Nothing Bad Is Going to Happen

BOOK: Nothing Bad Is Going to Happen
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DEDICATION

For my dad

CONTENTS
PROLOGUE

This letter was mailed from the

G
REEN
B
AY
C
ORRECTIONAL
F
ACILITY
.

Please report any misconduct to this facility.

Dear Kippy Bushman,

Nice touch with the PO box return address! I'm assuming you're trying to keep all of this a secret from Dom, which is fantastic. INTELLIGENSIAAAAAAAAA.

No offense but he's a worrier, and we don't need him to fret about
OUR INCREDIBLE REUNION
.

By the way, I was hoping that if you wrote to me, you'd also send
$$$
for the canteen—
BUT PLEASE DON'T FEEL BAD ABOUT IT, MAYBE NEXT TIME.

ANYWAY.

Kippy, you sound
VERY CROSS
. Chad (my counselor here) says it makes sense, given what happened in October (
MURDER, BLOOD, REVENGE, EXECUTION
). He even had me do
PSYCHOLOGICAL ISOMETRICS
where I imagined things from your point of view. In
one exercise, I had to talk to an empty chair.

VERY NUEVO FUTURO

Haha!

IT WAS EMBARRASSING!!

How about I share with you
FROM MY HEART
what I said during that imaginary conversation, is that all right?

MAYBE IT WILL HELP!!

         
1.)
  
KIPPY, I'M SO SORRY FOR MURDERING YOUR BEST FRIEND.

         
2.)
  
ALSO FOR DOING IT IN SUCH A VIOLENT WAY, AND WITH SEXUAL UNDERTONES.
☹

         
3.)
  
By now you know I framed Colt Widdacombe for the whole thing. That probably wasn't fair. (I know this part has nothing to do with us, but maybe you could tell him I'm sorry.
TWO BIRDS WITH ONE STONE!!! ONE LETTER FOR TWO VICTIMS!!!)

         
4.)
  
ANOTHER THING I'M SORRY FOR IS:
after they arrested Colt, you started saying the police were on the wrong track
AND YOU WERE RIGHT
but instead of admitting that, I followed you around in my minivan and reported all your minor legal
transgressions (trespassing, loitering, etc.) to the cops—
TERRIBLE, JUST TERRIBLE
—which got you into
LOTS!!!
of trouble.

                     
SORRY FOR INVADING YOUR PRIVACY
, Kippy, and for
TATTLING ON YOU
. I just didn't want to go to prison for the rest of my life, if that makes sense.
☺

         
5.)
  
Also I'm sorry for accidentally on purpose getting you sent to
CLOUDY MEADOWS
: A
MENTAL ASYLUM.
OMG
. It felt like a good solution at the time
BUT IT WASN'T, KIPPY, IT WAS WRONG, AND I HOPE YOU'RE OKAY, OKAY??
You're probably not.
☹

I'm sort of getting tired of writing now because my fingers are very
DELICATE.
(My cellmate keeps complimenting me on them??) But I'll write more
TOMORROW.

TOMORROW: AKA TODAY:

         
6.)
  
Sorry that when you broke into my house because you suspected me (OBVIOUSLY VALID!!!) I chased you with a machete and almost killed you.

THAT WAS MY BAD!!!

I read in the papers that you sustained a fractured skull, multiple lacerations, including a torn earlobe, a broken leg, and a cracked pelvis.
☹
Ouchie-wa-wa.
I'M SO SORRY, KIPPY,
I GOT CARRIED AWAY.

Does it hurt?

You can tell me.

Is that adequate? Not to sound lazy or unkind about it but I feel like I've done my part.

THE BALL IS IN YOUR COURT.

ALSO, KIPPY,
please know that you
DO NOT
have to write back if you don't want to.

But if you do write back, please send
$$$
FOR
THE
CANTEEN
. Or
WHATCHAMACALLITS
. You know, those candy bars with the chocolate and the crispy stuff and the caramel . . .

Remember:
WHATCHAMACALLITS.
No other type of candy is desired.

It's just that the food here is terrible, Kippy—
OBVIOUSLY NOT
something I would say to the cook (Bernard stabbed an inmate last year for disrespecting his huevos rancheros)
BUT THE FACT REMAINS!!!

I have to go now. Expect another letter from me soon.

UNTIL THEN!
Until then (echo effect)

Your former neighbor,

Ralph Johnston

PS: thank you for your real cell number. I know you've changed it
many
times to avoid my calls, and I appreciate the gesture. My phone privileges were recently revoked for reasons I can't discuss here but I will call ASAP.

I PROMISE
I promise

Dear Ralph,

No offense but your letter was absolutely bonkers. We're reading some insane/boring experimental prose poems right now in AP English, and even those are more coherent. Do they have you on medication? If so what kind? Dr. Ferguson prescribed me Ativan “as needed” but it made it hard to read
Jane
Eyre
and I was already behind in school.

And yes, Dr. Ferguson is my psychiatrist—the same Dr. Ferguson from Cloudy Meadows who you thought was corrupt enough to collude with you. (Albus thought he was bad, too, but it just goes to show that crazy people—you + her, not me—think alike.) For your information, Dr. Ferguson resigned from Cloudy Meadows as soon as he found out that I'd been wrongfully admitted there (Thanks, Ralph—“thanks”) and now he's helping us build a lawsuit against them. He also doesn't think I'm crazy. He thinks I'm smart. And he's going to do everything he can to get me ready to testify against you (and against Cloudy Meadows, hopefully,
if we keep making headway). The trick is to get me past my trauma blah blah blah. Revenge is awesome.

It turns out that people who didn't believe me at first and then saw the light feel superguilty and are even more loyal than they were before. (Jim Steele, for instance, and Dom, too—though Dom's a completely different story. He and I haven't been getting along well lately. Not that it's your business.) Anyway, sometimes accepting someone's help is the same as accepting an apology, and if there's anything I've learned it's that forgiveness is a great way to feel better (BTW I'm not forgiving you. I no longer believe in forgiveness. Your stupid jail counselor might disagree with me on that front, but tell Chad he can go ahead and judge me once he's walked a mile in my bloody shoes—which were, in fact, so bloody following your attack on me that Dom literally had to take them to the incinerator because raccoons kept breaking into our garage to eat the blood.).

Anyway, freedom is nice. I'm writing this
from the passenger seat of Libby Quinn's truck. She's been driving me to my PO box to check for mail from you because she says it's what Jesus would do. She also says she feels bad about the way she treated me “during the Ruth thing.” I don't love euphemisms but what can you do. My leg's in a cast and I can't drive.

What else. Dom and Miss Rosa are dating now, not that it's any of your business either. They still spend most nights apart—I think it's because they decided that was better for my development or something. I didn't even realize I liked hanging out with my dad until he started having other plans. Anyway, remember Miss Rosa? She was my anger management instructor after Mom died. We reconnected after you murdered Ruth because I thought that if I sat in on some of her classes I might get an idea of what kind of person could do a thing like that—you know, because all of her students are so violent or whatever. I ended up settling on you as a suspect by accident. It just sort of fell into my lap. So don't get it
into your head that I'm some sort of savant detective because the truth is you're just a shitty killer.

Dr. Ferguson says it's natural to feel this angry and that I should let myself feel my feelings, which sounds obvious but doesn't come so easily when you've been taught to be a nice girl all your life. Ultimately revenge doesn't exactly jibe with society's sexist rubric for femininity. I've been reading a lot of Gloria Steinem fan blogs on the subject if you can't tell. Also Dr. Ferguson says I'm right.

I know what you're thinking. “Ooooh, I'm Kippy, I love Dr. Ferguson.” Well I do. Sort of. Not like in a romantic way (blegh) but I've been feeling so much better since I started working with him. One day in the hospital I woke up and I was like, “Hm, maybe it's not normal that I have conversations with my dead friend Ruth.” But then Dr. Ferguson sat with me and helped me feel better about it without making me feel weird. And that's a hard thing to do because I'm weird. And I don't know. I'm starting over, letting go.
Some days it's like you were never here.

And by the way, I'm still dating Davey and we're really happy together. He still has bad days where he thinks he's underattack (I think I am, too), but the good news is I'm like a sponge in therapy, so I can sort of transfer what I've learned in there to my conversations with Davey, which is helping us both learn how to deal with our PTSD. I don't know why I'm telling you this. I guess no matter how much I hate you there's still this familiarity and it's hard not to revert to that. See how good I am at understanding my behavior?

Lastly I want you to know that I've been writing letters to other people, not just to you. So don't feel special is all I'm saying. I definitely haven't forgiven you.

Love,

Kippy

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