Letters from Maggie - Last Installment

I didn’t realize Heron was so tall. That’s why I mistook the dark figure waiting for me outside of Hamerschlag Hall for Miles the night of the ball last week. All I could see was a boy in a suit, and I thought, why the hell not? Miles always had a flair for surprise. Heron made much more sense, though, and I should have seen him coming. What I was unsure about was why he needed to send me a top-secret note to meet me when I had seen him in person just a few weeks before.

I ended up wearing the pink dress instead of the green one; it felt somewhat safer, with its sharp, straight neckline and its very forgiving velvet. Heron had a blue tie on.


I had half his name out of my mouth before he grabbed my arm and dragged me towards the stairs that cut between Hamerschlag and Wean. I’m not really sure where those stairs go, and I didn’t get to find out because we stopped once we reached the first landing and I pulled my arm away from him.

“Woah, dude,” I said, taking a cautious step backwards, very freaked out. “I don’t want to go down there. Just tell me what’s going on.”

Heron shoved his hands in his pockets and looked around to see if anyone was watching us. It was quiet.

“It’s Henry, he… at the beginning of the semester he came into our room and I was just sitting at my desk and he started yelling at me, calling me Lilly or something and I tried to talk to him, to shake him out of it, but it was like I wasn’t there and there was someone else there instead and he was just scared and shaking and yelling and I didn’t know what to do. The same thing happened a couple more times after that, and then all of a sudden I would find him locked in his room talking to people for hours when I knew nobody was over. I think he figured out how to get the people to show up — I know it sounds crazy and I can’t explain it, but I heard him mention you a couple of times and I just thought — if I could help you, I wanted to tell you what I knew.”

I blinked a couple of times. “Are you trying to say that Henry always knew what was going on?”

Heron seemed to snap out of something. “No, I’m saying that he’s the reason that anything is going on at all. I don’t know what it is, but Henry knows how to take people in and out of whatever realm they live in. If there are people missing, that’s because he took them. If you saw people you shouldn’t have, that’s because he put them there. I’m very sure about this, and the reason I needed to tell you now is because I think he’s planning to do something with it tonight. I just wanted to prepare you before you got to the ball.”

I had forgotten about the ball, but all of a sudden I was confused by the fact that I wasn’t already there.

“I have to go,” I said, and I turned around and began to walk, my decision to wear boots instead of heels now seeming very wise. I heard Heron yell something behind me, but I was running now, and when I got to the doors of the UC, I threw them open so hard that I heard one hit the bricks behind them.

When I got to Rangos, I stumbled in, out of breath, to find it almost pitch black. There were blue party lights floating vaguely around the space and a couple of tables scattered here and there with candles on them. The room was completely empty but for one person, standing in the middle of the dance floor with his arms swaying at his sides. It was Lou. I was cold.

I took one loud step onto the hardwood floor and jumped. Music had started playing from speakers all around the room. It was “Mirrors” by Justin Timberlake. I began, assuredly, to walk across the floor. I wanted so badly to think that he wasn’t real, Cass, but he was and he held me while the song played and we just didn’t say a word to each other. And when it was almost over and running into the outro, I pulled away to say something and I was looking directly at Henry.

“What are you doing?” I asked.

“I don’t know what I discovered, Maggie,” he said, running his hand up and down my back, “but I know that it gave me the chance to see the person I was missing the most, and I wanted to give that to you, too. You deserved it.” He pulled me back into our hug.

And that, Cassandra, is the story of what happened to me the night of Dietrich Ball.