The next morning, Naomi and Emily emerge from their tent as cute as a pair of buttons on a jumper worn by a puppy asleep in front of a fire in front of a Christmas tree wrapped in fairy lights and ornaments made from cookie dough. Naomi plucks a leaf from Emily’s hair and they giggle. JJ pops out of the tent talking about, “You girls sure do like to wriggle!” And they grin some more and stare at the ground and are perfect from every angle under the sun.
Freddie and Effy return from their romp. Ems is like, “So, Katie? Looks like me but with infinitely more animal print: seen her?” Freddie looks up at the sky: “See, moon! I told you the sunshine would be back to play!”
Everyone searches for Katie but she is nowhere to be found, so, you know, they just drive away. Emily included. And I’m calling bullshit because let me tell you a story: One time my dog ran off in the woods when I was hiking and I called and called and called her and waited and waited and waited for 18 HOURS until she came back. OK? And I’d still be out there in that forest just a-hollerin’ if she hadn’t returned. YEARS LATER. STILL WAITING. So if you think I’d leave my sister out there? No. F–k no. You could drug me and reason with me and hit me in the head with a rock and I still wouldn’t go.
Effy stops on the way to call the police and explain about the head-beatin’ she delivered to her friend, and then she goes home and Anthea gives her a bath to the tune of Effy’s own narrative:
Happiness / hit her / like a train on a track
Coming towards her / stuck still / no turning ba-ck
She hid around corners / and she hid under beds /
She killed it with kisses and from it she fl-ed /
With e-very bubble she sank with a drink /
And wa-shed it away down the kitchen sink.
Which: Exact opposite of Katie’s narrative, right? Katie needs structure; Effy needs freedom. Katie bottles love; Effy destroys it. Katie feels destined to shine forever; Effy feels destined to burn up hard and bright. Katie searches for commitment; Effy flees from it. And here they are. What map?
Effy phones and phones and phones and finally Freddie lets her know they found Katie, that she’s going to be OK. By the time Effy arrives at the hospital, Katie has told everyone her side of what happened. And I say “her side” because when Freddie says to Effy: “She pulled your hair, you hit her with a rock,” it does sound horrible. But the real story is: “She took my thing and I took hers; in the Mirror of Erised, we saw what we wanted, what we feared. She saw a life without love. I saw myself going mad. We bled.”
Freddie shakes an epic head shake and leaves. Effy tries to explain herself to Emily — she blessed them by the by the moonlight, after all — but Emily is just sad. She leaves too.
And then Effy is in the car with Cook going who knows where. He says it’s just them now, together. Effy lights a cigarette and watches as the flame dies.