's true. I'm a pathological liar, or so they say. You might never know if anything I say is actually reality. You'll just have to trust me from now on. You'll have to trust me, my journal, and my high school experiences with Bambi Browne.