Day 14: Senior Year at a new school

Written by Julia Smith

Dear Vodka

First week at a new school was … can I say? I was the shiny new toy in the preschool game room that everyone wanted to play with. Despite the fact that my nerves were shot, I felt really positive and ready to take on this new journey. Theo offered to pick me up along with Ellie whom he regularly dropped off at school every day before he went to university. It made me feel a load better knowing that Ellie would be at my side. I called Chloe before I left just to check in. I told her all about Theo and Ellie. She promised to see me soon. I can’t wait to see her. For now, though, my new friends were doing a pretty good job at keeping me happy. What more could I ask for? Life is great. I asked Ellie if we could look for Aiden. The moment I said his name, her coffee went from near-ingestion to on-the-floor-in-a-nice-brown-puddle-of-shock! I was confused until she started interrogating me about how I knew ‘The Aiden Clark.’ What? Apparently, Aiden is super popular and no one infiltrates his group but his close friends, which is three guys named Matt, Jonah and Connor. Who knew? Oh well, he’ll probably act as if I don’t exist if he bumps into me at school. Ellie warned me to stay away from him. It’s not because he’s some bad boy or anything; she just said that whoever gets close to Aiden ends up either going mental or dead. Okay. Hold the phone. Seriously? That’s a bit much! However, Ellie told me that Aiden’s parents both died in a fatal car crash of which he was the only survivor. Also, his best friend was treated for mirror-touch synaesthesia and because Aiden played lacrosse and got injured all the time, his best friend could feel his pain. It eventually drove him crazy. Literally. I couldn’t stop thinking about Aiden. He must feel pretty crap about what people say about him. Why didn’t he tell me any of this? I think I know why. Aiden didn’t know that we were going to be attending the same school. That would mean that he didn’t mind having me around. I suppose Matt, Jonah and Connor are really special if they’re around him all the time. I still think, however, that just because those horrible things happened to his parents and his best friend, it doesn’t make Aiden a bad person. It simply means that he has been very unfortunate. I’ll understand if he doesn’t want to be around me anymore. It will break my heart a bit too. Ciao for now! XOX

Charlie

Me and my big mouth

This hasn’t been the easiest week for me.

It’s been freezing cold again and with most of my body fat gone my teeth are rattling most of the day. I’ve started getting strange looks and whispers but I don’t care much. Gossip all you want. Only means I’m THAT important.

Mom and dad have been at me all week. I’ve had two counselling sessions and been for a full body work up this week. If someone tells me I need to eat just one more time I think I’ll stop eating just to spite them. I just don’t see the point in putting all that into my body. Mom made me watch To The Bone on Netflix. I rolled my eyes a lot. Why does everyone seem to think I have anorexia? Why does my lifestyle need to be labelled? So I’m very conscientious of a number of calories I put in my body. It doesn’t mean I have or will ever be anorexic.

I tried explaining that to my counsellor who then told me ‘If that is how you feel Chloe, then you need to tell me. It’s the only way we are going to be able to get to the bottom of this.’

Sometimes I just want to look him in the face and ask him if he’s happy to have ruined my life? I was such a normal happy human being before he walked in all beautiful and confused. I gave him my virginity and he tossed me aside like I was meaningless. Am I meaningless? Is this what I’m trying to achieve? Meaning?

I tried finding Noah – which I did. He just appeared, said: Chloe and then pulled his half of the science project out of a folder. So I gave him my full report. He casually weighed it in his hands before cocking his eyebrow at the fact that I’d had the grace to credit him for my work. After a good ten minutes, we both handed each project back but he said I could do whatever I wanted with his. I don’t know if he was angry because I’d done our assignment by myself but then he should have answered one of my many emails or messages. Noah can grow up and talk to me whenever he feels like it again. I’m not going to grovel at another mans’ feet again.

But maybe just one mans.

Dad has been by my side this whole week. He has stopped running with me in the morning. We’ve been having breakfast every morning. Just the two of us. He watches my every bite and it makes me want to throw up just so we can stop this charade but I know that is going to destroy our fragile relationship. He just said that he thought we were making progress. He asked me if there was anything I needed him to do.

I said: Please dad, don’t give up on me.

Then he folded me into his arms.

Chloe: So call me maybe…

I met someone. LOL! How is this possible? I’m absolutely besotted with him. His name is Finn. He is so German and jaw-droppingly gorgeous. He has the bluest eyes and jet black hair and full pink lips which I can’t stop looking at as he speaks. His English is about as good as my German, which is to say communication can sometimes be a problem. We met at the airport! We have exactly the same backpacks and happen to both go for the wrong one. I could see he was super annoyed about it at first especially because my German is rather ratty but… we figured it out in the end.

Then! We got to my aunts’ house and after a long lunch and a short snooze, my cousins Elias and Greta decided they wanted to show me around the town so off we went with Jack in tow. I am really trying to fix things with Jack this vacation. Things haven’t really been that great between us as of the beginning of the year. It’s all my fault and I want to mend it. He’s my favourite person in the whole wide world. I want us to be close like we use to be.

Anyway, we walked into this retro vibe music shop. The chick behind the counter is blowing bubblegum bubbles like a Guinness world book record holder. She has enough piercings to make me wonder if she just air dries after a shower and her hair is the most violent red I’ve ever encountered and immediately I thought of Charlie and what story she’d be making up for retro records girl. I doubt she even knew we were in the store. She was wearing a set of purple beats headphones and nodding her head while reading something I couldn’t see. It was CARAVAL by Stephanie Garber! The chick was reading the book of the bloody Young Adult reading list YEAR!!! I saw a Booktuber open a book Crate unboxing this book and I’ve wanted it ever since!

Anyhoo, as I was thumbing through a box of old LP’s, and guess who was clearing his throat right next to me. Airport guy. Finn. My stomach did a weird jig when I realised who he was and he gave me this lopsided grin. His eyebrows sat up into his fringe. Or his hair overhang. I don’t know but it’s edgy.

He lives two streets from where my aunt lives. Attends school with cousin Elias. We cousins are all born a year apart. Elias being eighteen. Me seventeen. Greta is sixteen in a few days. Their youngest sister Zeta, seven and Jack… well he’ll be six soon. We’re having a Captain America themed party for him. And Jack LIKES Finn. Probably because Finn brought over a bunch of his Captain America paraphernalia for him which melted mom and aunt Zelma’s hearts while Dad just whispered, “I hope your know what you’re getting yourself into with ‘this Finn character’ and then tapped his watch as if to say… time is running out.

 

NEW: Book of the month!

First going to watch the Netflix series.

Day Two: “Not all those who wander are lost”

Dear Vodka,

So it’s a new year and I guess it’s time to fill you in on all the details of my last moments as “Charlie Chopsticks”…

It took a mighty long time for me to convince my overbearing mother to allow me to go to the party Chloe had invited me to. No wonder I decided to live with my grandmother instead! Marianne (my mother) wanted to know every single detail- from where the party was to what colour underwear I was wearing. Geez! I understand that parents need to know these things but she goes wayyy overboard sometimes. My dad finally stepped in and convinced her that I would be fine. After all, Chloe’s grandmother was dropping us off at the party. Thank the good Lord for grandparents! Speaking of which, I’d call Grandma Lilith later in the day to tell her I’d be home by Sunday. I could only take so much of my parents, even though my dad was pretty cool. That was one more thing Chloe and I had in common. Two hours later, her gran fetched us and we arrived at this lavishly decorated double-storey house. Woah! These people are living the life. Chloe said that it was some Rockerfellar-guy’s house. I zoned out after about a minute because she wouldn’t stop talking about him. Bleh! I’m glad that she has a boyfriend that makes her happy and all but, in my opinion, most of them are hormone-dominated morons with an ego the size of Mt. Everest and the IQ the size of the field mice my cat, Lava, catches. Nevertheless, we had a great night. Well, at least I did. Chloe was basically M.I.A all night. I met some quirky musician-ny people. A couple of bookworms too, but I wasn’t there to talk about the great injustice done to J.K.Rowling when E.L James received best writer, instead of her, even though the mention of it infuriated me. So, I escaped to the punch table. But lo and behold! I wasn’t that naive. I knew that some nitwit spiked it but I drank it anyway. I remember dancing wildly to the music, after taking shots with a group of guys who looked like jocks. There were three of them. Two tried to shove their tongues down my throat but the third one didn’t, so I stuck with him and ditched the other two (after kneeing their magic spots)… I think his name was Aiden. Yeah. I must’ve passed out after all the dancing because I woke up on a soft surface. It was the living room couch. Aiden was sitting on the edge of it, while my honey coloured hair hung over the armrest. He just smiled when he saw me awake and handed me a glass of cool, soothing water. Oh, how I wished he would put his lips to mine but he did no such thing. Hello!!!? My brain yelled out at me. Oh, right! Guys are morons but Aiden wasn’t…I hope? It would be nice to have at least one more friend here besides Chloe. At least I got his number. Bonus!? We left the party at 6 a.m. to go to a nearby coffee shop. We talked about the party but mostly about our families. Chloe didn’t open up much but she didn’t have to for me to know that things were a bit complicated from her side… Gotta get some rest now… XOX Charlie

Being me: Chloe Vollenhoven 

Ever since I found out that dad did not cheat on mom I’ve been working up the courage to apologise to dad but he’s making it impossible. 

The night (he who shall not be named) and I followed my dad to the Cape Grace hotel, I was so sure dad was up to no good with the brunette hussy.  I didn’t recognise my own mother as the  femme fatale on his arm. She said she was going to aunt Janes’ after all.

It was cringe worthy when mom eventually sat me down because my comments where ‘out of order’ when directed at dad. 

And then I went off in a fit of rage and had sex because it was the only thing I knew would be most likely to get to my dad. Probably why I regretted it straight after. I felt sick. I guess this is where I realise I didn’t really ‘love’ HIM as much as I thought. I really was just in ‘like’ with him. 

I cried because I realised after all these months that I did it to myself. Snooping and assuming and spiting myself. Once dad realised my reasons for crying he stormed out and hasn’t spoken to me since.

Mom said she’s shocked. She thought I was smarter than that. Guess she was wrong then. I am definitely not smart enough to be running my own life. I make stupid, stupid choices. 😦

I hate my life so much. 😦

Day One: New Year. New Me.

Dear Vodka,

If there’s one thing I’ve learned in my 17 years of living in this pale-skinned body of mine, it’s that New Year’s resolutions never work.

So, in instead of wasting my energy and time on trying to “improve” my life, I took a walk down to the beach to clear my head. I sat there for what must’ve been an hour before I was rudely interrupted by some girl. I had to admit, after setting my plain brown eyes on her green ones, that she was beautiful.

I ignored her nonetheless. After all, in a few hours time, it would be a new year. I wasn’t going to spend it on anyone other than myself. Especially not on one I didn’t know. Even though I remained stationary to get the most from the sun I watched her turn and walk away.   She looked so lost.  I tried but simply couldn’t focus on clearing my mind from that minute.  Who was I kidding? This was not how I really wanted to end the year.  So, I got up and went after her. Plus, I was new to this area and basically a pariah because of my tendency to not initiate contact with anything that wasn’t a book or laptop. This was my chance to change that. Cleo – no, Chloe. Yeah, Chloe and I could totally be friends and I’ll tell you why Vodka! She was carrying a copy of To kill a mockingbird by Harper Lee! The girl has good taste. Confession time: I love that book, which meant that we were gonna get along just fine.

You know, Vodka, I seriously think that sometimes that guy upstairs just gets a thrill out of my misfortune.

After two hours of conversing with Chloe Vollenhoven, who invited me to a party later that day, I felt sort of liberated.

That was until….oh snap! I’m supposed to be asleep by now. I hear my mom’s footsteps approaching my bedroom. I’ll tell you more tomorrow…

XOX

Charlie                                                                      Author: Julia Smith