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…


Charlie                                                                      Author: Julia Smith

Day 365: Dear Girl Over There

There weren’t many things I was certain of back then and up until now, I thought that I had everything figured out.

Turns out, I was just lost and I hadn’t found my identity yet.

These past few months has been one helluva rollercoaster ride. And I’m not gonna deny the fact that I made a lot of stupid and infantile mistakes. No! Not mistakes. There were decisions. My decisions.

I know you’re not an actual person, Dear Diary, but it brings me comfort to know that I can pour out my somewhat messed-up yet reparable soul onto these pages with this amazing feather pen my aunt bought me on her trip to Poland. You’d think she’d bring me a snow globe or something but no, she decided to buy a feather pen instead.

It kind of reminds me of who I am- sensitive and free, yet flexible with a tough backbone.

Just so you know, I’m naming you Vodka because that’s where it all started. With one shot of vodka which unfolded into 364 days of utter heartbreak and complete insanity…


(Diary Novel by Julia Smith)

Public Holidays: Chloe Vollenhoven

Not exactly sure what today is. Been sitting around the house trying to read Am I normal yet? but I can’t seem to get into it. Feeling deflated. What’s new with that feeling right? It’s just that today, it seems to weigh so heavily on me that I don’t have the energy to move about. I don’t feel like talking to anyone but they insist on talking to me. Dad says no one can talk to me anymore without fearing repercussions. Mom sighs every time, that’s how I know she’s about to speak to me next. Jack doesn’t even bother speaking. He scribbles drawings on bits of paper and slides them over to me.

Mom and Dad made the decision to remove my bedroom door. Therefore I have no privacy. There isn’t an inch of this small house that seems to be mine anymore. It’s suffocating me. Try explaining that to them and dad flys off the handle and mom, goes all pale and stiff like the pole wedging itself even further up her… you know…

School, is a daily slog. Sometimes it’s a good distraction but only for a few hours of my day. I’ve given up the piano and taken to the violin. Don’t know why. I just needed a challenge. Perhaps I also needed to not share it with HIM anymore. The kids at school all treat me like I’m a leper. Barely speaking to me, unless it’s to taunt me about my old lady status. You fall behind once and you are deemed old or whatever these immature idiots claim. Maybe I am old. I feel like I’ve lived a thousand lives since last year. It all now feels so far away. Priya and Grace have left the school. Found that out when I came back full time. Priya’s parents no longer wanted to risk her being under my influence… that’s what they said – to my parents. And Grace? Well, she received a scholarship to the Oprah Winfrey school. That’s only what I heard. She hasn’t spoken to me since last year either.

I’m not here to make friends anyway.

The good news, I supposed would be that I stopped emailing HIM now. It doesn’t mean I don’t think about HIM but the hollow edge to the pain has ceased into something strangely distant. Like I want to remember the pain but it’s too far away to reach now.

I bet that would relieve my mother from the stick. At least it would give her brief repose. I thought I had it all figured out last year. I thought I had planned out the rest of my life. I was stupid to believe that for a second. I’m almost 17 years old and I am no closer to knowing what I want to do with the rest of my life today than I was when I was in the throes of my eating disorder.

Some days are still harder than others.